Your Tactical Marketing Plan For The Recovery
This article summarises the key points in an excellent podcast interview with an expert on using a tactical marketing plan for the recovery.
Tracy Weller-McCormack guides us on the practical tips and tactics for your marketing, along with avoiding some common mistakes that can cost you time and money.
We identify the vital ingredients you need to build your marketing plan whether you are a new or existing business.
Introducing Tracy Weller-McCormack
Tracy Weller-McCormack, is the founder of C4MG, a tactical strategy and marketing company.
Tracy built an impressive agency in Canada called C4 and has a resume that has seen her in marketing leadership roles for numerous global brands.
Since late 2018 Tracy has focused on building C4MG based in Sydney. Tracy shared her wealth of knowledge and experience in this interview on how to market in the COVID recovery.
What is the key message in the interview?
Good marketing is effective, and the key now in the COVID-recovery phase is practical implementation, not theory.
At C4MG, we are successful because we focus on making a strategy happen through a tactical marketing plan.
What primary marketing choice does a business owner have?
Essentially, you have only 2 choices:
- Resign yourself to fate
- Roll up your sleeves, rethink, and adjust your business for growth
Weak businesses will not survive, but that also means more opportunities for those that do survive.
New opportunities will emerge because of the way COVID will shape our world, and so adapting quickly to that market is key.
Why use a marketing company and not DIY?
Focus your time on what you are good at so that you generate the most value from your effort.
Unless you are competent in marketing, then you will probably get faster results if an expert helps you.
” Guessing is expensive, and it will eat your valuable time.”
Many agencies emphasize marketing strategy – what do they mean?
A good strategy works out the best ways (channels) to reach your customer and to establish your brand and or products for long-term organic growth.
Organic growth means growth that does not require spending on direct advertising.
A strategy is a long term passive plan to achieve your aims.
What is a tactical marketing plan?
A tactical marketing plan is an active plan.
At C4MG, for example, a tactical plan includes the practical steps needed in Month 1, 2, 3 and so on.
We detail 60/90/120 day objectives.
The plan also describes daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly activities that need to happen.
What is the benefit of a tactical marketing plan?
The mains benefits are:
- Our client knows what is happening and when.
- They have a realistic understanding of how long things take.
- How much they need to budget.
Is a website necessary or just a social media presence?
This depends a lot on the type of business, but I would say 80% of businesses should start with a website as their customers expect to check them out.
Credibility checking is one reason customers use websites.
A website should be functional to make conducting your business easier while actively communicating with customers or potential customers.
An important point to note is that on social platforms, you do not own your customers because you do not own the platform.
Also, personalized customer communication is not possible via social platforms.
What is the difference between paid and organic?
Both cost money, in time and design, planning etc.
Paid means you pay for advertising campaigns to find customers.
Organic means customers will find you without the need for advertising payment, for example, through Google search ranking or email campaigns.
Organic is not free because it requires assets, time and content production to be effective.
What should a business owner do Now for the recovery?
- Understand precisely the problem that you are solving and for whom you are solving it.
- Make sure this is a real problem that needs solving.
- Find out what impact COVID has made on what your customer needs.
- Will your current offering be relevant, and if not, how does it need to change?
What 7 common mistakes do you see?
- Waiting for perfection and not launching minimal viable products.
- Not clear about the problem that you are solving.
- Not clear about whom the customer is, therefore, trying to be all things to all people.
- Doing insufficient research about prices, competitors etc.
- Using too many channels and probably some wrong ones.
- DIY marketing that costs more in the long run.
- You are an expert in your business, but it doesn’t mean you are an expert in everything – surround yourself with good people.
What are your top marketing tips?
- Value a customer relationship like it is a family relationship.
The relationship deserves a high level of respect.
- Authentic communications.
Your communications must align with your brand, your people and who you are.
- Understand your customer and how to reach them.
Most businesses go directly to digital marketing to reduce cost, but is that the best way?
- Get as digital as you can afford to be.
The C-19 pandemic has seen people online like never before, and I think that level of digital marketing is going to be part of the “new now”.
The stats will be interesting when they come out.
If you have not marketed online, now is the time.
- Stay creative; customers do not want to go back.
Creativity shows you value your customers; you think about their needs and want to engage with them.
- Listen to what customers want.
Listen, learn & adapt; people evolve, and your business needs to as well.
We have seen some businesses forced to use creativity as a result of COVID-19. This has been fantastic to see and ideally will continue well and truly after this is over. We have seen how fast we can come together, remove red tape, adjust what we manufacture, and adapt. Now that we know we can get there, why would we want to go back?
The sooner we accept things have changed and will never be the same, the quicker we can move forward.
I think there has been a huge lesson learned by all size companies on the importance of having your marketing ready as it is the key to surviving.
What is Your Marketing Key Points summary?
- Do not try to be all things to all people, be all things to your customers.
- Pick your channels; you cannot manage all of them, so be smart and focus hard and win on those you pick.
- Mix up the way you communicate; a lot is going on in the world, be unique, and change things up – but with a plan.
- If you re-invented your business to battle your way through C-19, do not shut that down, keep it as an additional service to your core business.
- You are only as good as the people around you.
Which Sectors may struggle or gain?
There will be industries that struggle more than others coming out of the C-19 shutdown. With the right strategy and plan, you do not have to be one of them. I think industries such as commercial real estate and fitness maybe two that have to work harder than most. Commercial Realestate because of the realization the working from home does work; therefore, office space demand will reduce. Fitness because so many people have set up for home fitness now with access to free training options. We are going into winter here in Australia when people tend to ” hibernate.”
Areas that I believe will thrive are pubs, cafes, restaurants, social activities – however, the parameters for social distancing will change. People are social animals, and we miss socializing. Local and Regional tourism, I think, will also grow due to our inability to travel internationally.
Ideally, manufacturing will take off. Hopefully, the state and federal governments will see that we need to bring some manufacturing capabilities back home!
How to choose the right marketing company?
Your overall goal is to build loyalty with your customers for a long-term sustainable business.
If a marketing agency cannot give you a SIMPLE detailed breakdown, then find someone else.
Make sure they have the capability and experience to help you.
While you need a strategy, the goal to survive COVID-19 and get ready for recovery is more about tactics and not a strategy.
At C4MG, we focus on making things happen, not just a smart strategy.
We know our approach works because we have years of experience behind us.
Thank you, Tracy Weller-McCormack, for sharing your experience and wisdom with us.
The Reality of Business Ownership
The Should I Own A Business Podcast explores the reality of being a business owner.
The Coronavirus recession will bring new opportunities and it could be a great time to start or buy a business.
Marketing is a critical business function and knowing how to market NOW is crucial.
You might like episode 14 called How to Evaluate a Business Idea which helps you decide if a business idea is suitable or viable.
Here is a thought provoking episode on why buying a business could be good.
Brendan Barrow Co-Host
The Should I Own A Business Podcast-Listen Before You Leap.
Avoiding new business failures, one owner at a time.