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Should Webinars Be Part of Your Marketing Plan?

Core Webinar Marketing Strategies

The selection of marketing lists from your customer database, rented lists from compiled sources or through joint venture options that will make your marketing plan a success. The Webinar marketing plan starts with a list selection that will effectively reach your target market. This may include a combination of in-house or direct mail lists or email lists.

The most important part of your Webinar marketing plan is to acquire a large percentage that has influencefor your products or services.

Webinar marketing plans should include these elements:

  • Your customer list
  • Opt-in email list, outside speaker
  • A third party rented list

What you need to ask when developing your list strategy: What internal email lists are available, what co-sponsor or outside speaker lists can be considered, and what media or email lists have been responsive to our company’s marketing efforts in the past?

After selection of the lists the next element of the marketing plan is the exciting communications plan.

Webinar Marketing Plan

The Webinar communications plan includes the plans you use to promote your Webinar and these may include a combination of e-mail, direct mail, or newspaper advertising.

Seek to get your Webinar invitation in front of as many people as possible of your target audience this may include telemarketing or direct communications by sales people, direct mail, or e-mail opt-in lists.

Consider multiple forms of direct marketing mailing lists contact lists outside of emails and online advertising with Google Pay-Per-Click or direct mail postcards. The combination of multiple channels can increase your response rate success and awareness of your event.

The general rule is that majority of registrants will respond within 10 days of your Webinar. The heart of a communications plan should include your in-house list 7 days before the Webinar and a 2nd reminder 2 days before.

One of the surest ways to recruit buyers to your Webinar is to recruit a partner with a mailing list broker that you could ad to your current prospect list. Finding a co-sponsor, or build an affiliate network to drive traffic to your Webinar.

You could coordinate resources from firms with an interest in seeing your company succeed.

Understand the strengths and weaknesses of contributing partners when planning your Webinar with outside sources.

Try to think of high perceived value, low cost bonuses, or premiums provided by third-parties that partner with you. Building a bonus with Webinar registration can offer a dramatic boost to your attendee numbers.

Examples of bonuses or premiums could include a free trial offer to software or free financial consultation for financial planners.

Once you define your audience and objectives in your Webinar marketing, the next plan would be:

  • Narrow the objectives for a Webinar
  • Create a topic that will serve as a draw to your target market
  • Create a compelling Webinar invitation by split testing
  • Develop a marketing plan for your media channels
  • Enlarge your email list and marketing reach by inviting a larger population consider email lists customer, prospective and even partnership lists

With the high costs of travel, postage and prospect one-on-one selling more organizations are also increasing their online marketing technologies such as Webinar. Organizations are also increasing the quantity of Webinar they hold.

Webinars are allowing marketers to reach more prospects.

How to Write a Marketing Plan – The Anatomy of a Successful Marketing Plan

This is the first of a four part article about strategic marketing planning and how to write an effective marketing plan. This articlesgives you an introduction on marketing planning as a concept and outlines the overall process. The subsequent parts will talk in details about each phase of the marketing planning process.

Who this article is for, the target audience

If you are thinking of opening your own business, or if you already took that step and now own or operate your own small business and want to learn more about how to write one of the key documents for your business, the marketing plan. Keep on reading, this article is for you.

Alternatively, if you work in marketing and creating the marketing plan for your company is one of your responsibilities, I think you will find this article very helpful and will provide you good directions for your task.

Since the key audience this article is meant for is not marketing graduates or professionals who do marketing on a daily basis, I will try to keep the language very simple and visit the main concepts briefly to give you a better understanding of the overall process.

Marketing Planning vs. the Marketing Plan

The marketing plan is one of several key documents for your business. These include the business plan, which outlines your business’ overall financial and operational objectives and strategies, and the strategic plan, which discusses your business’ general long term strategic direction.

Your marketing plan will not be effective if it does not take into consideration the overall business objectives and strategies and integrates them within the marketing function. The failure to do so, will result in an isolated document that is not very relevant to the business and does not address its core challenges and aspirations.

But before I get into the structure or anatomy of the marketing plan, how it should be written, what to include and the overall outcome, I want to briefly talk about marketing planning as a process, out of which, the marketing plan is the result.

Marketing planning can be defined as:

The process of researching and analyzing your market, developing and documenting your marketing objectives, strategies and programs, and implementing, evaluating and controlling marketing activities to achieve your objectives“.

As a process, it enables you to identify a number of alternative opportunities for your business and evaluate each of these alternatives to reach one or more that will serve your business’ goals and objectives. It also allows you to foresee the different risks that your business may face and assess the level of risk associated with each threat and come up with strategies to minimize those risks and overcome these challenges.

The outcome of this planning process is the marketing plan, which is a document that outlines what you, as an organization, have learned about your market, what your objectives and goals are, and how you plan to achieve your objectives. Now that you have an understanding on what marketing planning and a marketing plan is, let’s get into the different components that, put together, constitute the marketing plan.

Key Phases of the Marketing Planning Process

There are three key phases or components:

  • Phase 1: Situation Review – Marketing Audit
  • Phase 2: Strategy Formulation – The Strategic Plan
  • Phase 3: Implementation and Control – The Operational Plan

The 3 phases of the marketing planning process

This concludes of the first part of this article. Part 2 of this article, PHASE 1: Situation Review – The Marketing Audit is coming soon, so return soon to get an in-depth review of each phase of the marketing planning process.

Beware of Following Poor Marketing Plan Examples

All too often a marketing plan is an after thought. People seek out marketing plan examples from the Internet or books when they are required to develop one for work or as part of a business plan. Then as soon as people plug in their own name and numbers, it is put into a drawer never to be referenced again. Yet, a quality plan will supercharge a company’s sales.

Understanding a marketing plan is vital. It is much more than a brain dump of creative ideas or a list of marketing wishes put into some sort of order. The plan should stem from deep research of a business’s market and profit margins. The research will help decide which forms of marketing to get involved in. Then the research will help lay a plan how to go about marketing, rather than merely following what one’s competitors do or following one’s intuition. Doing research rather than merely writing will make a plan an asset rather than a chore.

One of the worst offenses of marketing plan examples are their scarcity of numbers. A sample plan cannot show how to gather numbers. And these numbers are what will empower a business’s marketing. Knowing how big one’s potential market is vital. Then one must know their own dollars. What is the current average cost of acquisition of a customer? What is the average lifetime profit from a customer? These two numbers will go a long way to deciding how to direct one’s marketing. Perhaps the cost of acquisition is too high so examining the current forms of marketing is an imperative. Or the profitability is good so a major marketing campaign is in order. Let the numbers tell story.

Another shortfall of using marketing plan examples is that one person is mimicking the example’s writing. A marketing plan should have the buy-in of an entire business. After all, it is the employees who will be executing much of the business. Even if employees will not be directing involved in the marketing, they are the one’s conducting business. If they were the one’s to decide on a marketing plan, they will take ownership and responsibility for it. An example is a one-man business plan says to buy a $100 worth of custom printed pens. The employees not being vested either do not get them out in circulation or just trash them at a trade show. Employees who decided to spend $100 on custom pens will help get pens out in circulation on own their time or will care enough to bring back any remaining pens from a trade show for future use.

Hopefully, one can now see that simply and mindlessly following a marketing plan example will do little for a business. A marketing plan like so much of business, needs sweat put into it to be effective.