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How To Draft A Marketing PlanAn effective marketing plan will help your business stay on track with marketing and general business goals.  The research and strategy that goes into your marketing plan will show senior management that goals are achievable with quantified data. With  some careful research, brainstorming, and planning, you can clearly outline your strategy for the present and future. Your marketing plan should include the following:

Mission

To write an effective mission statement for your marketing plan, it is a  good idea to look back at your business mission statement. Marketing is how you promote your business and overall mission to others. Your marketing plan mission needs to include: specific direction for marketing goals, what activities will be included, and quantitative standards to measure success. Make sure to be daring but still realistic!

Situational analysis

This section can be lengthy but is important for establishing a baseline. Data from internal and external sources is included. Information such as economic trends, demographics of target audience, technological changes, market competition, wants and needs of consumers, descriptions of your business’ products and/or services, breakdowns for each marketing channel (print, email, PPC, social, any relevant website analytics, etc.) should be included here. Over time, this information will show what areas of your marketing strategy are effective and where adjustments are needed.

Opportunities and Issues

Here you will need to analyze what external and internal opportunities are at your company’s disposal, as well as what issues may present themselves. Include online marketing opportunities such as newsletters, blogs, and social media presence. Also include more technical opportunities like website work, SEO, branding, etc. Note which of these things are already being done well compared to your competitors and which areas need work. Pay attention to factors that may threaten your marketing potential such as a low click rates, shifting demographics, or minimal budget. Every issue has a solution and this section will help your business prioritize!

Goals

Now that you have analyzed both issues and opportunities, it is time to start drafting objectives. Establish a specific time frame for goals to keep the marketing plan on track. Quantifiable goals are measurable and allow you to see, in numbers, if a marketing effort is working or not. It’s important to note that a marketing plan should be reevaluated every year and reworked if business goals change or there are internal and/or external changes with the business or customer base. Aim to achieve your set goals in 6 months to one year.

Strategy

This is the “what” section of your plan. What products and/or services do you offer and what methods and strategies will your business use for sales, distribution, and marketing? Will your company act as market leader, a follower, or a challenger? What distinguishes you from competitors? Your business needs a competitive advantage.

Action

The details of “how” you will achieve your strategy are included in this section. It is wise to include step-by-step information so the marketing plan could be handed to anyone on your staff and they could implement it. What exact steps will be taken for maintaining the website, keeping an updated blog, optimizing SEO, advertising, emailing newsletters, social networking, and PR? You can include a timetable here that covers the span of the marketing plan. Again, this is ideally a 6 month to one year time frame.

Budget

Time to crunch the numbers! It is important to detail what your business is willing and able to spend.  Include as much information as possible so there are no surprises later!

Summary: Page 1

Your executive summary will be written last, but appears as the first page in your finished plan. Basically an overview of all the information from the above sections, it may seem redundant, but it will reiterate the important points right on the first page.

 

This is a very basic outline to what you can possibly include in your marketing plan. Marketing plans and strategies vary depending on the type of business and what goals are desired. While a marketing plan is crucial to organizing your business strategy, all of the necessary work can be overwhelming. Need help? BlueTreeDigital’s expert team can assist in drafting your marketing strategy and determining the right goals for your business. A strong marketing plan will be your company’s road  map to a successful year!