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5 March 2015

Top Tips for marketing planning in 2015

There has been an influx this year of marketing trend pieces for 2015, here is my top tips on how to plan your marketing to take into account the complete customer partnership lifecycle.

When considering my marketing plan this year the first thing I did was throw away the outdated old spreadsheet which listed marketing by activity – PPC, Digital, Sales, Merchandise etc and decided to look at it from a different view. It was such a worthwhile activity I thought I would share it with you.

The biggest trend I think we are increasingly seeing, but marketers need to start adapting to, is building plans, monitoring, analysing and responding to the (what we have named) “continuous customer partnership life-cycle” also known as the customer journey or customer lifecycle. Here is how I got started…

Write down the following words in a circle – this is your “customer journey”. It doesn’t really matter which industry you are in these titles apply, feel free to customise to your own specification.

– Attract
– Engage
– Convert
– Experience
– Retain
– Advocacy
– Analyse
– Optimise

Now next to the titles write all the things you do to influence that stage of the customer journey. For example, for attract and acquire this may be PPC, SEO, writing blogs, and advertisements. For retain this might be customer surveys, loyalty scheme, email marketing to bookers etc. You will very quickly start to see which part of the customer journey you need to work on – for us it is everything after the experience. This is a huge win for the company. Now I know what to continue doing in 2015 but also where to allocate a new portion of budget and focus for 2015.

We have also started running everything from marketing meetings and marketing plans to campaigns and company briefing through the customer journey model. Even for the upcoming launch of the new Paragon brand (watch this space) we have created our internal launch plan through a customer journey model – revolutionary! I 100% recommend it.

Other top tips that have helped me focus Paragon’s planning in 2015 are:

Your experience needs to become ONE. Whether on mobile, screen, phone or at a live experience customers need to be able to easily and effortlessly connect your brand throughout the experience. If your advertisements look nothing like your brand or your website does not reflect what you are doing in the flesh think about realigning. Articles have been raving about how simple brands such as Mulberry have more sales, higher average values and higher retention – better start streamlining!

Be human… that is what we are. Behind every brand is a team (or teams) of people, real people who have real thoughts, insights and their own personalities. Make the most of it; use your people to make your brand human. Come to life on social media by creating a spoof video – take a look at what we did to promote our Six Nations hospitality ‘They should never have done the Haka’. If this is too far just start slowly by posting interesting and relevant news, articles or images and adding your own slant – ‘Very surprised about Andy’s move to Under Armour from Adidas #didntseethatcoming’ or just start posting more images; if you are running events why not give people backstage footage.

Into PPC why not film a guide on the basics – people love videos and it gets over 72% more interaction than a simple text post – do it and get creative! If your thinking I don’t have time for this – who does? We got the whole company involved by setting up two initiatives ‘Paragon Noise’ and ‘Twitterati’. Paragon Noise put our company in teams, the teams then have to plan interesting content three times a quarter, the one with the most interaction wins incentives. The Twitterati are a team of six people across the organisation who, in their expert fields, post interesting articles, thoughts and news onto social with their thoughts. What a great way to get the company expertise flowing out of the company and promoting your brand.

The biggest tip I would give this year for employing marketers’ (or for marketers’ in training looking to get a job in 2015),learn basic coding. I know, dull right but is it? The boundaries between marketing and computer science are gradually closing. We rely on each other like never before – in our measurement systems like CRM, our email systems, analysing our database and building websites. Employ someone who understands coding and you have a diamond – someone who understands marketing but can also understand the back end of systems would be a massively valuable member of the team who would ensure you avoid lengthy meetings not understanding each others language. Top tip for 2015.

Hope you enjoyed, happy planning!

Written by Megan Collins, Head of Marketing


Written By Tom