Marketing Plan: How to make one
How to Make A Marketing Plan
Without marketing, most businesses would fail. But many small businesses don’t take the time to create a comprehensive marketing plan.
These businesses will try different marketing tactics ad hoc, with only minor to moderate success. Or they’ll score a big win by chance but find themselves unable to properly scale their tactics, goals and strategies.
Using a marketing plan will help you create a data-driven blueprint that’ll deliver you the results you want.
In this post, we’ll outline what a marketing plan is and how to create one that’s both actionable and accessible–even if you’ve never written one before–so you can deliver on your business’s larger goals.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for the coming year, quarter or month.
Typically, a marketing plan will include these elements:
- An overview of your business’s marketing and advertising goals
- A description of your business’s current marketing position
- A timeline of when tasks within your strategy will be completed
- Key performance indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking
- A description of your business’s target market and customer needs
Learning how to write a marketing plan forces you to think through the important steps that lead to an effective marketing strategy. A plan will also help keep you focused on your high-level goals.
Whether you’re a team trying to set smarter marketing goals, a consultant trying to set your client in the right direction, or a one-person team trying to introduce structure, a solid marketing plan shows that your marketing strategies are backed up by research.
How to create a marketing plan:
The scope of your marketing plan varies depending on its purpose or the type of organization it’s for. For example, you could create a marketing plan that provides an overview of a company’s entire marketing strategy, or simply focus on a specific channel like SEO, SEO writing, social media marketing, content marketing.
Let’s look at how to create a successful marketing plan :
- Write a simple executive summary
- Set metric-driven marketing goals
- Outline your user personas
- Research all of your competitors
- Set accurate key baselines & metrics
- Create an actionable marketing strategy
- Set tracking or reporting guidelines
- Make it look professional with a marketing plan professional document
Simple Executive Summary
Starting your marketing plan off on the right foot is important. You want to pull people into your amazing plan for marketing domination. Not bore them to tears.
One of the best ways to get people excited to read your marketing plan is with a well written executive summary. An executive summary introduces readers to your company goals, marketing triumphs, future plans, and other important contextual facts.
Basically, you can use the Executive Summary as a primer for the rest of your marketing plan.
Include things like:
- Simple marketing goals
- High-level metrics
- Important company milestones
- Facts about your brand
- Employee anecdotes
- Future goals & plans
- And more
Try to keep your executive summary rather brief and to the point. You aren’t writing a novel, so try to keep it under a three to four of paragraphs
The executive summary is only two paragraphs long–short but effective.
The executive summary tells readers about the company’s growth, and how they are about to overtake one of their competitors. But there’s no mention of specific metrics or figures–that will be highlighted in the next section of the marketing plan.
An effective executive summary should have enough information to pique the reader’s interest, but not bog them down with specifics yet. That’s what the rest of your marketing plan is for!
The executive summary also sets the tone for your marketing plan. Think about what tone will fit your brand–friendly and humorous? Professional and reliable? Inspiring and visionary?
A few more marketing plan design best practices:
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when start designing your marketing plan.
Keep your design elements like fonts, icons and colors consistent
While it’s good to switch up the layout of your pages to keep your marketing plan engaging, it’s important to keep your design consistent. That means:
- Using the same font styles for your headers, body text, and accent text (generally, try to stick to only using 2-3 different font styles in one report)
- Using the same color scheme throughout your plan, and using the same colors for specific types of information (ex. blue for “social media goals” and green for “SEO goals”)
- Using the same style of icons throughout your report, like flat icons, line art icons, or illustrated icons
Download your marketing plan as a PDF
It’s important that your team is on the same page. Sharing your marketing plan via Google Docs or a file sharing service can be unreliable. In most cases, it’s easier to simply download your marketing plan as a PDF and share it with your team that way.
Include a table of contents to make it easy to find specific information
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Even if you’re putting together your marketing plan as a presentation, a simple table of contents at the beginning will give your audience an idea of what they can expect.
Now that you have the basics for designing your own marketing plan, it’s time to get started.