What is a marketing plan and how to build one cost effectively

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Main takeaways:

  • Developing a marketing plan can seem like a daunting undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. If you focus on the right components - buyer personas, key products, budget, and key strategies - you are well on your way. Now build on that momentum.
  • Take your marketing to the next level with a CallRail, which gives your team the ability to step into your customers’ shoes right before they submit a contact form or pick up the phone. Not only will you know which marketing resource led the customer to you, but also what information will resonate with them the most.

You know firsthand how important data is when it comes to making sound decisions in steering your business, especially when you’re working hard to target your potential customers. Your efforts can become a bit more complicated when you’re looking to budget in order to market the way you want.

Why you need a marketing plan

It is in these situations when it is as important as ever to have a marketing plan.

Don’t have one? Don’t worry. If you are one of the 50% of small businesses that do not have a marketing plan at all, now is a great time to start. While this can sound like a major undertaking, it doesn’t have to be. The exercise of creating a plan and refining it over time helps your company to identify your goals, document that you are doing well, and where you need to grow.

Just remember that it does not have to be perfect, but it should be based on your goals, your available market, your historic performance, and your current capabilities and not anyone else’s.

What should be included in a marketing plan

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Now that you are motivated to get your marketing plan together, here are the key pieces that you need to include to kick start the process:

Document your ideal client

Also known as your buyer persona, this is the step where you begin to understand which customers to attract and why they would benefit from your product. Here, you can ask questions like:

  • What clients are you looking for?
  • What makes them qualified for your goods or services?
  • What are indicators that they are not a good fit for you?

To answer these questions, you can begin by talking to your happiest and most loyal customers. Ask them how they found your brand and what content they benefit the most from. If you are a CallRail customer, you can find this information easily in your account by searching for keywords in your call recordings or by leveraging conversation intelligence’s artificial intelligence to identify trends.

Begin with your best products and services

With your ideal client in mind, identify which of your products or services are best aligned to these potential customers. The selection can be based on both popularity and profitability, including:

  • Which are easiest to sell?
  • Which do existing and potential customers like the most?
  • Which will make you the most money?

Use your platform’s built-in customer analytics tools combined with your website analytics and your sales data to zero-in on these initial products to focus on.

Determine which marketing efforts give you the most ROI

How are your customers finding your products and services? Which of these marketing channels are the most effective?

While this can be a difficult question for most brands to answer, this is exactly what CallRail is built for. CallRail takes the guesswork out of figuring out which of your marketing channels are driving the biggest portion of your inbound calls from leads. Armed with intuitive dashboards and sophisticated analytics, your team can get more of a conversion bang for your marketing buck.

For example, if your business is running ads on both Bing and Google, and find that the Bing ads are getting the most traffic you can then refocus your efforts to that marketing effort. That is where your audience is and that is where you will get the most ROI.

Layout your budget

Finally, identify how much money you have to spend on your marketing campaigns, but also take the time to evaluate your historical spend. Armed with your knowledge of which marketing channels deliver you the most ROI, adjust your budget accordingly and reinvest in those that are really delivering.

Next, think strategically about how you are going to spend your budget. How much do you want to spend over the course of this marketing plan? How will you allocate that spend across your channels? Do you need to further segment your spending based on customer behavior, industry, and demographic information?

Use Call Tracking to reveal what drives your business growth


Now that you have your marketing plan in place, it is time to build on that momentum.

At first glance, it might not seem as though it matters how a customer finds your platform and contacts your sales team, but as we mentioned before, it can mean a lot when evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and refining your plans for the future. However, because a lead can find your contact number from a blog post, a “contact us” page, a reference to your business on another page or advertisement, or a business directory, it can be difficult to trace which channel sparked the call.

To answer this question with precision, your team can use CallRail’s Call Tracking to reveal which marketing channels, or even which campaigns, are driving phone calls to your business. When you combine this information with additional marketing, customer engagement, sales, and website data, you’ll know more about those who are calling you and how they found your business. You’ll also have a head start when it comes to understanding which resources and features they may be looking for. That’s because call tracking data provides you with visitor session data that breaks down prior to calling.

