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Why Busy Leaders Need a Marketing Playbook

Do you have a playbook to run your business successfully? If you don’t have a plan, how do you know what steps to take next? Here’s how you can assemble a playbook for your small business.

Author: Jeremy Harrison

Updated: February 15, 2019

The difference between winning and losing often comes down to running the right play at the right time. In football, the plays look different if you’re backed up on your own goal line or on the verge of scoring. In business, great leaders make quick decisions to run “plays” of their own. Success depends on having a killer playbook. You need to take inventory of what works, document it, and make sure your people know how to run the plays.

If you don’t have a marketing playbook, it’s time to start one. It will help you:

  • Make quick decisions on the fly
  • Keep your team on the same page
  • Track what’s worked in the past
  • Execute a plan quickly and with precision

Here are five must-haves for your marketing playbook:

Section #1: Customer and Product Info

Include strategic information about your customers and your product or service in the first section of your marketing playbook.

Define a personal customer profile, called an “avatar” for 1-3 different types of customers you can serve well. Each avatar is like a generalization about a customer type. It gives the typical customer a name and lists their age, marital status, hobbies, and needs.

If you ran a computer service business, your avatars might include:

  • Lisa, the 44-year-old small business owner who wants her laptop to be secure and her data to be backed up
  • Gladys, the 73-year-old retiree whose home computer gets bogged down and needs periodic cleanups so it can run quickly again
  • Chris, the 25-year-old bachelor who wants a screaming fast machine for gaming

Include data about your core product or service and how it aligns with the needs of each avatar.

Section #2: Plays to Reach New Customers

The first type of plays in your playbook should be ways to reach new customers that match the profiles of your avatars. How do you attract the right new people? How do you stir up prospective customers and get them to click, call, like or visit? This probably includes a mix of online strategies like social media posts, online ads, blog posts or videos, and traditional marketing like direct mail, radio or print ads.

Section #3: Plays to Turn Cold Traffic into Warm Leads

When you’re stirring up potential new customers, it’s important to know how you’ll turn some of those people into leads. This is especially important online.  Getting lots of people to click to your social media page or website is a start, but those people have problems you can solve, and some of them would love to pay for your help if you give them the chance. 

It used to be that putting a “Get a Quote” form and a “Free Report” on your site would help you get leads. Not today. You need longer-term plays designed to slowly warm up that traffic and earn their trust through repeat visits.

Section #4: Plays to Turn Warm Leads into Customers

You probably have people in your funnel who expressed interest in buying but never did.  You need plays in your playbook designed to turn warm leads into customers. 

It happens all too often, someone requests information, the info gets shipped off, and a sales rep follows up, perhaps a couple of times. If the prospect isn’t immediately responsive, they usually fall through the cracks. This is a mistake, because prospects often need 6-8 touches before they respond or take action. With the right plays, you will continue to nurture those prospects and move them toward a purchase, ideally with automated follow-up.

Don’t keep dumping money into cold traffic without a proven plan to turn the leads you have into customers.

Section #5: Plays to Spur Upsells, Referrals and Repeat Business

Unfortunately, this part of the playbook is typically empty, and yet, this is the area that has the most potential for results. If you run the right plays with happy customers, you can quickly double your business, creating as much impact as you can in the other four sections combined! 

Create plays that will systematically generate upsells, increasing value per transaction. Create plays that keep customers coming back more often. Finally, create plays that will systematically drive referrals, so that happy customers are referring new customers.

Get started!

The busier you are with the day-to-day work of your business, the more important a playbook becomes. You don’t have time to re-invent the wheel every time you need to stir up new business. A playbook will help you systemize the plays that work, keep making them better, and run them at the right time.

Spire can help you create a Marketing Plan for your business. Tired of running both offense and defense on all the plays? Call in the Special Teams and learn more about our Done-for-You Marketing Services. 

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Patience Jeffrey, Millstream Area Credit Union

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