An Agent's Guide to Developing a Marketing Plan

  • Originally published November 28, 2011 , last updated April 10, 2018

You need to know where you are going before you can decide how to get there.

It's that time of year again. The trees are bare, the turkey's gone and a new year full of promise looms. It's the time of year when we should be looking back at what we accomplished over the last 12 months and looking ahead to what we hope to accomplish in the next 12. It's the perfect time to write or revise your marketing plan.

Writing a Marketing Plan doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. It doesn’t need to follow any formal style — a simple outline will suffice. But it is important to get it on paper because the whole point is to create a roadmap for your marketing and prospecting efforts that you can continuously refer back to. If you already have a plan in place, now might be a good time to revisit it as your business objectives may have changed with the recent economic conditions.

Writing Your Plan

  • Define your short- and long-term business objectives using the SMART method (make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)
  • Define your ideal client in terms of demographics like age, income, marital status, profession, etc.
  • List additional target markets
  • Determine your unique selling proposition i.e. what differentiates you from your competition in your ability to meet the needs of a particular demographic
  • Taking into account your objectives, target market and position within that market, you can now decide how you want to market yourself and develop strategies accordingly
  • Choose the marketing tactics you will use to attract customers, e.g. fliers, postcards, email marketing, newsletters, Web site and more.

Notice that choosing tactics is the final step in our plan. In reality, that is actually where most agents start when it comes to thinking about marketing. But, without a plan, it is difficult to know who you should be talking to, what you should be talking about, and it’s especially difficult to gauge whether your efforts are working.

Your Marketing Plan should yield answers to the following questions:

  • Who is your ideal client?
  • What do those customers typically need?
  • What differentiates you from your competition in meeting the needs of that demographic?
  • What marketing techniques are best suited to your chosen market, product offering and your practice?
  • What are your short-term and long-term business objectives?

A Step Further

To create your plan, first look at the objectives set forth in your marketing plan. Maybe you want to expand your practice into a new product line, or perhaps you want to win more business in your market of choice. Your objectives should dictate what activities you engage in to find and connect with new prospects.

Next, list possible tactics to achieve those strategic goals. Some popular options include:

  • Networking
  • Cold calling
  • Strategic alliances
  • Referrals
  • Targeted mailings
  • Trade shows
  • Face-to-face canvassing
  • Seminars
  • Media

Choose the tactics that best match your business, your skills and the target market you are trying to reach.

After you’ve chosen your activities, you should set goals for each one. It could be the number of referral requests you plan to make every week, or the number of contacts you plan to make at a trade show. Just make sure it’s a measurable goal. This is perhaps the greatest advantage of creating a plan. By getting more systematic in your approach, you can measure what is working and what isn’t and adjust your efforts accordingly.

And remember, the key to thriving in a poor economy isn’t all strategies and tactics. You also have to be creative, proactive and optimistic. It also doesn’t hurt to have strong partner like Senior Markets Sales to help you grow and develop your business. Speak to a Marketing Consultant today to find out how we can help. 1.800.786.5566