Without a clearly defined marketing plan your business is essentially floundering along with no direction – short term and long term.
While today’s marketplace dictates the need for a few specific, different marketing plans, one that outlines an overall approach and structure is required for your organisation’s marketing efforts.
‘Hope is not a strategy’ – USAF Special Ops Pilot
The reasons you must have a current, specific, customised marketing plan:
- 1. A marketing plan ensures that your marketing objectives are in line with your overall business strategy and goals, and makes sense of your business environment;
- 2. A marketing plan formalises your concepts and ideas;
- 3. A marketing plan enables clear decision making and prevents panic decisions;
- 4. A marketing plan integrates long term planning and short term implementation;
- 5. A marketing plan keeps you and your team focused on what you need to do to achieve your goals;
- 6. A marketing plan establishes timelines and tasks;
- 7. A marketing plan enables you to measure the results of your marketing efforts.
A marketing plan will clarify the key marketing elements of your business and create directions, activities and objectives for the business as a whole, and team members individually.
Your marketing plan should initially be focused on analysis of the four P’s:
- Product – Who will buy your products/services and why? How is what you are selling better than what your competitors are selling?
- Price – What pricing strategy will you follow? Do you plan large scale sales at lower prices, or niche market sales at a premium price?
- Promotion– How will you promote what you sell? How will your product be packaged? What is the marketplace positioning for what you are selling?
- Place – How will you distribute what you are selling? Retail stores, direct marketing, an eCommerce website?
From this analysis your marketing strategy, branding, advertising and promotional tasks can be devised, a timeline formulated and marketing efforts started.
Internet advertising will make up nearly 25% of the entire ad market by 2015
While a marketing plan is typically created for a 3-5 year time frame, to determine long term goals, your plan should be devised with flexibility in mind and regularly revised. Today’s market is changing at a never before experienced pace so your marketing must be kept up-to-date.
Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing
Top tips for your flexible marketing plan:
- Include sub-plans for each marketing channels making changes easier to implement
- Utilise measurement tools to ensure your marketing efforts are achieving the desired result
- Undertake competitor analysis to determine what they are doing and how you can do it better
- Keep it simple – both media and messages
- Keep up-to-date with new technologies and media
- Consider integration to ensure you get value for money across numerous platforms and activities
- Review frequently and adapt to the fast changing information environment
37.2% of businesses increased their branding/marketing presence by using LinkedIn
Other marketing plans to consider:
- Digital Marketing Plan / Strategy
- Content Marketing Plan / Strategy
- Social Media Marketing Plan / Strategy
Contact Liquid Creativity today, your local branding agency, to discuss creating or revising your organisation’s marketing plan / strategy. Big or small, all businesses need a marketing plan in today’s market.