Most companies prepare an annual marketing plan. It acts as a blueprint to help the organisation budget and ensures marketing opportunities are fully explored. The marketing plan allows the team to perform the activities required to meet the company’s marketing objectives and goals.
Before planning, some essential elements
For a marketing plan to be successful, there are some essential elements to take into consideration before the planning even begins.
1. Clarity and Transparency
The marketing plan must be clear enough so that it is easy to understand and implement. It should be transparent, so each individual knows their responsibility to achieve the overall goal.
Is there a predicted outcome for each activity that is being written in the marketing plan? Otherwise, how will you know if the activity will bring about any benefit? Monitoring the performance of marketing activities allows for adjustments where necessary to achieve a better outcome. Examples of measurables are:
– 20% of existing customers moving to online sales
– 200% increase in website traffic.
3. Focused and Realistic
Focus on achieving the end goal. There is no point in listing one hundred activities but achieving very little. At the same time, the marketing plan should be achievable and realistic.
The stakeholders need to agree and commit to the plan. If certain aspects need to be revisited, they are best done in the planning stage to avoid costly mistakes further down the track.
Steps In Constructing A Marketing Plan
Every company has a different set of parameters they choose when developing their marketing plans. Below is an example of some elements in formulating a marketing plan:
Market research is a critical component. A SWOT analysis is often implemented to analyse your business; where is it at the moment and how can you position yourself better than the competition in the market.
If not defined in the early stages, the target market will lead to misplaced and expensive activities and will not get you the desired result. A clearly defined target market will give you an idea of how you will market to them.
Set goals and objectives
Set goals and objectives which are specific and measurable. Goals help you to stay focused.
Break down the marketing activities
Break down the marketing activities, the pricing point and processes so they are achievable. Choose activities that are relevant based on your target audience.
Budgeting is critical. It can make or break the success of your marketing efforts. Consider all the marketing and advertising campaign costs.
Measuring, evaluating and tracking
Measuring, evaluation and tracking play a key role in success. When you track the activities, you can analyse what is working, what needs tweaking and what has not worked. It will give you a chance to replace and improve the activities.
When creating a marketing plan, the plan can be as simple as a one-page document that combines sales and marketing or a twenty-page document. It depends on how detailed a company wants to be. Some companies choose to do a yearly plan, while others prefer to prepare quarterly plans.
A well-executed marketing plan allows organisations to focus on their goals and increase productivity. It aligns everyone to work towards a common goal, and where they can use them effectively. Companies can discover new opportunities while current opportunities can be optimised. A marketing plan can boost sales, improve brand recognition and maximise revenue.
Let FWD Focus help your business create and implement a marketing plan based on your unique business model. We can help you plan for today and into the future for long-term business success.
Get in touch today.