Are you thinking of creating a Marketing Plan but don’t know how to make one from scratch? In this article, we are going to guide you in the process of creating your Marketing Plan with tools and examples that will help you understand everything.
There is no single way to carry out a marketing plan since each company can assess different objectives and methodologies, but we are going to present what seems to us the most optimal way to do it.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a document that describes how a company or organization plans to promote and sell its products or services in a specific period of time. It consists of several key elements, including:
- Situation Analysis – A detailed assessment of the market, competition, demand, and other factors relevant to the success of the business. For this, the approach of a SWOT analysis (weaknesses, threats, strengths, and opportunities) or Porter’s 5 Forces is very useful.
- Marketing Objectives – A clear definition of the marketing objectives that the company wants to achieve, such as increasing sales or improving brand image. In addition, they must be met within the time period that we establish, just as if we were setting up KPIs.
- Marketing Strategies – The detailed planning of how marketing objectives are to be achieved, including selecting the most effective marketing channels and identifying key market segments.
- Marketing budget: An estimate of the expenses of implementing marketing strategies, including spending on advertising, promotion, and public relations.
- Marketing Calendar – A detailed schedule of marketing activities, including launch dates, promotions, and events.
- Success Measurement – A plan for measuring and evaluating the success of marketing strategies, including identifying key metrics and how they will be used to assess progress.
These elements combine to form a complete vision of how the company plans to promote and sell its products or services, and the marketing plan is an invaluable tool to guide the decisions of the company and ensure that the objectives of the company are achieved. Marketing.
An excellent way to learn in detail all the possible marketing strategies for our business plan is to study a Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing in Valencia or online, so as not to miss the opportunity to apply strategies that you did not know about at first.
How to Make a Business Marketing Plan
1. Analysis of the client’s situation with a Briefing
The first thing we must do in any marketing plan is to meet several times with our client and prepare a complete briefing based on the answers they give us. It is very important that the client take the preparation and preparation of this briefing very seriously, and provide us with the best possible information about their company so that with this we can design this document as accurately as possible.
This briefing should include some of these questions:
How would you sell me your brand or product?
If a company is not capable of convincing you with a value proposition, it will be very difficult for you to convince hundreds of users in which you yourself are not convinced.
Target to which it is addressed?
We must know very well the public to whom we are going to direct our online marketing campaign. The more information we have about him, the better.
What are your competitors? What useful information do you have about them?
Knowing data from the competition will be very useful for us to make a comparative analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the company with the rest of the competitors.
Have you done any branding campaign?
Sometimes when you mention this word the client opens your eyes and tells you that he doesn’t understand you or that he hasn’t just seen it, but honestly without a branding campaign for a company on the Internet it is very difficult and tedious to achieve acceptable or reasonable objectives in the online marketing strategy that we are going to design.
Does the company have a style or corporate manual?
This manual, also known as the corporate design manual, will help us understand the image that this company wants to communicate since our marketing actions must not only be aligned with its sales objectives, but also with its values as a brand or company. Image they want to convey to the market.
What is your differentiating element?
If a brand does not have a different and valuable bet, and does not have an element that makes it different from the rest, then it is very difficult for us to be successful in our online marketing strategy. We must have a differential added value that makes us special compared to the competition.
Why should I hire you instead of another company?
We will see what aspects make hiring the services of this company more appealing compared to other similar companies.
Why would you like to be present on Social Networks?
Vain or superficial answers are not useful to us, we need a real and reasoned answer. The typical answer of “because yes” or “because everyone does it” are not worth us as answers. Keep in mind that working a social network well consumes time and money, so you have to know which platforms our target audience is on and if it really is a priority to work on them currently.
Do you have someone qualified to manage social networks?
Leaving the management of social networks to a person who does not have the domain and the necessary experience can trigger numerous problems in the Social Media strategy, such as publications without impact or poor community management.
What are the objectives of your business?
The client must draw us what the objectives of his business are with this online marketing campaign, so that we can have a vision of what is expected of our work.
What are the main channels where the company wants to be?
We must know the scope of the project and all the channels where a brand wants to have a presence. The most common channels are: website, blog, YouTube channel, podcast and social networks, although there are others that may interest us.
What budget does the company have for online marketing?
I know that it will be difficult for many of you to ask this question, but it is necessary. It is important to know what budget we have to design this online marketing plan, so that we can create a realistic scenario and establish how far we can go with the investment.
Subsequently, after preparing the briefing, we can continue analyzing the online situation of our client. We will be in a position to investigate and study all the recruitment channels of which there is evidence: corporate website, blog, social networks, YouTube or podcast.
It is important that we analyze what things are being done well and what are not , as well as pay special attention to the way the company communicates with its followers or what the competition does with respect to them (of course, if a competitor is doing well). Wrong, we don’t need to replicate your ideas).
To do this, you can make use of tools for our marketing plan that we will mention later. Externally, for the competition, you can create reports in Excel that include data such as the following:
- What visibility do the websites of the competition have? In what position of Google are they for the queries that interest me? If you have tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush or SEranking you can also do more complete SEO analysis.
- In which social networks do they have a presence? What engagement or impact do they have on social networks? You can manually dig into their profiles and see if they have a high ratio of followers vs. interactions. If they have many followers and little impact on their posts, surely their strategy can be improved. On the contrary, if they have posts with a lot of interactions, we can take inspiration from that content.
- Do you have a YouTube channel or podcast? What stats do they get? What type of content has worked best for you? Again, it will help us to get inspired and get content ideas that can work for us in our marketing plan, or to determine if that recruitment channel is really effective or if it is just working for them.
- Do they work email marketing? What kind of communications or emails do you send to subscribers? How do you encourage people to subscribe from the web? (For example, with coupons or by sending a gift when signing up).
