Plan to Plan Your Marketing Plan

Fall is the time of year when business owners and managers should start planning for next year. By now, you should know with a high degree of confidence, how the year will end, and focus your attention to what’s next.

Your marketing plan is an integral part of the planning process when determining your business plan for the next year. As you put your marketing plan together, be sure to consider and determine:

  • Your Marketing Objective: Which one or two major objectives do you want your marketing resources (people, time, and money) to achieve? Be sure not confuse your marketing objectives with your sales objectives.
  • Specific Marketing Goals: List the marketing accomplishments you need, and the ones that will help you reach the overall objective – Use S.M.A.R.T. goals or another method to ensure you are specific enough in your definition of the marketing goals.
  • Select Your Tactics Mix: There are thousands of marketing tactics to choose from. They range in cost and sophistication from simple ‘walking sandwich boards’ to the latest in programmatic digital marketing. Choose the ones that are right for your situation, and the ones that will be most effective with your target audience. The latest and/or most expensive are not necessarily what you need.
  • Budget: Put together a budget to execute the plan. Remember to include not only payments of future invoices, but also consider your time, and also the time of anyone who would engage in implementing the marketing plan.
  • Measurement and Correction: Devise methods, reports, and determine frequencies to measure how effective each tactic employed would be, and allow for corrective measures to your marketing plan, if needed.

Two additional important things to remember regarding your marketing plan:

  • Before you start the marketing plan, it is important to conduct a thorough marketing situational analysis that includes a situational assessment of how well past tactics worked. In addition, and to the degree it is possible, calculate the return on your investment.
  • If you need help, seek it from those who have your best interest in mind, and are not biased towards the only one or two marketing ‘tools’ they happen to offer (or benefit from through commissions or kickbacks).

Business owners and managers were delighted at this new concept of ‘Fractional CMO’ and so were we. Over the years, our clients asked us for more than just planning and management of their marketing – they wanted us to help them execute and implement what we have planned for them to do. We gladly obliged.

Fractional CMO & Marketing helps organizations assess their marketing situation, plan, budget, and implement all marketing efforts. If you need help with any or all of these, now is the time to speak with us. We are only a phone call or a click of a button away from helping you!

Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer

What Is Fractional CMO & Marketing?

Fractional CMO & Marketing is ‘Your Smart Marketing Formula’ when you need expert marketing leadership and marketing services to accelerate growth and improve profitability, but you’re not quite ready to hire a full-time Chief Marketing Officer or your own marketing department

Our unique arrangement is the most efficient, innovative, and cost-effective formula for you. Click on the image on the right to watch a short video.

Appointment Setting Services

We are very excited to announce the addition of Tracey Carter to the Fractional CMO & Marketing team! Tracey is a 20-year veteran of providing high-value-target lead development services, and her effective performance is a result of being pleasantly persistent.

As we helped clients with expert marketing leadership and marketing services to accelerate growth and improve profitability, we noticed that many are challenged by the task of turning leads into opportunities — Often due to time constraints, not having the particular skillset required, or both.

With the addition of Tracey to our team, we are now offering the following services for your most desired target customers utilizing phone calls. We structured this service in a way that we only charge for results, so there is no risk to you!

More specifically, the service includes:

  • Lead qualifications
  • Appointment setting
  • Re-engagement/win-back of past customers

If you prefer to handle lead prospecting/qualifying and appointment setting in-house, we also provide training for your staff to make them more effective on the phone.

For a limited time, to introduce this service, we are waving all set-up charges and offering reduced fees. Call us today at 888-412-2236, email us at or simply click below to find out more.

Five Easy Ways to Prospect More Effectively and Get More Meetings

By Tracey Carter

For over 20 years, I have been perfecting the art of prospecting. However, what worked 20 years ago, does not work today.  In fact, what worked even just 10 years ago, does not work today.  We are in the information age, and using what I call the “car salesman” approach, is no longer effective, particularly when your prospects are C-level executives and high-level influencers.  They are educated, and don’t want to be “sold.”

