A marketing plan is a document that includes goals, target audience, strategies and tactics, timeline, and budget and is aimed at executing a marketing strategy in a specific timeframe. It helps align every company’s department, follow vision and goals, and execute a strategy successfully.
In this article, we’ll unveil the 6 reasons to develop a marketing plan and how to write it.
6 Reasons Why You Need a Marketing Plan
Whether you are building a new company from scratch or discovering new ways to reach more customers and sales, it’s critical to develop a marketing plan. This strategic document will help make your goals measurable, align all departments’ work, and evaluate all threats and opportunities. There are even more reasons why you should consider creating a marketing plan.
- It defines the focus of your work. Since a marketing plan is a blueprint for implementing your strategy and attaining your goals, it sets your direction. Your plan should be well-thought-out so that you can reach your goals. A marketing plan ensures that every step you take contributes to the development of a business. With its help, you can make sure you use your company's full potential to generate leads, attract customers, increase sales, and reach revenue objectives.
- It allows you to manage resources efficiently. Often brands without a marketing plan face a lack of resources. This situation emerges because the company’s team doesn’t know exactly what it needs or should do. A detailed outline of your actions prevents you from having such a dilemma. You can determine the budget when your marketing plan and strategy are ready. With a clear plan of action, you’ll avoid additional expenses for your team to think of the next steps. You need to bring the plan to life with the help of human and financial resources.
- It ensures consistency among departments. An accurate marketing plan will help your team do their tasks without switching from one activity to another. This way, they will be able to meet the needs of consumers without overwhelming them with information or confusing their actions. Consistency is essential for your brand image’s integrity. Your customers should know what they can expect from your brand. Having a plan enables you to provide consistent messages across multiple channels. As a result, your company gains trust, establishes a positive image, and builds a good reputation.
- It helps identify the target audience. A marketing plan requires you to explore the market and create a buyer persona. With its help, you’ll have a clear picture of your target audience. You need to do it before creating a marketing plan. Once you finish it, you can tailor a marketing strategy based on these people’s preferences, needs, pain points, and desires.
- It enables you to find out competitors. Competitor analysis is an essential part of every quality marketing plan. You should do it to prepare a product that stands out from the competition. With SWOT analysis, you’ll be able to know your threats and opportunities. You’ll also be aware of competitors’ differentiators, pricing, features, and customer reviews. With this information, you can improve your product to meet consumers’ needs.
- It ensures clarity. Companies with seamless performance know what they do and want to achieve. With a clear strategy and detailed marketing plan, a brand’s team has absolute clarity of its tasks and objectives. Employees are aware of their roles and how they contribute to the achievement of the key targets. They know their responsibilities within the company and provide support to other departments when necessary.
Now that you know the reasons, it’s time to jump into detailed instructions on how to write a marketing plan. It will come in handy for both starters and experienced entrepreneurs.
How to write a marketing plan?
The role of a marketing plan can’t be overrated. With its help, you’ll effectively target your customers and use resources for marketing efficiently. That’s why we recommend you develop a marketing plan. In this section, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide.
- Determine your mission statement. A mission statement is a document that defines the purpose of your company and how you serve your target audience. You need to describe the nature of your business, the product or service you provide, and your ideal customer. You should write several sentences. A mission statement provides a clear description of the target audience so that all the marketing efforts are put into generating leads and acquiring new customers. Moreover, it helps every team member to know their role in marketing planning.
- Identify KPIs. Metrics are crucial for tracking and assessing the success of your marketing plan. So, decide on the KPIs that will help you do it. With KPIs, you’ll be able to evaluate the successes and failures of your marketing strategy, campaign, promotional activities, sales, etc. You’ll establish short-term objectives and monitor whether your team manages to reach them. For example, if your mission is to win customers interested in cooking, you can track your website’s organic visits.
- Create a buyer persona. The next step is to develop a buyer persona. Before developing a product, you need to research your target audience and their needs. Explore market segments to choose a group of people who search for a product like yours. A buyer persona represents your ideal customer. Gender, age, occupation, location, interests, preferred communication channels, and hobbies are the things you should know about your customers. This information helps you decide what and in what way to market. Make sure you know your target market well before making an offer.
- List your content ideas and strategies. A marketing plan should clearly define the content you want to create, such as blog posts, ebooks, infographics, videos for YouTube, photos, etc. Once you decide on the type of content, think of your schedule. Publish your articles, social media posts, photos, and ebooks regularly. For instance, once a day, week, month, etc. Define the necessary content volume. Don’t forget to set goals for your content. To figure out whether your content is successful, assign KPIs. They can include social media, organic, and referral traffic. Choose the most performing channels you’ll use to distribute content: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Consider using SendPulse to distribute information through preferred channels. You can set up chatbots for Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp to provide instant responses to common inquiries, send relevant email campaigns to stay on top of consumers’ minds, and use SMS and push notifications to inform customers about price reductions, new releases, and seasonal sales.
- Define your budget. You can use free platforms to distribute content, yet hidden expenses remain. That’s why you need to allocate financial resources to your marketing team. Your marketers might need money for freelance fees, sponsorships, new hires, etc. Outline all your expenses in a marketing plan.
- Identify competitors. You know how to market your product when you know your rivals well. You need to outperform your competitors to draw customers’ attention. Research your rivals' market share, features, prices, marketing strategy, customer reviews, differentiators, strengths, and weaknesses during your competitor analysis. After, use this information to your advantage. Identify gaps in features, advertising strategy, channels, etc. Develop your unique value proposition or improve the existing product or service to stay competitive within the market.
Congrats, now you know what a marketing plan is and why it’s vital. Hope that you’ll create a detailed plan with our guide and make informed business decisions.
- This article defines the term and reviews the elements and purpose of a marketing plan.
- In this article, you’ll find how to make a marketing plan see an example.
Last Updated: 02.09.2022