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How to create your quarterly marketing plan | Caroline Sumners

How to create your quarterly marketing plan

How to create a quarterly marketing plan

It’s much easier to put in the day-to-day work of carrying out a marketing plan if you’re not also forced into planning it on your feet. Marketing without any idea of how you’re going to develop your efforts day after day can put you at risk of putting out content that has no purpose and, worse, no fit to your audience’s place in the customer value journey. This blog will take you through some steps to think about how to develop a quarterly marketing plan to help you keep your marketing agile and your content fresh, and ensure action!

Instead of an annual plan, we’re going to look at developing quarterly marketing plans that can help you urge customers a little closer to conversion all the quicker.

Map out any events or promotions that you are planning to run

Take a look at the next three months and figure out if there are any key dates that you need to think about – e.g. Easter, Thanksgiving, BlackFriday. And if they are relevant to your business? Also, take a look and see if there are any specific events that you are planning to attend, eg conferences and events. And finally, block off any vacation dates that you might have expected.

Map out the steps of the customer journey

You know how much I love to talk about the Customer Journey. You can check that out here.  Following the assumption that you need to assure you are not missing out steps in the customer journey, you can see how being on a different phase of the journey affects which marketing content work best at different stages. If they don’t know about the business yet, then paid marketing methods to raise your visibility and platform, such as guest posting or paid adverts are more likely to be effective.  If they’re engaged and thinking about offering some benefit to them to provide their email so that you can continue to communicate, then email marketing and publishing content demonstrating the value of your products and services will be more effective.

Generate content to match the steps

I’ve published a piece on the customer value journey, which you can find here. You will find other versions of this, sometimes also known as the marketing funnel, throughout the net. Take the time to plan out and develop content that is specifically meant to target potential customers in each step of their journey/customer lifecycle/sales funnel.

Think about the tools in your arsenal

First of all, address what tools you’re using for your marketing. This can include your marketing content, social media, advertisements, videos, and much more. Think about the advantages of each and how they can work on different people. For instance, people who are not yet fully engaged with your brand could be better caught by paid search ads than, say, email content marketing.

Go through the customer journey cycle each quarter

Once you’re sure you haven’t left out anyone who might be on one of the steps in the customer value journey, it’s time to schedule it out. Break the quarter up into months, and have each month cover one-to-two steps in their journey. Your marketing plan should follow them chronologically so that someone who starts on one level, the discovery phase, of the journey should be guided through the rest of the journey by your timely marketing deliveries.

If you need help with this, you can check out Customer Journey Audit here

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