Your 2009 Marketing Plan: The Essentials | Travel Research Online


Your 2009 Marketing Plan: The Essentials

TRO is devoting the next three weeks to assisting agents in developing a 2012 Marketing Plan. Follow along with us each day to gain the traction you need to make 2012 your best year ever.

No two marketing plans are identical. Your individual circumstances will largely dictate the final form your 2012Marketing Plan takes. However, there are a few essential elements that every plan will have. Further, a marketing plan is not a static document. You will re-visit your marketing plan throughout 2012 to adjust for macro and micro environmental and economic factors.

Keep in mind as we build your marketing plan that marketing has two fundamental objectives: the retention of existing clients and the acquisition of new clients. Your existing clients are your base and represent your steady income. New clients represent growth and replace clients you may lose or fire along the way. Whatever steps we take in building a plan, we will want to ensure that we are acting to either retain desirable existing clients or acquire new ones.

Understand too that while the plan is important, the very act of planning has great value. Writing down your goals along with the tactics you will use to achieve them is an invaluable exercise in itself.  When you put a plan into writing, you are ensuring that you are capable of articulating your ideas and you will be better equipped and more confident in your ability to carry out your objectives.

It is easy to get lost in the details of a marketing plan.  For that reason, the plan we build with you will lean heavily on the strategic and tactical issues and a bit less on numbers.  We want to make recommendations that you can immediately put to use.  This is not to say that the numbers are not important: they are.  In the time we have available, however, we want to have the maximum impact on your planning.  For that reason, we will stick with action items and trust that you will fill in with the numbers.

This week we will work toward developing the key components of your 2012 Marketing Plan.

The Essentials

  • Strategic Objectives – Marketing plans begin with a set of strategic objectives: goals that you want to accomplish over the duration of the plan. While some of the strategic objectives can be broad and general, it is important to be able to attach some real numbers to your goals. If you are going to manage a process, you must be able to measure it.
  • Tactics – Strategic objectives are realized through tactics: the specific actions you will take to achieve the strategic objectives.
  • Marketing Calendar: Your strategies and tactics will be plotted on a Marketing Calendar. It is important to have a grid against which you can measure your progress.

Let’s begin with your strategic objectives. What do you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to grow your client base by 15 clients? Do you want to increase your profitability by 20%? Do you want to improve your client relationships? To create a niche market for your practice? Travel more?

In order to focus, choose no more than four key priorities as objectives. Make sure your goals are realistic, but don’t undershoot your goals. You can always adjust downward later. Be specific and attach numbers to your goals where possible. For the sake of example, we will use some of the goals above.

Sample 2012 Strategic Objectives

  1. To grow my client base by 15 new, FIT clients;
  2. To enhance the professionalism of my practice – retaining my existing clients and acquiring new ones;
  3. To increase my profitability by 20% by increasing my revenue and watching expenses;
  4. To create a niche market for my practice, thereby enhancing my expertise and my unique selling points

Exercise: Write down your strategic objectives. Pare them down to no more than 4 that you will pursue next year.  Tomorrow, we will begin to develop tactics for achieving your objectives.

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