To pull off a successful marketing strategy, you must be able to write a solid marketing plan. Marketing is too complex and includes too many moving parts to go into it without planning beforehand. But there are also variables that you simply can’t plan for. There is a balance of flexibility and planning that goes into marketing, so what exactly makes a good marketing plan?
In today’s blog, we’ll review tips to help you write a marketing plan that will hold up when brought to execution.
Think of your executive summary as a sort of thesis statement for your marketing campaign — or your company as a whole. What is your company? What is the main thing you hope to achieve with it? Consider these concepts and write out a short introduction to your company. This can be a sentence or two or it can be an entire paragraph. This executive summary will be at the center of your marketing plan. Everything should come back to achieving the core goal and purpose of the company.
Next, consider your key performance indicators (KPI). These KPIs help you track your performance across your marketing campaign by looking at your growth in specific areas. For instance, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website, organic page views may be a good KPI. If you want to boost your revenue, you should look at your sales numbers. If you wanted to build customer loyalty, records of repeat customers would be a great KPI. Outline the indicators you want to watch for in your marketing plan so you know exactly what to focus on.
Who would be most likely to buy your product? If you offer a home cat grooming tool, obviously, you are looking for cat lovers. What if you are launching an affordable beauty product? Or a job recruiting service? These all have different target audiences. It’s important to understand your audiences and what they need before you start marketing.
Create a buyer persona, a sort of character sheet of your ideal buyer. What is their age range? Are they single, married, children or no children? What is their income or what sort of profession might they have? Finally, what issues are they facing, and how would your product or service help them?
If you’ve ever done any sort of goal setting, you know about SMART goals. The acronym stands for:
These elements are all things that need to go into your marketing plan. You need a specific, concrete marketing goal that is possible to achieve and able to be measured by KPIs. For instance, “becoming the biggest software company” is not specific because there are too many factors involved in what would make your company “the biggest.” A goal for your new restaurant to become a national franchise by the end of the year may not be achievable.
Instead, do some market research to get a layout of the industry, and then set goals. For instance, if you are opening a new restaurant now, maybe you could set a goal to have fifty leads from your website within the first month of launching. This is something specific that you can measure, it’s possible to achieve, it is relevant to your overall business goals, and it has a time frame.
The sales funnel is the journey that your customer takes, from finding your brand to making their first purchase. This is rarely instantaneous. People want to know what they’re getting into, so there are several steps along the way, including:
- Brand Awareness – The customer becomes aware of your brand by word of mouth, social media, web search, etc.
- Evaluation – They begin browsing through your options or signing up for a newsletter or promotional information.
- Intent – They add items to their cart, they ask questions about a purchase they would like to make, they ask for a free quote.
- Purchase – They finalize the purchase.
- Loyalty – Ideally, they come back to purchase from your brand again.
If you only focus on the first few parts of the sales funnel, you may get plenty of traffic but little revenue. However, if you only focus on driving purchases, you may struggle to find the traffic necessary to do so. Make sure you take all of these into account when developing your marketing plan for best results.