Take a long, hard look at your marketing plan every year?
You ought. An annual marketing strategy lets you set your marketing path to achieve your company goals. Think of it as a high-level plan that guides your team’s campaigns, goals, and growth.
Without one, things can get complicated — so placing a figure on the budget you’ll need to prepare for the programs, recruiting, so outsourcing you’ll face over the course of a year if you don’t have a strategy.
Keep in mind the marketing strategy you need, based on your business and your marketing team’s goals. To make creating your plan easier, we’ve put together a list of what to include in your plan and some different planning templates where you can easily fill in the blanks.
First, let ‘s dig into how to build a marketing strategy and then look at what’s inside a high-level marketing plan.
- Analyze the situation.
- Defines the target.
- Write goals SMART.
- Analyze tactics.
- Set the budget.
Analyze the situation
Before you can launch your marketing campaign, know your current situation.
What are your strengths, weaknesses, chances, threats? A simple SWOT analysis is the first step towards a marketing strategy.
Additionally, you should also understand the current market. Compare with your competitors? Analyzing competitors should help with this step.
Consider how other products are better than yours. Consider the gaps in a competitor ‘s approach. What is missing? What can you offer a competitive advantage? Think what distinguishes you.
Answering these questions will help you find out what your customer needs, leading us to step two.
Defines the target
When you have a clear understanding of the market, make sure you know who your target audience is.
If your company already has buyer persona’s, this step may mean you need to refine your current people.
If you don’t have a buyer persona, create one. You might need market research to do this.
Your buyer should include demographic information like age, gender, and income. It should, however, also provide psychographic information including pain points and goals. What drives the audience? What problems can your product or service fix?
Once you’ve written this information, it’ll help you define what your goals are, which brings us to step number three.
Write goals SMART
My mother always said to me, “You can’t go anywhere unless you have a road map.” It was practical guidance for me, someone geographically challenged.
However, ads can also be used metaphorically. You can’t improve your ROI unless you know your goals.
After you know your current situation and your audience, you can start defining your SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable and time-bound. It ensures that the targets will be precise and have a timeline to complete.
For example, in three months, your goal could be to increase your Instagram followers by 15%. This will be important and realistic, depending on your overall marketing goals. This target is also precise, measurable, time-bound.
Before you start any tactics, write your goals. Then you can start evaluating which strategies can help you achieve that goal. That brings us to step four.
You’ve written down your goals here based on your target audience and current situation.
You need to work out what strategies will help you achieve your goals. Plus, the right channels and action items to focus on.
For example, if your aim is to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months, your strategies could include hosting a contest, responding to every comment, and posting three days a week on Instagram.
It should be easy to brainstorm several tactics once you know your goals.
While writing your tactics, however, you must keep your budget in mind, which brings us to step number five.
Set the budget
Before you can start implementing any of your ideas in the above steps, you must know your budget.
Your tactics might include social media advertising, for example. But if you don’t have the money, you may not be able to accomplish your goals.
When writing your strategy, please remember an approximate budget. Besides the assets you may need to purchase, such as ad room, you should include the time it takes to complete each strategy.
Now that you know how to build your marketing plan, let ‘s dive into the elements a marketing plan should include.
Marketing program elements
Marketing strategies can be very granular to represent your market, whether you sell to customers (B2C) or other companies (B2B), and how large your digital footprint is. Nonetheless, any successful marketing strategy contains six elements:
In a marketing plan, your business summary is what it sounds like: an organization summary. This includes the company name, where it is headquartered, and its mission statement — all of which should be consistent with the entire business.
Business Summary of your marketing plan also includes a SWOT analysis representing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business. Be patient with the SWOT analysis of your business; you will write most of it based on how you fill out the next few elements below.
Initiatives for business
Marketing plan dimension Business Strategies lets you separate the department’s different goals. Be cautious not to include large-scale client projects you would usually find in a business plan. This portion of your marketing strategy will detail marketing-specific projects. You’ll also describe the goals of those projects and how they’ll be measured.
Here’s where you’ll do some basic market research. If your company has done an in-depth market research study, this section of your marketing plan may be easier to put together.
Ultimately, this element of your marketing plan will help you describe your selling industry, your competitor ‘s analysis, and your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional report of your ideal client, concentrating on traits like age, location, job title, and personal challenges.
Your business plan uses your target market knowledge to explain how your company will address the market. What will your business offer people that your competitors don’t already offer?
This section can contain “seven Ps of marketing” in a full-length marketing plan. These Ps are product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence. (You’ll find out more about these seven sub-components in our free marketing campaign example below.)
Don’t mistake the Budget element of your marketing plan with your product’s price or other company financials. Your budget describes how much money the business has given the marketing team to pursue the initiatives and goals outlined above.
Depending on how many individual expenses you have, this budget should be considered by what you specifically spend on. Example marketing expenses include marketing agency, marketing software, paid promotions, and events (hosting and/or attending events).
Finally, your marketing plan lists your marketing channels. While your company may promote the product itself using certain ad space, your marketing channels are where you will publish content that educates your buyers, generates leads, and spreads brand awareness.
If you publish (or plan to publish) on social media, this is the place to chat. Use the Marketing Channels section of your marketing plan to the layout which social networks you want to launch a business page on, what you’ll use this social network for, and how you’ll measure your success on this network. Part of this section’s purpose is to prove to your superiors, both inside an outside Marketing, that these channels will serve to grow the business.