Getting started with a marketing plan can feel overwhelming at first. Luckily, we’re here to walk you through it. A marketing plan is a helpful way to introduce your brand, provide a guideline, and answer a few basic questions about how you intend to carry out your marketing efforts. Quantus Creative has put together a list of the elements your marketing plan should include and brief descriptions of each step. Keep in mind that you may have to pivot your strategy in the future due to external or internal factors, but having a comprehensive marketing plan can help keep you and your team on the right track for success.
Oftentimes, this is where brands will perform a SWOT analysis. This analysis identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that may affect your brand moving forward. Strengths and weaknesses are identified internally, such as having access to state of the art technology(strength) or struggling with a lack of funding(weakness). Opportunities and threats are found externally, such as filling a gap in the market(opportunity) or an impending recession(threat). Use market research to help determine these where you could improve.
When creating goals for your marketing plan, first think broadly and identify what you would like to achieve overall. This could be making more sales or driving more traffic to your website. Then take those goals and create SMART goals that will help you accomplish the broad ones. SMART goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and on a timeline. For example, in order to make more sales overall, you would first write down that you need to increase your monthly sales by 20% over the next 3 months.
After you’ve created your goals, you now need to answer the “how” question. Will you be focusing on both traditional and digital media? If so, which types of media specifically? Will you host any events to gain awareness? Be very clear when creating your marketing strategy, because this will act as a guideline for you to reach your goals and stay consistent.
This section is all things money related. Include your budget and how it relates to the budgets of other brands in your industry. Also, determine where this money will be spent. For example, will you need to outsource for anything or pay for any program subscriptions? Define your priorities and create an outline of how much is allotted to each effort.
What makes you different from other brands? This section is where you really differentiate yourself from the competition. You should include your mission statement, brand promise, any unique selling propositions, and key terms related to your brand. This is also where you will determine your brand voice and tone.
Where do they live? How old are they? What is their average income? This stage is where you define your audience as specifically as possible. In order to successfully reach your target audience, you need to know who they are, their likes/dislikes, and where to find them.
While the marketing plan is more of an overview of how your SMART goals will be met, the tactics section gets down to the nitty gritty. This can include how many times a week to post on social media or whether you’ll advertise on a bench versus a billboard. You may decide to automate your newsletters or text messages. We recommend going down your list created in the marketing plan and expanding on each section.
This section is your action plan. Make a list of everything that needs to be done, by when, and by whom. If your social team needs to start posting twice a week, make sure there is a plan in place for them to receive or create the content in a timely manner. If you decide to advertise on a billboard, list every milestone your team must reach in order to make that happen.
This section contains details or graphs that back up what you’ve said in your marketing plan. If you completed a study, the results of that study would go here.
Once you’ve completed your marketing plan, you now have a template for your brand to use moving forward. This document will help you meet deadlines, determine how you communicate with your audience, and ensure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Not sure where to start? Reach out to our team at Quantus Creative and let us help you build a successful marketing plan.