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Marketing plans should not be static documents. They are actionable guides that can and should be edited and reworked when necessary.
Do you want more customers, more income, and more profitability? Then, you probably need an excellent marketing strategy.
But, a strategy without a plan doesn’t bring you the success you want. So, you will need an excellent marketing plan.
Everything you do and want to accomplish will require some planning activity. Sometimes you don’t have a written plan, but you make a plan in your mind.
What Is A Marketing Plan?
The typical description of a marketing plan is something akin to a business plan.
It’s a strategic document that gives a narrative description of the main components of a company’s planned marketing campaign.
A marketing plan or marketing strategy gives clarity about who your market is. It’s easier to find clients and customers if you know who they are.
It helps you craft marketing messages that will generate results. Marketing is about knowing what your product or service can do to help a target market.
Your marketing messages need to speak directly to your market.
Your choices for marketing are vast, including email, social media, advertising, guest blogging, direct mail, publicity, and on and on.
What Are Marketing Tactics?
Fundamentally, your marketing strategy is designed to promote your products and services so that you can convert customers.
Your marketing tactics are the specific things you do to support your overall strategy and plan, and can be made up of many different activities
By evaluating the range of activities, tactics, and media available to help you generate a measurable response in the form of new sales leads generated and new customers won due to your marketing program.
Where Does Your Marketing Plan Fit?
Marketing plan examples are all over the web. You can easily find more samples and templates than you could ever need. Just google “marketing plan example.” Go ahead. A gazillion, right?
In our experience, though, when marketing managers or executives are looking to build a plan, they often have in mind something completely different from what shows up in an Internet search for marketing plan examples.
Not all marketing plans look the same — you can create email marketing plans, social media marketing plans, and others.
Below, we’ll provide a basic framework you can use to create a general business marketing plan, but feel free to customize or tweak it for more specialized marketing plans.
Identify Your Objectives For Your Marketing Strategy
A marketing plan is not created in isolation and should reflect your overall business aims as outlined in your business plan.
Before you dedicate time and resources to areas such as market research or acquisition costs, consider what you want to achieve.
Do you want to increase brand awareness? Generate a set amount of revenue or reduce churn by a certain percentage?
Know Your Buyer
Businesses need buyers. Take time to identify your target market and create detailed buyer personas based on factors such as firmographics and behavioral profiles.
Strategize Your Segments
Identifying your target market is only half the battle. You need to strategize your segments by determining which segments to target and how.
Decision-making tools can help you evaluate which segments are most attractive, but this must be backed up by developing a marketing mix and a clear positioning strategy.
Increase Brand Awareness
No matter how beautiful and functional your site is, you can’t gain traction and build a successful business if no one knows about it.
You can craft a few social media posts and create some flyers, but those ad hoc efforts won’t result in much if they aren’t part of a larger, strategic business marketing plan.
If you’re not a trained marketer, creating a marketing plan for your business can seem intimidating.
Generate a set amount of revenue or reduce churn by a certain percentage?
Whatever goals you select should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) as they will form a reference point to measure your marketing efforts’ success.
Keep A Marketing Budget
It’s important to keep things under a budget and explicitly take out the time to include the same in your marketing plan.
Your marketing budget should include all your expenses for the upcoming quarter or year (however long you are making this plan).
This includes sponsorship fees, money for freelancers or influencers, paid promotions on social media, paid ad placement on websites, PPC ads, etc.
Marketing is the priority of all the places to spend money in your home business, as long as you’re spending wisely and getting a return on your investment.
Marketers can create, customize, and collaborate on daily work like sharing social media content, blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, sales playbooks, presentations, email templates, and other internal and client-facing material.
Whether your marketing team is working on internal projects or sharing information with influencers, customers, and prospects externally, they can easily add videos, PDFs, Slideshare decks, spreadsheets, and more directly into a Bit document.
It’s a smart way to add context to the knowledge you are sharing.
Customer Relationship Management Tools
Having a single source of knowledge where all your marketing work is centralized is an important necessity.
This is why we switched to Hubspot, a one-stop shop for all your sales metrics and data.
