A marketing plan is a business document that draws out your marketing strategy, tactics, and tools to reach the target audience over some time. This includes advertising budget, outreach strategy, inbound and outbound marketing strategy, and action steps.
It defines the mission, vision, and goals of a company. It is a must for every company to have a defined marketing plan. It becomes really difficult to make prospective clients and target audiences understand what the company stands for with a marketing plan.
But, these strategies need to be changed from time to time based on the latest marketing trends and customer demand.
Different forms of marketing plan:
- Paid marketing plan: It is a kind of marketing plan that decides how to use the paid strategies for acquiring new customers. The most popular paid marketing strategies are PPC, paid social media campaigns, and influencer marketing strategies.
- Content marketing plan: This plan is associated with deciding on tactics and strategies for creating content for gaining new customers. The main content strategies are writing blogs, SEO pages, eBooks, guest publishing, whitepaper, etc.
- Social media marketing plan: It is a plan designed to make a strong online presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc., by creating posts, uploading images, videos, vlogs, blogs, and running ad campaigns.
- Relationship marketing plan: This involves creating tactics and strategies that focus on satisfying the customer by offering the best quality products and services. The popular forms of relationship marketing are offering cashback, discounts, coupons, and chatbot strategies.
Benefits of having a marketing plan
The main benefits of having a marketing plan are as follows:
- Sets a plan of action: Having a marketing plan is having a plan of action for the company. It includes details of the product you are dealing with, the unique selling proposition, target audience, and tools or tactics you are using to increase the scale and reach of your product or services.
- Roadmap to attain goals: If you have a marketing plan, you have a map that your marketing team has to follow to achieve the objectives. In this digital era, where there are so many marketing avenues like email marketing, social media marketing, SEO marketing, direct mail, banners, etc. it is a must to have a plan of action. It helps in keeping the marketing team focussed and saves them from being distracted by the newest “marketing hack.”
- Offers clarity: A marketing plan brings clarity regarding the product’s USP and about the target audiences. These are two main important aspects to be aware of before creating any marketing plan or crafting marketing mailers or push messages.
- Acts as a reference point: It removes the ambiguity. Also, make sure that each of the members of the marketing team is aware of the strategies to be adopted for doing brand marketing.
Steps to create a marketing plan
Conduct market research
Always start making a marketing plan after conducting proper research about the current market and its trend. Know the market where you are planning to launch your product or services. If you are making entry to the market without knowing about competitors and the market, it proves to be disastrous for your business. Start the research with market size, buying habits, suppliers, consumer buying habits, etc.
Understand who is your target audience
Once you are done with market research, the next step is defining your customer. If you know whom to target, it becomes easier to draft the right marketing plan. To find the right target audience, start gathering demographic information like:
- Annual earnings
One of the best ways of identifying the right target audience is by correctly defining your audience. For instance, if you are selling a weight loss program, your target audience will be overweight people who want to join this program to stay fit and fine.
Define your marketing goals
Having strong, clearly defined, and detailed marketing goals is the utmost requirement of the marketing plan. Without any objectives or goals, the marketing plan looks messy and chaotic. If, as a business owner, you are not clear about the campaigns to run, your marketing team also faces difficulty in creating the right marketing plan.
You must be aware of your competition
Competition analysis is a must before creating a marketing plan. Try to research the competitors and their marketing and pricing strategy. It will be a great help to the marketing team. It makes it easier for them to create a marketing strategy to stand above the competitors. According to data shared on HubSpot, 74% of marketers believe that competitive analysis is the key to the better positioning of products or services.
Describe your tactics and strategies
In this digital marketing era, there are a plethora of marketing strategies available online. But one has to choose the strategy wisely. Make sure that it matches perfectly with the nature of your product or services. One factor that helps you in deciding the right strategy is the target market.
So, choose the platforms for marketing where your audience is spending most of the time. Once you understand the strategy and the platform to focus on, you can easily execute your plan in the right direction. Don’t forget to mention details of the content requirement and content posting plans.
Decide the budget
When you are deciding the marketing budget, consider all the expenses for the next quarter or year. The major expenses in executing a marketing plan are investing in paid promotions, paid campaigns, ad campaigns, PPC, and hiring freelancers, influencers, etc.
Work on executing strategies
Once you are done with comprehensive planning, start working towards making it a reality. Prepare a calendar and mention all dates of strategy implementation.
We all are living in the digital era where more than hard work, we need to learn the tactics of doing smart work. For this, we need a good marketing plan, as it is a key to running a successful business. With a strategic roadmap, a company is ready to face its competitors and target the right audiences.