The ideal marketing plan needs to be a living, breathing and customized document. It is the single document that is at the core of all of your marketing objectives, strategies and tactics. In an effort to help you craft the perfect, and most importantly, realistic marketing plan for your company, try using our 8 Steps:
Step 1: Executive Summary – This section is an overview of the problem or strategic goals and a simple, direct summation of the marketing plan’s objective and strategies.
Step 2: Situation Analysis – This includes competitive research, market analysis, SWOT, summaries of cultural trends and issues, recent performance, problems, opportunities and strategies.
Step 3: Sales Analysis/Forecast – Where deemed necessary, marketing plans may not be built on just generating sales, but on attaining leads, building social media communities or creating in-store or web traffic. Whatever your measurement, we strongly believe establishing a “baseline” against which to measure your achievement.
Step 4: Marketing Objectives – These are specific objectives based on identified opportunities. Try to make these objectives measurable and attainable.
Step 5: Marketing Strategy – How do you intend to achieve these objectives? In this section, outline your channels, marketing tactics, creative messaging, etc.
Step 6: Implementation – Outline in detail your rollout or execution of the strategy. These are actions needed to achieve the objectives, with dates, responsibilities and details on how success will be measured.
Step 7: Review – Since all plans are unique, all other considerations must be discussed, addressed or resolved before putting the plan into action. These could include risks, contingencies, the need for internal support, distribution channel issues or other similar topics that need to be identified or addressed.
Step 8: Budget – What will each phase of the plan cost? Without a realistic budget that is outlined in detail, you are only asking for trouble!
Your plan must be created specifically to the needs of your company. Our 8 Steps should be used as a general guideline and your plan should include additional sections that are specific to your goals.
Until next month…