No business can grow without effective marketing, and an action oriented marketing plan is the first step toward effective marketing.
Marketing strategies may vary business to business, but there are some essentials of a marketing plan that remain same for all the industries, products and even situations. Knowing such growthhacks is good to speed up your marketing efforts while making sure that everything goes in order. In short, knowing the essentials of a strategic marketing plan will simply boost the productivity of marketing team and resources, hence will improve the ROI.
In this article I am going to list all those essentials which you can use as a quick checklist for finalizing your marketing plan.
- Have a vision of the company or brand.
- Statistical data of historical sales, margins, volume.
- Describe your market characteristics, i.e. demographics, gender, age group etc.
- Mention the size of each market segment.
- Note down the key market trends for last one year and particular in last three months.
- Identify what customers value more, i.e. product features, quality, after sales service, brand image.
- Clearly identify and compare the distribution channels for reaching customers, i.e. what and when to sell direct and when to engage retailers/affiliates.
- Have a complete profile of your competitors with details of their offers.
- Recognize the other key factors influencing your business. (A SWOT analysis can bring all those at one place).
- Must include the effective part of previous marketing initiatives in case if you have run some advertising campaigns or promotions earlier.
- Categorize each market segment based on the profitability and sales potential.
- Know whom to target first, i.e. existing or potential customers.
- Make sure that marketing plan covers multiple objectives in one go, i.e. Customer retention, increasing order sizes, selling new products or winning new customers etc.
- Must have clear pricing.
- Make sure that the plan includes costs of improving customer service and satisfaction.
- Must know the purchasing cycle of segmented audience.
- Create the marketing action plan and timetable the activities based on the purchasing cycle. Consider physical promotional mediums as well as newer digital methods.
- Marketing plan must have set milestones in terms of quarters and months. (Weekly distribution of actionable items can further enhance the performance.)
- Make sure that other departments, i.e. production comply with the marketing plan.
- Make sure that the sales forecast is realistic.
- Identify the key indicators, i.e. new enquiries, conversion rates, customers lost, average order value etc.
- Create a system for measuring the key indicators.
There may be some other detailed depending upon the industry or situation, however, considering the above items will ensure that your marketing efforts are going in right direction!