Every Automotive Dealer Needs to Ask These 7 Marketing Plan Questions
What results am I hoping to achieve by doing this?
What are the benchmarks along the way?
What daily tasks must be completed?
What weekly tasks must be completed?
What monthly tasks must be completed?
Are these tasks I can outsource or do I need to do them in-house?
How will I measure these results?
1. What results am I hoping to achieve by doing this?
This may be the easiest one for us to answer. We want more sales! Just about every marketing plan begins and ends with sales. We want to make our customers happy, so they will buy more. We want to get our ads out there, so people will buy. The hard part is all the steps in the middle that lead to this step. We need to fully understand what is involved in each aspect of our marketing plan, to turn a potential customer into a closed sale.
2. What are the benchmarks along the way?
In order to close sales we need to know the different steps that must be taken to bring a customer to the point of buying our product. This step is critical and often overlooked in an online marketing plan. Many people oversimplify this down to two steps.
They find my website.
They contact me/or buy.
I will go into more detail on this in a blog post in the future. We assist in helping businesses know the steps that apply to their customers and how to set benchmarks that are measurable.
3. What daily tasks must be completed?
Online marketing is a time consuming daily task. Someone will be investing this time to market to the customers you want. It can be you, an employee of yours, a marketing company or your competitor. It can be a combination of these but if ignored you leave yourself a target for a competitor to make easy work of redirecting your potential customers. Especially if you are handing the daily tasks to an employee or outside marketing firm. It is important to know what these tasks are and who will be doing them, so you can setup a way to track that the work is actually being done.
4. What weekly tasks need to be completed?
This may be a quick look into weekly results or a change of an online sale. Possibly an updated blog post may need to go out. Deciding what tasks would be too much to be done daily may be moved to weekly. I will caution you not to do too much in-depth analysis of your plan on a weekly basis as most strategies need at least a month or more to accurately show any signs of success of failure.
5. What monthly tasks need to be completed?
Because of the fast changes in the online market it is important at least once a month to evaluate the successes and failures of the marketing plan as it is currently being executed. Although some components of your marketing plan will need more than a month’s worth of data to make some evaluations. You should be able to get a feel for effort that has begun to show success. You may also learn that the way you are tracking success and failure isn’t sufficient and may need to be adjusted.
6. Are these tasks I can outsource or do I need to do them in-house?
There are two strong opposing arguments here. One camp feels if you want control of your business brand and culture you need to manage it yourself. Another thought is, focus on what you know and once the plan is done hand it to a professional to execute it. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. If you are looking to do a complex info-graphic that compares you against your competitor the construction of this is best left to the professionals. If you want to do a daily blog post of things happening within your business, you are probably the most qualified person to write this. I have a 20 minute rule. If I can’t fix a problem or make progress on a problem for 20 minutes, I find someone else who can complete the task and go back to the things I’m good at.
7. How will I measure these results?
I had a good friend describe Online Marketing as a lab. Things are constantly changing online and you are forced to make drastic changes in the way you approach complex problems. So he and many others do what scientists do, they learn as much as they can from the experts and conduct experiments. They craft what others are doing to their business and see how effective it is. If you are accurately tracking these three things: what is working, what is doing nothing, and what is hurting you, it doesn’t take long to find success and potentially a breakthrough The auditing of marketing plans as they are executed is one of the core functions we provide to our customers. Without it you are just performing marketing experiments without any idea what effort pays off and what was a waste of your time.