A marketing plan is the first step to creating a successful marketing program for your enterprise.
Like driving without a roadmap, a business without a marketing plan has no systematic approach to promoting its brand to the target audience. Good marketing campaign planning doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive for it to work.
Here are seven essential components to include in your plans for marketing campaigns.
Carry Out SWOT Analysis
A great situational analysis should give a quick overview of your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Next, do an extensive audit of your industry. Find out what your competitors are doing right and wrong. It'll show you where your product or service stands in the market.
Conduct Market Research
Research is the backbone of any successful marketing plan. Reports like Standard & Poors or IBISWorld could be a great starting point. Determine the sales and marketing tactics that are working to create effective content marketing templates.
Ideally, good marketing plan research should also narrowly define your target market. For example, a restaurant’s market could be families, baby boomers, date nights, etc.
Determine the Target Audience
The next step is to get a detailed overview of who makes up your target market. Successful marketing campaign plans require knowledge of your customer's demographics, needs, and preferences. It'll help you determine customer journeys and critical touchpoints.
If possible, go an extra step and create buyer personas. It'll allow your brand to interact with the target audience effectively.
Create Marketing Goals
Once you have a clear grasp of your target audience, use your research to define your marketing goals. Your marketing objectives should relate to your overall business goals.
Develop Marketing Tactics
With the target audience and marketing goals in mind, it’s time to create robust marketing strategies and tactics. Typically, this is the heartbeat of your campaign marketing plan.
Create strategies and content that you can use to reach prospects in each awareness stage. You should also find ways to tweak your marketing campaign planning template, so it suits prospects already considering buying.
While at it, identify customer touchpoints, such as display advertising, investing in SEO, SEM, social media marketing, or email marketing.
Create Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM is an integral factor in maintaining the loyalty of existing customers. If you are working on a tight budget, a marketing planning software allows you to keep your marketing spending lean. Consider cost-effective actions to keep existing customers satisfied and assured about the quality of the product post-purchase.
Determine Your Budget
A marketing budget is critical for success. You need to invest time and money in your marketing campaign planning to work. When creating a budget, prioritize strategies and establish metrics to determine success.
Monitoring the right way will produce sufficient ROI. Paying a small fee to net clients that could use your product or services for life is worth all that trouble and investment. Generally, expect to spend more when you are in the start-up phase than when you are up and running.
Develop an Implementation Schedule
An implementation schedule is a timeline that details what marketing action will be done when and by whom. A good schedule includes how each marketing activity fits the overall budget estimates.
Check if you have adequate resources such as staff, time, and money to accomplish the given tasks. Onboard a consultant if you realize you don’t have adequate resources.
Develop Monitoring and Evaluation Tactics
Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of your strategies is an integral element during marketing campaign management.
To determine the value of a marketing campaign, you need deliberate and timely implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of results. Robust measurement tools help you understand whether your strategies are helping you meet your goals.
For example, Google Analytics can help track website conversions or use an Excel sheet to compare your spending against the actual ROI.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Devising a Marketing Plan
The current competition means brands must constantly develop innovative marketing plans. A top marketing campaign manager avoids the following mistakes:
Imitating competitors: The most obvious marketing plan is your competitors’ plan. If it works for them, it should work for you. However, this isn't always the case. Instead, determine a unique selling proposition, or USP, that sets you apart.
Failure to test campaign performance: Testing and analyzing your campaign is an integral part of successful marketing campaign planning. A/B test BEFORE the campaign launch to maximize impact and test afterward to see how your customers respond.
Not targeting repeat customers: Studies reveal repeat customers tend to spend 15 percent more than new prospects. When creating a marketing plan, put in place strategies to market directly to existing customers for increased profit.
Focusing on a broad audience: Targeting a broad audience can be a risk that can dilute your message. Instead, create a specific customer profile and develop a marketing plan to best meet their needs.
Aiming for multiple outcomes: A marketing plan that attempts to achieve too many outcomes is doomed to fail. Narrow your goals down to one or two objectives and customize your marketing plan to achieve only that.
Research reveals organizations with robust marketing plans outperform competitors and penetrate new markets more than those with no or haphazard plans. The tips we have shared here will help you get started. Remember to constantly review and update your plans according to customer needs.