Marketing Strategy Action Plan

What’s a marketing strategy action plan and why should you use one? A marketing strategy action plan is a document that lists what needs to be done to grow your business through marketing. Without it, it’s difficult to track the progress of a marketing campaign and make necessary adjustments along the way.

 Your marketing strategy is your plan to grow the business. But it’s not enough to have a plan; you also have to execute it. What is a good marketing strategy? The answer depends on the marketing strategy example you choose. A good marketing strategy will use measurable actions, smart tactics, and tiered rewards. It’s important to make sure you get it right otherwise, the rest of your marketing efforts might be for nothing. What Marketing Strategy Do You Use?

What is an action plan in marketing?

A marketing action plan is what businesses use to develop and execute marketing strategies. The purpose of creating a marketing action plan is to put your goals, strategies, and other plans in writing and can help your business stay on track and measure progress as it executes marketing campaigns.

What are the elements of a marketing action plan?

Every marketing action plan is different, but there are a few standard elements worth including, such as:

  • Key performance indicators: One essential component of a marketing action plan is key performance indicators (KPIs), which are metrics that you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and action plan.
  • Campaign timeframe: A campaign timeframe includes a major deadline as well as deadlines for key tasks throughout the duration of the project.
  • Product: You may be creating a marketing plan with the goal of increasing brand awareness, but if you’re marketing a specific product, it’s important to write the product down in your marketing action plan.
  • Company mission statement: You can also consider including your company’s mission statement to help keep your marketing action plan in alignment with your mission.
  • Marketing budget: Your marketing budget can be a huge factor in what types of marketing campaigns you can execute, so it’s crucial to include this information in your marketing action plan.

Marketing action plan process

Start with your outcome goal. If that goal is to achieve $30K in revenue per quarter, that is your focus. So how do you do that?

  • Pick a marketing strategy. There are several to choose from: organic search, content marketing, social media marketing, events, email marketing, PPC advertising. Be realistic about what you can do given your resources (people and money).
  • Determine your performance based projects. What do you commit to work on for the next two weeks? Select those that drive you towards your outcome goal. Do you need to enhance your website with better messages and SEO? Create a lead generation campaign that drives inbound leads? Use content marketing to increase visibility for your brand? Pick no more than three projects that you want to work on throughout the two week sprint.
  • Break the projects into the tasks. What needs to get done and in what order to move your project forward? These tasks will guide you on what you should be working on. They will also help you evaluate those many opportunities that can distract you from achieving your goal.

Remember that you are planning for only two weeks. You may have many projects and tasks you want to do. Prioritize the work you can do within the two-week sprint so you can see the progress you are making.

Measuring for success

Turning your outcome goal into bi-weekly measurable projects and tasks can make success more achievable. When you get constant feedback by working in two-week sprints, you can quickly identify when things aren’t going in the right direction.

If you are not achieving your outcome goal, what is the problem?

  • Are you not specific about your ideal target client? Lack of focus can drive a lot of traffic, but few will convert.
  • Do you understand the challenges facing your target market? View your business from the perspective of your ideal client. See if you truly understand what they need and how you can help them.
  • Are your marketing messages not clearly communicating your value? Too many messages or lack of clarity can confuse your audience and cause them to go elsewhere.
  • Are you simply not working on the right projects to help you achieve your outcome goal?

Reviewing your progress every two weeks allows you to adjust what you are doing before it is too late. Doing the same activities for 3, 6 or unfortunately, 1 year without reviewing your results is a huge mistake.

If you are looking at your progress every two weeks, you can adjust in plenty of time.

Streamline Your Marketing

A marketing plan with actionable details helps busy small business owners take control of their day-to-day marketing activities. Without a plan, marketing, especially online with its rapidly changing landscape, can be overwhelming and discouraging. Breaking up your marketing into manageable pieces can ensure you make progress towards achieving your goals.

How to write a marketing action plan

Here are steps to write a marketing action plan for your company:

1. Write your goals

The first step to creating a marketing action plan is to define your goals. Think about the key goal that you want to accomplish through your marketing action plan. You can use the SMART method to write goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

Writing your marketing goals in the SMART format can make it easier for your team members to understand them and stay on track toward accomplishing them. Be sure to write marketing goals that align with your business’s overall goals.

2. Determine your key performance indicators

Another important step is to determine your key performance indicators. You can choose the specific marketing outcomes you want to measure to help you gauge how well your marketing action plan is working.

3. Identify your target market

It’s also important to identify your target market. Your target market can inform your marketing strategy. Once you identify your target market, you can create a persona to represent your target customer. Be sure to identify key information like demographics, needs, and goals.