When it comes to prospecting, let’s be honest, there are probably other things you would rather be doing, like selling and closing more deals!  Prospecting is time consuming and tedious, yet your livelihood depends upon it.  Managers will often suggest blocking out time on your calendar every day to prospect.  While in theory this is a great idea, it isn’t always feasible.

In this article, my goal is to teach you how to drive efficiencies, and reduce the amount of time it takes for you to get sales qualified meetings.  It’s not just about a numbers game anymore, it’s about being strategic and effective. Put these five simple methods into practice, and you will see not only the quantity, but the quality of your meetings increases substantially, and as a result, increase your sales.

1. Become an SME (Subject Matter Expert)

I cannot stress this enough.  Prospects want to know that you know about their business and the challenges they face.  When you can speak to that, you now have something that will set you apart from the vast majority of sales people.

Everyone wants to be understood, and now you have just taken it from a sales pitch, to a conversation.  We want conversations, NOT sales pitches.

There are many ways to learn this:  current clients, social media, Google, articles, and blogs.  Attend events that your target audience attend or are relevant to your target market.  Join groups on LinkedIn, and join target market associations.  We’re in the information age, use it to your advantage.

2. Know Your Audience

Think about the times when you received a call or an email from a stranger.  There is no relationship at this point, would you agree?  Your prospects sometimes get dozens of calls and emails a day, and no one has time to respond to all of them.  So how do you stand out and get the meeting?  Make it about THEM.

Consider developing “buyer personas,” which are detailed descriptions of your targets.  Creating Buyer Personas.  This will help you understand your future client, so you can tailor your communication to align with them.

For example, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) cares about different things than a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) cares about.  And likewise, a Vice President of Sales cares about different things than a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) cares about.  The more you understand your audience, the more successful you will be.

3. Mix It Up

Use multiple tools, and don’t spend all your time on one thing.  Some people respond better to email, some to phone calls, and some to social media.  There is no way of knowing which one is going to work, so you should be utilizing multiple ways of connecting with your prospects.

Cold calls, emails, commenting on articles and blog posts, social media, and getting introductions from people you know, are all potential ways of interacting with a prospect.

4. Multiple Touches

Thankfully, we are in a world where we don’t just have to dial for dollars all day, so be strategic about your touches.  It will save you time and effort, and get you more sales qualified meetings.

For example, I am targeting Lisa Brown, the Vice President of Sales for a Fortune 500 company.  I studied my vertical, read articles about changes in the industry, and followed her on social media. Based on what I learned, I now have something of value to share, and I understand how it relates back to the solution my service/product provides.  I am now ready to make contact!

5. Get the Meeting

You got the prospect on the phone.  Great!  Now what?  Be transparent about why you’re calling, and perhaps reference an email you sent.  This will hopefully jog their memory or at the very least, make them want to know more.

On this initial call, you will do some initial qualifying, and learn of at least 1 or 2 main points that you will reference during the next meeting.  If you don’t know if this is the right person to speak with, then ask.  However, don’t ask them if he/she is the decision maker, because that implies they have no authority and it’s just not a great phrase to use when engaging with a prospect.  Also, running through a list of qualifying questions is a Legacy approach, and comes off as “salesy.”  Get them talking, and what you need to know will reveal itself.

Respect their time.  Your job here isn’t to “feature” them to death or to have a thirty-minute conversation when they weren’t even expecting your call.  Keep it short and to the point, and ASK FOR THE MEETING.  Let them know you have your calendar open, and want to see if they would have some time this week or early next.  I always try to get the meeting within the first few days of the initial conversation/email.  Otherwise, you risk losing their interest or they may completely forget why they agreed to the meeting in the first place.

Once you get the YES, get off the phone!  Say just enough to peak their interest in learning more.  Remember, we’re not doing a full-blown sales pitch here.

Happy hunting!


Marketing Lingo: Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a comprehensive document authored to detail the marketing objectives, goals, activities, and resources allocated by an organization to support the overall plans of the organization. Often, the marketing plan is either a section of, or an addendum to, the organization’s business plan.

‘Marketing Lingo’ is a regular column in which we define, or otherwise explain, terms often used in marketing but not necessarily correctly or properly by some


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