A marketing plan is an actionable plan that can be implemented knowing that it aligns with the business goals and brand.
A marketing plan is a written document that details your marketing and advertising efforts over the course of a chosen time frame, typically a year. The plan should include a statement of the current marketing situation, a discussion of target markets, company position in the market, an outline of the marketing mix you plan to use, the goals you want to achieve, and the measurements you will use to track success.
Why do I need a marketing plan for my business?
Any good marketing expert will tell you the first step is the plan. Diving head first into marketing and advertising will result in your company throwing money against a wall and hoping it will stick… and when it doesn’t, you’ll be left wondering why.
A marketing plan is an actionable plan that can be implemented knowing that it aligns with the business goals and brand. The actual execution of the marketing and advertising should be a seamless decision-making process because your plan outlines a target, timeline, message and more. Once the plan is in place, everything should be smooth sailing (we hope).
Parts of a Successful Marketing Plan
1. The Situation Analysis
Where are you now?
The Situation Analysis is the introductory section to your marketing plan. This section contains an overview of your company and brand’s situation as it exists in today’s terms. This is the benchmark data from which you can measure your future success.
2. Marketing Goals
Where do you want your business to go?
In less than one page, you should be able to summarize the company’s marketing goals for the next 12 months. The most important factor to consider when completing this portion of your marketing plan is to set realistic goals that are measurable.
Be sure to choose a handful of specific goals to achieve – both short term and long term. Having short-term goals will allow you to measure success rate and ROI along the way so that you can adjust your strategies throughout the next 12 months with ease.
3. Market Strategies & Tactics
How are you going to get there?
The marketing strategy is going to be the bulk of your marketing plan. You will take as many pages as you need to provide an overview of each marketing strategy you plan to deploy in the coming year. Each strategy should include the marketing tactics and the marketing mix you will use to execute them. The marketing tactics should include detailed steps.
4. Marketing KPIs & Metrics
How will you know when you get there?
Last but not least, you will need to figure out how to measure the success of your plan. Defining your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will play a huge role in this section. The plan needs to be actionable and measurable to be successful.