Building a Strategic Marketing Plan: Never Assume

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When I sit down with clients to discuss their marketing strategies, I always tell them one thing: Not everything I suggest will work or perhaps be entirely suitable for your business, but if you leave the meeting with just one good idea that you successfully implement, your investment in time and money will be rewarded many times over.

I recently caught up with an old friend and client who reminded me of the time I shared this statement with him a couple of years ago.

At the time, my friend was struggling to identify new potential clients and build up a solid sales pipeline that his sales team could really get their teeth into.

One Good Idea

The one good idea that he left our meeting with was that social media (in this case, Twitter) was full of potential clients — he just had to go looking for them.

Initially, this idea was treated with a degree of skepticism. My client was in the software business, working primarily with the medical industry. His marketing team told me that senior management in hospitals and other clinicians were not on Twitter.

I asked how they had come to this assumption, and they didn’t have an answer.

Note: It is often said that when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.

So the following day, my client’s marketing team started hunting down and strategically following medical professionals on Twitter. This was then followed up with some carefully positioned content in the form of blog posts, whitepapers and webinars — all of which helped build out their email lists.

Big Deal

New relationships were built, and gradually a handful of potential clients started raising their heads above the parapet. This eventually led to landing an $820,000 contract — one of my client’s biggest deals.

Never Assume

I meet with clients all the time who tell me “facts” based on assumption. They tell me things like:

  • ”My clients don’t want to be targeted by email”
  • “Nobody listens to podcasts”
  • “My customers don’t access the web on their smartphones”
  • “You cannot make money on social media”

I try not to be too smug when I prove them wrong — because when they make decisions based on assumptions, they are nearly always wrong.

Are you leaving money on the table by assuming how your potential clients want to be marketed to? Well, perhaps it’s time to stop assuming and start trying out (or testing) some new ideas based on real experience.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

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Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile:

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