Creating a marketing plan seems like a daunting task for many. However, you shouldn’t be intimated when you are assigned to build one. While it will require a lot of research and understanding of the entirety of your business, having a guide could help you. That way, you can focus your efforts on items that are typically expected from a marketing plan.
This is what we are going to talk about in this post. We will give you an overview of sections you need to incorporate in your marketing plan to impress your colleagues, superiors, investors, and of course, clients.
This is also commonly referred to as the Executive Summary. It provides a high-level overview of what your business is all about, your key findings, and a summary of the whole marketing plan.
Most people write their Business Summary once all the other sections are completed. That way, they will not miss any vital information that could make an impact on your readers as they browse through the first few paragraphs of your plan. A couple of pages should be enough for this.
How You Help People
Besides sharing your products or services when creating a marketing plan, it is important to highlight how you help people with your offerings. This is where you can include your USP or Unique Selling Points. These are the product’s features that can help you stand out from the competition. But it’s not just about being unique per se. You must incorporate the value that it gives to your customers. Let us give you some great samples.
They’ll fight over it when you’re dead.
It’s a creative way of saying that their leather is of premium quality and that it could outlive its owners. If you are familiar with the brand, they offer a 100-year warranty, giving its customers confidence that their saddleback leather could last.
Take note that slogans can be used to relay your USP. But a slogan isn’t automatically your USP.
America’s Most Popular Meal Kit
HelloFresh uses a bold approach with its USP by saying that they are the country’s popular meal kit. And to be fair, considering their market share, it is hard to contest.
If you are to use this approach, be careful. Make sure you are not overpromising.
The new standard in online payments
Years ago, only a small percentage of the population would use online payments, not just because of security issues but because of its complexities. Stripe acknowledges these in their USP and highlights that their process is the new standard, essentially telling that they are better and that they have created improvements.
Define Your Target Audience
When doing marketing, it is never a good practice to target the entire population. It is always a must to create a customer profile and give your reader an idea of who exactly your market is.
In some of the most effective marketing plans we’ve researched, we’ve noticed that creating a highly specific customer profile helps in forming the strategies tailored fit for the audience.
For instance, in The Boss Move Academy, a program designed for women entrepreneurs, their customer profile looks like this:
- Women in the late 20s and 30s
- Currently working with a full-time job but with a desire to have their own business
- Earns $40,000 annually
- Dreams of being a boss lady, sipping a cocktail on a deserted island
Basically, you need to create a person that encapsulates your market. From there, you will know their behavior, their interests, and even their language. Defining these will help you create the strategies which we will discuss further in the succeeding sections.
Now comes the hard part. Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be a copycat of what others are doing. Instead, it should be anchored not just on your target audience, but also on your goals.
Speaking of goals, your business should have both obtainable and stretch goals. Let’s define these two.
As the name implies, these are the attainable goals that your company could reach in a given timeline, considering all the resources and circumstances.
On the other hand, stretch goals are targets that are way above what is expected. For some, this might seem useless. After all, we’ve already set metrics for what is realistically attainable. However, as marketers, we naturally dream big. And we always see the bigger picture. That’s what stretch goals are. It aims to push the entire team further so they can get the best possible results.
What Channels to Use
In this article, we’ll exclude traditional marketing strategies since we are now in the digital age. Naturally, professionals focus on digital marketing. This is not to say that traditional marketing is dead. But since doing so online is more relevant, let’s discuss that instead.
Social Media and Content
When creating a marketing plan for digital platforms, you need to provide a specific game plan for each avenue. For example, based on your research, you’ve found out that your target audience spends most of their time on Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok. Logically, you will work on these three platforms. Doing a separate strategy for LinkedIn might waste a considerable amount of time.
Likewise, you cannot use the exact same materials for Facebook on other social media sites. You need to consider the size of the collaterals perfect for each platform, the wordings or caption to use, and even the time you run your marketing materials.
This is not a simple task. In fact, there are social media managers who could help you build a more convincing digital marketing plan.
And lastly, creating a marketing plan includes how you are going to capture your data. Fortunately, this is easier nowadays because there are analytics reports that you can simply pull out whenever you need it. The challenge though is how to interpret these numbers, graphs, and data showing how your marketing strategy is doing. This should be explained in your marketing plan.
Your marketing plan should answer all the questions that your superiors or investors would likely ask. While we have provided the sections to include, your research has had a lot of impacts. Thus, you need to work on a schedule where your team can conduct further understanding of your market, and even your competition. That way, your marketing plan will only require little to no revision, and you can start the execution.