Digital Marketing

What is a Marketing Plan?

By Dave, on February 16, 2021 - 8 min read

A marketing plan is a comprehensive guide and mostly a part of an overall business plan. Companies create and follow an actionable marketing plan containing strategies that the corporation will use over a certain period. A marketing plan maps out a distinct strategy for every marketing team to achieve collective business goals.

In most short words, it is a document that the marketers will use to ensure that their marketing efforts produce the desired results in the stipulated time frame. It supports them in understanding their target audience better and optimizing their efforts that best fit their demands.

What Does A Marketing Plan Include?

Goals:

The primary feature of a marketing plan is the business expectations from its marketing and advertising endeavors. Clearly mentioning the goals will help to ensure that the executed plan is going in the right direction. The achievable objectives can be categorized into short/long term to understand them properly.

Buyer Persona:

A company mostly doesn’t have one product or services for which they are creating a marketing plan. There are multiple and each of them has a specific target audience on which the marketing plan must be focused. Creating a buyer persona is a crucial factor of the marketing plan. It will help to understand your target market and customer requirements. Please include a detailed demographic section and buyer profile to make it more effective.

Marketing Strategy:

A solid marketing plan is incomplete without narrowing down your marketing strategy plan. There are tons of strategies and tactics available to choose from. A marketing plan includes one or multiple strategies that will be utilized to achieve the objectives jotted in the marketing plan document.

Competitive Research:

A more detailed marketing plan includes the current market situation in which your company is functioning. A complete overview of your competitors and their marketing strategy will help you to be creative and innovate with your plan. Take inspiration from what is working from them and do what you think will work best for your targeted customers. Create a delicate balance to make the marketing plan more effective.

KPI’s:

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Determining your key performance indicators is an essential component of a detailed marketing plan. It is incredibly beneficial in the long run and will come in handy when you have to track your marketing campaigns. The preset KPIs effectively stay on course and focus on the metrics that bring value to your business.

Budget and Time :

Budgeting is a don and great concern for every company. To ensure that everyone in the team must be aware of it, including a decent amount of information in the marketing plan is intelligent. Another critical step of the project is deciding how long this marketing plan will be in effect. It can be executed for a monthly business goal or quarterly or even annual. The more the time, the more detailed it must be.

How Can You Get A Marketing Plan For Your Business?

The marketing plan is a summary of your marketing and advertising activities in a specific upcoming period and how it will help your company achieve its well-defined goals.

It contains your targeted people persona, marketing tactics and channels you will use, KPI’s, goal profile, information about your competitors, budget, and time frame of the plan. All this information is usually included in a PDF document for easy sharing via email or online with relevant people in the company, but there is no limit to creativity. You make it creative and easy to comprehend for people unfamiliar with the marketing complex terminologies to include them in the planning process.

Infographics are a great way to explain the marketing plan’s summary, and if you have a significant budget for the marketing plan, you can set up a webpage to share your plans. People will find it easier to follow and interact. Your marketing team creates a customized plan for your company or buys an attractive template from a reputable marketing corporation. A marketing plan template can be customized accordingly and reduce the time associated with it to begin the process from scratch. Buying a template from a marketing plan catalog is one of the best tactics to speed up the process. The template available is creative by highly creative people and works best.

What Is The Significance Of Writing A Marketing Plan?

Know Your Position:

A marketing plan comes with a wide range of benefits, not only limited to obtaining your marketing goal. When you create a marketing plan and research your competitors in the market, you will find what your current status is and where your company is lagging. It will assist you in the analysis of your deficiency and find new opportunities for business growth.

Gives Direction:

Have you decided to engage in marketing for an upcoming product or service? Great, but is your marketing plan set? How will you go about it? A marketing plan can give direction to your marketing efforts and also saves you from the nuisance of losing track. It makes sure that all your marketing goals are compatible with the business goals.

Brings Everyone Together:

A marketing plan document brings all your teams to a single page. When your entire company is in sync, it is good enough to achieve goals quickly. For example, if you are launching a series of products or a Tech Company releasing a new application, it helps avoid any pre-launch or post-launch mistakes. The sales team, development team, and marketing team have access to the marketing plan; everyone works collectively to become the best at their job, resulting in boosted sales, downloads, or what your business goal is as per your target audience.

Smart Decisions:

In this competitive business world where you can quickly see how your competitors are performing, companies find it challenging to stay on track. But when you create a marketing plan, it means you have set up a definite roadmap as per your goals; then, you will not deviate from and make smart and good decisions. It prevents you from making ill-advised decisions in tricky circumstances.

How to Create A Marketing Plan?

Write An Executive Summary:

The marketing plan document begins with a brief but valuable overview of the entire marketing plan. It must contain concise info about each section of your plans as it may come in handy when new people want to have an overview of it and understand key takeaways quickly. Generally, it contains two paragraphs and doesn’t include any specific metric or details added in other sections of the document.

