Whatever the case, the steps you take today to create a functional and straight-forward marketing plan will lay the foundation for your year ahead, helping you to get results that are measurable and quantifiable. Now, let’s take a quick look at how the marketing plan should be structured. List your Goals First While developing goals may not be the first step you actually take when forming your marketing plan, listing them first on your final marketing plan document sets the stage for everything to come. Explain Your Research Research will be the foundation of your marketing plan and should include: 4.But before we dive in, make sure to download our Marketing Plan Templates so that you can follow along with your own document. Define KPIs & Measurement Methods After all the heavy lifting is complete, your strategy is in place and you have begun putting together and implementing your tactical plans, it’s time to measure.
Your marketing plan should be: Transparency is important when developing and finalizing the plan.
By getting feedback from all departments and being clear on goals, your marketing plan is more likely to be of value and to be seen as a successful tool. What’s not useless is a fluid marketing plan that allows for change and is looked upon as a , not as a bible.
If you don’t know who you are, what you’re selling or who you’re selling to, you’re going to have a hard time convincing people to buy your product or service, never mind figuring out what tactical initiatives you should be working on. Start with researching your competitors and audience; examine your customers’ buying habits; and perform a SWOT analysis.
Below are steps that will help you lay a sturdy foundation for your tactical plans, and allow you to develop reasonable expectations and goals. Check Out the Competition In order to determine the likelihood of success and define your marketing strategy, you need to understand the competition.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln knew that preparation is everything.
Whether you’re chopping down a tree or figuring out how to write a marketing plan, the steps you take ahead of time are crucial to your marketing success.Researching your competition first will also help you through the next step of performing a SWOT analysis.In the world of inbound marketing, there are a handful of strategies that can be useful when researching competitors.The SWOT analysis should help you clearly define your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that you can develop goals and objectives that are on point and tied to your overall mission.The SWOT analysis will help you understand what differentiates you from your competition and how you should position yourself in the market.Maybe you work for a large corporation and have been tasked with developing next year’s marketing plan, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a plan from scratch.Maybe it’s been 20 years since you graduated from business school or wrote your last marketing plan, and you realize that times have changed a bit.In addition to completing a SWOT for your overall marketing plan, it’s helpful to do a SWOT analysis for the different segments within your marketing plan.For example, as we will discuss further down in this piece, content marketing, social media and SEO will all be important parts of your overall inbound marketing plan and would benefit from SWOTs of their own. Create Your Buyer Personas The days of outbound marketing have come and gone. Instead, inbound marketers are honing in on the segments of those audiences that they want to target.You may need to do research in order to completely develop your personas, but before you dive into that endeavor, check out 9 Questions You Need to Ask When Developing Buyer Personas.You may find you already have all the data you need! Learn Your Buyers’ Buying Cycle After you have identified your buyer personas, the next step is figuring out how these personas think and ultimately make the decision to buy.