How to create a tactical marketing plan

How to create a tactical marketing plan

Lucy Bradley, Brand Commander of Plug Communications highlights the importance of tactical marketing to target your customer base and shares her thoughts about creating a tactical marketing plan

With so much focus on social media and digital engagement, many entrepreneurs today forget the power of tactical marketing. Or, perhaps it’s they choose not to make the effort. Either way, it’s a mistake. Once you understand why tactical marketing works so well, you’ll be convinced by this effective and affordable way to grow your business.

What is tactical marketing?
First, let’s define what we mean by tactical marketing. Whereas content marketing relies on distributing information online, tactical marketing means reaching your customers through direct channels e.g. post, email, or phone. You have to be highly targeted and have a clear strategic plan with actionable steps. You should also use available data to analyse what worked and what didn’t, then adjust.

It’s not that content marketing doesn’t have a place; you should communicate in different ways. However, with content marketing, you don’t really know who sees what you put out there. You spend a lot of time developing blogs and social posts etc, only to hope they get read by the right person and don’t get buried by algorithms.

When you take the tactical route, you start by drawing up a list of specific people who would benefit from your product or service. This list should include their full name and contact details. Once it’s ready, decide what you’re going to send them through which channels, what message will resonate the most, how it should be designed, and what the call to action is.

Why is it so effective?
Tactical marketing demonstrates that you really understand your customers and know how to solve their problems. Always ask yourself: Can I help this person? Do I have what they need? Can they afford me? If the answer is yes, half the battle is won. You can be confident that you’re communicating with people who want what you offer, and you control the interaction throughout.

By sending a thoughtful gift, for example, your message will land straight in someone’s lap. Sending something physical by courier is a surefire way to be remembered because it’s so rare these days. Marketing has become a lazy person’s game and the majority of your competitors aren’t willing to do what it takes to stand out. Instead, they’re probably spending hours on social media posts or WhatsApping unverified contacts.

Being tactical is time-consuming, but it’s time well spent. If you make it a priority and target your ideal customers this way, there’s little chance of failing.

Creating a plan
When you’re ready to explore the opportunities of tactical marketing, put a plan together using the following steps:

  • Develop your Dream List. Start with around 20-30 targets to keep it manageable. The important thing is to make sure they are relevant and need what you offer. Look at who you currently work with – do you enjoy working with them? Is it lucrative? If so, broaden the net based on their sector, gender, age bracket, attitudes and budget. Also add people you’ve always wanted to work with – as long as they fit the bill.
  • Identify their ambitions and challenges. Consequently, what hurdles can you help them overcome?
  • Now decide how you can capture their attention and bring your solution to life in a creative way. Always emphasise what problem you are trying to solve in your storytelling. You can choose one or a combination of channels.
  • If you plan to send something physical, what’s the execution? How will you get it to them? Ensure the development of your idea and the logistics align with your budget.
  • Schedule your follow-ups. You can’t expect customers to reach straight out, which is why follow ups are crucial to seal the deal. It usually takes two or three types of outreach to get a response.
  • Do you plan to follow up by phone? You may send something else at a later date. Or shortly after they receive a gift, you can send them an emailer. Put these people on your mailing list, so you can stay in touch and keep communicating long-term. Even if they don’t bite straight away, you’ll stay top of mind when they’re ready to move forward.

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