8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 1: Get Started

 

Welcome to the 8 Hour Marketing Plan. I have condensed over 30 years of marketing experience into 8 - 1 hour sessions. You can do all of these lessons in one day, once a week, once a month, or whatever works for your schedule. Note that while the sessions should take about an hour, the time it takes to reflect on the content and put your plan into action will be ongoing.

I’ve broken marketing strategy into 7 key concepts, 3 are strategic and 3 are tactical with the final key being to measure and make improvements.

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Here’s a breakdown of the sessions:

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No Time for Marketing

Sounds great, but who has time for marketing? I worked for FranklinCovey, a company that specialized in time management, for several years. Stephen Covey, the co-founder, created a time management matrix based on importance and urgency.

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While we will discuss determining importance in session 3, Define Your Purpose, this course is not focused on time management. The core insight is that creating a marketing plan falls in quadrant II - it is important, but not urgent. Few if any people in your life are going to be clamoring for you to create a marketing plan, however it could be one of the most important and high leverage things you can do for your business.

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 1 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 2:

  • What is your marketing budget? Yearly, monthly, and by % of sales

  • What is your break even? What do you need to sell to pay your expenses?

  • What is your customer acquisition cost/budget? What does it cost you to get a customer? How much can you afford?

  • What is the value of a customer? What is the average amount a customer spends with you per visit? Over a lifetime?

  • Have you scheduled time to be strategic? Put time on your calendar now to finish this plan.

  • Read 7 Keys to Marketing Genius Key 1 and complete the SWOT analysis worksheet before the next session

8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 2: Find Your Advantage

 

This is the first and most important question you must answer for your business and your marketing. All of your marketing should be geared toward communicating your competitive advantage, what you do better than the competition.

This is also the most difficult question to answer. In fact, knowing your advantage, your purpose and creating an image are the hardest parts of marketing. That’s why many companies skips the strategy all together.

The easiest part of marketing is spending money on promotions. That’s why there are plenty of people ready to sell you “marketing packages”, the problem is without a sound strategy you are just rolling the dice. You may get lucky, but that’s not the best way to run your business.

The Value of Strategy

When working with clients or teaching students in the classroom they struggle with the strategy questions because they dig deep into who you are and why you are in business. A lot people give up.

I guarantee you this, if you stick with the plan and develop a strategy in the next 3 sessions it will make the tactical part that much easier. And because most of your competitors are not willing to put in the effort, you will be that much further ahead. I will go further and say that there many people with business and marketing degrees that will be less prepared than you if you do your homework.

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Use SWOT to Find Your Advantage

A SWOT Analysis is a tool for determining your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT can be used to analyze many things, a product, a company or even yourself. Fill out the SWOT Analysis document with your products and/or services in mind.

When you are done, go back and look at your strengths. Identify 1 or 2 strengths that can not be easily duplicated by the competition. For example, being the first or the original is not able to be duplicated, while low price can be quickly and easily copied.

Create a Tagline

A tagline, or slogan, is a few words that summarize your advantage. They should be used and/or implied in all of your marketing promotions. Don’t be lead astray by some popular slogans that identify neither the business nor the advantage. Many poor taglines are known because of the millions of dollars spent to promote the product, not because they are effective. You probably don’t have that kind of budget, but you do have ingenuity and you can outsmart your competition with a strategic tagline.

Look at your strengths again. What are you able to provide for your target market better than your competition in a way that can not be easily duplicated?

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 2 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 3:

  • What is the unique competitive advantage of your product or service? (The best way to determine this is by performing a SWOT analysis)

  • How can you meet the needs of the target audience better than the competition?

  • What is the positioning of your product or service?

  • How do you encapsulate your advantage in a few memorable words?

8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 3: Define Your Purpose

 

Before launching a new product, company or organization you should ask:

• What is the mission or purpose?
• What goals do you want to accomplish with this particular product or service?
• How do my goals fulfill the mission of the company?
• How will you communicate this to the entire organization to make sure everyone is on the same page?

Create a Mission Statement

There are many ways to create a mission statement. It’s always a matter of looking ahead to where you want to be. Brainstorm the things you want to accomplish and be know for. If you have a long list, narrow it down to the 3-5 key things that are most important. If the list is too long it will be hard to focus and fulfill. There are many good things to accomplish, so focus on the best.

If you prefer, you can use the FranklinCovey Mission Builder tool.


Priority vs Urgency

Once you determine your mission you are better able to determine what activities are truly important. Without it you will likely default back to the urgency paradigm of management.

