Every successful branding campaign starts with a well-thought-out marketing plan. And we have just the guide for you regarding marketing plans. Stick around and you’ll also find some tips on writing your marketing plans.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is based on a company’s (for example a restaurant’s) overall marketing strategy. It’s an outline that organizes, executes, and tracks your marketing strategy over a given period. Marketing plans can include different marketing strategies for various marketing teams across the company and all of them work toward the same business goals. It’ll describe how you’ll reach, attract and persuade customers to buy your products/services, with clear goals, actions and accountabilities. Marketing plans function as:
- Market research to support decisions on price and new market entries
- Demographics and geographic targeting.
- Platform selection for product and service promotion for each campaign
- Metrics that measure the results of marketing efforts and reporting timelines
Types of marketing plan
There are a variety of marketing plans that would suit different businesses and that depends on yours:
Social media marketing plan
This marketing plan focuses on strategies to advertise on different social media platforms and how to engage with the users. This type of plan highlights the channels, tactics, and campaigns you intend to accomplish specifically on social media.
Time-based marketing plan
With time-based marketing plans, you focus on the time of the year, the current condition of the business, and the best strategies in that period. These plans highlight the strategies or campaigns you’ll take on in a certain period like quarterly or annually.
New product launch marketing plan
This type of plan outlines how your new product will enter the market, who it will target, and in what way advertising for it will go. New product launch marketing plans are roadmaps for the strategies and tactics you’ll implement to promote a new product.
Marketing plan Vs. Business Plan Vs. Marketing Strategy
A business plan contains a marketing plan in it. Business plans detail how a business will operate and function in its entirety and act as a roadmap. They cover the goals, missions, values, financials, and strategies that your business will use in day-to-day operations and to achieve your objectives. A business plan can also include an executive summary, the products and services sold, a marketing analysis, a marketing strategy, financial planning, and a budget.
Business plans detail how a business will operate and function in its entirety and act as a roadmap.
A marketing plan focuses on creating a marketing strategy on how to bring awareness to the public about your product/service, how to reach the target market, and generate sales. A marketing plan contains one or more marketing strategies in it.
A marketing plan focuses on creating a marketing strategy on how to bring awareness to the public…
A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular goal or mission – including which campaigns, content, channels, and marketing software you’ll use to execute that mission and track your success. It’s the framework that creates your marketing strategies and helps you connect each strategy back to a larger marketing operation and business goal.
A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular goal or mission…
How to write a powerful marketing plan strategy
Here’s our how-to to writing your marketing plan strategy:
1. Business mission & value proposition
The first step is to state your mission. The mission should serve your business’s main mission statement. It’ll be helpful to be specific, but not too specific. You have plenty of space left in this marketing plan to elaborate on how you’ll acquire new customers and accomplish the mission. Also, consider your business’ value proposition.
The value proposition is the overall promise of value that you deliver to customers. Usually, it comes as a statement that appears front and center of your company website or any branding materials. The value proposition should state how your product or brand solves the customer’s problem, the benefits of the product or your brand, and why the customer should buy from you.
2. Determine your KPIs
Establishing your key performance indicators (KPIs). This allows you to measure the success of your marketing plan in relation to your company’s value proposition. Every good marketing plan describes how you’ll track the mission’s progress.
KPIs are metrics that measure the various elements of a marketing campaign. These units help you establish short-term goals in your mission and communicate your progress to other business leaders.
3. Identify your target market & buyer personas
Your target market is crucial. Market research is often the basis for target markets and marketing channel decisions. Knowing who you want to sell to and why is an extremely critical component of any marketing plan.
A buyer persona is the description of who you want to attract. This can include age, sex, location, family size, and job title. Each buyer persona should directly reflect your business’s current and potential customers.
4. Content strategies, initiatives and execution
The marketing plan includes the rationales for decisions. The plan should focus on creating, time, and place-specific campaigns and include the metrics that will measure the outcomes of marketing efforts. Here’s also where you’ll include the main points of your marketing and content strategy.
5. Set your budget
Marketing plans cost money. Know your budget for your marketing plan. It’ll allow you to create a suitable plan within a context and prevent runaway costs.
Your content strategy can leverage many free channels and platforms, but there are also several hidden expenses you might need to account for. Whether it’s freelance fees, sponsorships, or a new full-time marketing hire, you can use these costs to develop a marketing budget and outline each expense in this section of your marketing plan.
6. Adjust your plans & define omissions
A marketing plan can be adjusted at any point based on the results from the metrics. Marketing plans explain your focus. It also explains what you will not focus on. In this section you can include other aspects of your business that you aren’t serving in this particular plan. Omissions help to justify your missions, buyer personas, KPIs, and content.
7. Identify the competition
Knowing who you’re marketing against is also a part of the marketing plan. Research key players in your industry and consider profiling each one. Keep in mind not every competitor will pose the same challenges to your business.
8. Outline the contributors & responsibilities
With your marketing plan almost ready, it’s time to explain who’s doing what. You don’t have to delve too deep into your employees’ day-to-day projects, but it should be known which teams and team leaders are in charge of specific content types, channels, KPIs, and more.
Tips for creating a successful marketing plan strategy
We also have a few tips that you could use to write your marketing plans:
Research and have a solid understanding of your market. Preparedness is the foundation of a marketing plan. Understanding factors and trends, your customer’s buying behaviors, and the competitive landscape in your industry will help you develop realistic goals, create strong messaging that resonates with your target audience and find the appropriate channels to reach them.
2. Set realistic goals
Remember to have goals that are realistic. Without realistic goals, it’s hard to plan and coordinate your resources. This second tip also helps motivate your marketing team to perform.
3. Focus on the customer
As a business owner, it’s your duty to make your customers a priority. Therefore, your marketing strategies should focus on your customers. Marketing plans shouldn’t just focus on customer acquisition but also consider the entire customer journey, from developing your product to customer onboarding and service. This helps you to anticipate and represent customer needs.
4. Focus on the message
Make sure to have relevant and authentic messaging that’s competitive, different and tested with customers. The right messaging is essential to express a positive view towards your brand and branding.
5. Be flexible
Not everything will go according to plan, and it’s important to think about potential risks in advance. Plans even in marketing can lock you into those plans and create difficult situations if unexpected situations come up. It’s important to be flexible so you can change your plans quickly to take advantage of new opportunities.