Creating A Marketing Plan

Starting off a project on the right foot

What Is A Marketing Strategy 730X430
Image sourced from brandessence.ro

Project: No Questions Asked
A challenge that dares locals to have new experiences.

It’s official, my newest project No Questions Asked is underway! While it has been for a few weeks now, before I could announce it to the world, I really had to nail down the nitty gritty of the idea. So what’s No Questions Asked?

No Questions Asked (NYC Edition) is a summer challenge that will dare NYC locals to experience one new thing a week for 6 weeks.

This is probably one of the weirdest and biggest projects I’ll have done to date because of a few unique qualities that I’ll reveal in the next few weeks. It is also the first project I’ve finally decided to get serious with marketing because it’s only successful if there are a good number of people taking the challenge.

My marketing past

Marketing has never been top of mind for me. While I'm well aware of its inherent benefits, I’ve just never been able to fully grasp the concept and reap the benefits. Every effort has always felt pointless because it never seemed to bring that much value or at least the value I craved. But as Tony Robbins so delicately put it:

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.” ~ Tony Robbins

So on NQA I decided it was time for a change and once I gained clarity in what the idea will be, the very next thing I did was brainstorm marketing ideas and had 2 weeks of non-stop anxiety.

Brainstorming marketing ideas

This has always been the biggest hurdle when thinking about marketing. I’ve typically defaulted to simply queuing up a few tweets and trying to figure out a content marketing idea.

Can we pause for a moment so I can admit that I never truly understood content marketing until now. Content marketing isn’t just coming up with content silly, it’s coming up with content people are already searching for. And that was surely the missing link…

Anyway, this time around, I dusted off a book I started reading back when I was neck deep my in startup, Hshtags. A book called Traction which outlines 19 channels startups can use to achieve growth. While the book is targeted towards startups, I think any company trying to launch a product or achieve growth in their company could benefit from these tips. If you're impatient and curious, here are the 19 channels the book covered in detail:

  • Viral Marketing
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Unconventional PR 
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 
  • Social and Display Ads 
  • Offline Ads 
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 
  • Content Marketing 
  • Email Marketing 
  • Engineering as Marketing 
  • Target Market Blogs 
  • Business Development (BD) 
  • Sales Affiliate Programs 
  • Existing Platforms 
  • Trade Shows 
  • Offline Events 
  • Speaking Engagements 
  • Community Building

I used this book as my starting point so instead of trying to pull ideas out of thin air, I first picked the channels I thought would be useful for the project and then brainstormed ideas under each one of them.

Drafting a marketing plan

I have never written an proper marketing plan and as I’m writing this, I can’t say that I have figured it out. What I can say, however, is that I tried. I drafted a marketing plan and wrote it in a way at least I could understand. It outlined a few things:

1. Goals

At the top of the document, the first thing I noted were my goals for this particular project. I came up with an ideal yet arbitrary goal for the number of: 

  • Challengers (people that sign up)
  • Website visitors (while I could also add Reach to this list, after conversion the number of people that visit my site will matter the most)
  • Influencers
  • Content Partners
  • Media Partners

2. Tactics

After that, I took the best ideas from the brainstorming session and described each idea and what execution would look like. It followed this simple structure:

  • Channel - For example: Social Media, PR, SEM etc.
  • Name of the idea - If the channel's name wasn’t descriptive enough.
  • Execution - What will need to be done for this idea to be carried out. For example: Set up google ads for specific keywords.

3. Timeline

Once all of the ideas were captured in more detail, I then focused on figuring out a timeline solely for the marketing efforts. I had to not only lay out release/launch dates but also take into consideration any prep work that would be needed prior and make sure it wouldn’t interfere with the core app development time. I tried to make my best judgement based on the type of idea and where it could make the most impact. In the timeline I noted dates for:

  • Prep work (design, development, photo/video shoots, etc.)
  • Ad runs (date range for when an ad would be run)
  • Launch (release dates)

4. Measure

Measuring all the tactics that have been outlined seems obvious but I almost forgot about it. It was the last thing I decided to note in this document but was simple enough to comprehend:

  • Create custom urls for every idea (when applicable)
  • Continuously analyze any available insights (for ads and urls)
  • Revisit any idea that's working or not working and adjust accordingly

PS. If you’re a marketer and you have a more detailed way of writing out the plan, please let me know! I’d love to improve how I document these things. 

All the feels

I’ll be honest, it feels good to have more than just a few tweets on the horizon for this project. It also feels good to have a detailed document outlining a hopefully, solid plan for the next 3 months. While I don’t know what will or will not work, at the end of this project I do want to feel like for the first time I gave it the attention it deserved.

How have you been approaching your marketing strategies? Please, tell me everything!

✌️ Don't stop creating,
– Kim Goulbourne aka “Bourn”

CommentsHow have you been approaching your marketing strategies?

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