4. Develop your strategy

Once you know your goals, KPIs, and target market, you can start developing your marketing strategy. You can write a comprehensive marketing strategy by including each element of the marketing mix:

  • Product: Describe your product, including how it’s different from your competitors and what problem it solves for your customers.
  • Place: Note where buyers can find and access your product and information related to it.
  • Price: List the price of your product and how it compares to competitors. You can also note any discounts you could offer to your target customers.
  • Promotion: Describe your marketing message and how you plan to convey it to your audience.

5. Pinpoint your competitors

Identify your competitors and list them in your marketing action plan. In your competitor analysis, be sure to include the strengths, weaknesses, and other important features of your competitors. It’s important to include competitor information in your marketing action plan to help you compare your business to your competitors and determine how you can persuade customers to choose you over your competitors.

6. Assign roles and responsibilities

Once you have an idea of your marketing strategy, you can break it down into tasks and assign them to specific people. You can also include who to contact for key components of the strategy and the people filling key roles. Assigning roles and responsibilities is important so that everyone on the marketing team knows what they should be working on and who to contact.

Tips for an effective marketing action plan

Here are some tips you can use to help you develop an effective marketing action plan:

Monitor progress

One important tip for making your marketing action plan effective is to monitor your progress. Using your KPIs to measure progress can help you determine how to improve your marketing action plan to ensure that it’s effective.

Pay attention to multiple channels

Another tip for an effective marketing action plan is to pay attention to multiple channels as you develop your strategy. Creating a multi-channel marketing strategy can allow you to reach customers across many channels. Be sure to cater your multi-channel strategy to your target market.

Creating a Marketing Action Plan that Drives Business

1) Analyze the Current State of Affairs with Your Company’s Marketing Efforts

Before you can create a marketing action plan, you need to first take a hard look at your goals and what you’re doing right now as a marketing organization to achieve them. Maybe you’re on track with some and way off the mark with others. The point is to hold yourself accountable in the interest of assessing what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement.
Some questions to ask yourself in the process include:

  • What pain points are we currently facing?
  • Are we focused on the right things to have greatest impact on the business? (By the way, here I’d argue that building a content factory should be one of those things.)
  • Do we have the right knowledge, experience, and tools at our disposal to be effective or do we need to supplement the team in some way?

2) Brainstorm a List of Everything You Can Do to Improve Your Marketing Efforts

When you’re neck-deep in the work of the work, it can be hard to find the time to take a step back and reflect not only on what you’re currently doing but also all of the other stuff that you perhaps should be doing. Having the discipline to do so, however, can yield some really important opportunities.
In the process, you might find yourself saying things like, “Oh if we just spent a little more time optimizing our content for SEO,” or “We really do need to revamp our website so that it speaks to our buyers,” or “If I just got around to trying X, the open rate on my e-mails would probably go up.” Compile a list of all of the stuff you know you probably should be trying, but may not have the time or expertise to execute right now.

3) Prioritize Your List

Whether you’ve got a list of 10 things you need to work on or 100, knowing what to tackle when is critical. Rather than try to take on everything — which can seem pretty daunting — decide what your top priorities are. You can do this by evaluating the impact is that they’ll have on the business and how much time and effort they will take to execute. The highest impact and easiest-to-execute projects are the ones to focus on first. You’ll probably also find that many of the things you’ve identified are interrelated and can be grouped into larger projects or initiatives.

4) Create a 10-day, 30-day, and 90-day Marketing Action Plan

Once you know what you’re going to be focusing on first, figure out what needs to get done to make it happen. Break things down into individual tasks and decide who is going to do what when. As the list of tasks starts piling up, set up a plan of attack that gets you organized by what you can accomplish in the next 10 days, the next 30 days, and the next 90 days. You want to be strategic in your planning so that you can get some quick wins under your belt. Doing so can often be achieved by tackling some of the low-hanging fruit first, which will help build momentum while not diverting too much of your time from your main areas of focus.
The most important thing is carving out the time in your schedule to move these projects forward. That may mean letting some other things slide in the interest of the greater good. If you’ve prioritized your list so that you’re focusing on the things that will drive the most benefit to the business, however, making your case to let some other stuff fall by wayside temporarily should be pretty simple.

5) Tap into the Resources You Need to Complete Those Tasks

Any time you look to improve your marketing program, you may discover that you don’t have all of the skills or resources in-house to do so. OpenView’s portfolio companies have the advantage of being able to tap into the expertise of dedicated teams of professionals. But you don’t need to take an investment from our firm to tap into myriad other resources. For example, leverage freelancers and agencies, or simply spend some time getting up to speed by taking advantage of all of the how-to content available on the Web.

Test your marketing components

You can also test the different components of your marketing action plan to determine which ones are the most effective for your campaign. Test the elements of your strategy one at a time to see how they influence the effectiveness of your campaign. This can help you fine-tune your strategy to increase your campaign’s success.

Conclusion

Marketing strategy action plan always works as part of the action plan in a small or big business. Make use of the action plan template to make it more efficient and effective.

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