6 Steps To Your Best Mobile Plan for the New Year is the thirteenth in a series of articles that we'll be posting this fall. Small Business Marketing Tips To Build Sales In A Down Economy will teach you how to use do-it-yourself tools like SMS, email and social media to effectively market your business.
Entry By Jason Brick
You can want to run a successful mobile campaign in 2012 all you like, but without a written plan your chances of having one are slim. Like any other ongoing project, without a plan, the "daily grind" of your SMS plan will take a back seat to other tasks. Regardless of your personal vision of mobile marketing success, you can apply these six steps to help you set up your plan for the new year:
Step One: Determine Budgets
Set a realistic fiscal and scheduling budget for your SMS marketing plan, based on what you know from the last two to three years and what you project for the coming months. Use this to determine what's a realistic amount to commit to your mobile marketing. If you set goals that aren't in line with your available support, you're almost certain to fail.
Step Two: Set a Rhythm
Based on how much time and money you can put into your mobile program, decide how often you will send out an SMS broadcast. Can you afford to do it once a week? Every other day? Once you know how many you can send, set strategic days and times that garner the best response. For example, a lunch-based restaurant would avoid weekends and evenings, while a dinner crowd place would target those times with virtual coupons.
Step Three: Account for Events
Check the regular calendar and the calendars for your other projects to find special events that might affect your mobile marketing plan. Holidays, for example, might interrupt your usual flow with people leaving town. If you live in a tourist area your market might be flooded with people during the summer months or Spring Break. You can also support new products or promotional events by including them in your SMS campaign.
Step Four: Set Benchmarks
This is where you define success. Unlike finite projects, you won't brush your hands one day and be finished. Rather, you'll compare the ongoing progress of your campaign against an evolving set of metrics like number of broadcasts, size of recipient list and conversion rate. Assign each number a specific date, to review progress at least every quarter.
Step Five: Assign Responsibility
Make results somebody's job. That person may not be responsible for every detail of the SMS campaign, but it's his or her job to coordinate everything so that your plan goes off on schedule. If you leave the plan without somebody responsible for and in charge of it, it becomes nobody's job -- and the job won't get done.
Step Six: Remain Flexible
Remember throughout the year that this is your Plan of Record . A POR isn't a holy writ, but rather the idea people can set a good case to change. You'll hit snags and unforeseen events throughout the year, but having a plan to alter is better in uncertain times than having no plan at all.