- By Dwaipayan, 31 July 2020
When you set an annual marketing plan it helps you set your marketing on the right course to make your company's business goals a reality. Think of it as a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team's campaigns, goals, and growth.
Without one, things can get messy and it's nearly impossible to put a number on the budget you'll need to secure for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing you'll encounter over the course of a year if you don't have a plan.
There are variations to the marketing plan you need, depending on your industry and the goals of your marketing team. Here is a list of what to include in your plan and a few different planning templates where you can easily fill in the blanks.
let us dive into how to create a marketing plan and then understand what a high-level marketing plan has inside.
Here’s how to Create a Marketing Plan
Perform a situation analysis
Before you can get started with your marketing plan, you must consider your current situation.
Conduct a basic (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) SWOT analysis is the first step to creating a marketing plan. Furthermore, you should also understand the current market. A competitor analysis should come handy.
Think about how other products are better than yours. Good if you consider the gaps in a competitor's approach. What are they missing? What can you offer that'll give you a competitive edge? Think about what sets you apart.
Answering questions like this should help you figure out what your customer wants, which brings us to step number two.
Know your target audience.
Once you have a better understanding of the market and your company's situation, make sure you know who your target audience is.
If your company already has a buyer persona's, it’s a good thing, now you have to refine your current personas. AND If you don't have a buyer persona, you should create one. To do this, you might have to conduct market research.
Your buyer persona should essentially include demographic information such as age, gender, and income. However, it will also include psychographic information such as pain points and goals. The information will help you define what your goals are, which brings us to step number three.
Script SMART goals
Now, when you have figured out your current situation and know your audience, you can begin to define your SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. This means that all your goals should be specific and time bound. For example, if your goal is to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months. Depending on your overall marketing goals, this should be relevant and attainable. Besides, this goal is specific, measurable, and time bound. The next move will be to analyze which tactics will help you achieve that goal. That brings us to step number four.
Question your tactics
At this point, you must figure out what tactics will work. Plus, what are the right channels and action items to focus on? Once you know your goals, brainstorming several tactics to achieve those goals should be easy.
While you're writing your tactics, you have to keep your budget in mind, which brings us to step number five.
Plan your budget
Budget is an integral part before you can begin implementing any of your ideas that you've come up within the steps above, you have to know your budget. For example, your tactics might include social media advertising. However, if you don't have the budget for that, then you might not be able to achieve your goals.
Always Keep the budgeting estimation parallel while you're writing out your tactics. You can include the time it'll take to complete each tactic in addition to the assets you might need to purchase, such as ad space.
Pro Tip: Before you set yourself up to hit more challenging goals, the best way to plan marketing goals for the year is to start with quick wins first, that way you can ramp up fast and set yourself (and your team) for complex projects. what do you say? Are you ready to give it a spin?
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