What does a marketing plan need to be perfect?
Before starting to detail the strategy of the company, this is an issue that is usually the leading concern.
But do not be in a hurry, because I am only talking about one of the stages of the marketing plan – which is not the initial one.
As I explain in this article, the first step is to understand the validity of the instrument.
It may seem obvious at first glance, but do you really see it as an investment and not a cost?
What’s more: do you know exactly what a marketing plan is in a company and what it is for?
Since your doubts deserve answers, I prepared a complete guide on the matter.
From now on, you are going to see everything that revolves around your customer outreach and attraction strategy.
Let’s understand together why the success of your business depends on this exercise and learn how to develop a marketing plan from start to finish.
When you finish this article, you will have knowledge with you that can make all the difference.
Ready to use the power of marketing to your advantage?
So, let’s go!
What is a marketing plan?
Marketing plan is a document in which a company details its dissemination strategy, focused on a brand, a product or a service.
The instrument contains the actions to be taken to achieve certain objectives.
Like everything in the life of a business, good planning is essential to go to market and become more known, reinforce authority or attract customers.
Whatever your goal, marketing plays a very important role.
Therefore, you need to plan.
The role of this tool is to foresee the priority actions to reach the goals.
In addition, of course, it has the challenge of adapting it to the budget reserved for that area.
If there is a desire to increase market share, for example, it is difficult to do so without detailing what that process will look like.
Will it be through advertising in newspapers, magazines, or maybe on television?
Did you think of a long-term strategy, producing content optimized for finding on Google?
Are you going to host events, distribute brochures, drive Facebook posts, or invest in sponsored links?
Whatever the path, action must be present in a well-done marketing plan.
Well, now you understand what the plan is. But why is it important?
I will explain it to you in the next topic.
Why make a marketing plan?
Making a marketing plan is important to optimize your investment.
The tool describes what will be done, how, by what means, with what expenses and in what way its results will be measured.
The marketing plan allows the manager to have a broad vision of his strategy.
As you can see, the document does not exist without structured and orderly actions, with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Now if you want to know what it is for, there is no single answer.
Ultimately, everything will depend on your strategy.
But, in general, I can tell you that a marketing plan serves to:
- Raise awareness of the brand and your authority in the market
- Attract new customers, retain current ones and recover old ones
- Increase sales, turnover and profit of the business
- Disseminate or present products and services, new or not.
For each of these objectives, a series of actions can be proposed. And all of them must be described in detail in your plan.
For example, to launch a new product on the market, you can invest in advertising, promote an event online or offline, post on the blog or on social networks and present a webinar, among other possibilities.
What matters is not doing marketing adrift, without thinking, without proposing, without measuring.
For all that, you need to have a good plan.
Surely you already identified several positive points in the marketing plan and now you have good reasons to develop yours.
But to reinforce what you have already learned so far, take a look at the main advantages that this instrument offers:
- Helps the company define priorities and optimize the budget
- It allows promoting more effective actions, with better results and for lower costs
- Communicate to the internal public about the directions your business intends to follow
- Communicate to the external public that there is a commitment to solve their needs
- It favors making decisions in advance
- It is an instrument for managing errors, since these must also be foreseen in the plan
- It generates long-term results, which makes the strategy sustainable.
So let’s go to practice?
The stages of the marketing plan
There are three basic stages in building a marketing plan.
The first, the most obvious, is the planning itself.
But it is important that the planned actions do not remain on the sheet of paper.
In other words, you must go to the second stage, which is to implement what you planned.
Only it is useless to throw actions to the wind, without knowing where they are going and who they are going to reach on the way.
That brings us to the third stage, the evaluation of the results.
It is not worth planning and implementing, if actions do not lead to anything.
The marketing plan exists to optimize your resources, both time and money.
So, go through all the stages, don’t exclude any.
I’ll tell you more about each of them.
It is the most important part of the marketing plan. And also the most difficult.
