All good results have a plan behind them
No matter what you do, a well-thought plan is always necessary when looking to succeed in life, and therefore the same rules apply for marketing as well.
The better your marketing plan, the better the results, as both rely on each other to bring your product/service the consumer attraction it deserves.
But how does this work?
For this article, let's take a look at the 3 steps that would make YOUR marketing plan a huge success and the best practices for achieving them, coming from test results being done at our digital marketing agency in Tokyo.
Step 1: Buyer Persona Development
Buyer Persona Perfection is the Building Block of All Great Plans
Let's start with the importance of buyer persona development.
Learning as much as you can about the consumers who'll be purchasing your product is your first step in creating a good marketing plan.
Getting the Who, What, Where Correct First
Though it may sound rudimentary, fundamentals such as geography and psychographics play a more important role now than ever.
For example, when you think about Japan and how 97% speak only Japanese - did you also know the context and grammar of that Japanese can change by prefecture?
Meaning, the copywriting you'll create for Tokyo will be much different when you target say "mothers who live in Sapporo".
Creating a List of Best Practices
Something that AdVertize does which is much different from other agencies is that we go beyond development and always dive deeper into the "why".
If you think about it, marketing isn't just about knowing your customer; it's also about understanding why they make decisions.
For this, we often do the research to identify why people buy certain products at different times of the season or for different reasons, and we use this data to inform our marketing so that we have a better system for relating to our customer.
A/B Test Your Results
Although you might have done the work above, it doesn't always mean you're correct.
For example in one scenario, we held a focus group to understand what type of celebrity the consumer would trust more.
However, when running A/B test ads, we realized they didn't trust celebrities at all. As a matter of fact, it was shutterstock images of older men that this customer wanted to buy from most.
Specific to Japan, we were able to identify that this had nothing to do with our research but everything to do with a cultural decision that was over-looked.
Thanks to our process though, we were able to uncover this fast, and help our client succeed as a result. For more about building buyer personas, please visit our marketing planning for Japan guide.
Step 2: Omni Channel Strategy
Channel Marketing Mastery Makes Everything Easier in the End
As mentioned in one of the questions listed above, knowing which platforms your customers use is of utmost importance when planning your own unique marketing plan.
However, there are thousands of ways to reach one consumer today, so what's the right approach?
As discussed in our blog on Marketing Planning for Japan agency has learned that the types of channels could be diverse, ranging from social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc, to video streaming platforms like Youtube, and mass-media channels like television and newspapers.
Know the Networks
This may sound simple and almost offensive for the more advanced marketers, but even the smartest marketers in the world don't always make it in places like Japan.
For example, Japan is the only place in the world where Twitter is more popular than Facebook or where having a LinkedIn profile is considered publicly disrespectful contingent on your region.
So, for an effective plan, get the networks right in order of priority.
Develop a Playbook
Another point to note is what specific time of the day do these people use these channels?
For example, a mother of a child would likely be busy for the whole morning with preparations for their child, and would finally be free from the afternoon around 12PM, which they then would enjoy some time on the internet or TV.
On the other hand, salary-men would be busy for the whole day during their work, but they tend to be very active online during their way to work on the train (using their phones).
As such, the first step and this second step are deeply connected during your planning stage.
For reference, here's a graph of the age groups of Facebook users in Japan:
(Light blue: Women / Dark blue: Men )
Create Your Own Mix
Marketing Mix isn't one of the more popular terms in advertising - why?
Imagine you're a digital agency but find out offline events drive the most sales?
Or that you're a TV ad agency and it comes to light that social media increases purchases 10x your television ad.
Marketing mix gets overlooked because different agencies have different specialities.
However, a good marketing plan creates a mix to see how these channels will work together to support one another and then what resources will you need from there.
Step 3: Choose your "Board of Target KPIs"
Metrics are the Only Things That Should Matter in a Good Marketing Plan
KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is another word for a measurable value in which a company can use to recognize performance and whether they are successfully achieving their business goals in relation to marketing objectives.
Know Your North Star
Without any goal/comparable indicators, it is difficult to know whether your plan is working or not.
And without a north star, then why are you marketing in the first place?
Once you know your north star, you can set several different marketing objectives to get there using KPIs.
In addition, setting a KPI would allow you to efficiently decide and allocate the necessary budget and time for your marketing activities and advertisements, resulting in higher overall effectiveness for your plan.
Having objectives are key in the process of decision-making for a business, and it goes the same for marketing as well.
Understand Your Metrics
Practically speaking, it makes perfect sense these days to do the research to understand what each metric means and why you should achieve it or just leave it alone.
Some examples of KPIs: Impressions, Reach, Likes, Engagements, Site Visits, Post Views, CPC/CPA (cost per click/acquisition), Customer Lifetime Value, Brand Love, Number of Social Media Followers, etc.
Consider KPI's the screws that are needed to put a piece of furniture or desk together. The average eye often doesn't see them in a marketing campaign, but without them that marketing campaign will cease to exist all together.
Build Your Own Formulas
You may be reading this and thinking that you could never do something like this, but the reality is that if you can balance your bank account, you can balance your KPIs and their relation to your business.
Metrics matter but they only matter in relation to how you use them to impact the larger picture of your North Star and how you achieve it.
Say your objective is to sell 20 pairs of shoes online a month - what metrics do you need to get there?
Well, if you know that for every 10k site visitors, 1 pair of shoes is sold, then you can start by looking to get 200k site visitors.
And if you know that for every 100k people who see your ad, 50k visit your site, then your next goal can be to get 400k people to see your ad.
You see where I'm going with this. It's not the best example but the point is every marketing mix has it's own formula. To get your metrics right, find yours and put it into action now.
We're Here to Help
It may not be easy for you to create a good marketing plan just because you know the strings behind one, but that's where we come to help. AdVertize is a ROI committed digital advertising agency, and we can provide industry leading support to your business all the way form planning to execution. If you're interested to learn more about AdVertize, how to hire the right digital marketing agency in Tokyo, marketing planning, or any other marketing blogs, feel free to say hello!