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Top 10 Critical Elements of B2B Marketing Plans

Why you need to “Get a Plan.” 

Without bogging you down in a lengthy post, here are the top 10 things all professional services companies, including accounting, law, engineering, architectural and more, should have in their marketing plans:

1. Budget:  You will waste quite a lot of time planning without having an idea of what you want and can afford to spend.  Typically, firms end up with plans they simply can’t execute.  While this may seem pretty common sense, you would be surprised!

2. Revenue Goals:  What is the increase in revenue that you plan on achieving from your investment in marketing?  Remember to take into account other factors besides marketing expenditures, such as level of competition; current brand awareness/penetration; and ability to close business.  (Remember, marketing can lead a horse to water…..)

3. Target Markets:  Plans should provide for campaigns and tactics specific to the firm’s target markets.  (Note, target markets should be selected by going through a comprehensive strategic planning process that isn’t addressed in this post.)

4. Ideal Client Profile:  What is an ideal client for your firm?  When answering this, think about geography, size, lifecycle and more.  Your firm should have an ideal client profile for each target market.

5. New & Existing Client Goals:  How many of your ideal clients do you expect to bring in and what is the average revenue by client that you would expect?  Which of your existing clients have growing needs?  How much revenue do you expect from this expanded scope of work?
6. Team & Roles:  Which professionals will play a role in executing the marketing and/or sales effort?  What specific tasks will you ask them to do?  (Remember, you should play to people’s strengths and preferences.)
7. Marketing Foundation:  What will the team need in order to carry out their roles?  Examples of marketing foundation items include collateral, memberships, LinkedIn profiles, training, and more.
8. Tactics:  What are the various communications tactics to be used in reaching the target audiences?  The marketing foundation should support the tactics identified.
9. Timeline:  Such a key component that is often overlooked!  There should be a detailed timeline by either month or quarter.  This document should break down who is doing what and by when.  Timelines help ensure that marketing plans don’t get stuck on the shelf.
10. Buy-in:  Another biggie that is often overlooked!  Senior leadership must buy into the plan and be willing to hold themselves, marketing and other professionals accountable for successful implementation.

Article Courtesy of Debra Andrew and has been reposted with permission.