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How to Avoid Marketing on the Fly: Write a Marketing Plan

If you’re getting good results from your marketing efforts without a defined plan and without foresight – in other words, marketing your business on the fly – that’s great! 

But just imagine the potential for even greater results if you write a solid plan for your business marketing that’s grounded in real-time data and proven strategy. That’s gonna be even better!!

Top 10 Reasons an Effective Marketing Plan Strengthens Your Business and Leads to More Success

  1. You’ll define the most important target audiences for your business to get better results.
  2. You’ll appeal to their needs, motivations, and pain points and engage them more deeply.
  3. You’ll better explain the unique selling points of your products or services.
  4. You’ll know how your products and services solve their problems.
  5. You’ll zero in on how to reach them most effectively.
  6. You’ll use only the best marketing channels for your brand.
  7. You’ll operate within your budget and rock a detailed timeline for success.
  8. You’ll know and understand your biggest competitors and anticipate their moves.
  9. You’ll enable a better way to measure the success of your marketing efforts.
  10. You’ll make smarter choices and exceed expectations.

What Is a Marketing Plan and How Do You Write One?

As a certified platinum HubSpot partner, we define a marketing plan as “a strategic roadmap to organize, execute, and track marketing strategy over a given period. It can include different marketing strategies for various marketing teams across a company, all working toward the same business goals.”

A marketing plan is often part of the overall enterprise business plan that outlines various marketing objectives and tactics used to support specific business goals. The strategy or strategies that your marketing plan contains describe how you’ll accomplish each goal through marketing campaigns, content, and channels, plus how you’ll track success, mostly through marketing software.

A great marketing plan typically includes this checklist:

  • Executive summary
  • Target market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Detailed description and unique value proposition of product or service
  • Comprehensive marketing strategy, objectives, and tactics including online and offline channels
  • Clear step-by-step roadmap
  • Strategic marketing mix details such as product, price, place, promotion
  • Measurable goals distinct to your team and business needs with defined timelines
  • Defined budget
  • Specific metrics for success

You can craft different types of marketing plans for accomplishing different goals. Here are a few examples.

Annual or quarterly marketing plan – This roadmap is based on a specific time period for success. It’s a great “starter” marketing plan for organizing an entire year or three months of marketing efforts.

Content marketing plan – This roadmap is based on the method of accomplishment. It highlights different strategies, tactics, and campaigns for using content to promote your business, product, or service.

Social media marketing plan – This roadmap is also based on the method of accomplishment. It highlights specific social media channels, tactics, paid strategies, and campaigns for content promotion and distribution.

New product launch marketing plan – This roadmap is based on one specific product or service. It highlights the strategies and tactics for introducing something new to a new audience.

Growth marketing plan – This roadmap is based on the use of data and experimentation to drive results. It highlights ways to create accountability and strategy when experimenting with different platforms and campaigns or unfamiliar tactics.

How To Get Started On Your Marketing Plan In 7 Steps

  1. Nail down your marketing mission…and determine what it’s not.

Your marketing mission is the question you need to answer, the reason you’re initiating the plan, the primary objective of your marketing, or the assignment that’s specific to your marketing department that also serves your business’s overall mission.

It’s also a good practice to clearly explain what your marketing team will not serve with this plan, like other aspects of your business that you won’t be focused on. This helps to clarify your plan’s main mission as well as buyer personas, KPIs, and content.

  1. Set specific key performance indicators (KPIs).

Establish short- and long-term goals for your marketing mission, then decide on the specific metrics that will track the results of the various elements of your marketing campaign. KPIs are helpful when you want to communicate your progress to business leaders.

  1. Identify your target audience with buyer personas.

A buyer persona is shorthand for describing a person you want to attract. Each buyer persona should be based on your business's current customers and prospects and often includes details such as age, gender, location, family size, job title as well as the following:

  • Background
  • Interests
  • Values
  • Goals
  • Pain points
  • Social media platforms used
  • Preferred streaming platforms
  1. Flesh out the main points of your marketing and content strategies.

Explain how you'll use your content and channels to accomplish your mission. Include information on the types of content, the content volume in daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly intervals, the website pages you want to drive traffic to, the channels of distribution, the overall goals, and the KPIs that will track the progress.

  1. Create a detailed marketing budget.

Outline every potential expense required to execute your plan, whether it’s an additional hire, freelance or remote work fees, sponsorships, or something else.

  1. Research your competition.

By profiling the key players in your industry, you can access key challenges for your business. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • How are they differentiating themselves?
  • What do their customers like? What negative feedback do they give?
  • Which platforms do they use the most?
  • How do they talk to their audiences?
  1. Identify contributors and responsibilities.

Clearly explain who’s doing what. Determine which teams and team leaders are responsible for the specific content types, channels, KPIs, and other elements of your marketing plan.


11outof11 Knows Results-Driven Marketing Plans

When you need a comprehensive and effective marketing plan that’s flexible, responsive, and gets results, connect with 11outof11. Request a complimentary call with one of 11outof11’s resident experts. Contact us to learn more.

Topics: Marketing, Market Your Small Business, Inbound Marketing, Outsourced Marketing, Content Marketing