A marketing plan is a way to promote products or services that meet your target audience’s needs.
It can help you figure out the competition and what your potential customers think about them. It can also help you position your brand, making it unique (if not better) than your competitor. Lastly, it can help you plan your marketing strategies so that you can reach more consumers.
Although this strategy can take a lot of time and energy, it offers many benefits to your business. So, if you want your company to prosper, you should get started on these seven steps in writing your own marketing plan.
Step 1: List Down Your SMART Objectives
When you create a marketing plan, it’s vital to list your business objectives. Without this, your marketing efforts will all be in vain. After all, there will be no mission statement to guide your team in the things they do.
That said, here are the things you need to keep in mind when you create your business goals:
- Keep it SMART.Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
- Define short-term and long-term goals separately.Know what you want to accomplish in one month versus what you want to happen after a year.
- Identify action steps. Tackle all the goals that you want to achieve with your business.
Step 2: Define Your Target Market
Your business plan should clearly define your customers and why you chose to do business with them. You can come up with the right population by doing some market analysis.
Addressing your target market is beneficial to your marketing campaign as well. It can also keep your marketing team right on track to remain true to your company’s objectives.
Step 3: Plan a Marketing Strategy
If you want to make sure that your products and services sell well, you need to carefully plan your strategy.
Besides conducting market research and creating buyer personas, you should also analyze the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis).
Competitor analysis is also crucial, as it lets you know how you can make your business stand out from the rest of the pack.
When writing a marketing plan, you need to detail your value proposition. Promoting your product or service and how it can address your target customers’ needs will help you get a fair market share.
Most importantly, your marketing plan template should look into the strategies you chose to promote your company. It’s also essential to detail your marketing mix, which should include the 4Ps of product, place, price, and promotion.
Step 4: Determine Your Key Performance Indicators
Also known as KPIs, these are values that tell you if your business is achieving its goals.
The essential KPIs in free marketing plans are as follows:
- Sales revenue
- Customer value
- New contact rate
- Cost per lead
- Inbound marketing ROI
- Landing page conversion rate
- Organic and social media traffic
Step 5: Jot Down Your Promotion Strategy
This part of the marketing plan should discuss how you’ll promote your product or service.
It should detail your desired marketing channels — whether you plan to do it online (through websites or social media) or offline (through print ads, radio ads, and the like).
It should also describe your campaigns in detail, such as content promotion and email marketing.
To determine the best channels and campaigns, you should look back on your new buyer persona research. Studying your buyers and their buying behaviors will help you come up with the best strategy.
Before you proceed to the next step, you should conclude this chapter with the proposed marketing budget. This should cover the amount you’re willing to pay for every strategy that you mentioned beforehand.
Step 6: Detail Your Implementation Plan
After finishing the first five steps, you may proceed with the penultimate part of your marketing plan: detailing how you will implement your strategies.
In this part, you should explain how your campaigns will fit the ascribed budget. Additionally, you should be able to describe what you plan on doing to meet the goals.
By doing so, you can prepare yourself and your team for the hiccups that may come your way.
Step 7: Write an Executive Summary
The last step in creating a marketing plan is the placement of the executive summary, which is only about two to three sentences. This provides an overview of your marketing strategy, thus making it easier to understand for the readers.
While the summary should be placed at the beginning, it should be written last. As your marketing goals could change throughout time, doing the executive summary at the end will help you encapsulate the authentic essence of your template.
The content of your business strategy can guide you as you grow your brand. So, if you want to succeed, you must follow the steps mentioned above in writing your own marketing plan.