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Tuesday 17 August 2021

5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan

It's good practice to revisit your marketing strategy every year.

And the best way to do this is by putting together an annual marketing plan. This helps you set your marketing on the right course and make your company's business goals a reality.

An annual marketing plan is a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team's campaigns, goals, and growth.  Without one, things can get messy -- and it's nearly impossible to put a number on the budget you'll need to secure for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing you'll encounter over the course of a year if you don't have a plan.  

This also helps if there are variations to the marketing plan made. Whereby the plan is adjusted depending on your industry and the goals of your marketing team. To make your plan's creation easier, we've put together a list of what to include in your plan and a few different planning templates where you can easily fill in the blanks.

Step 1: Write the Business's Summary 

Include the summary of your organisation. Which includes the business name, location of the HQ, and its mission statement.

Step 2: Disclose the Business's Initiatives 

Segment the various goals of your department. Be careful not to include big-picture company initiatives, which you'd normally find in a business plan. This section of your marketing plan should outline the projects that are specific to marketing. You'll also describe the goals of those projects and how those goals will be measured.

Step 3: Conduct various Analysis on Your Segment

  • Customer Analysis - conduct some basic market research. If your company has already done a thorough market research study, this section of your marketing plan might be easier to put together.  Ultimately, this element of your marketing plan will help you describe the industry you're selling to and your buyer persona.
  • Competitor Analysis - consider your competition, what they do well, and where the gaps are that you can potentially fill. This can include positioning, market share, offerings and pricing.
  • SWOT Analysis - which stands for the business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Be patient with your business's SWOT analysis

Step 4: Determine Your Market Strategy

describe how your company should approach the market. What will your business offer your buyer personas that your competitors aren't already offering them?  In a full-length marketing plan, this section can contain the "seven Ps of marketing".

Step 5: Plan for Your Budget

  • Budget - Don't mistake the Budget element of your marketing plan with your product's price or other company financials. Your budget describes how much money the business has allotted the marketing team to pursue the initiatives and goals outlined in the elements above.  Depending on how many individual expenses you have, you should consider itemizing this budget by what specifically you'll spend your budget on. 
  • Marketing Channels - your marketing channels are where you'll publish the content that educates your buyers, generates leads, and spreads awareness of your brand.  If you publish (or intend to publish) on social media, this is the place to talk about it. Use the Marketing Channels section of your marketing plan to lay out which social networks you want to launch a business page on, what you'll use this social network for, and how you'll measure your success on this network. Part of this section's purpose is to prove to your superiors, both inside and outside the marketing department, that these channels will serve to grow the business.  Businesses with extensive social media presences might even consider elaborating on their social strategy in a separate social media plan template.
  • Financial Projections - Knowing the budget and doing analysis on the marketing channels you want to invest in, you should be able to come up with a plan for how much budget to invest in which tactics based on expected ROI. From there, you'll be able to come up with financial projections for the year. These won't be 100% accurate but can help with executive planning.


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