If you’ve struggled to connect with your customers or felt behind in your marketing compared to your competitors, it might be time for your team to implement a new marketing plan. In 2022, learning how to build an effective marketing plan for digital marketers is imperative to success with your content.
But before you jump into planning, let’s discuss a marketing plan vs marketing strategy, what a marketing plan includes and tips to build your best one yet.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a roadmap that businesses use to organise, execute and track their marketing strategy. The marketing plan can include different techniques for marketing, such as inbound and outbound marketing.
Why is a marketing plan important?
A marketing plan is important because it helps to identify each campaign’s mission, buyer persona, budget, tactics and deliverables. By putting this information in one place, you’ll be able to stay on track and measure the success of your plan and strategy.
Marketing plan vs marketing strategy
A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular goal. The marketing plan includes the process to meet the goal. It also provides the foundation and framework for marketing strategies.
Your business is introducing a new product. The marketing department needs to develop a marketing plan for the product. They choose a new blog, social media videos, and an eBook as the marketing strategy. They include this strategy in the marketing plan.
What does a marketing plan include?
A marketing plan is presented to businesses and managers to showcase details about your marketing strategy, including the overall mission and KPIs. Let’s dive deeper into the seven elements of a comprehensive marketing plan.
- Your marketing mission
The first step in creating your marketing plan is stating the mission. Although specific to the marketing department, it should complement the business’s mission. Try not to be too specific with how you’ll accomplish that mission – you’ll have time to do that later.
For example, if the business mission is “provide ready-made meals to homes across Australia,” your marketing mission might be “attract an audience that works 9-5, educate them on the time they can save with ready-made meals, and convert them into subscribers.”
- Determine the metrics for the mission
After establishing a clear mission, you’ll need clear metrics to track its progress and success. You’ll need to establish key performance indicators for this step, also known as KPIs. These metrics can help measure the overall success of your marketing campaign and establish short-term goals. For example, if the mission is to attract an audience that works 9-5, we might track the number of email signups using a lead generating tool.
- Create your buyer persona
A buyer persona is a detailed description of your ideal customer. They usually include the age, gender, location, family size, job title, and more of your target audience. Each buyer persona reflects your business’s customers, so key stakeholders should align on who they want to target.
- Describe the marketing and content strategy
Within your marketing plan is your marketing strategy. It’s critical in this section to clearly explain how you’ll use content and various channels to meet your goals. The marketing strategy should include:
- The types of content you’ll create
- How much content you’ll make based on your short-term goals
- The goals and KPIs you’ll track for every kind of content
- The channels where you’ll distribute the content
- Outline what you won’t be focusing on
A marketing plan explains what the marketing team will focus on. However, it should also state what the marketing will not focus on. You should also include particular parts of the business the marketing plan will not serve in this section. These statements will help support the overall mission of your marketing plan.
- State the budget
Your marketing strategy may include free channels, but there may also be hidden expenses that you need to consider when planning your budget for the campaign. For example, depending on the size of the campaign, you may need to hire a new full-time employee and invest in new software. Make sure to include these costs in your marketing budget.
- Competitor analysis
Part of an effective marketing plan is to dive deep into your competitors. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses will help to define your marketing goals. However, it’s essential to remember that not every competitor will pose the same threat to your marketing campaign. For example, one competitor might have better search rankings, and another might have a bigger social media presence.
Bonus: list your team and their responsibilities
It’s a great idea to include your marketing team and each person’s responsibility for the overall mission. You can include details like the channels they’ll be managing, the content they’ll be creating, and any individual KPIs they are trying to achieve.
Tips for writing an effective marketing plan
- Know your current situation and the market. This includes comparing your competitors and the gaps in your competitor’s approach.
- Be very clear on your buyer personas. This might require starting over, but the target audience is necessary to map out an effective marketing plan.
- Don’t rush your goals. Before you write your marketing plan, using your research, create SMART goals. These will make sure you’re set up for the most success.
- Take time for research. Research is important when flushing out the mission of your marketing plan. It starts with understanding your customers, their pain points and where they go to solve problems relating to your industry.
TEMPLATE: one-page marketing plan template
How much does a marketing plan cost?
Companies typically spend 7-10% of their overall company revenue on marketing. You can allocate a budget based on specific marketing channels, but you have to be aware of hidden costs such as software, freelancers, etc.
A good guideline for determining where to start with your marketing plan budget is to follow the 70-20-10 rule:
- 70% of your budget goes toward strategies you know will work well
- 20% of your budget goes toward new strategies to help you grow
- 10% of your budget goes toward experimental strategies
A marketing plan is fundamental to your success if you’re a digital marketer. Not only will it help managers in the business understand the goals of your marketing strategy, but it will help communicate to your team the overall marketing mission and buyer personas.
If you’re feeling stuck with your marketing efforts, consider implementing an inbound marketing strategy with the help of our team. We focus on providing real value so you can build long-term relationships with your customers. Book a free consultation today.