If you’re like most people, you probably have a marketing plan that you hope will help your business grow. But if you’re not sure how to review and improve your plan, it might be helpful to take a step back and review the different sections of it. Once you’ve got all of the pieces in place, it’s time to start testing and tweaking.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a way to create, track, and measure your marketing efforts in order to optimize results. A marketing plan can help you understand your target market, identify your unique selling points, and develop strategies for reaching and engaging your target market.
How to Draft a Marketing Plan
To draft a marketing plan, you first need to decide what the objectives of your marketing are. Once you know what the objectives of your marketing effort are, you can start drafting the specific steps needed to achieve those objectives. This includes creating goals and targets (based on how much money you want to spend), writing down all of the resources required for each step of your marketing plan (e.g., budget, staff time, location), and creating timetables for each step of your marketing plan (e.g., planning stages).
How to Place a Marketing Plan
Once you have drafted a marketing plan, it is important to place it in an efficient manner so that everyone involved can be successful. Place the plan into five phases: Pre-Launch, Launch, Growth/Reconciliation/Retention (GDR), Post-GDR, Disciplining/Evaluation/Refocusing/, and Maintenance/Final Checks and Balances/. Each phase should have at least one action item that needs to be completed in order for the goal of that phase to be realized.
Importance Of Reviewing Marketing Plan
Here are six advantages of reviewing your marketing performance on a regular basis:
- Your chances of achieving your objectives are higher.
Reviewing your marketing efforts as you go allows you to compare your results to your goals and gain a clear understanding of what needs to be done in order to achieve them.
Using your data, you can:
- Calculate a percentage for the completion of your quantitative goals
- Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing mix’s channels.
- Compare the efficiency of your channels to your desired results.
- Review and update your objectives for the upcoming period.
- Examine what you need to do more of or less of in order to achieve your objectives the next time.
- You’ll be aware of what functions and what doesn’t.
You’ll be able to congratulate your team and yourself on the impressive victories of the previous two quarters and pinpoint specific areas for development.
You can determine which of your marketing channels has been working hard in terms of effectiveness by looking at them all separately and collectively. According to industry benchmarks, have your email, social media, PPC, and content seen good conversion rates?
The crucial task of determining why this is the case follows. Making wise changes to your marketing strategy going forward requires learning from the past.
- It compels you to be influenced by data.
Taking a numbers-driven approach to your marketing means compiling your data from the past half-year and producing solid, thorough reports that show visitors, conversion rates, percentage increases, and other data.
Numbers don’t lie, and they can be compared to your goals, monthly averages, the past six months, and the next six months. This is the beauty of using data and metrics to measure your success.
But along with letting data guide your choices, you should also rely on your own intuition and marketing expertise. Although data can be a helpful guide, you should still use your judgment.
- You can update the overall marketing plan for your business.
You should be able to make a number of inferences about the efficacy of your overall marketing strategy once you’ve reviewed your data and performance over the previous six months (or other time period).
The following inquiries about your plan can be made by you and your team:
- How could you more effectively distribute resources, such as time and money?
- How much did your traffic, conversions, and ROI increase month over month?
- How will you proceed with achieving your objectives in the future?
- In what areas should you concentrate your efforts to enhance your prior performance?
- Are you using the proper metrics to gauge success?
- You can give your boss a quick report.
There are only a select few metrics that your boss and sales team will care about when it comes to reporting your data to internal stakeholders. You still need to have a solid understanding of your findings, though, so you can back up the numbers if necessary.
Make it a habit to inform interested coworkers of your performance in relation to your goals at the end of each month or quarter. It keeps them informed, supports budget increases, and keeps you feeling personally responsible for the marketing choices you make. It’s intimidating, but the pressure can be inspiring.
- It will improve your marketing abilities.
Who doesn’t want to learn new things and improve their skills at work? Your consistent marketing reviews will help you stay focused on developing your abilities and adapting your strategies as needed. You’ll learn new things about marketing, your target market, and the efficacy of your branding and strategy by keeping an eye on your data.
