A marketing plan is essential for any business. It is a brand promotion strategy with a step-by-step description of actions, KPIs, and techniques.
The effectiveness of marketing planning outweighs all the costs of its development and implementation, so business owners mustn’t neglect it.
We’ve identified the key reasons for developing a marketing plan for a business. It will help small and large business owners systematize their work and understand the importance of planning.
Use the tips and suggestions below to become better than your competitors and to set clear goals for your company’s growth strategy.
What’s a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a document describing the advertising strategy, positioning, and goals for brand promotion.
It is a structured and step-by-step guide for a business owner and staff to work together to achieve the stated KPIs.
Such a plan is usually part of a business plan.
Besides, it is impossible to optimize and set up a marketing department without this paper. Therefore, investors and entrepreneurs set out to pay more attention to developing a marketing plan for a business.
This document contains answers to several key questions:
- What product, brand, or service do you promote?
- What ads do you use to drive customers’ attention?
- What budget do you have for promotion?
- What are the goals of your advertising campaign?
- How long does it take to promote your product, service, or brand?
- What kind of specialists will be needed for this?
- Into what stages should business promotion be divided?
Please note! Before you even start crafting marketing activities, figure out how you will engage with your prospects while they are browsing your website.
Do you want to invest in pricey communication software or decide on some free tools (which are worth your attention)? No matter the choice, make sure you provide customers with a proper way of connecting with your business.
A marketing plan may have different volumes and content, depending on the promotion scale, budget, number of specialists, and other factors.
This document is typically developed in text form with infographics or other visual elements that improve and simplify the perception of information.
First, a business owner should approve all materials from the plan, executives, and the marketing department. Only after that can you move on to its implementation, considering specific deadlines and milestones.
7 reasons to have a marketing plan for your business
In a recent marketing survey by ServiceDirect, it has revealed that for respondents that had a documented marketing plan, 96% saw success while those without a documented plan saw success only 69% of the time.
We have analyzed 7 compelling reasons that might convince you to develop a marketing plan for your brand. Let’s dive right in!
A step-by-step guide to action
The promotion of any business is an ongoing process that must be controlled by a plan and strategy.
A marketing plan is a step-by-step guide to action that details each step.
An advertising campaign can consist of many processes and activities, including SEO proposal, SMM, setting up, launching, and analyzing contextual advertising, adding PPC ads, creating sales funnels, working with design, and more.
You need to reflect on gradual instructions for each type of advertising in your marketing plan.
Plus, you should specify the sequence, deadlines, criteria for evaluating the result, and other parameters, which we wrote about in our article.
Such a plan allows you to involve new specialists in the promotion at any stage. This will not lead to disruptions in the process and failures.
And managers will be able to monitor the effectiveness of marketing in detail at each stage.
Absolute control of the team
The effectiveness of an advertising campaign largely depends on a marketer, designer, copywriter, SEO specialist, and other team members.
Therefore, managers need to monitor all the processes that the team performs.
Without a detailed marketing plan, it isn’t easy to track specialists’ productivity.
At any time, the manager can compare the data from the plan to the actual performance results.
It can be the main criterion for evaluating the team’s performance or monetary rewards.
Not following a marketing plan can be regarded as ineffective work, which should be disciplined, with possible penalties, or warnings.
Therefore, planning is essential in PR, regardless of the sphere of activity of the company and its scale.
KPI analysis based on metrics
You will only be able to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing promotion if you have initial metrics and goals.
Use this data in your plan to move toward the desired result gradually.
First, capture such initial metrics as:
- Visits and unique page views to the site;
- Ad impressions;
- CTR (click-through-rate);
- CPC (cost per click);
- CPL (cost per lead);
- ROI (return on investment);
- Ad conversions.
You can adjust the metrics as they depend on the type of advertising used as well as many other conditions. Fix the basic parameters before you start an active advertising campaign.
Then you can track the results step by step and conclude whether you were successful or not. At each step, you’ll be able to determine which factors led to success or failure.
Analyze and adjust your promotional sales tools to improve your KPIs.
Detailed calculations of marketing expenses
At any business or brand promotion stage, you need to plan your advertising budget.
Without this, you can spend the money you have and not get the results you want. Each promotional method you choose has a different cost, from small to very high.
Compare your goals and marketing budget to select the best types of promotional publications and ads. This will help you calculate all the likely costs over the long term thoroughly.
A planned budget means no interruptions in advertising and easy calculation of many metrics (ROI, CTR, CPL, and others).
There were many brands with no marketing plan. They would then spend a lot of money on all kinds of advertising until they ran out of it.
If these entrepreneurs had optimized their spending and allocated it many months in advance, the results would have been completely different.
Investment attractiveness of your business
A marketing plan is one of the critical papers for potential investors. Without it, you will not get a good investment offer.
Any entrepreneur needs to see whether the brand is being properly promoted, whether the target audience is correctly selected,
if the right sales-led or product-led strategy has been designed, and how the company’s budget is being spent. This is reflected in the plan you have to provide to prospective investors.
This way, you will increase your chances of attracting more investment.
Complete your plan with a proposal to impress your business partners. This will create the desired effect.
Vision for the future of the company
The fast and efficient development of a company is impossible without proper planning. A marketing plan allows you to understand how much your brand can develop over a specific time.
Then, you will realize how much money and time you need to make your brand recognizable.
For example, if your target audience is active on Instagram and you want to communicate with your customers on the platform, it’s important to grow an Instagram following as the primary goal. This means you should add this step to your marketing plan and consider proper spending.
Without clear estimations, strategy building, KPI formulas, and metrics, you won’t be able to plan the future of your business.
Of course, you can analyze markets and roughly calculate the scale of growth in turnover, revenue, and profits. But recognition and other marketing metrics are just as important for sustainable business operations.
Do all the calculations we wrote about in this article if you want your company’s future to be cloudless. This has a strong impact on a manager, investors, partners, employees, and customers. So, don’t neglect it.
Сurrent marketing situation analysis
When you make a marketing plan, you will see the reality of your company and the industry in general.
A company’s success depends on how well its products or services can meet the basic needs of its customers.
Therefore, you require the most reliable, objective, complete, and relevant data concerning market development and consumer behavior.
Particularly, to determine the effective marketing strategy and tactics to work in the market.
The marketing plan allows potential and already existing companies to study possible development directions and choose the most perspective and optimal one.
Here, customer segmentation is performed, the choice of the target market segments, building a portrait of the consumer based on the analysis of parameters, and the study of behavioral characteristics.
The subject of the analysis is the motivation of consumer behavior in the market and the factors determining it.
Moreover, when drawing up a marketing plan, the structure of consumption, trends in customer demand, and the level of satisfaction of buyers’ needs for a particular product are studied.
You will learn much more about PR and advertising in your business if you make a detailed brand promotion plan.
A marketing plan is part of a company’s business plan. It is necessary for businesses in any field of activity, including retail, services, finance, manufacturing, IT, real estate, and insurance.
Such a paper structures and optimizes the work of marketers, copywriters, designers, SMM specialists, target marketers, and PPC specialists. These professionals are involved in promoting products and brands.
They are the ones who use a marketing plan in their work to achieve certain KPIs.
Planning is significant for forming specific goals in advertising, as well as for creating an advertising budget. It is challenging to determine advertising campaigns’ timing, cost, effectiveness, and conversion rate without it.
All of these parameters are reflected in text or graphical form during planning.