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Alignment

If you want your organization to go in the same direction they everyone must know and be aligned with the company mission. (Be sure to read the book for a more detailed explanation).

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Create a Vision

Mission and vision are often used interchangeably but there is a difference. A Mission is a word statement whereas a Vision is an actual picture of the future. If you are working with a group it can often be easier to have people draw a picture since it is harder to critique. Be sure to go for stick figures and keep it simple unless you are working with fine artists. This exercise can be helpful in the next phase of creating a logo.


Set Goals

Goals are what set you on the path to achieving your mission and vision. There’s a lot of information available about goal setting so I will only advise that you keep them SMART.

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Communicate

Once you have defined your purpose through your mission, vision and goals, make sure that everyone is on the same page (alignment). How and when you communicate this information is crucial. Make sure you have the proper system in place to communicate with and lead your team.

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 3 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 4:

  • Mission – Refine your team mission statement

  • Vision – Agree on a team vision

  • Goals – Use the worksheet to write 1 short term and 1 long term team goal

  • Alignment – Determine how your team will communicate and stay aligned then schedule time to review mission, vision and goals (PP 44-50)

  • Read 7 Keys to Marketing Genius Key 3 before the next session

8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 4: Create an Image

 

After reading the text about Key 3, Create an Image, answer the following questions:

• Based on the competitive advantage, positioning, target audience and mission of the company what image best represents your product or service?
• What is your brand promise?
• Is the look and feel of your marketing communications materials consistent and congruent?

Sketch out some ideas of what you want your logo to look like. The more developed your idea, the smoother the design process will be.

There is software that will help you create your own logo, or if you have the budget you should get the help of a professional designer.

You should also create a brand guide that will help you stay on target with the look, feel, fonts, colors and style of your marketing materials. If you are in a large organization this is the best way to keep everyone consistent in how they represent your brand.

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 4 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 5:

  • Determine your brand promise

  • Choose brand colors

  • Identify a font

  • Design a logo

  • Optional: create a brand guide

  • Read 7 Keys to Marketing Genius Key 4 before the next session

8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 5: Implement Promotions

 

Strategy Before Tactics

We are moving from the strategy of sessions 1-4 to the tactics of 5-8. Be sure you have spent time completing the first steps to make these tactics effective.

After reading the text about Key 4, Implement Promotions, answer the following questions:

•What marketing communications do you plan on utilizing?

•What marketing communications can you afford?

•What marketing communications make the most sense for your situation?

•How can you achieve the greatest return on investment with the least amount of wasted exposure?

•Are your marketing communications consistent and congruent?

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 5 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 5:

8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 6: Build Relationships

 

After reading the text about Key 5, Build Relationships, answer the following questions:

• How are you building relationships with customers?

•Are you creating positive word of mouth?

•Are you developing advocates for your product?

•Where in the funnel do your promotions hit?

•How do your promotions push people down the funnel?

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 6 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 7:

  • List the tools you will use to build relationships

  • List the calls to action (CTA’s) you are using in your promotions to get people to the next step in the relationship

  • Read 7 Keys to Marketing Genius Key 6 before the next session

8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 7: Gain Feedback

 

After reading the text about Key 6, Gain Feedback, answer the following questions:

•How are you measuring results?

•Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from customers?

•Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from employees?

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 7 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 8:

  • Name the tools you are using to get feedback from customers and employees.

  • List the analytics tools you will use to measure engagement and progress (i.e. Google Analytics, MailChimp reports, etc.)

  • Read 7 Keys to Marketing Genius Key 7 before the next session

8 Hour Marketing Plan - Session 8: Adjust to Changes

 

After reading the text about Key 7, Adjust to Changes, answer the following questions:

• Are you making changes based on the feedback you have gained?

•Has your market or target audience changed?

•Do you need to revise any marketing messages to remain current?

•Are you maintaining up to date and relevant information on the website?

•Do you have an ongoing dialogue with current customers?

Course Resources

Book - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Videos - 7 Keys to Marketing Genius by Michael Daehn

Outline for Marketing Plan by Michael Daehn

Session 8 Checklist

Complete the following before continuing to Session 8:

  • Schedule time on your calendar to review your marketing progress

  • Determine if you have the right resources to continually manage your marketing

Congratulations - You Finished the Course

If you’d like, you can take the information from these lessons and complete a formal marketing plan. Or you can use this Quick Start Marketing Plan to keep track or share with others.