Creating A High-Impact Marketing Plan: Your 6-Step Guide
The core concept of marketing is quite straightforward. All you need to do is identify who you want to reach, figure out how you’ll be doing that, and you’ll be set for a good marketing strategy. Unfortunately, this simple advice doesn’t work in our modern digital world as well as it used to do before, back when traditional marketing was all we had. Nowadays, there’s a myriad of platforms, tools, and strong sophisticated competitors for that simple piece of advice to work.
That doesn’t mean you have to feel overwhelmed though; you can still approach your marketing plan in a good old straightforward way - if only you knew what you need to do. Luckily for you, you can still create a modern, high-impact marketing plan by following 6 concrete steps.
Let’s take it one step at a time, shall we? Here’s how you’ll go about it.
1. Outline the Marketing Plan
The marketing plan is the document that explains what you want to do, how you’ll do it, and everything else you’ll need in the process. As such, it will include your marketing goals and how they relate to the business goals, as well as your budget, activities, target audience, content creation, marketing strategies, and the partners and/or agencies you’ll work with. If you don’t know where to get started, be sure to find a comprehensive marketing plan template you can easily follow.
2. Sketch Your Target Buyer Persona
Once you’ve outlined the main goals of your marketing efforts, you’ll want to get a better idea of the audience you’ll be targeting. Your audience should be the core around which your marketing strategies revolve. When thinking about your target audience, you’ll soon realize that there can be more than one “kind of customer”, and those can be categorized into user or buyer personas. Each persona will represent a group of people who have common interests and behaviors, and that should make it easier for you to tailor your messages to each specific group.
3. Tell Your Story
Speaking of your message, there’s no better way to get it across than sketching it out in the form of a story. That’s something the team at alfredlondon.com/what-we-do/pr/ have tried and proven, repeatedly, during their years of work as marketers. They found that stories are the best way for brands to connect with their target audience; they allow the audience to not only know who is talking to them and what they stand for but also relate to those brands and feel a personal connection.
4. Determine the Tools You will Use
Most of us are under the impression that marketing demands a fortune, but then again, you might already have all the tools you’ll need in your arsenal. That’s why you’ll first investigate the tools you have; the employees, equipment, software, and experience, and try to make the best out of them to fulfill your marketing plan. If necessary, you can then consider investing in untapped resources or even outsourcing certain tasks.
5. Develop Marketing Strategies
Many novices make the mistake of thinking that a marketing plan and a marketing strategy are the same. To clear this confusion, think of a marketing plan as the blueprint; the foundation for all your marketing activities, while a strategy is the method of application. As such, you’ll review the marketing goals, target audience, and available resources to determine the most effective strategies that can be used to achieve your purpose. For instance, a strategy will help you determine the best form of content to use for a specific target segment: written content, videos, podcasts, or all the above.
6. Create an Action Plan
You’ll need to produce a detailed strategy for every marketing goal you have. However, developing strategies without conforming them within a specific timeline is just a recipe for overwhelming the hell out of yourself. To stay on top of your tasks, you’ll need a list of detailed tasks you can do daily. Collectively, your tasks will include creating content via the channel of choice for each piece of content, meeting clients, starting campaigns, measuring performance, testing strategies, and adjusting your strategies. To fit all your tasks together within an organized timeline, you’ll break down your strategies into actionable tasks that will be added to the action plan.
Now that you have a clear guide to starting your marketing efforts, there’s no reason to think of the marketing plan as daunting anymore. Most importantly, forget the notion that there’s only one true way to market for your business; in fact, what works for other businesses may very well not work for you. Keep exploring, testing, and measuring the performance of your efforts - that’s the only way you’ll figure out what works for you.
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