Four Steps to a Breakout Year: Create a Company Marketing Plan That Takes You Where You Want to Go
In any of those scenarios, desired outcomes become easier to achieve when you have determined what to do and when to do it. Whether you're hoping to reach new markets, outflank the competition, fill your schedule with clients or galvanize the public, a marketing plan propels you toward your bull's-eye.
Most marketing plan courses or software programs teach you to construct a formal planning document, heavy with charts and graphs and business-school-style analysis.
This course is different.
It uses no snooty jargon, requires no pie charts and demands no number-crunching. You do not need to wrap your mind around concepts like "macroenvironment," "contribution margin" or "strategy pyramid." (I took those terms from a site selling marketing plan software.)
Instead, you'll follow a simple four-step process that gets you to reflect, collect ideas, format the appropriate tasks in an intuitive fashion and make sure the plan fits your real-life circumstances.
With your new marketing blueprint in hand, you'll stop careening from crisis to crisis, grasping at random ideas, suffering costly mistakes and omissions.
Rather, you'll have a finite collection of tasks to implement (and perhaps delegate) in the coming year with a cool head and wise confidence.
The four planning steps in the course ensure that you're not going through an academic exercise but selecting and arranging appropriate, feasible tasks that lead to your unique chosen destination.
Step 1: Take stock and identify goals
You're taken through a series of questions that help you reflect on where you succeeded best during the previous year, where you left money on the table and where you'd like to take your company in the coming year. Learn new ways to leverage what you already have so you can earn more with less effort.
Step 2: Discover which tactics help achieve which goals
With specific goals and preferences in view, you start pinpointing which marketing and publicity tactics to include in your marketing plan. Detailed "If you want this, then do that" handouts, lecture and examples help you assemble a tentative list of to-do's for the coming year.
Step 3: Construct a month-by-month marketing plan
Discover how to turn all your maybes into a simple, easy-to-follow action plan, incorporating recommended frequencies, sequences and practical timing for the various components. Hear which categories of items do not belong in your plan, and why. A detailed case study fleshes out the process for you.
Step 4: Make sure the plan is manageable
Before finalizing your plan, it's crucial to consider what might get in the way of carrying it out. You get a multitude of tips on making sure your action plan fits your organization's strengths, compensates for your weak points and can actually get implemented.
The teaching consists of narrated video lectures, informational handouts, worksheets and supplementary audios.
Note: If you are hearing-impaired, speak English as a second (or fourth) language or just like to review content quickly, you'll be glad to know that this course includes the written transcript of each video lesson.
By the end of Step 4, you have a manageable, unique-to-you marketing plan.
Prior to its incarnation on Udemy, I used this method to construct customized marketing plans ($3000 and up) for companies ranging from publishers and professional associations to specialty retail shops and Internet startups. I also taught the course for several years in teleseminar format.
"Great course in marketing strategy as it lays out a complete methodology for charting a course for the new year. Marcia's approach does not overwhelm you with too much advice, but guides you through a retrospective of what worked and did not work in the past year. This leads to the development of a sound marketing plan for the coming year that focuses on building upon your past year successes, eliminating ineffective programs and incorporating new ones with better promise." - Henry Bruce, Founder, Rock Annand Group
Here on Udemy, the course is self-paced and on-demand so you can construct your marketing plan exactly when it's convenient for you.
With lifetime access to this course, you'll find it indispensable not only the first time you work through the four steps but every year afterwards.
"Before I took Marcia's Marketing Plan course, I just let things happen naturally, without annual goals or a marketing plan for my business. Guess what happened? Not much. Since participating in the training, I've used Marcia's step-by-step system every December to examine what worked and didn't work the previous year, establish the new year's goals and create my annual marketing plan. This in-depth training will help you take your business from wherever it is today to where you want it to be one year from now, no guessing required." - Kathy Goughenour, Trainer and Coach, Expert VA Training
If you need a buttoned-up marketing plan as part of a search for funding or financing, this course is not for you. If you want a well-orchestrated success plan that gets your organization on track and moves everyone along, then sign up today and get started within minutes. You'll find it a no-fluff, fun, fruitful process!
Marketing coach Marcia Yudkin is the author of 17 traditionally published books, including 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, and dozens of ebooks and multimedia courses. She has delivered commentaries on National Public Radio and been featured in the Wall St. Journal, Entrepreneur and scores of newspapers all over the world. Her unconventional yet practical marketing advice suits introverts and rebels who hate the "musts" nearly everyone spouts. (For instance, she does not blog.) She runs her information empire part of the year from Maui and the rest of the year from the woods of Western Massachusetts.