A marketing plan is a document that all companies use to outline their current status, goals, budget and a plan of action. Specifically through the lens of the marketing department. Basically, a marketing plan is an outline of what you plan to do with your marketing for the next, definable time frame. Each plan is different depending on the company, the goals, and the marketing strategy.
Even if you are a small business you will need to do this. If you don’t organise and plan, marketing will get disorganised very quickly, and you could end up overwhelmed with nothing to show for it.
Below are the 9 standard items that you will want to look at in your marketing plan.
Marketing plan structure
1. Business Summary
This section simply outlines where your business is at now. Company name, headquarters, mission statement and general description.
2. Business Initiative
In this section, you outline the projects that your marketing department wants to do. Campaigns that you would like to run, or experiments you would like to try. This section should not be confused with the overall project outline that is put in the business plan.
3. Customer analysis
Market research section. Here you want to outline your ideal customer. You want t to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer, focusing on traits like Age, Location, Title, Goals, Personal challenges. Pains, Triggering events
4. Competitor analysis
Look at what your competitors are doing, and where you can make yourself stand out, (hint: Positioning, Market share, Offerings, Pricing)
5. Swot analysis
Your businesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. you’ll write most of it based on your market research and your strategy
6. Marketing strategy
This section will outline in detail how you will sell your product. How will you offer something that your competitors are not offering? In a full-length business plan, this section will have the following (7 Ps of marketing): Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, Physical Evidence.
(For an in-depth explanation of these check out our blog about them)
Don’t mistake the Budget element of your marketing plan with your product’s price or other company financials. Your budget describes how much money the business has allotted the marketing team to pursue the initiatives and goals outlined in the elements above. Things that may be included in your budget may be, paid promotions, photoshoots, events, outsourcing your marketing
8. Marketing channels
Where will your company promote your goods? Magazines, newspapers, billboards, and also, importantly what social media platforms will you be using. Use this section of your marketing plan to layout which social networks you want to launch a business page on, what you’ll use this social network for, and how you’ll measure your success on this network.
9. Financial projections
Knowing the budget and doing analysis on the marketing channels you want to invest in, you should be able to come up with a plan for how much budget to invest in which tactics based on expected ROI.
The first step of doing anything is planning. You can very easily waste a lot of time and money on marketing and not achieve any of your goals. If you want to be successful, you have to carefully plan out your goal and strategy, then keep careful track of what you are doing and adjust your actions accordingly. A marketing plan is designed to help you achieve this. In a larger company, it helps you keep your team on track, and helps any kind of collaboration immensely.
Happy planning! And remember, even supervillains have to do the planning.