In this post we look at how to create a marketing plan, but firstly why have a plan?  Most businesses have a plan and part of achieving this will be a financial plan and a marketing plan.

In this blog we’ll work through your objectives, what to include in your marketing plan and creating an outline marketing plan for your business.

By the end of the blog you’ll have a plan to put into action for promoting your business this quarter or this year.

Step 1: 

What do you want to achieve this year?

  • Business goals
  • Personal goals
  • Key clients you want to work with
  • Do you want to launch a podcast/youtube channel
  • Enter a key market

Setting your marketing objectives

  • These should help you meet your overall business goals

Make sure your marketing objectives are SMART

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Resourced
  • Time bound

It is truly the only way to keep on track.

Will your marketing objectives help you achieve your busines objectives?  Your marketing objectives need to assist on delivering your overall business objectives

How will you measure them and how often?

What will you use to measure your objectives?

  • Google analytics
  • Email reporting
  • Sales data
  • ROI
  • ROAS

When will you review them and action that review of your marketing plan.  

By measuring monthly you’ll know your plan is on track and delivering for you.  

Keep your metrics easy to measure otherwise measuring won’t happen.

How will your marketing get you to meet your objectives?

Your marketing plan needs to be planned out for 12 months and have a budget to ensure that you can deliver on it.  Work on key dates throughout the year and product launches or new services you have coming on board. 

Keep your plan flexible too and just flesh out the detail on a quarterly basis.

A quick win to your marketing plan is to keep in touch with existing and previous customers as it is easier to market and sell to these as they are already your warm sales leads within your business.   To keep in touch with your customers by emailing them regularly you don’t always have to be in sales mode.

You’ll also not miss out on key dates such as Black Friday and Christmas, Valentines Day etc..

It will also allow you to react to the current situation around Covid-19 and also with Brexit. 

It keeps us in control as much as possible as we wait for each government announcement.

Step 2:
What to include in your plan

  • What products/service you’re selling?  What’s in development
  • How much are you selling for have you reached a ceiling for them
  • Where are you selling?
  • How are you promoting them?

When I work on a clients marketing plan I always start at the beginning and work from there.  Marketing takes your business on a journey.

Step 3:
Create your plan 

  • Map out each quarter what products your launching, key dates that you can promote around Valentines, Easter, Black Friday, Christmas
  • Ask your customer what they want from you for NPD ideas

I then take a piece of paper and split this into quarters to plan out product launches throughout the year, key dates which I’ve mentioned like holiday periods, Mother’s Day, the budget anything that has an impact on your business that you can use to talk about your business and bring people into to buy.  

I use a content planning diary to help me with this too. I use Janet Murray’s diary to plan out mine. You can buy it here

2021 Social Media Diary & Planner

What events are you attending – this could be networking events to trade shows and conferences as these are all good topics to talk about your business around.

Then plan out each quarter in more detail expanding on campaigns you’ll run, content you’ll use on your website and social media.  You’ll need to consider branding, graphics, video content around each campaign.

Also make sure you put a marketing budget behind this too.  

This is where the fun in marketing comes in as you’ve worked out who your ideal client is, you have your plan and budget and now you can go out there and talk to customers about your products and services.

Step 4:

Marketing Tactics

Your marketing plan will include the tactics that the campaigns use to get in front of your customers:

  • Website, PPC, SEO so that you area easily found on search engines
  • Email marketing and funnels to keep in touch with current customers and prospects
  • Social media content to keep brand loyalty and conversations going with customers and also ask for the sale in your posts
  • PR is a great way to build your authority in your industry and promote stories about you and your business
  • Events – trade shows, festivals, speaking, networking to be in front of your customers and ideal clients more often 
  • Content marketing – blogs, video, podcasts 
  • Offline channels – leaflets, newspaper, radio, signage, packaging

Now sketch out which channels you’ll use.  I tend to mind map this stage per campaign.

Now you have your plan it’s time to get your marketing delivered and your products in front of customer in 2021.

Read more

5 tools to promote your small business

Where to start writing your marketing plan