The Road to Success
What is a marketing plan? A marketing plan defines your goals and provides a roadmap to success. It is a blueprint of marketing, communication, branding, advertising and lead generation activities to achieve your objectives.
For effective marketing planning, digital and traditional marketing need to work in harmony as part of your marketing mix. Online marketing needs to complement your offline promotional plan. Whether you use an advertising agency, a marketing consultant or do the work yourself, planning is vital to define the optimal marketing mix.
Planning must cover a number of essential elements to provide a gateway to success. This includes market research, positioning and competitive analysis to begin with. All plans should include defined objectives. The strategy to achieve your goals should be decided upon, along with actionable steps. Research is required to define a suitable budget with sufficient margin. How success is measured needs be defined. All plans must be tailored to individual requirements and adaptable to market conditions.
The marketing strategy and sales plan should be fully aligned in order to be successful. Achieving marketing goals should be key performance indicators (KPIs) in contributing to hitting sales objectives.
How to write a marketing plan? A list of questions is below that your sales & marketing plan should answer. A business advisor can help you build a winning plan.
The marketing mix is a combination of controllable factors that determine an offering and influence consumers to purchase goods or services. Defining the optimal marketing mix to achieve results are key elements of a marketing plan.
For goods, the 4 P’s of the product marketing mix are product, price, place and promotion.
For services, the 7 P’s of the services marketing mix are product, price, place, promotion, people, physical evidence and process.
A marketing plan should define your optimal marketing mix. These tactical tools set out to influence your target market to achieve the desirable response that delivers your objectives.
Key Components of a Marketing Plan
- Market research: To build a digital marketing plan, it is important that your business conducts market research. This will permit you to decide on the correct strategy.
- Target market: Identifying potential customers is the lifeblood of any sales plan. You will most likely need to segment your market to target the right audience in a profitable manner.
- Positioning: What is the consumer perception of your brand
- Competitive analysis: By researching your competitors, your business can differentiate products and services.
- Objectives: What are your sales and marketing goals?
- Marketing strategy: These are the steps and tactics you will follow to achieve sales results.
- Budget: You need to understand the value of a customer, and how much you can spend winning and retaining clients. This is how to measure return on investment (ROI).
- Reporting: Key performance indicators, along with sales & marketing metrics gauge success.
Questions a Marketing Plan Should Answer
1. What are your objectives?
2. What is the definition of your marketing mix?
3. What product(s) or service(s) are you selling?
4. What benefits does your product(s) or service(s) give customers?
5. How much will a customer pay per unit of product or service?
6. What is your margin per sale?
7. What percentage of customers turn into repeat customers?
8. What is the lifetime value of a customer?
9. How many sales are required per day/per month/per annum to achieve objectives?
10. Who are your competitors?
11. What strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities exist?
12. Who is your target audience in terms of demographics?
13. What gender are your customers?
14. What age are your customers?
15. Where are your potential customers based in terms of geographic location?
16. Where are your audience online in terms of digital channels and interests?
17. What interests/hobbies have your customers got?
18. How do customers purchase from you? Online or offline?
19. How do customers research products in your industry?
20. What social networks do your potential customers use?
21. What is the customer purchase journey?
22. Are there any touch-points or trends along the sales funnel where you lose customers?
23. What is you after-sale customer service journey?
24. What digital marketing channels are relevant for your business to drive customers online or in store?
25. What message does your brand wish to sell?
26. What potential reach does each online or mobile channel have?
27. What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)?
28. What is your conversion rate per channel?
29. What is your cost per acquisition per channel?
30. How will you measure and report results?
31. How will you adapt and respond to various outcomes?
Marketing Plan FAQ
A marketing plan defines your goals over a period of time and provides a roadmap to success. It is a blueprint of marketing, communication, branding, advertising and lead generation activities to achieve your objectives.
- Market research to permit you to decide on the correct marketing strategy.
- Target market to identify and segment the right potential customers and audience that can be marketed to in a profitable manner.
- Positioning to define the desired customer perception of your brand.
- Competitive analysis to research your competitors to help define how you differentiate your products and services.
- Defining objectives in terms of your marketing and sales goals.
- Marketing strategy with the steps and tactics needed to be taken to achieve results.
- Budget defined to understand return on investment (ROI), and how much needs to be spent to win and retain clients.
- Reporting of results and key performance indicators to gauge success.
For goods, the 4 elements of a marketing plan are the 4 P’s of the product marketing mix. These are product, price, place and promotion.
For services, the 7 elements of a marketing plan are the 7 P’s of the services marketing mix. These are product, price, place, promotion, people, physical evidence and process.
Do you need help developing a business plan and go-to-market strategy? As a business advisor, Ronan has considerable experience developing actionable sales and marketing plans. Ronan’s plans have resulted in funding being approved by Enterprise Ireland and the County Enterprise Board. This will give you the roadmap to success.