Over the course of a year, your company’s circumstances and priorities may change. Additionally, new fashions and technological advancements keep appearing. Your presumptions from the beginning of the period might no longer be accurate. Being the best marketer you can be means keeping up with everything with a thorough performance review.
Marketing Review Process
The majority of professional service companies do not view the development of a marketing system as a one-time undertaking with a clear beginning and end. Instead, it is an iterative process where we work to improve an already existing piece of the system, add a new component, and possibly remove a component that is underperforming.
The complexity of building a system, the need to change and adapt, and the fact that, more often than not, the marketing function is being performed by someone for whom marketing is just one of many hats they wear are some of the factors that drive the need for an iterative process.
I like to review our plan’s underlying presumptions and strategy, as well as any lessons learned, during the first phase.
All plans are based on assumptions, which are made using the best information at the time. Reviewing those assumptions to see if they remain helpful for planning purposes should be one of the first steps in your review process.
Strategy – In order to keep the big picture of what we hope to accomplish in mind, I find it helpful to restate our marketing strategy at the start of the review meeting.
What have we learned since the previous meeting? This could include anything from customer feedback to competitor news to mistakes made, etc.
We want to change our marketing materials, milestones, budgets, metrics, and marketing calendar during this phase.
We prepare for the following iteration during the planning stage. We define resource requirements, develop timelines, assign milestones, and more.
It’s time to start “doing marketing” once more. We carry out our regular tactics during this phase and work to put the ones that were discussed during the plan phase into practice.
A successful marketing system must be created by consistently using a review process. Make a review of your marketing plan today, if it isn’t already on the calendar.
Why is a Marketing Plan so Important?
The marketing strategy fills in the gap between the business’s strategic direction and the achievement of results. It serves as the binding agent that holds everything together and guarantees that the appropriate activity is carried out at the appropriate time, with the appropriate audience through the appropriate channels.
It is obvious that you don’t have a marketing plan if you’ve ever felt like you are randomly experimenting with a lot of different things without really knowing what is and isn’t working. Similar to this, you lack a clear strategy if you think the things you are doing are very isolated and might conflict with other parts of the business.
The magic happens when your business strategy, marketing strategy, and marketing plan are all perfectly aligned. At that point, the small tasks you complete each day start to add up to the overall direction the company is taking and start to yield much higher returns on the initial investment.
Here are our top 5 arguments for why having a marketing strategy is essential.
- A marketing strategy offers FOCUS.
A marketing plan, as was already mentioned, serves as a guide for carrying out a marketing strategy. This alone demonstrates that everything has been carefully considered. You are aware that every action being taken is contributing positively to a direction that has been specifically chosen.
If you think about an entrepreneurial business, which many SME’s are by their very nature, the leader frequently lacks focus. Entrepreneurs frequently change directions because they are motivated by new opportunities. Although this adaptability occasionally proves advantageous, most opportunities rarely reach their full potential as a result of this lack of focus.
Instead of just following the latest idea from the business owner, a marketing plan makes sure that all activities are in line with the strategic direction the company is taking. The majority of Richard Branson’s ideas would never have materialized without a team delivering precise marketing strategies.
- Enables efficient resource planning and management
The majority of businesses we work with don’t already have a marketing strategy or plan in place. This is also reflected in the absence of a marketing budget for the company and a staff member specifically assigned to marketing.
They don’t really know what they need or what they should be doing, which is the main cause of their lack of resources or budget. A business can understand what kind of budget to set aside, for what specific activities, and what level of resources they need to deliver with a clear marketing strategy and marketing plan in place.
Resources don’t always refer to in-house labor. After all, some tasks can be delegated to experts, like web agencies, social media agencies, or marketing consultants. As an alternative, it might make the company realize that hiring a full-time marketing manager, executive, or assistant is in their best interests.
Your time is the last resource that a marketing plan can assist you in managing. An activity schedule and a clear plan of action help prevent procrastination and getting distracted by time-consuming activities that aren’t part of the plan and could take you off course.
