Are you a frequent user of a navigation app when you travel? A marketing plan can be likened to your preferred navigation app.
The app will give you directions and estimate your arrival time to your destination. Your marketing plan is a list of all your marketing strategies that will help you reach your goals (destination).
This blog post will help you understand the importance of a marketing plan and how to create one. These topics will be covered in this blog post:
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a guideline that you can use to plan, implement and track your marketing strategies over time. It includes marketing strategies that are coordinated to achieve your business goals.
A marketing plan will guide your team. You can track your strategies and measure important metrics for your campaigns.
What is the importance of a marketing plan?
A marketing plan can be a great help.
- Identify your campaigns’ objectives: The marketing plan documents your goals so that everyone on your team understands what you are trying to achieve.
- Define your buyer persons: Your marketing plan will help you identify and understand your ideal customers.
- Identify your Budget: A set budget allows your company to allocate its resources efficiently. Sticking to a Working Budget will prevent you from spending too much.
- Track your campaign’s progress: Your marketing plan will list your campaign objectives and the metrics that you must monitor. You can track the performance of your campaigns, which will allow you to see if your strategy is working or not.
Also read: How to Successfully Market Your Business
Five types of marketing plans
Different types of marketing plans are required for different business needs. These are five types you can use for marketing.
1. General marketing plan
Marketing Plan Objective: Create a summary of marketing strategies for a quarter and a year
This marketing plan can be used to help you determine the best strategies and campaigns your company can undertake for a specific period.
Let’s take an example of such a marketing plan: Let’s suppose you own a coffee shop. An annual general marketing plan outlines your strategies for the different months and seasons.
Your pumpkin spice campaign is launched in fall, and your peppermint mocha campaign begins in winter.
2. Marketing plan for a new product or service
Marketing Plan Objective: Create new products or services promotion campaigns
This marketing plan will help you establish a strategy for introducing new products or services to the market.
Here is an example marketing plan for a product. Let’s say you offer cleaning services. You might consider offering recurring cleaning services to retain your customers over time.
The new service marketing plan is your guideline for your new service’s prelaunch, launch, and post-launch strategies.
3. Social media marketing plan
Marketing Plan Objective: Social media Brand Awareness and Consideration
This type of marketing plan is your roadmap for navigating social networking. It covers all the platforms that you will use. This plan details your audience and strategies as well as specific campaigns for each platform.
Let’s take, for example, the hospitality sector. Your social media marketing plan should identify Facebook and Instagram. TikTok and LinkedIn. Your marketing plan should include details about your target audience.
You also have details about your strategies for each platform. What will you do with prospects and customers on Facebook?
4. Content marketing plan
Marketing plan objective: To increase brand awareness and consideration through content marketing
Your content marketing plan details your various content marketing strategies for your brand. The marketing plan lists the people you will be communicating with. It also lists the topics and types of content that are relevant to each persona.
Here is an example of a content-based marketing plan. Let’s say you have a jewelry shop. Your content marketing plan should list the different audiences you target. It then identifies the content topics that each persona should be covered. These topics should address the needs and pain points of each persona.
Have you ever segmented your audience based on how passionate they are about jewelry? You might find new jewelry lovers interested in content on how to care for different types.
For jewelry collectors who have been collecting for many years, you might be interested in information about the latest trends and customization.
5. Paid marketing plan
Marketing Plan Objective: Brand Awareness, Consideration, Lead Generation, and Conversion via Paid Ad Strategies
Your paid marketing plan will guide you in paid advertising strategies such as pay-per-click advertising (PPC), paid social media campaigns, native advertisement, and perhaps even traditional advertising such as out-of-home or print ads. Your paid marketing plan should clearly define your goals and budget.
Also read: 25 Best and Amazing Free Advertising Ideas
How to create a marketing plan
Let’s now answer the question, “What is a Marketing Plan?” and what it is important. Now let’s look at how to make a Marketing Plan.
1. Write your overall mission
Your overall mission should be the starting point for your marketing plan this reflects the goals of your business. Make sure you are clear about what you want but also explain the details in other sections of the marketing plan.
Let’s take, for example, a dancing studio. It offers classes in ballet for children as well as modern hip hop classes for all ages. We received many inquiries about adult ballet. This need was addressed by a program.
You created a marketing plan to launch your adult ballet classes. Your ultimate goal is to raise awareness about this new dance class for adults who are interested and will increase the number of people signing up for your classes.
2. Identify your buyer personas
Once you have your mission figured out, identify your audience and create buyer personas. Buyer personas represent the customers and prospects you want to attract to a business.
You can address the needs and alleviate the pain points of your target audience by creating buyer personas.
As we saw in the earlier example, the adult ballet class was a new venture for the dance studio. You can build buyer personas using the information from the customers and prospects who have inquired about it.
3. Determine your KPIs
You need to establish your KPIs in order to measure your marketing plan’s success and progress. KPIs are metrics that help you determine if your marketing strategy is helping you reach your business goals.
You can still use our previous example of a dance studio that has the mission of increasing awareness of your new service. A good KPI to track would be the number of unique visitors to your adult ballet class page.
4. Identify the limitations and scope of your marketing plan
Your marketing plan should clearly define your campaign’s scope and focus. It should be clear about what your marketing team will not focus on and the limits of your campaigns.
The marketing plan for the adult ballet class should clearly state that the budget, strategies, budget, and KPIs are only applicable to this class. This is not applicable to the children’s ballet class.
5. Specify your budget
Some of your channels may be used in your campaigns and strategies. These costs should be included in your overall marketing budget. However, some strategies can incur expenses.
So that your marketing team can easily determine the return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns, it is important to list all expenses, including freelance fees, advertising budget, and sponsorships.
6. Identify your competitors and perform a SWOT analysis
Marketing is all about knowing your competitors and their activities. This will help you determine how your competitors are doing and which strategies you should implement to stay ahead.
Do a competitive analysis by researching the key top players in your industry. Analyze their websites, content, and social media presence. You can even visit their physical address.
Do a SWOT Analysis of your competitors to identify the following:
- Strengths – Write down the strengths of your competitors. Are their pages ranked in search results for similar keywords? Are their social media posts engaging
- Weaknesses – Note down areas that your competitor needs to improve. Is your competitor’s website loading in excess of 12 seconds? Site speed can be added to your competitor’s website as a weakness.
- Opportunities – These are industry trends that could benefit you or your competitors and allow you to grow. You might be in the solar power business. Your company and your competition can grow when there is more demand for solar and renewable energy.
- Threats – Activities or trends that have a negative impact on your competitor’s growth are called threats. A pandemic could pose a threat to tourism or hospitality.
A SWOT analysis of your competition will allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to plan how to beat them.
7. List your marketing strategies and campaigns
Your marketing plan is your map that guides you to your goals, but your marketing strategies are the driver and vehicle that gets you there.
List the campaigns and marketing strategies that will assist you in achieving your overall mission. You should also identify the campaign’s duration.
As we saw in the previous example, where the dance studio introduced a new adult ballet class to its students, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) in conjunction with PPC to increase awareness of your new service.
An organic social marketing strategy can be used during the pre-launch phase to pique your audience’s interest. You can target your audience based on their age, interests, and locations and invite them to visit your website to learn more about the new service.
8. List the contributors to your marketing plan and their responsibilities
Once you have clearly defined your mission, strategies, and budget, it is time to identify the roles and responsibilities of each team member. Be sure to list the KPIs each member is responsible for!