10th August 2023
Impress Insights: How to create a marketing plan for your publication (and how NOT to!)

Pam Vick: How to create a marketing plan for your publication (and how NOT to!)

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“I need a new website or brochure!”

As a business development and marketing consultant, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard this when I have asked prospective clients what they need in terms of help when they call me.

My answer is always “Why?” and their response is often “Because I don’t have one” or “Because we need a new one”.

This is 100% starting from the wrong end of a business development/marketing plan, pure and simple. And the issue is the same whether you are marketing a can of beans or an offline (or online) publication.

So here’s what I tell these business owners when they call me. This is obviously an overview, and every business is different, but I have 500 words  – so hopefully it’ll still help.

Firstly, work out what your objective is and your target market. For example; “I want to attract new, younger users to my publication” or “I want existing readers to spend more time engaging with the website” or  “I need more people in Wales to subscribe to my newsletter”.

Who exactly do you need to influence – how old are they, where do they live, what do they do both professionally (if they work) and for leisure, what attitudes link them, who influences them, what organisations might they be members of? These are just a few examples. Thinking about a typical day in their life and writing it down can often help you think about how best to engage with them.

From here you can create a “touchpoints” plan in terms of the various places in their day/life where you might be able to engage with them, and the marketing channels that would therefore be most cost effective in terms of reaching them.

Think too about marketing partnerships with other organisations that don’t compete with you but have the same target community – perhaps offer their members a special deal. Especially if they are a large brand with a big community of members of the type of people you want to reach, partnership marketing can be incredibly cost-effective and efficient.

Now you can start to think about your key messaging. What is in it for them, in terms of what you are asking them to do/do more of? Don’t talk about yourself and what you want them to do. This is important. Think about how and why what you want them to do is going to benefit THEM.

And only once you’ve worked through all of the above should you even start to think about what content or collaterals or features or materials or copy you need.

And the answer is usually NOT a brochure.

By Pam Vick
Business Development and Marketing Consultant

About Pam Vick

Pam Vick is a member of the Impress board, a highly regarded commercial business development and strategic consultant to boards. She is an Ambassador for Women on Boards UK and one of Boardroom Advisors’ most experienced Advisors, an organisation that provides part-Time CEOs, exec directors and NEDs internationally. Pam is also a NED on the board of Hendeca, a specialist health and safety provider, a Trustee of The British Ecological Society, sits on an Advisory Board for the charity DEBRA, is a member of the Chairman’s Network, and has contributed to advertising effectiveness textbooks and articles including IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards.

About Impress 

Impress is a champion for news that can be trusted. We are here to make sure news providers can publish with integrity; and the public can engage in an ever-changing media landscape with confidence. We set the highest regulatory standards for news, offer education to help people make informed choices and provide resolution when disputes arise. 

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