3 A marketing strategy offers openness
A marketing strategy’s ultimate goal is to maximize the return on investment from your overall marketing budget. It should be accompanied by a marketing plan of action. What is the point unless it increases business profits by an amount greater than its costs? A marketing strategy will include some quantifiable metrics that can be monitored, tested, and evaluated on a regular basis.
For instance, one aspect of the marketing strategy might be to raise the website’s ranking through an SEO approach that emphasizes site content. It is simple to measure metrics like website traffic levels, Google rankings, and the volume of online inquiries when you are aware that this is a key goal that should increase traffic and the number of leads in the pipeline.
The aforementioned example can be used in a variety of marketing-related contexts. Thus, the performance of each component of the marketing plan in relation to how it contributes to the overall marketing strategy is completely transparent.
You can then use this information to make much more informed choices regarding your future endeavors, spending priorities, and growth objectives. Additionally, it can show where the current plan might be flawed and show which metrics need improvement. For instance, even if your marketing strategy is producing the volume of leads you expected, you might not be meeting your targets for sales growth because your conversion rate is falling short. Now that you are aware of the areas on which you should concentrate your efforts, you can determine why your conversion rate is low.
4 A marketing strategy guarantees continuity
The majority of businesses that advertise themselves erratically and without a clear marketing strategy discover that they only really focus on marketing activity when they really need some sales.
Typically, there is a wave of marketing activity that brings in some new customers. Then, due to a lack of a plan or devoted resource, their focus shifts to attending to the needs of the clients they have acquired. Their marketing efforts have ceased entirely in the interim.
This leads to activity peaks and valleys, creating an erratic pipeline of sales opportunities. A marketing strategy that has a specific resource devoted to it enables you to market your company consistently and continuously.
In the end, this will give you a strong base from which to expand your company. If you can see a consistent flow of leads and sales through the company from month to month, investing in the business will be much simpler.
The only thing that a “stop-start” approach to marketing accomplishes is the creation of a reactive environment where decisions are made on impulse or whim.
5 A marketing strategy offers clarification
The businesses that perform the best are those where everyone knows exactly what they are doing, what is expected of them, and how they are doing.
All associated staff are completely aware of the direction the business is taking, its growth targets, their role in achieving those targets, and how they are contributing thanks to a clear strategy and marketing plan.
You cannot undervalue the influence such clarity has on staff. Everyone can manage themselves and support one another much more skillfully when they are aware of their own and one another’s personal responsibilities.
How to Evaluate Your Sales and Marketing Campaigns.
The components of a sales and marketing campaign are the target audience, objectives, and goals. To identify your target audience, you first need to determine what type of person or group you want to market to. This can be done through research or by interviewing customers who have recently interacted with your product or service. Once you know who your target audience is, it’s time to develop a sales and marketing campaign that will reach them.
What are the Goals of a Sales and Marketing Campaign
Each goal of a sales and marketing campaign should have two parts: the objective and the vehicle for achieving the objective. The objective is the specific goal you want to achieve, such as increasing sales or increasing reach for your marketing campaigns. The vehicle for achieving this goal is how you will achieve this goal—for example, using print media, social media, or direct mail).
What is the Target Audience for Your Marketing Campaign
Your target audience can be divided into two types: male and female consumers. For male consumers, your focus should be on reaching large numbers of potential customers; for female consumers, it may be more important to reach a smaller number of potential customers but with high-quality products or services. As always, remember that it’s important to tailor your marketing campaigns specifically for each individual customer type in order to get the most results from your investment.
What are the Objectives of Your Sales and Marketing Campaign
Each objective has two parts: The Strategy part and The Execution part. The strategy part includes how you will market your product or service to whichever target audience you have identified; while the execution part includes tasks that need to be completed in order for your campaign to succeed (such as contacting potential customers, creating content, etc.).
A marketing plan is an important tool for any business. It helps you create a detailed plan that will help you achieve your goals. The components of a sales and marketing campaign, the target audience for your marketing efforts, objectives of your campaigns, and impact of your campaigns are all essential to success. By evaluating your marketing efforts, you can make necessary adjustments and improve upon your current level of success.