Your Marketing Plan: A Simple Guide
If you own or manage a business, no matter how big or small and regardless of industry, you will have some idea of what we mean when we say that the best marketing never really stops.
There is no nine-to-five structure about the modern world of marketing, with a huge variety of customer touchpoints meaning that there is no finite journey that every customer will follow in order to discover and purchase your product or service.
A modern-day marketing plan is one that not only acknowledges all these touchpoints but which uses them to your advantage. It needs to effectively capture the attention of both new and existing customers and speak to them in such a way that they start to see how your product or service can improve their lives.
For most, this is achieved through the classic and always-effective marketing technique of identifying a problem and then providing a solution. But while this basic system of success has remained the same, the way it is achieved is constantly changing, with modern marketing plans integrating everything from animation to live stream video content, imagery, polls, viral videos and podcasts.
In this article, we will be exploring some of the most important pointers to remember when designing a marketing plan, regardless of your industry or business goal.
What Does A Successful Marketing Plan Look Like?
A successful marketing plan is one that starts with your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) business goal and works backward.
Look at it this way: every piece of marketing that you do is designed to work towards an end goal or success indicator, whether it be increased engagement, more sales, or bigger profits. n order to understand what you need to do to reach that goal, you first need to clearly define it. Then it’s time to plot your route to success and identify the key touchpoints for campaigns and marketing work.
From there, you can begin to devise and flesh out a marketing strategy that fits into your overall business model; creating messages that compliment your brand mission and targeting audiences which you know are actively engaged with your brand – or who you know you want/need to engage as your business continues to grow.
Check out our review of Allan Dib’s book “The 1-Page Marketing Plan”. In it he describes how to strip your marketing plan back to its most basic foundations, inviting you to create a powerful one-pager that delivers everything you need to know in order to reach your end goal.
Who Is The Marketing Plan Created For?
We have already explored a little about the end goal and the fact that every marketing decision is centered around the target audience and what it is that will make them convert. Of course, before you even get to this stage you need to identify who that target audience is, using demographics and market research among other tools.
But the marketing plan itself will never be seen by your audience. In fact, some of the best marketing plans come together so seamlessly that, to the end-user, it almost seems like fate rather than a well-thought-out strategy.
Your marketing plan is designed to influence the work of everyone behind the scenes of your business – not just your direct marketing team, but also the online team, the content team, the product or service production team, the operational team and the management team. It is only when all of these teams come together under a single marketing plan, that you can ensure a smooth and consistent delivery.
Why? Because all of these teams are integral to the messages that you put out to your audience.
The Customer Journey
Let’s look at the journey of a customer to help bring this particular ideology to life.
First, a customer finds your brand or service on social media. They see a short video they like and read the caption which piques their interest. This comes from your graphic design / visual team and your social media team.
They then click through to your website, where they will expect to see the same messaging and the same visual styling replicated throughout the pages. Any offers and straplines need to coincide with the messaging that first drew them in, with more value-added to keep them interested. This comes from your website team and your digital marketing team.
They may not purchase straight away – instead, signing up to receive email updates from you. This involves the content team and email marketing team.
When they do eventually convert, they will deal with the sales team and the operations team.
Within your business, each of these touchpoints is defined by a different team. But to the customer, they are all part of the same journey – and they expect everything to be consistent and engaging.
Hence the importance of a marketing strategy and overall marketing plan.
How Do I Ensure My Marketing Plan Is Up To Scratch?
There are countless resources out there designed to help and whether you are a new entrepreneur or a veteran business owner, there’s something out there for you.
Here are a handful of useful resources that will help you every step of the way:
Your Marketing Plan: Why it’s Important
If you’re committed to elevating your business and really reaching the right audience in the right way, driving conversions and ultimately generating your own success, then you need to know marketing and how to apply it.
Use this article to help you understand the fundamentals of creating a marketing plan for your business and use it as a guide to marketing success.