8 Steps to a Results-Driven Marketing Plan
Developing your marketing plan
In my last post we discussed the importance of a marketing strategy. It is your overall longterm plan that helps your company sustain a competitive advantage by understanding the needs and wants of your customers. Your marketing strategy (the why) guides your tactics-based marketing plan (the how). The plan includes the actions you will execute to achieve your marketing goals.
Get the process started – you have four months to achieve 2020 goals
Unlike the marketing strategy where you may be starting with a clean slate, or more daunting, a white screen, the plan is based on the goals and strategies you have developed.
Let the Planning begin
Company XXX (fill in the blank) 2020 Marketing Plan
- Executive Summary
Like with all good plans, the executive summary defines the high-level purpose of your plan and provides an easy to review outline. (Hint: write this last after you have completed the seven other sections.) This summarizes what you want senior leaders to know about your marketing plan and actions.
- Identify Buyer Personas
All that hard work building the target customers section for your marketing strategy will be utilized in the plan. Build personas that include what the ideal prospect looks like, how do they act, what do they read, and what are their key pain points that your business can help them resolve. Include all your market segments including verticals, and functional areas you serve.
- Utilize Your Situational Analysis
You’ve created the SWOT analysis as part of your strategy, now use that information. Develop programs that highlight your company’s strengths and where you see opportunity. Keep in mind your weaknesses and potential threats. What are your competitors providing? What are their strengths versus your strengths? This will help you determine the best approach for your marketing plan.
- Define the 4 P’s of marketing
1. Product – clearly define your product, service, offering
2. Price – what your customer must pay for your product, service, offering
3. Place (or Distribution) – how you’re getting your product, service, offering to your customer
4. Promotion – tactics to make your offering known
(Note: There are additional P’s like Packaging, Positioning, Process, People, Physical Evidence and even Productivity and Quality. That’s for a later post.)
- Develop achievable KPIs
You marketing strategy contains your SMART marketing goals. In the plan, we get specific. KPIs (key performance indicators) measure your ongoing campaigns/programs. You’ll measure and track:
1. Program revenue per lead
2. Cost per lead
3. Client value
- Areas of Focus and Tactics
This is where you determine how to connect with your audience. Where do they look for information? The first place they go to, your website. There are no excuses for a poorly executed site.
Next, how are they absorbing additional information? What are the channels? Emails, referrals, direct mail (printed) pieces, digital marketing? Most likely all of these “touch points.” The goal is to reach your customers where and how they look for information.
- Always communicate.
It’s important that your team of highly skilled employees at all levels are aware of the marketing strategy and how you plan to implement your marketing plan. Are there expectations for their department’s involvement? Communicate marketing goals and the strategies to achieve the goals to your team. Engage people throughout the plan development process, ask for feedback and ideas to support the marketing plan. Everyone has a role to contribute.
- Track progress, evaluate and shift if needed
Your Marketing plan is not a one time, yearly task. You need to monitor and track the results of your plan and programs. Continually assess if you are on track to achieve your KPIs. You should know well in advance of year end if you will hit your goals. If you are off target, check your analysis, was there a market shift, is there a change in the economy? Were planned marketing campaigns delayed? Think about COVID-19, and how the continuing disruption has changed plans set up for 2020.
Good luck and enjoy your newly found marketing focus.
Not sure how to begin your marketing strategy or plan? Is now the time?
Visit my website, KimberlyMeyers.com or call me direct 646.320.8854 for more information. Let’s connect.
Kimberly Meyers is the principal at Kimberly Meyers & Associates, a marketing consulting firm. Kimberly is a Marketing VP for hire. She develops marketing solutions based on strategic assessment of her client’s business, sales and marketing requirements. She lives by the philosophy of ensuring the appropriate message and content is delivered to the target audience – always, focusing on customer needs and satisfaction. Kimberly welcomes your connection at firstname.lastname@example.org.