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How to Create a Successful Marketing Plan

by Bill Cates
Want to create a marketing plan that produces REAL results? Here are 5 places to start.

My entry into marketing was in 1980, when I wrote and marketed a book about airline careers by placing small ads in the back of various publications.


I learned the principles of direct-response marketing long before there was an internet bombarding us with hundreds of pitches a day.  Thank goodness for SPAM filters.


Could you imagine if there was no internet and our home and office mailboxes filled up with “junk mail” at the volume our inbox fills up?   A scary thought!


One thing I learned was the importance of being crystal clear on who was the most likely person to purchase my book.  Notice I didn’t say “what” (referring to a broad market), but “who” (referring to an individual with certain demographic and psychographic qualities).


So… what does this have to do with you?   Nothing… if you’re merely looking to do business with anyone who is breathing.  Everything… if you want to attract more of just the right clients.


Back then, we called this concept a Persona. Today, many marketers call it an Avatar.  Let’s get specific, shall we?


5 Critical Components of a Successful Marketing Plan


When creating or evaluating any marketing plan, you must consider these 5 critical components. These all work together and the weakest link can destroy the chances of success.   And they all happen to begin with the same word…


The right product (service), for the right market, with the right message, delivered through the right medium, at just the right time.


There is so much to say about these critical components, I could write an entire book on the topic.  Oh… that’s right!   I am writing a book about this.  (Smile)   I hope that Radical Relevance will be ready to deliver to you before the end of this year.  For now, here’s a glimpse into this important topic (and my new book).


  1. Right Product – How do you know if you have the right product or service?  One way is to know your target client/customer (Personal or Avatar) so well… so clearly… so completely… that you know exactly what problems they know they have and are willing to solve.
  2. Right Market – Notice that in the paragraph above I said, “…what problems they know they have.”  You will always be more successful when you offer a solution to a problem that your prospect already knows it has.  Then you don’t fall into the trap of the double sale (having to sell them on the need before selling them on you as the solution).
  3. Right Message – This is the main theme of Radical Relevance; crafting the most relevant and compelling message possible – to continually attract interest and continually compel your prospects and clients to take the action you want them to take.
  4. Right Medium – By medium, I’m referring to mail, email, seminar selling, lunch & learns, advertising, mining LinkedIn, and the best medium of all… personal introductions from clients and centers of influence.  Even Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, said, “A referral from a trusted friend is more powerful than the best broadcast message.”   (Mic Drop!)
  5. Right Time – It’s always better to make your offer when a potential client is going through a trigger event.  A trigger event is something that’s happen to them that will naturally heighten the relevance of your message to their world. When going through the right trigger event, even though you and your competitors have sent the prospect thousands of messages before, when the timing is right, their radar will detect your message – especially when it comes in the form of a recommendation for a trusted friend or colleague.


For example, when a couple gets married, a message about life insurance takes on immediate relevance.  When someone gets closer to retirement, a message about “not running out of money” takes on radical relevance.


Can you now see that when you are crystal clear on your Persona… your Avatar… your Ideal Client… that your marketing plan will naturally make better use of these 5 components of a successful marketing plan.


How targeted are you when it comes to attracting your most ideal clients?


Are you promoting the right product or service, for the right market, with the right message, delivered through the right medium, at the right time?



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