Writing an Effective Marketing Plan

Creating and writing a marketing plan may seem tedious, but this plan can make a big difference in the success of your business. Most business owners need a little help and advice to write an effective marketing plan.

Remember, products do not sell themselves, and customers need help in finding your new business and products. Needless to say, marketing budgets must be spent effectively in order to make a difference.

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a document that outlines a company's marketing strategy and includes a means of tracking the plan over time. A good marketing plan is often part of a product or business development strategy. A marketing plan should outline details of the entire process. There can be one overall marketing plan for the whole company or separate marketing plans for different products, services or goals.

Goals and objectives should be written in a concise and easy-to-read manner. The written goals should be compelling, encouraging all employees to follow along, buy into and cooperate with the wider company vision. You want both investors and team members on board with this marketing plan. Not only should it win customers over, but also those that need to implement it.

Close up image of laptop and human hands typing on keyboard

Every company should have a marketing plan to guide them in their efforts to bring in new business. Marketing plans define a company's marketing objectives for a specific period of time, and can help a company grow, outlining a marketing mix to help a team be more productive, ultimately enabling companies to gain a bigger market share.

Marketing plans also help determine a company's target market and how to best reach it, developing brand awareness and keeping the plan on a specific budget. Finally, the plan helps to integrate functions or departments within a company, such as marketing (or lead generation teams), sales, production, fulfilment or finance teams. This ensures organisations are working together on the same goals and strategies, to grow the company or ensure the success of a new product or service offering.


Plan, Do and Review

A good marketing plan has a structure that is easy to follow and implement. It is intuitive in nature and should not require too much in the way of repeated explanations to staff, which would defeat the point.

As a guide, a sensible structure might include the following sections:

  • Marketing objectives
  • Market research tasks (things that help maintain relevance, trends, keywords, etc) 
  • Defining the company's target market
  • Analysis of the company's strengths, weaknesses, threats and external opportunities
  • Breakdown of the marketing mix, including offline, online channels, pricing strategy, distribution, and sales processes, etc.
  • The marketing budget
  • Who will administer the marketing plan or task assignment by role
  • Details for how to evaluate the performance, effectiveness and ROI from the marketing plan.

Once a marketing plan is completed, a company needs to use it. That is normally where things either move quickly or stagnate. Implementation and delivery are often where a plan falls down. Make sure you take the time to set timescales and agree upon target deadlines. These should be associated with each step or milestone.

Most of us know that "a goal without a plan is simply a wish", however what tends to get missed is the fact that a plan without any strategy for execution, is just as pointless. 

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Tim Hatari

Tim Hatari helps businesses improve performance, creating strategic development plans and establishing structure via the 5PX Executive Business Coaching System. As CEO and Founder at TMD Coaching, he oversees the vision setting process with clients, leading on sales acquisition, the drive for operational excellence and market leading innovation. For Tim, helping others is the most rewarding part of the role. Follow or connect with Tim on Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/timhatari

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Topics from this blog: Marketing & Sales

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