Hubspot is a modern-day workplace collaboration tool that empowers marketing teams to have one place they can work while collaborating.
If you’re running a seasonal promotion on certain products, you can look to your click-through rates and conversion rates to see if they increased traffic and sales on your site.
Google Analytics is a great, free tool that can help you understand your website performance.
Continuously Update Your Marketing Plan
Like a business plan, a marketing plan is a living, breathing document.
It needs to evolve from time to time to incorporate customer demand and changing market trends.
Analyzing your results and tweaking or changing your marketing strategies is an important task in keeping your marketing plan up to date and fulfilling its purpose in helping reach your business goals.
Many factors can impact your marketing results and choices, including market conditions, demand for your product or service, pricing issues, and new marketing methods (i.e., a new social media platform).
You must stay aware of this and adjust your marketing plan accordingly.
Keep Tabs On KPIs
You don’t have the time or energy to invest in wasted marketing efforts as a small business owner.
Implementing KPIs, or key performance indicators, is a great way to measure the efficacy of your marketing and helps you understand what’s working and what isn’t.
If one of your goals is to increase brand awareness through the use of social media, then you might want to consider the social share of voice as a KPI.
Breakaway From The Noise
Identifying your unique selling point (USP) is key to setting your product or service apart from competitors. Your USP can be service, product, or mission-oriented.
A USP is part of your brand identity and should permeate your marketing messaging across channels.
A marketing plan clarifies a product’s USP (unique selling point) and its target audience.
Crafting marketing messages that resonate with the target audience becomes easy when you have these two components.
Identifying your target market is like identifying your ideal customer persona; however, there are a few key differences.
While they both involve demographics and psychographics, your target market deals with a broader group of potential and prospective customers.
Your target market could be people in a certain age or income bracket, whereas your ideal customer represents a more segmented piece of that market.
Why Do Marketing Plans Matter?
The importance of a detailed marketing plan can’t be overstated.
A study conducted by CoSchedule, a marketing software, found that marketers with a documented plan or strategy are 313% more likely to report success in their marketing campaigns than those who don’t have a clear plan.
Moreover, marketers who proactively plan projects are 356% more likely to report success.
Without the right marketing plan to guide you, converting a prospect into a paying customer and growing your business is virtually impossible.
They matter to your financial backers, your business growth, and your bottom line.
They matter as they help you better understand your target market’s needs and how your company can serve them.
Therefore, you can’t leave things to chance.
By understanding your customers’ purchase motivations and needs, you can present them with a product or service that solves their particular problems.
By understanding marketing methods, you can keenly target prospects and apply promotional techniques to gain a competitive edge over your industry rivals.
In conclusion, your marketing plan is your opportunity, so grab it with both hands and do it right.
You must implement every step covered in your plan if you want your marketing activities to be effective.
Start-Up Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies can be likened to an upside-down pyramid. It starts with broad, high-level information.
It builds as we learn from our actual prospects and customers, because everything starts as an assumption or hypothesis of how we think things will turn out — but not necessarily how they will turn out.
This differs from the traditional marketing plan as it’s built, and it’s expanded upon alongside feedback and testing, not from behind closed doors with others that are heavily biased and whom, in most cases, may not be the target market you’re looking for to reach.
A startup marketing plan shouldn’t need to be a 30, 50, or 80-page document, but there are a few things it still needs to take into account.
The Bottom Line
Without marketing, people can’t learn about your business to buy from you. Without customers or clients, you don’t have a business.
A marketing plan is a business document outlining your marketing process and tactics.
So, a marketing plan outlines the specific actions you want to take to build interest in potential customers and clients about your products and/or services.
Then persuade them to buy the product and/or services you are offering.
Using this guide, you should be able to craft a business marketing plan that helps direct your efforts to achieve your goals.
Our skilled marketers have a proven track record in partnering with senior management teams to create strategic marketing plans that work.
Working closely with your team on every element of your marketing strategy, Kennected will help you identify, build and capitalize on growth opportunities to take your business further.
A marketing plan will guide you as you start your journey towards lead generation and brand building.
To book a free consultation, call 317-342-1330.