- Do you invest in online advertising? If so, it would be interesting to know what channels they invest in (Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Spotify Ads, etc.) and what type of content they are promoting.
Once we make an evaluation and present a report on the performance of the client and the competition, it is time to decide if the proposal of the brand or the company has the sufficient value and differentiating character necessary to be successful on the Internet.
2. Definition of marketing objectives
In the previous stage, what we have been doing is collecting enough information to have a global vision of the entire company, and with that, be able to design a real and effective online marketing strategy.
Now we go to the part in which we define the objectives that we want to meet with our plan, which can be of 2 types:
Every business or company is more or less clear about a series of objectives that they would like to achieve with this marketing strategy, but the most common are:
- Improve the brand image (branding) and its online reputation. The image is the feeling that we want to project as a brand, and the second (reputation) is what users really think of us.
- Create a wide community of loyal and active followers, either on social networks, email newsletter, or on our website.
- Promote the company’s products and/or services through the previously mentioned channels or through advertising campaigns on social networks, or with influencers.
- Increase the number of visits and conversions on the website, improving the shopping experience or visibility in search engines like Google with SEO strategies.
Online marketing objectives
We must define a series of objectives that we consider important in our strategy. The most common are:
- Increase organic visibility.
- Get x conversions per month.
- Improve the brand image, as well as the personal brand image of its professionals.
- Increase the community of followers on Social Networks.
- Improve your reputation to increase sales and hiring.
- Create and retain thousands of people around the brand.
In addition, they must be quantified and fulfilled within a period of time , with an established schedule.
That is, we cannot say that an objective is “to get more followers on Twitter”, but we must say that “we want to get 1,000 followers on Twitter in the next two months “.
3. Online Marketing Strategies
Currently the preferred marketing strategy for most companies is known as 360º, which fits the work in social networks, blog, email marketing, and any other sales channel you have.
Visibility and attraction strategies
- SEO strategy. The goal is to increase visibility in the Google search engine to get as many qualified traffic as possible. There are many free SEO tools to help you in this task.
- Social Media Strategy. The objective is to provide the company with a social presence, which allows us to create a community of followers loyal to our brand.
- Content Marketing Strategy. This strategy makes it possible to publicize and generate trust among users through the generation of quality, valuable and useful content for our readers.
It is useless to get traffic if we cannot convert it into customers or subscribers, for this we will need to optimize:
- Web design. Design is an element that helps us build trust and is very important for our brand image or branding.
- Web Usability. We must understand and understand all the paths that our users follow on our website until they reach conversion, and see how we can optimize the number of clicks, or the ease with which they find our products or the purchase button, among others. If users manage to buy easily, the usability of the web is good.
- Landing Page. Optimizing our landing pages is an important part of converting those visits into customers and/or subscribers to our brand or business. They are pages dedicated especially to sales, so we must study in depth what messages we are going to communicate or how we are going to structure its content.
- Inbound Marketing. The objective of inbound marketing is to use SEO, content marketing and social media to find consumers to whom to offer services and/or products that they need, generating the greatest possible value, in order for them to become leads and customers. In other words, it consists of people finding us naturally when they have a problem, instead of us going after them with advertising campaigns.
- WhatsApp Marketing: This strategy seeks to reach the customer through WhatsApp, and directly reaches its objective target through promotions and discounts that increase sales. In addition, the use of chatbots that generate almost human conversations with customers and resolve doubts without the need for a person behind the scenes is becoming more fashionable.
A loyal user is one who makes more than one purchase from your brand because they have ended up trusting you.
- Newsletter through email marketing. We will create a newsletter where we will communicate to our subscribers that valuable information that can be very useful. We will use this strategy as a claim and hook to communicate our promotions, as well as other products and/or services that we intend to highlight.
- Loyalty card. A loyalty system widely used by local businesses, especially those that are stores or department stores. For example, a discount on the next visit.
- Customer Support. When a customer feels well cared for, he will be happy with the brand and is more likely to repeat the purchase with it. We must spare no expense to offer a correct pre-sale or post-sale experience.
- Promotions and Discounts. A loyalty strategy that has always worked are discounts, and if we know how to take advantage of it, it can reap very good results. For example, you can offer a 10% discount to everyone who subscribes to your email marketing list, and an additional 5% if they repeat the purchase with you.
- WhatsApp Marketing. It can also be a loyalty tool. For example, many town halls are offering their neighbors to receive the most relevant news from their town through WhatsApp, or greengrocers that report the fruit they have on offer or recently harvested.
I hope that all these examples of strategies to design a marketing plan will be very useful for you.
Tools for a Marketing Plan
As we have commented previously, after the execution of the marketing actions taking into account the calendar that we have proposed, we must monitor and evaluate the results obtained to draw conclusions.
If we do not measure, we will not be able to improve, so it is vitally important that we work with tools that allow us to evaluate the performance of our actions.
Web metrics, with Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, a completely free website data analysis platform. With GA4, users can measure and understand how users interact within our websites and mobile applications.
These are some of the metrics that you can analyze in Google Analytics 4:
- User acquisition: how many visits you have received, where the users come from (Google, social networks, direct…), demographic and geographic profiles (sex, age or location), as well as if they are new or recurring visits that had already visited you with anteriority.
- User Behavior – See how users interact with your site, including the pages they visit, session lengths, and average interaction time.
- Conversions – How many users take a desired action, such as buying a product or filling out a contact form?
- Custom Event Tracking – Set up custom events to measure specific actions on your site or app, such as clicks to the shopping cart or a subscribe button.
- Integration with Google Ads: You will be able to integrate your Google Analytics data with your Google Ads campaigns to obtain a complete vision of the effectiveness of the ads.
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