Devising a marketing plan is a challenging yet exciting part of managing a brand. It’s a highly creative and scientific process that requires the utmost attention to detail and data.
Even for seasoned marketers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when starting a new marketing plan. When you’re a newbie business leader, things like understanding SEO, calculating ROI, and generating leads might confuse you from the get-go.
To keep your campaign planning session grounded, you first need to know what a marketing plan is and why it’s important to your brand. Next, you’ll need a solid marketing plan checklist to guide you through the process.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a comprehensive overview of what the business hopes to achieve and how it plans to do so. It details modes of promotion, resource allocation, and viable schedules.
A marketing plan outlines your brand’s position in the industry and sets goals to improve it. It provides clear guidelines on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be used to measure if you’re actually achieving the objectives you set.
Conversely, a marketing plan is a general plan on how to promote your brand developed through meticulous study of market and audience data, consultations with professionals, and reviews of past performances.
Why is having a marketing plan important?
As a new business leader, it might be tempting just to play the market by ear and release promotional materials on a whim . But this isn’t the way to grow a successful business, especially for a generally unestablished one.
You will save a lot of money, time, and effort if you start planning your marketing strategy. Basing it on objective data, past experiences, and triumphs of similar businesses can help narrow down and hone your marketing options to ones that are proven to be successful.
Marketing recklessly can lead to wasted resources either because you couldn’t reach your target market or didn’t put the right message to embody your brand’s vision. A failed marketing strategy will likely lead to a low return on investment (ROI), brand awareness, and brand loyalty.
Think about using this adage: a business plan gets you in the game; a marketing plan helps you win the game. Having a solid business plan is only the first step to succeeding in your industry; knowing how to promote your brand and expand your market is what will keep your business running.
Foolproof marketing plan checklist
Organizing a campaign plan will need the help of historical data and expert opinions. To help keep your campaign planning session grounded, below is þa foolproof marketing plan checklist that tackles the most important aspects of launching a campaign:
Set clear and tangible goals
A business with a goal is a focused one. Setting marketing objectives is an excellent way to narrow your focus to your business’s most crucial accomplishments.
Setting clear-cut goals can prevent wasted resources. Knowing what aspects of marketing to focus on gives you a sense of what you need to invest in–nothing more, nothing less. This may include a higher engagement rate on social media, broader brand recognition, or faster customer acquisition.
Study your audience
Any successful marketing plan is founded on a strong knowledge of your audience. Who are they? What is important to them? What do they like to talk about? These are just a few questions you should ask yourself when crafting a marketing plan that aims to resonate with consumers.
Aside from learning about their demographics and interest, it helps to know how your customers talk. Base your content production on how they communicate, and understand messages; so your audience can easily relate to your material.
Conduct research on your competitors
Campaign planning should also include taking a look at the competition. Competitive analysis tells you where you stand in the industry and with your audience, in the context of how your competitors are performing.
Studying competitors can also give you a gist of what marketing strategy works best for your market, especially if you’re a start-up brand. By looking at how your competition engages with consumers, you can also obtain new market segments that you may have previously neglected.
You can use digital marketing tools to gather information about your competition and conduct market research. For example, if you mainly cater to businesses, B2B marketing tools like Finteza and Hubspot can help you efficiently track the analytics and lead generation of your competitors.
Set a realistic budget
Another notch on your marketing plan checklist should be setting a realistic budget. Especially if you’re a start-up brand, it’s essential to learn how to allocate your resources wisely. Expect a higher marketing cost when you’re just starting. Wrong budgeting decisions in the early stages of your business can derail your brand’s growth.
Marketing is a crucial part of any business, but that doesn’t mean you should just throw money at it and hope for a considerable payback. Strategize your spending, and focus on plans that have proven to be profitable in the past.
Generate a viable timetable
Having a feasible timetable is also an essential item in your marketing plan checklist. Time is money, especially in marketing in which knowing when to publish content and engage with audiences can contribute to your success.
Make sure that the schedule you set is based on consumer purchasing behavior. Set meaningful deadlines that can influence your market’s buying decisions. You should also make sure that your team can adhere to the schedule you set. Missed deadlines can easily lead to wasted resources.
Determine the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are important metrics that display your campaign’s performance. Without using this data-driven approach, you won’t be able to monitor your progress objectively.
Consult with professionals
Newbie and veteran business leaders can also benefit from consulting marketing experts such as digital marketing agencies.
Hiring marketing agencies can boost your chances of success; having a dedicated team of professionals is always the right choice. From securing your social media presence to optimizing your webpage, you want to hear from professionals on what the best move is.
Learn about analytics tools
Another point that should be in your marketing plan checklist is learning how analytics tools work. Analytics tools are handy software that helps you collect and analyze data about your campaign. It tracks important marketing factors such as traffic, funnels, and engagement, among others.
Knowing how analytics tools can help you comprehend your success in a data-driven manner. Reading and interpreting data from these programs gives you a concrete image of how your campaign is faring. You can even use analytics tools, like predictive analytics to foresee your campaign’s effectiveness, based on historical data.
Determine the best marketing channels
There are many marketing options out there for you to explore and utilize. Depending on your budget and business needs, some channels are better than others.
Part of your consultation with experts, you can determine what marketing strategy can best promote your brand’s vision. Examples of these are social media marketing, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and display advertising.
Set time for regular assessments
Last on this foolproof marketing plan checklist is setting time for regular assessments. Tracking your progress is just one aspect of marketing; you should also make it a point to discuss your performance.
Schedule assessments not only at the end of your campaign period but also in between. Don’t wait for the end of your campaign period to end before optimizing your marketing strategy. Immediately addressing consumer concerns, content flaws, and site issues can contribute greatly to your marketing success.
Devising a marketing strategy is like a chess game: you’ll go nowhere without a strategic plan. Implementing a marketing plan checklist like this is having a well-rounded approach to planning your marketing strategy is the best way to succeed.