Walking the buyers journey, in easy peasy steps
When you’re busy being boss of all the things, who’s got time to write a marketing plan? And even if you did have a plan in all its ring-bounded glory, would you follow it? I’ve written countless traditional marketing plans over two decades (I’ve never counted). And I can tell you one thing I know for sure. No one reads a marketing plan, or at least, more than once.
Unless you wrote it. And that doesn’t count.
There’s no getting around the fact that they’re a valuable business tool. Here’s the easiest marketing plan you’ll ever make. It’s truly customer centric. And I bet you’ll actually use it.
Here’s the thing
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about digital marketing, PR, SEO, social media, brochures or any other marketing elements. This plan covers THE LOT. In fact, you won’t care what’s digital and what’s not.
It’s all part of the plan.
Walk with me
We’re going to take a walk in your favourite customer’s shoes and make some notes along the way. The path we’re taking is the age-old ‘buyer’s journey’, that’s had many names – purchase decision making process, marketing funnel, to name a couple.
The buyers journey maps out the steps your buyers take to buy from you, and ideally, to keep back for more. It’s the number 1 tool to use in any business. Why? It forces you to think about your customer and design everything you do around them.
The difference here though, is that we’re going to whiz through it. Consider this your first draft, of many along the way.
This is your NOW plan.
And you can revisit as many times as you need to.
Let’s do this
Step 1 – Thinking about your favourite customer, let’s call him Harry (or Harriet if that’s more applicable, but I’ll roll with Harry for now). How did he start out knowing he has a need? What was the trigger?
Jot down your thoughts.
Step 2 – Where does Harry go to find more information and a solution?
Remember the Yellow Pages? That was a big search tool in the old days. But now, we have so many more options. Jot down all the avenues your favourite customer might seek out.
Step 3 – What are Harry’s typical questions? Think about:
- What he’s hoping to achieve
- What he’s worried about
- And any preconceived ideas he has
Cover the what, where, when, why, how type questions to get a full range of questions.
TIP: This is going to form your content and SEO marketing plans.
Step 4 – What criteria does he use to evaluate his options? What’s important to him? For example, speed, attention to detail, ‘just right’ price point.
Step 5 – How does he prefer to make the transaction? What’s going to make life easy for Harry?
Step 6 – And now that Harry has bought from you, how can he buy again? What else can you offer Harry? And how can Harry’s experience be shared with others?
Now, to bring it all together
Scan over each one of your answers and write at least one implication it has on each of the marketing p’s:
- Product (or service, membership – whatever it is that you offer)
- Pricing (pricing model, price points and market position)
- Promotion (paid, organic and earned)
- Placement (sales channels, including websites)
- Process (consistent, outstanding customer experience)
And here’s the most important step – ACTION. Write a list of actions to bring this to life. Go through your notes in the marketing p’s and create a list of tasks that will deliver on these.
For best results, follow the 30, 60, 90 day approach for sorting through the easy ones, through to the actions that will take a bit of planning. In my marketing planning sessions with clients, it usually looks like this:
Easy right? If you’re not much of a planner, or ready to re-fresh your marketing, then this is the best way to kick things off. And the best part? It’s truly centred on your customer. As all good marketing should be.
Over to you
Need help with your marketing? Book in half hour consult, or even better, a marketing planning session and we’ll smash this out together.
Amy Annetts, a marketing strategist in Melbourne, has been practising marketing for 25 years. She creates marketing roadmaps for businesses that need to know where they’re going. Amy blends her corporate and traditional marketing experience with the latest digital techniques. Using a full-scale marketing toolkit, Amy’s clients use campaigns that earn them more customers. And she loves red dirt and travelling Australia, having done ‘the lap’ twice and many outback trips in between.
But that’s another story.
Get in touch to see how Amy can help you.