In the first part of this series, we provided six steps you need to take to create a brilliant marketing plan. Now we’ll cover what a comprehensive marketing plan should consist of – laying out a template of the sections you should include to help you get started.
A good marketing plan is going to cater exclusively to your company’s goals and challenges. Your plan will be shaped by the industry you’re in, whether your customers are consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B), your budget, your online presence, etc.
You can keep it simple or get as intricate as you want, but a good marketing plan should consist of the following:
This is quite simply a summary of your business. It should include your company name and headquartered location along with your mission statement and what you do.
When you begin your marketing plan, you should have already undertaken market research – if you haven’t already done so, now is the time. The customer analysis section will help you understand your industry and create buyer personas.
These representational customers will tell you all about your demographic. Besides basic information such as age and location, they also help you with what your customers’ goals, challenges, pains and potential buying triggers may be.
Analysing your customer and your competition go hand in hand. It’s all a part of understanding the demands of your industry and the consumers you’re trying to reach. So, learning about who else is trying to solve your potential customer’s problem is a wise choice.
Choose some similar businesses and see what you admire, or don’t, about each one. Take a look at their positioning, market share, offerings and pricing for a better idea of how to move your plan forward.
This is an analysis of your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis brings together all your internal company sight and external market research and will help you form your goals – and maximise opportunities you may come across and minimise and contain any potential threats.
Your market strategy lays out the approach you are taking to reach your goals, based on all previous research and analysis. It is important not to confuse this with marketing tactics or activity. Planning activity comes after you have decided your strategy.
If your plan is in-depth, then this is where you explore the “7 Ps of marketing”:
- Physical Evidence
As part of planning your marketing tactics, you’ll need to choose how to reach your target market. Your marketing channels are where you’ll connect and interact with your customers. This is where you’ll cultivate content, generate leads, and spread brand awareness. Use this section to describe which social networks you want to use and how.
Read more about marketing tactics: Creating a Brilliant Marketing Plan in 6 Steps
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is the budget that you have to execute your vision. For ultimate clarity on the areas are going to be incorporated into your plan, make sure you detail exactly what you’re spending your budget on – from admin costs and various advertising expenses to events and software and resources you need to get the job done.
Often the hardest part of a plan to get right and the easiest to forget, is measuring the success of your marketing. This will help you to spend money and effort on the right things.
Your financial projections section of your marketing plan will help with executive planning, but keep in mind that it won’t be 100% accurate. Your budget, paired with your knowledge of expected performance through your chosen channels, will be able to help you calculate the projected return on your investments (ROI). This in turn, allows you to determine financial projections for the year.
Your template to success
As mentioned, a marketing plan can be as detailed as you want it to be. And as you can see, there are many elements to consider when building your strategy. It’s no surprise that the process for creating a marketing plan can be a long and arduous one. But it doesn’t have to be.
By partnering with Marketing Square, we can help prepare and implement a marketing plan created just for you. Get in touch today to get started on the marketing roadmap for your company’s success.