A marketing plan is a document that defines a marketing strategy for a company in order to reach their targeted audience and to track their marketing strategies over a period of time.
Essentially, a marketing plan is your roadmap to all things marketing within a given period. It is your plan of action so that you can generate leads and eventually sell more products or services.
As stated above, the overall purpose of a marketing plan is to generate leads and reach your targeted audience. For this, you will need to set realistic goals and implement a solid strategy to accomplish said goals.
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What does that look like? For each company, a marketing plan will look different. Depending on your goal, your plan will be different. Regardless of the goal and the plan, however, you should always be focused on what’s best for the company.
A good example of a marketing strategy could include a content plan. This should include:
An editorial calendar
Desired tone of voice
And much more
Again, depending on your marketing plan’s goal, this will look different. This is merely an example of what yours could look like.
Even though each company will have a different goal and a different marketing plan, the structure for the marketing plan is the same:
State your mission
The first step should always be to state your mission. This is a marketing-specific plan, but it should mirror the company’s mission overall.
Determine your KPIs
KPIs are important in any project, and creating a marketing plan is no exception. Determining your KPIs upfront will help you stay focused.
Define your target audience
Each company attracts certain buyers. Knowing these people, what they expect of you, and how to attract them in larger quantities is a very important step in any marketing plan.
Create a content strategy
We touched on this above, but it is a very important part of any marketing plan. Without content, you won’t have a way to attract new customers organically.
Research what others are doing
Your competition is likely doing this same thing as we speak. In any circumstance, it helps to know what the competition is doing, how they’re doing it, and how it’s working out for them.
Hidden costs can sneak up on you in the midst of your marketing endeavors. Defining the budget upfront will help you identify what’s essential and what isn’t as necessary.
Every stakeholder has a role in the marketing plan. In order to avoid chaos, assigning roles and sticking to those roles will help keep things organized, and the plan will go much more smoothly.
Overall, there will be 3 main challenges in creating a marketing plan. Other than potential changes, this is what you can expect to challenge you:
Identifying your customers
Ideally, you already know who your customers are. But in a marketing plan, you need to identify them specifically. The reason this can prove to be a challenge is that it can require a lot of work. You may have to invent an entire user persona profile for multiple different kinds of customers.
Determining the budget
As this is an essential part of creating a marketing plan, this is a challenge that everyone will have to go through. Not everyone has a massive budget, so depending on the final numbers, the budget can make or break the entire plan.
A marketing plan should involve everyone in the marketing team. Agreeing on goals, and determining what’s realistic and what isn’t can prove to be a challenge. The plan absolutely will not work smoothly if everyone is not on the same page.