What is a marketing plan - Ignite Media Group

What is a marketing plan?

We get asked this all the time – what is a marketing plan, and why does it really matter for my business?

As a business owner you need to know your strategy – a clear set of plans, actions and goals that outline how your business will compete in a particular market, with a product or number of products or services. And in order to achieve that strategy and grow your business, it all comes down to planning. Once you know your strategy, you can then write and create your marketing plan.

Marketing should not be seen as a tick box exercise. If you don’t know why or what you’re marketing then you’re really wasting your time and effort – and probably money! Careful planning of your marketing efforts will produce business success for the long term, help you be more organised, as well as building strong foundations for growth.

So what actually IS a marketing plan?

Put simply, a marketing plan is the execution of your strategy; the roadmap of tactical marketing efforts that help you achieve your marketing goals. Your plan is your detailed overview of what you will do, where you will do it, when you will implement, and how you will track success.

If goals or objectives for a business’ marketing activities haven’t been set or thought through, then how can you decide if the business has achieved what it set out to do? As they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

From your website to social media, to content and the channels you will engage on with potential clients, your marketing plan – in order to meeting your business objectives and produce results – should include the following:

Website and branding

Does your website messaging resonate with your personas? Is it set up to generate leads for your business? Even if a potential buyer isn’t ready to buy your product or service today, it doesn’t mean they won’t later. Establish yourself as an expert in your industry by providing helpful content on your website to bring leads in until they are ready to buy from you.

Content Strategy & Plan

What content already exists? Does it make sense for your marketing campaign? Do you need to update your messaging so it captures the attention of your audience and encourages engagement?

Channels

What channels (social media or other platforms) will you use to reach your audience? Where are they most active? Ask your personas which channels they are on.

Social Media Plan

How are you using social media? Are you engaging with with your potential customers? Replying back to happy clients? What is your posting frequency? What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are you tracking to measure success?

Timeline

Make sure you have a timeline for every campaign – whether it’s a particular services you’re trying to sell, Black Friday or Christmas. Over time this will help you measure the overall success and effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Resources / Budget

What amount of money will you allocate to advertising, digital, website, event marketing, etc.? Breaking this budget down to each campaign can also help with tracking your success.

Responsibilities

It goes without saying that if there’s only you in the business, then YOU are the only person who can carry out all the actions. But if you have a small team – or even one other person in your business, identify who is responsible for each part of implementing the plan. Is one person creating all the written content? Who is going to load your posts to social media?

The last important purpose of a marketing plan is it provides a template for you to review the success of your efforts. Without reviewing marketing campaigns in terms of what worked and what didn’t, how do you know where to spend your future time and budget?

By having a marketing plan that’s reviewed and tracked, you will see a real benefit to your small business’ successes. Your marketing plan doesn’t have to start at the beginning of a year (so don’t use this as a get-out clause!) – it can be created and implemented at any time.

And if you really don’t think you’re ever going to get round to writing a marketing plan, let us do it for you. We’ll work with you to gather the information we need to create a realistic and effective marketing plan that you can implement (or we can do that for you too!). Just drop us a line and we’d be happy to have a chat.

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