Everything you do here will have a direct impact on the later stages.
This is a time when it is necessary to take a look at the company itself and the market.
You are committed to knowing who your customers are and also your competition, what they all want and how they behave.
From there, you need to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
This will give you a clearer idea about the objectives you want and the actions you must propose to achieve them.
By the way, for this stage, it is essential to differentiate the concepts of objective and goal, since you are going to work with both.
In other words, you have to understand that the goals are specific tasks to reach the objectives.
For example, if you want to raise the authority of your brand (goal), you will need to create a content marketing strategy (Meta), which requires blogging and looking for qualified copywriters (actions).
The planning stage is divided into seven phases which are:
- Executive summary
- Environment analysis
- Definition of the target audience
- Definition of market position
- Brand definition
- Definition of objectives and goals
- Definition of marketing strategies.
If you did your “homework” well and understood the planning stage, it will be easier for you to understand the implementation process.
In such a case, it is sufficient that you put into practice the carefully defined strategy in the previous step.
- What will be the action
- Where is it going to take place
- Who is going to do it
- How much will it cost
But be careful: by applying what you wrote on the piece of paper, you are still committed to making the plan work.
It is not enough to launch actions and fold your arms.
If something doesn’t go your way, you need to make adjustments according to what was planned in the planning stage.
You may notice that during the implementation, the third stage of the plan is already given way, which consists of the evaluation.
You cannot let the plan go to the end, without realizing that you planned badly and implemented even worse. True?
Therefore, the evaluation stage must begin simultaneously with the implementation.
This is an effort that allows you to take more preventive than corrective measures to adapt the strategy, which always helps to minimize damage.
If you can prioritize the use of marketing tools, the better.
It is important to know that “what is not measured cannot be improved”, as William Deming used to say.
We already talked here on the blog that one of those metrics is ROI, which reveals the rate of return on investment.
If you can identify how much you spent and how much you earned with a certain marketing action, for example, you can easily apply the ROI formula.
But there are several others, such as the cost per lead, the rate of clicks and conversions, to cite a few examples.
Important: there are management tools that can be used in the construction of your marketing plan.
It is worth knowing the PDA Cycle and the 5W2H, among others.
In both you find answers to elaborate, execute, monitor and correct the results of your strategy.
Model of how to make a marketing plan
To build a marketing plan model, you will need:
- Conduct a market study
- Study the profile of the ideal client
- Analyze the competition
- Define and detail the strategy
- Establish a timeline of actions
- Apply, monitor and evaluate the results.
Are you ready to start? So, I’m going to explain each of those tasks to you.
Do a market study?
Market research is always a starting point for a good marketing plan.
In other words, it is a kind of reconnaissance of the terrain that you are “treading”.
In its qualitative and quantitative versions, the tool answers who and how many are those who compete with you in the market.
Potential partners and those who may be interested in what you offer.
As the name implies, in quantitative market research, it is the numbers that matter.
How big is your target audience?
This is an example of a question that the instrument intends to answer.
How many make up the group of your direct and indirect competition?
Note that there is always an idea of measurement, not of qualification of the object of study, as is the case with the other research methodology.
To build a good marketing plan, it is not enough to know how many there are.
It is essential to know who your customers, partners and competitors are.
Qualitative research answers how they behave, what they think, what they are interested in, what habits they have, among other aspects that help to draw a defined profile of the market.
It allows, among other things, to identify the customer’s perception of your company and others, as well as to analyze the way in which the competition works and works.
All this generates valuable information to establish objectives, goals and actions in your marketing plan.
Understand who your customers (and people) are
With the information obtained in the market research, you will have enough data to fully understand your target audience.
Now, it is time to debug that information.
For example, from a quantitative point of view, you first identify everyone who is directly or indirectly interested in what you offer.
That’s the top of the sales funnel.
