Are You Struggling to Get Your Marketing Plan on Paper?
Writing a marketing plan can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re going to break down a few simple steps that can be followed to get you moving in the right direction.
Having any plan is better than not having a plan at all! I know this to be true. I’ve had times when I’ve made a plan and set out to execute said plan only to find that where I ended up wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind in the beginning.
Sometimes that can work out, but when it comes to a marketing plan for your business or one you’re writing for someone else’s business it can be costly!
While marketing is about bringing a product to the marketplace in a strategic and creative way, it is also about getting said product or service to stand out in a massive sea of competition.
The more specific you can be with your marketing plan, the better you’re able to narrow down the strategies you’ll use to find your audience and pinpoint exactly what they need and how to find them.
Did You Know That Only About 55% of Companies Actually Have a Documented Marketing Strategy?
There are many different types of marketing plans to inform how you’ll craft your strategies whether you’re marketing a product or a service. There are a few things that most plans will all include and those are the items we’re going to focus on in this article.
The Business Mission or Executive Summary
Your marketing plan is going to provide the necessary support for your business mission and overall objectives. In order to do so, you’ll need to be sure you have a clear understanding of the business plan, the objectives that have been identified, and the mission. In last week’s blog, we discussed the importance of having a business plan and some steps you can take to write a business plan. If you don’t have a written business plan as of yet, that’s a great place to start prior to putting together your marketing plan.
Once you are clear about your mission and you have it in a written document, you can summarize it and include it in the opening of your marketing plan.
Gathering data is a critical step and is something normally done prior to sitting down to actually write your marketing plan. Depending on your business and what type of marketing plan you’re writing, the data you’ll be using could vary. Even still, you can never go wrong by taking some time to research and gather as much data as possible to help guide your strategic planning.
Here’s a list of a few items of data we believe are really informative as you begin to narrow down your strategies to include in your marketing plan:
- KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators: These are the metrics that help you identify your goals and communicate the progress of your marketing campaigns.
- Target Audience, Buyer Persona, Key Demographics: The description of your ideal customer you’re targeting.
- Market Competition: The key players that are offering products or services similar to yours.
- Marketing Budget: The amount your company has allocated to resource your marketing campaigns.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to content strategy. There are plenty of channels to utilize when promoting your business or product. Your content strategies will serve as the ‘meat’ of your marketing planning. Here you’re going to begin listing what type of content you plan to use, how much content, the frequency of use, and how you’re going to track each type of content or the KPI’s specific to each piece of content created. You also want to be sure and include any paid advertising in your content strategy as well. Once you’ve completed these steps you’ll have a specific and clear picture of all of the different campaigns you’ll be using in your marketing plan.
A Few Other Thoughts
Once your marketing plan is complete, you will want to be sure you have also included who in your organization is doing what or whether or not you’ll need to outsource for some of the content, etc. Making sure those details along with the pertinent deadlines are communicated will ensure the success of your plan.
It’s also a good idea to review and revise before, during, and after the plans are underway. With the marketplace and technology changing rapidly, it’s possible you’ll need to adjust things in real-time. Never be afraid to rework your plan or assess your ongoing strategies to refine the target audience, the type of content, or the channels you’re utilizing.
Remember, you want to be as specific as possible, and having a written plan will help you stay on track to hit your goals!