October 31, 2014

The “Belong Subscribe And Engage” Marketing Plan

A sound and holistic marketing plan has always  combined these areas:

Marketing Plan

  • Advertising: any paid form of communication through  mass communication
  • Sales promotion: any short term incentive to encourage trial purchase
  • Events and Experiences: sponsored events or activities
  • Public Relations and Publicity: non paid ways to promote image and reputation
  • Direct Marketing:  one-to-one  communication such as mail, telephone, e-mail and Internet selling
  • Personal Selling: face-to-face interaction with one or more prospective customers
Using these marketing areas was simpler when there was only traditional media: TV, Cable, Radio and Print. Now, with the addition of the web and online worlds, plus social media, our choices have increased dramatically.
Regardless of  all the options and choices, the best way to grow brand reach and impact is still an integrated marketing approach, using things together, so that you reach the most people with your message and solutions.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and underwhelmed, with so many choices, products and platforms. The truth is, many of these options are not really right for you and you shouldn’t  be using them. Just because something is popular or the “thing” of the moment, doesn’t mean it’s going to last or be around.  (Here are some Social Media Failures for 2011, that many regret signing up for.)

Answer these three simple, but important, questions first:

1) What do you do?

2) Who is your core customer?

3) How do you reach them where they hang out and engage?

Applying those answers to these areas will help you know what you need to belong to, subscribe to and engage in.

Belong To The Right Organizations

What’s your networking in person plan? Pick a chamber, be a member of a professional organization, a union, networking or hobby group, or meet ups. Be willing to go to them and get to know others who can become valued peers, colleagues and friends. Be out consistently, show your face and bring your personality.

Subscribe To The Most Important Content

Who are the leading voices and experts in your field and related fields? Subscribe to their blogs, newsletters, white papers, news feeds, and tips. This will keep you on the forefront of relevant and current trends and information.

Engage Where Your Customers Or Followers Are

Wherever your customers, fans, friends, peers and colleagues are is where you should be. Get more active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, selective chat rooms, online groups, Tweet/Facebook chats. Choose the activities that are best for you and build in time to be on them.

Who are your best playmates, playgrounds and games? The business world is just a big park, playground and party.  Get into the conversations and be apart of the discussion.  When you put yourself out, in a targeted, focused way with a brand and branding plan that makes sense to reach the best people for you, you create a natural self marketing plan that will reward and return.

Mix and match, use and try media, marketing and promotion until you find the best ROI and RON (return on networking).  Stay curious and be proactive in trying new things that are on top of consumer trends that impact you.  Here are 10 ways to stretch your marketing budget from author Mark W Bly from his book The Marketing Plan Handbook.  If you’re using social media for marketing your business, you should be measuring it, according to Union Metrics founder Jenn Deering Davis.

Be brave, bold, adventurous and follow a game plan, when it comes to marketing yourself! Be willing to adjust, tweak and adapt.

What’s your personal marketing plan?


Marketing Plan Photo via Shutterstock

4 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a past staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

4 Reactions

  1. I love this line “The business world is just a big park, playground and party.”. If only more small business owners would understand that, they could take their business to a whole new level. The idea of marketing is not hard, and many time they make it harder on themselves than it should be. To often they are concerned with following a trend, then following the flow of their customers. It is not about what everyone else is doing, it is about doing what works.

    • Ryan, well it is “social marketing” and we are social beings! I sometimes just watch human interaction when I’m out and about. Fascinating really. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. It may be too long to answer those questions. Anyway, since we have more and more resources to market our business, we are able to maximize its potential to reach prospective customers or clients. Your advice is great about subscribing to people who shares great information like this one. Thanks for sharing this informative post. More success Deborah!

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