Then, the qualitative aspect of your strategy comes into action, so that you recognize potential customers, generating leads that will be nurtured until part of it becomes effective customers.
All this depends on the treatment you give them, both in the way you communicate and in the way you solve their problems and pains.
To be successful, your actions must focus on the profile of your ideal client, also called a person.
In other words, you must deepen the study of your target audience so that you can define an individual who meets the ideal characteristics.
And these usually include gender, age, income, profession, hobbies, interests, consumption habits, among other valuable information.
Analyze your competition
Don’t get tired yet.
Now is the time to do a new analysis. This time, aimed at your competitors.
Again, you must use the information collected in qualitative research to recognize how they behave, in what they are better and in what they are inferior to you.
Notice then that it is a comparative analysis.
And best of all, you can use a perfect instrument to do it.
And it is nothing more and nothing less than the SWOT Analysis that can be translated into Spanish as SWOT, an acrostic of Forces, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats.
They are exactly the four points evaluated in that relationship between your main competitors in the market and you.
Define your strategy and actions
When you get here, you already have enough information about the market to identify what your objectives should be, what goals lead you to them and what actions you should take.
So, how about taking notes on everything?
Start by setting a general, broader goal, such as “have 30% market share”, “increase turnover to 12% in 10 months” or “reach the top of Google in the main keywords related to your activity”.
Then, go to the goals, which will indicate the shortcuts you can take to finally reach the objectives.
Examples of goals can be: create a blog, run a social media campaign, trigger an email marketing action, and more.
Dedicate yourself to actions that focus on each goal in detail.
For example, to create a blog, you will need to acquire a domain, set up a layout, prepare an editorial calendar with agendas, produce content internally or externally, and perhaps hire professionals.
Don’t spare any effort at this stage.
Make a list of everything you find interesting to promote your strategy.
Then, your job will be to refine that relationship, focusing on the most effective actions that are possible according to the budget you have for marketing.
Set a calendar
Defining a calendar with the actions you determined in the previous step is a form of organization, but not only that.
Working with deadlines is more productive, as it prevents a certain task from falling into oblivion.
In addition to that, the challenge to fulfill what is planned is still an important motivational ingredient.
If the team is motivated, deadlines can work as a form of involvement, as long as there is no exaggerated request, of course.
So one eye on the calendar and one eye on balance.
Check the results
This last stage was encouraged enough during the article.
But it is worth remembering: do not stop evaluating if your marketing plan is working as you proposed, or if it is necessary to correct it.
The diagnosis will be easier, if you focus on the objective and the goals to achieve it.
Create your landing page now and start selling
A landing page is a page of conversions.
Through it you will lead the user to action.
In digital marketing, whatever your strategy, you are going to need a carefully crafted landing page.
If you want a click, a download or a sale, you must work on those actions, and the landing page just fulfills that function.
To do so, see what you cannot miss:
- Eye-catching title
- A cleaner and more objective page, without distractions
- Visual resources added under certain criteria
- Simplified contact form
- Featured offer
- Quality content
- Call to Action – CTA, or call to action.
If you need a little help, it is much easier to create your landing page with a complete tool like Klickpages.
There are only three steps to build yours:
- Choose your model: know the high conversion alternatives proven by tests.
- Customize the page: edit the texts, colors and images, as well as hide the elements that are not useful.
- Publish: finally, you only need to publish your own domain, without additional hosting costs.
Easy, practical and functional.
You saw in this article what the marketing plan is and why you should build one to achieve the objectives of your company.
It is clear that from the advice I gave you, it is an essential document to guide your business to success.
And as life is increasingly online, focus your actions on digital marketing with knowledge, skill and wisdom.
That includes clearly understanding who your customer is and what they want, as well as how your competition has tried to stand out in the market.
With everything ready, you need to put your strategy into practice and evaluate how it develops.
Pay attention to details and do your best on your landing page. Don’t forget about a good CTA.
The results will come naturally.
See you here very soon!