If you haven’t already, then now is the time to create your marketing plan for 2017.
This can be a daunting task, even for savvy marketers. That’s why in this article I’m going to answer one of the most frequently asked questions about marketing plans, “What makes a great marketing plan?”
And to help answer that question, let’s take a closer look at the marketing plan behind arguably the most shocking underdog win of the year… Trump’s presidential race. Whether you like it or not, there’s no denying the fact that Trump put together (and then implemented) a magnificent marketing plan to defeat Clinton.
So rather than bicker about the results, let’s learn from this historic event!
We’ll start with the most important step in the planning process…
Clearly Define Who Is & Who Is Not Your Audience
Trump did an amazing job laser-focusing his marketing on his ideal audience. In fact, he took it a step further and was completely OK with alienating anyone that was not his ideal audience.
That’s a key takeaway that is worth writing down.
Some of the most successful companies in the world use this same strategy. Look at Apple with its closed system that forces customers to only use other Apple products. Or look at IKEA, which only sells furniture neatly packed in flat boxes that customers ultimately have to assemble (and if you’ve ever assembled an IKEA product you know it’s not easy or fast).
In all of these examples, Trump, Apple, and IKEA focus all of their marketing exclusively on their ideal audience and they ignore “the haters.” They know what their customers want and they don’t try to cater to everyone. As I’m sure you know, the kiss of death is trying to please everyone in your market because you’ll end up making no one happy.
So take the time to think through who is, and equally important, who is not your ideal customer. Only after completing this step, can you truly create a great marketing plan because everything else depends on your target audience.
Next, it’s time to get inside the shoes of your audience…
Create a Great Offer That Solves Their Problem
Once you know who you’re targeting, then put yourself in their shoes. What are the problems they are dealing with that your product or service solves?
For Trump, this was pretty straight forward…
Trump offered change. Trump’s ideal audience was not happy with Obama’s 2 terms in office. Therefore, their problems were tied to Obama’s policies. Since Clinton’s policies were almost perfectly aligned with Obama’s policies, you can see how “change” was the perfect solution, or offer, in Trump’s campaign.
Now it’s your turn. What are the problems that your ideal customers are dealing with? Remember, we’re only talking about the audience you defined earlier. Trump wasn’t worried about people who liked Obama’s policies because those were not his audience.
Once you know the problems, then it’s usually not too hard to come up with a great offer that positions your product or service as the best solution.
Ah, but how do your customers know it’s the “best” solution? That brings us to the next step…
What other products or services could your customers use to solve their problem?
Don’t forget that there are many options outside of your industry, including the option of doing nothing. In many businesses, the biggest hurdle is not a competitor; it’s procrastination.
For Trump, it wasn’t too hard to differentiate since he wasn’t a full-time politician. And since he wasn’t a politician, then logically he couldn’t be a corrupt politician. Regardless of your stance on Clinton, there have been so many political scandals since the founding of our country that we’ve come to accept that most politicians are susceptible to a little corruption.
In the business world, differentiation is synonymous with your unique selling proposition, or USP. Why should your ideal customer choose your product or service over all the other options?
Once you’ve answered that question, then marketing and sales will be a heck of lot easier.
Finally, your marketing plan is not complete until you address what happens after the sale. That’s right, marketing doesn’t stop when the sale is complete!
Fulfillment & Retention
Apple customers don’t love Apple because of their marketing. They love Apple because of their products and their customer service. In other words, if Apple didn’t deliver with easy-to-use and functional products, then customers would immediately have buyer’s remorse. That would lead to refunds, negative reviews, and loss of market share to competitors.
At this point Trump’s fulfillment and retention plan is unclear. It’ll take another year to see how things unfold, but if he doesn’t deliver on the promises made during the election, then we can be certain there will be buyer’s remorse across the country!
In business we call this the “customer experience.” What happens immediately after a customer makes a purchase? How could you improve the purchase experience? How could you improve the product or service delivery experience? What could you do to improve customer retention and referrals?
Those are just a few questions to get the ideas flowing. But don’t just write down those ideas… Make sure you put them into action!
Want Help with Your Marketing Plan?
Join us on Thursday, December 15 at 12pm for our live training…
“How to Create an Effective Marketing Plan for 2017!”