High-performance IT Marketing Step 6: Create Your IT Marketing Plan
So you have goals, a budget, and a strategy.
Heck, you even have KPIs.
Throw all your proposed marketing activities into a bag and pull one out at random?
I mean, you could. But that’s not exactly effective . . .
You need a plan. A real one. One that goes over the whats, whos, and whens. One that outlines it all and keeps everyone on the same page.
But what exactly is “it all?” What specifically should your IT marketing plan cover and how deep should it dive?
Before you get too far into the details download our annual plan template so you can fill it in when you are done reading.
For starters, you need the goals . . .
You know your marketing goals. But does Becky in Accounting? Rick in Sales? Or Clarence in the NOC?
Should everyone in the company understand the point to everything marketing-related?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But it certainly wouldn’t hurt if everyone could pick up your plan and easily understand why things are the way they are — or at the very least, why you’re throwing a customer appreciation luau in the middle of December.
Maybe Becky doesn’t care or even want to know what’s going on with marketing, but I’m sure your Marketing Admin would like to know. And I’m sure that any future marketing, sales, or management hires would also like to know.
Your IT marketing plan should clearly state what your marketing goals are. If it doesn’t, then anyone who’s out of the loop will continue to remain out of the loop. As a result, wires will most certainly get crossed.
Don’t forget those KPIs
Let’s go back to Rick in sales for a minute.
Sales is a challenging department to work in, and it involves a lot of recurring “what ifs.” On top of this, sales and marketing are often speaking different languages — which can make things even more of a challenge.
KPIs can help with this.
When the KPIs are clearly outlined, something like “lead generation” won’t be an issue. For example, if Rick suddenly starts to think that 40 warm leads is way too low, it won’t make a difference. Because everyone got together earlier and decided that 40 warm leads is more than enough.
Here’s a bit of a recap from our article on KPIs:
$1M MRR per year is $83,334 per month. The average MSA is $3,000 per month. It’s going take 28 new sales to hit it. That’s 2.3 sales per month on average.
We need 60 days to build a pipeline, so we need to close 3 per month. Today, we close 5% working from a cold list.
With warm marketing leads, we think we can do 10%. We’ll convert 20% of leads to appointments. 75% of appointments to proposals. 50% of appointments to a closed sale. We need 40 warm leads per month to hit our goal.
What’s your strategy?
This one is a bit of a three-fer.
Your marketing plan should include a strategy, but you also need to throw in a theme and a story.
The theme doesn’t necessarily have to be more than a few words long, but it must come from your story.
Who are you? Why do you have this company? What’s your BHAG and why do you get up every morning?
Do you have big plans for your employees, the community, or the industry as a whole? Do you have an end game?
All of this should be part of your story and then wrapped up by your theme. You can learn more about that process here.
However, this creates the foundation for your strategy. It’s your marketing plan’s backbone and your company’s differentiation factor — two things that are incredibly important for IT marketing success.
I’ll have an activity with a side of scheduling
You can have the most inspirational story, most epic strategy, and most perfect KPIs ever, but all of that will mean nothing without this crucial piece of your marketing plan pie.
You need every marketing activity. Listed. And with a date.
It’s easy to push this piece off and to assume that it’s not that big of a deal — you can fill it in as you go, right?
You see, this is the actual “plan” part of your IT marketing plan. It kind of matters. Without your activities scheduled out, you just have a cute story and a bunch of random ideas thrown into a document.
So there’s this thing called a budget
And some people actually use one. Crazy, I know. But when it comes to your IT marketing plan, in particular, you could really benefit from a budget. One that outlines projected revenue and ROI.
Last, but not least . . .
When you’re done with your plan, print that bad boy out. Or . . . you know, just email it to everyone.
Either way, you need to spread the marketing plan gospel to your coworkers. Let it out. Share it around.
And make it rain marketing from the front desk to the back office.
Oh hey. You made it to the end. Now, comes the hard part. You actually have to build your marketing plan.
Or not, and you can just keep doing what you’ve been doing — sans an IT marketing plan.
But we’d recommend against that. Because at the end of the day, all we want is to see you be as successful as possible.
And hey, if worse comes to worse, we build IT marketing plans all the time. Shoot us a message. We’d love to help build yours.