Before a member of your sales team even picks up the phone, they’ll be able to visualize data from any angle to prepare for the call. At the same time, this information can be used to evaluate which marketing campaigns deliver the highest return on investment so they can be prioritized or refined. For example, your team can improve a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign’s performance by determining which keywords bring the most phone leads in.

Get deeper call analyses using Conversation Intelligence


Getting to know your customer, where they are in their journey, and what is driving them toward your product is key to understanding how to close the sale. This is when every detail and data point can be an advantage and help set your brand apart from the competition.

In these situations, CallRail’s powerful Conversation Intelligence tool can step in and arm your team with the enhanced data it needs. Right out of the box, CallRail’s Conversation Intelligence:

  • Automatically transcribes your calls
  • Uses artificial intelligence to analyze each conversation, call out keywords, create word clouds, and capture trends
  • Provides data to refine your sales training
  • Draws out key insights from each conversation

All of these features come in a user-friendly dashboard that makes it easy to navigate through all of your conversations, view data, and even instantly jump to the point in the call when a keyword was mentioned for additional context.

Your team can then take the keywords, themes, and topics that resonate with your customers and target them on the channels they prefer during the time windows that work best for them, and supplement your follow-up conversations with the details that matter.

Use Form Tracking to close the attribution gap


For leads who come in through forms placed on your website, CallRail’s software also shines.

CallRail’s Form Tracking feature allows your team to step into the shoes of your lead to see what they saw, read, and clicked before they decided to submit a contact form. Using just one line of fast, lightweight code, CallRail captures a key snippet of information in real time and automatically attaches this data to the visitor’s action, whether it be a phone call, a form submission, or a resource download. CallRail’s Form Tracking is designed to work with every form on your website, or if you prefer, you can use one of CallRail’s built-in templates.

With Form Tracking, you can understand what content or ad language your leads were looking at while automatically compiling all of that data, along with all of the visitor’s recent interactions with your team, in one place. When a team member is ready to follow up on that lead, they’ll have all of this information at their fingertips, which can help them decide when to make the call, what keywords to highlight, and what resources would resonate with the lead to make for a more personalized and impactful conversation.

Tailor your conversations to close deals faster


Once your marketing plan has done its job and brought the customer in for a conversation, Lead Center, CallRail’s communication solution, can make sure you stay connected and coordinated no matter where and how your team is doing its work.

Lead Center is built around a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system that gives your team members flexibility to handle their business no matter what device they’re on, all while tracking key analytics, capturing lead data, presenting historical customer interactions, and transcribing and securing each conversation.

Further driving productivity forward, leads can even be qualified in real time using Lead Center’s classification panel, even while you’re still in the middle of the conversation. Customizable tags, annotations, and monetary values can also be assigned to conversations in real time, aiding in summarizing, tracking, and managing each interaction. This information is stored and consolidated to help you focus your time and resources toward high-value prospects and further highlight the marketing channel that initially drew the lead to your business.

This all-in-one solution for inbound and outbound VoIP calls and text messages channels your customers and prospects into a singular inbox. As a result, Lead Center enables you to communicate with your leads using the telephone numbers associated with your business. Additionally, you can coordinate with your team and maintain your responsiveness to close the deal.

Boost your marketing plan without bloating your budget

Simply put, CallRail’s full suite of tools offers a customizable, data-driven, and intuitive way to not only build and shape your marketing strategy, but boost it so you can convert contacts, leads, and conversations into sales without raising your costs. The CallRail platform does this by capturing each of your interactions and by offering the ability to pair qualitative data with powerful quantitative analytics to achieve a deeper understanding of your contacts.

CallRail provides the insights you need to effectively compete with bigger players. Essentially, you can't out bid or out spend a larger company but you can be more strategic and niched in how you approach it and CallRail shows you how to do that. Because of this, CallRail is not about restructuring your marketing functions, but rather making each action more impactful and your customer data richer. It’s why CallRail has the ability to integrate with more than 700 other marketing tools in order for you to use your collective data wherever you need it.

Take the next step toward boosting your marketing plan by reaching out to our team to learn about our tools and get started with your own 14-day free trial.