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Creating a watertight marketing plan

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 21 May, 2014
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Book review: Watertight Marketing - Delivering long-term sales results by Bryony Thomas

We know from our research published showing how businesses manage digital marketing, that many businesses don’t have a defined marketing strategy. In fact, more than half of businesses we surveyed (56%) didn’t have a marketing strategy, an even higher proportion than the 46% who didn’t have a digital strategy!

So when Bryony Thomas offered to share her advice on approaches to use a more planned approach to marketing, I was delighted to be able to publish these to help marketers looking to create a marketing plan. The techniques Bryony has shared in her popular series of posts on marketing planning on Smart Insights are based on the techniques she recommends in her book Watertight Marketing: delivering long-term sales results which I have been taking a look at recently to review our marketing approach.

The Watertight marketing approach

The book gets off to a really useful start with Bryony’s review of the marketing funnel. We all know the funnel concept of course, but by reviewing 13 of the most common touchpoint leaks as shown below she gives a great, actionable checklist to help businesses review and improve their communications strategy.

I recommend reading the book for this alone, but there is much else to recommend across the different parts of the book:

  • Part 1 - A review of how to reduce the 13 touchpoint leaks. This is an introduction to the Watertight Marketing approach.
  • Part 2 - Marketing communications approaches. Reviews how to develop key messages and the best timing to communicate these from different people in the business.
  • Part 3 - Bucket, funnels and taps. This explores the leaks in more detail, discussing techniques to grow awareness and use emotional and rational arguments to progress prospects to purchase.
  • Part 4 - Planning. I found the simple approaches to create a budget for different media really useful and measurement is covered simply too.

Who is the book recommended for?

The techniques to improve marketing described in the book apply to any type of business, B2C or B2B, but I think these particularly apply to businesses where there is a considered purchase of a relatively high product or service where nurturing of customers using content marketing is needed before purchase.

The clarity and simplicity of the advice mean that the book will work particularly well for smaller businesses, perhaps to be read by an owner who isn’t so familiar with marketing. But I think it will change the approach that more experienced marketers use too by getting them to question their approach. Consultants and agencies could also find it useful to change their approach too.

So, you can see that I thoroughly recommend this book in terms of its content. The style works well too, with a nice conversational style like discussing your marketing issues with a consultant. There are also checklist and frameworks to make the book actionable and small case studies to show how to apply the concepts, including a more detailed running case. You can find out more about Watertight Marketing and get a free sample chapter on this microsite.

What doesn’t work so well? Well, the only thing to bear in mind, is that this is a marketing strategy and planning book. It doesn’t recommend practical techniques to create awareness or nurture leads, particularly through digital marketing techniques. It isn't practical for it to include these details and it would lose its clarity and strategic focus if it did. So for example, you won’t find detailed advice on using SEO, AdWords or Social media to create awareness, using remarketing using display ads or using email marketing to encourage repeat sales. Of course, Smart Insights has all the practical details you need for each of the digital marketing channels!

You can hear Bryony talk a the CIM Small Business conference on May 23rd where I'll also be speaking.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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