What you should know when writing a marketing plan

What you should know when writing a marketing plan

What you should know when writing a marketing plan

What you should know when writing a marketing plan

 “The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand”, an excerpt from Sun Tzu’s Art of War explains just how important planning ahead is. You might not be fighting battles like back in the day, but that doesn’t mean that your marketing goals do not require strategy.  A good marketing plan goes beyond obtaining your boss’s stamp of approval or a promotion. It will showcase your practicality whilst attaining your firm’s marketing ambitions.

If you are keen on creating such a plan or have been asked to do so by the management, don’t panic yet, you’ve come to the right place.

What is a marketing plan, exactly?

Let go back to the basics. A marketing plan by definition is that which comprises of a company’s marketing goals within a given time frame. Furthermore, it will also include a detailed report and strategy on deadlines, actions to be taken ton wards achieving the said goals, marketing position, market research, information on the target audience and needs, etc..

This has various reasons that range from product launches, events, conventions, campaigns; blogs so on and so forth.

That said, you cannot just begin writing a plan without a structure, can you? Hence, a marketing plan will typically consist of the following attributes:

Executive Summary

This summary to a marketing plan is what a root is to a tree. An executive summary is nothing but a well-written summary of a business’s goals, projects, future plans, milestones, testimonials, metrics and more. It is essential that the content is both gripping and informative enough to keep the reader interested in what has been written.

Don’t get carried away to blow your own trumpet or beat around the bush. Professionalism here will be indicated by how succinct and brief the points have been conveyed.

Goals, goals, goals

What do you aim to do? What are do you plan to achieve in marketing? These aren’t New Year resolutions to ensure that your marketing goals are attainable and realistic. Use facts, statistics, and numbers for clarity and make them more data-driven. Mention how you want to improve your KPI’s and garner potential followers. You get the gist.

Competitor Research

No plan is ever complete without a little info on what your counterparts are all up to. No, I don’t mean you have to get on a tree with your binoculars and spy their premises. Competitor research is less obvious.

There are tools that will help you deduce where you stand in the market compared to your competitors and delve into how they are progressing in their marketing strategies. The research should contain vital information from their team leads and responsibilities, their myriad strategies (marketing, social media, public relations) quarterly or annual financial reports, user personas.

You can go a step ahead and do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis on them to get a better picture of their stance in the market.

Budget

Making an elaborate plan is one thing but having the finances to see it through is another. Though certain tools might come free, a major chunk of the plan depends on services that should be paid for.

So, analyze your plan and see if you have the budget to make it happen if not you will have to tweak certain aspects and omit them or increase your budget to a larger amount. Whatever your omissions are, ensure that they are justified.

You might need to hire an extra helping hand, so you must consider his/her payroll. You must also include sponsorships and collaboration fees if any.

Demarcate Responsibilities

With significant pointers already taken care of, assign responsibilities and stakeholders as a final touch.  Prior to this, you must have a fair idea of each of the participants’ strengths and weaknesses, to give you a better understanding of their capabilities. For instance, you can hand over the responsibility of social media to someone who is a better web developer.

You don’t have to research on their daily tasks rather just talk to their managers and assign tasks accordingly and watch them work their magic.

I’m going to stop here before I overwhelm you. Though a marketing plan does consist of other nitty-gritty details they aren’t as important as these that form the pillars. What’s a plan without its pillars right? However, if you do need additional help in this department and are curious to know more, our marketing assistants are here to get their hands dirty and help you out.