A summary doesn’t always have to be boring. Keep it short and engaging because dull and too challenging to read summaries are too mainstream now, for example. If your brand is about a fun product / products or service, an executive summary with heavy words doesn’t fit the brand’s image. This step of the plan defines the tone of your drafted project.

Create Well Defined Objectives:

When you are done creating a summary of your marketing plan, it’s time to come to the central point that what are your expectations and what you are trying to accomplish.

The goals must be data-driven and transparent because this is the foundation of the whole plan, and your team will work accordingly to ensure that the aspirations become a certainty. Try to go for a realistic approach and do not set vague unachievable goals. Here KPIs play an essential role, and you can define your goals surrounding them. For example, suppose you want to increase your social media following.

In that case, it must be defined with the number of your current followers on social media pages and what percentage of increase you are trying to achieve in a specific period. If you are trying to increase your subscribers through content marketing, define them with a percentage of users that must subscribe in a quarter or a year. Established a timeline in which the count should rise.

Determine Targeted Customers:

In this step, a comprehensive analysis of your targeted audience is required, which can be completed by identifying your competitors and their fan base, your unique selling points, and what kind of people will be drawn to it.

Most companies ignore this crucial segment of the plan, but it has immense value in making the entire procedure effective. It will guide you about how your product or service can solve their problems. For example, suppose you are launching a product and want to know what your target audience will look like for this specific product.

In that case, you can interview your existing customers, conduct a massive survey or talk to a group of people you deem fit and will be most interested in your idea. This will give a good deal of demographic and psychographic information.

Research about Market and Competitors:

The next step is to recognize your competition, and so later, you can start planning your marketing strategy based on that. In this stage, your loopholes will also be unveiled when you examine what a rival business is doing good.

This step’s entire goal is to implement the best strategies to capture your fair share of customers from the market and outshine your competitors. For example, if you are planning to publish content on your blog as a part of your content marketing strategy, then researching what has been posted will be useful and by whom.

This way, your creative writing team will be well aware of what they must write unique to ensure that there is no repetition and your customers find your blog more interesting than theirs. On a broader view, researching your competitors will help you know their marketing team, strategy, tools, channels, and the market they have a hold over, their USP, which will help make your plan better. A SWOT template for this step is very beneficial and gives a comprehensive overview of it.

Describe Your Business Current Position:

When businesses start to engage in any marketing or advertising activity, the end goal is progress. Be it brand awareness, boost sales, or any other purpose, but if you don’t know your start point, then the progress will be tricky to observe.

So drafting your baselines is advised before you start planning your strategy and tactics. For example, if your goal is to improve your social media following, shares, and conversions, then knowing your current growth or reduction rate will be beneficial when comparing it with the results after the execution of the marketing strategy.

A template in the form of a chart will help create and enter your current performance and later compare it. Try to make it easy to understand with visuals and infographics because most people prefer visual data over text information.

Finalize Marketing Strategy:

This is the most crucial and detailed step of the marketing plan, where you will outline what to do and how. Here you will narrow down your strategies as per your defined objectives and budget. There are tons of channels to utilize, and if your marketing budget is limited, choose channels that best suit your requirements and fulfill the needs. This section must be very detailed because it is crucial to inform everyone what they will do, execute the plan,, and make it a success.

This is the most lengthy section of the document, which may take several pages. Charts and visually representing the data are the most desirable approaches here to summarize and add every information effectively. Social media paid advertising, content strategy, and SEO are the four primary marketing strategies. You can create a mind map or use templates to link them with your goals and produce sync. The flow Chart template in this part is also very handy and beneficial. Let’s take an example here. If you plan to post content on your blog, creating a simple weekly timeline of your yearly content plan will help the content team understand what they have to do.

A content calendar with a comprehensive content plan covering what kind of content you will produce and publish is another practical approach. Look for a template that you consider fit and understandable. Developing an actionable marketing strategy should be your focus here in this step.

Append Budgeting Details:

In this concluding section, don’t forget to include your marketing budget information in your marketing plan document. This is vital to ensure that the marketing team doesn’t go over the designated budget and manages the business’s financial aspects. Marketing is a long game, and as a smart business owner, the marketing budget must be strictly followed to not surpass your account for the year. This will help the marketing team ensure that even if they are making changes in the plans and opting for other strategies and channels, the budget for the year is not crossed. Tons of editable marketing templates are available—leverage one to cover this section of the plans.

Ending Note:

A marketing plan has its firm significance in making all your marketing campaigns a breakthrough. With adequate planning, you create the best version of it for your business. A marketing plan is essential to clear the way and gives your efforts a distinct direction.

In this article, we have touched on all crucial aspects of the process. Whether you create a plan document from scratch or use a template, make sure it’s engaging, conducive, and proper attention is given to every step, which will make it the most worthwhile for your company.

Dave