What is a marketing plan?
"Marketing is telling the world you're a rockstar. Content marketing is showing the world you're one." -Robert Rose
Marketing truly makes the modern world go round. However, it doesn't matter how incredible your new product or service is if you don't have a potent marketing strategy that enables you to tell the world about it.
Enter the marketing plan! 😎 A marketing plan, also known as a business plan, is a document that delineates how your company's marketing strategy will be executed within a specific timeframe. Really, it acts as a roadmap towards your business's marketing goals.
What goals does your business want to meet by next year, for example? 💭 A business plan would cover all the steps and marketing initiatives you need to take to get there.
Of course, business plans vary significantly depending on industry and business size, but often including the following:
- An executive summary. Hint: You should write this last.
- A mission statement.
- A situation analysis. This also includes USPs (unique selling propositions), best practices, market research, competitor analysis, and SWOT analysis.
- Your market share, target market, and target customers, as well as more detailed buyer personas.
- Marketing objectives, business goals, and KPIs. The SMART goal approach is often used here. 😬
- A pricing strategy.
- Distribution and promotion strategies. Your distribution strategy will determine the distribution channels you want to use and your promotion strategy will establish how those distribution channels are used. Note: Distribution channels refer to everything from publicity, to Google, general search engine marketing & SEO, to content & e-mail marketing, to offline events & trade shows, to social media, to community building! You won't have any shortage of options, that's for sure.
- Marketing budget & financial projections.
What can a marketing plan do for me?
Going without a marketing plan is a huge mistake. Why? Well, a marketing plan...
- Gives your marketing initiatives direction and strategy. Marketing is a waste of time and money if there's no strategy to it. It's an incredibly competitive world out there and simply paying for ads isn't enough anymore. You need to be aware of your business's marketing goals and have a clearly established marketing strategy in place that consistently works towards them. A marketing plan will do that for you! 💪
- Helps with budgeting. Many companies establish marketing budgets based on guesswork and end up overspending. Since a business plan delineates a business's specific marketing strategy within an established timeframe (usually a year), it makes determining a marketing budget much easier and more accurate. Business plans have also been shown to save money and increase conversions... what's not to love?
- Drives growth. It's as simple as that. Establishing clear business goals and the marketing tactics you need to implement to reach them will help take your business to the next level.
Slite's free marketing plan template
Putting together an effective business plan is no easy task, and that's exactly why many businesses put it off or don't make one at all. Don't fall into that trap!
Having a great marketing strategy is the best way to ensure that your team's marketing efforts really pay off. The time and effort that your marketing team puts into their marketing plan will ultimately balance out in terms of time and resources saved, as well as the return on investment of their marketing activities.
Slite's got your back! 😊 Our free marketing plan template makes the whole process easy and straightforward while giving you a strong base to start from.
How can I get started?
Get started customizing your marketing plan template by:
🔎 Establishing Context
In order to determine the best marketing strategy for your business and the roadmap to get there, your marketing team must be acutely aware of their context. It's impossible to effectively market your product or service if you don't have a good understanding of the marketing environment you're working with.
Here, you should be thinking about your business's strengths and weaknesses, general brand awareness, competitor analysis, situation analysis, USPs, and market share.
Don't leave this step too late. This information is key to starting your marketing plan outline. 👌
👋 Determining Key Players
It's vital to establish the most important people involved in a given marketing strategy right off the bat. Make sure to determine team leaders, marketing team members, contributors, stakeholders, and key marketing channels as early as possible. Whether you're working with a small business or a large organization, this is crucial.
👀 Knowing Your Customer Base
If you think you know your target audience, get to know them better. In fact, they should feel like your best friends by the time you're done with your marketing strategy. 😂
Even if you already have an established target market and buyer personas, refine them further. Your marketing tactics need to speak directly to these people.
Get to know more than your ideal customers' demographics... undertake market research to discover their personal goals, pain points, and social media habits. Most importantly, discover what would drive them to buy your product.
...there you have it! You're on your way to taking your business to the next level with an effective marketing plan.