A Marketing Plan or a Marketing System?

marketing plan, marketing system, houston texasI talk a lot about marketing plans and marketing systems in our Monday is for Marketing feature. But what’s the difference? I have to admit that sometimes I even confuse the elements, but a marketing system is much bigger than a marketing plan! I define a marketing system as that mechanism within your business that drives the growth of your business. The marketing system is one of the 5 core systems or 5 components of a turnkey business.

Here is what makes up a marketing system.

There are 3 parts to a marketing system. First there is the Lead Generation function. The aim of Lead Generation is to generate an adequate number of qualified leads that you can convert into customers in order to grow your business. The Lead Generation function has 5 components:
  1. Your Target Markets.  These are all the different types of customers that you sell your various products or services to.
  2. Your Marketing Message.  This is your written marketing copy that talks about your reputation, your experience, your training, your systems/processes, and your guarantee. This is the larger body of written content from which you draw marketing copy for your website, your print collateral, etc.
  3. Your Marketing Mediums.  These are the various channels or mediums that you use to reach your potential customers. There are over 110 different ways that you can market your business. If you would like to have a copy of this list, simply contact us and I will be happy to email you a copy.
  4. Your Marketing Plan.  You should create a written marketing plan for each of your target markets, products, and services. More about this in a minute.
  5. Your Marketing Dashboard.  This is a tool you use to track and measure the effectiveness of every marketing tactic or activity. I use an excel spreadsheet that enables me to track this weekly.
The second function of a marketing system is Relationship Management. Every business owner needs a process for keeping track of their clients/customers, their referral sources, their prospects or prospective referral sources, and their strategic partners. This is typically done through a CRM software. However, I have found that an excel spreadsheet can serve the same function if you are just beginning. Many industries have industry specific CRM's. There are many software solutions such as Act, Zoho, Highrise, etc. I personally use SalesForce. It doesn't matter what software you use as long as you have an effective method of tracking and nurturing these important relationships. The revenue is in the relationships, so don't take this for granted! The third function of a marketing system is Branding and Communication. This function includes the process of creating your brand and particularly your brand identity (i.e. your logo.) But it is much more. It includes your collateral and all of your communication pieces. It includes your pricing and packaging. It also includes all of your internal as well as external communication. These are the 3 parts of a marketing system. Do you have one? What work does your marketing system need right now? Are you getting enough qualified leads to grow your business? This is what we help business owners create. As a result they have a turnkey marketing system in their business. But what about the marketing plan? Well, I suggest that you have a marketing plan for each of your different target markets. For me, I work with business owners, executives, sales professionals, and other leaders (including non-profit leaders.) So I have a marketing plan for each target market. Simply put, each of your marketing plans should have these 5 parts:
  1. A Description of This Particular Target Customer
  2. A Unique Selling Proposition
  3. A Marketing Calendar
  4. A Marketing Budget
  5. A Statement of Measurable Outcomes that You Expect
Need some help with this? Let us guide you to create a turnkey marketing system for your business and watch it grow!

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