Your strategic Marketing Action Plan (MAP) is a document that is used to plan your day-to-day marketing activities/strategies for running your online business; in other words it's your MAP to online business management success. And just like a real map, your MAP tells you exactly how to get from point A to point B and the route you need to take in order to get there.
When you have your MAP in place it eliminates the guess work - you always know what you're doing, when you're doing it, and how you're going to implement the strategies.
Creating a Marketing Action Plan can seem very daunting if you've not done this kind of detailed planning before; it can be difficult to know where to start. My favorite tool for creating my strategic MAP is a spreadsheet because of the row/column formatting that spreadsheets use.
Today I'd like to make that process easy for you and share with you my insider secrets so that you can create your own MAP.
1. Heart of your business - your MAP is not a document that you create, look at once, and then set aside to review in a year's time. Like a real map you continually refer to (typically on a weekly basis) so that you know you're going in the right direction. And if you do sway off course a little, maybe for a pit stop along the way, you can easily update it as necessary.
Your MAP will provide you with your 'Big Picture' route for the year. You'll want to keep it handy so that you can refer to it often, whether you print it out and keep it on your desk, or have easy access to it on your PC.
2. Chunk it down - the easiest and simplest way for you to manage your MAP is to break it down into doable action steps, so that you don't feel overwhelmed by feeling you have to plan out your entire route in one go. You're going on a journey and as such there might be detours along the way. I highly advise you to chunk down your MAP, first into quarters, then into months, and then into weeks.
3. See any overlaps/conflicts - as you've been planning out your marketing activities for the upcoming year, having it all together in one place will allow you to see any overlaps or conflicts in your plan. Similarly it will also allow you to see any gaps too.
4. Automatically creates your weekly/monthly To Do list - this is one of my favorite aspects of creating my MAP because when I chunk everything down into quarters/months/weeks I find that I create my weekly action list. And it's so much easier to be able to just focus on that week's action steps and so implement them.
Some points to remember as you're putting together your marketing plan:
* Seeding in ezine/networks - as soon as you're clear on what programs/products/services you're going to be offering and when, start mentioning them in your newsletter and to your social networks. You don't need to give a whole lot of detail - simply say that you're working on something new, or an exciting project etc. and this will start to create interest in your offerings.
* Marketing - plan out when you're going to be opening registrations and when you're going to be running promotions. This is important so that you don't have any overlaps in your promotions/activities.
* Delivering - also plan out when you're going to be delivering your programs too, again to avoid any overlaps/conflicts in your promotions and activities.
* Team Members - know which team members you're going to need support from to help you implement your goals, i.e. virtual assistant, graphic designer, web designer etc. You may need to contact them several weeks in advance so plan this in too.
* Dates - and finally it's important to include all dates in your Marketing Action Plan so that nothing gets missed out.
As my financial adviser reminded me just last week, you're running a marathon not a sprint, and the same is true for your business also. Follow these simple steps for creating your strategic Marketing Action Plan and you'll soon find yourself on track for achieving your business goals.
About the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches professional speakers, coaches, and authors how to operate an efficient, organized, and profitable business. Learn how to create an efficient and organized office in 7 EASY steps, and receive free how-to articles at http://www.OfficeOrganizationSuccess.com
Author: Tracey Lawton