You need a marketing plan. It’s an essential part of your job as Director of Marketing for your business.
Your marketing plan is a roadmap that will help you reach your goals. Just as you wouldn’t plan a road trip to Provo, Utah, without consulting GPS, Google Maps, or even a road atlas, you should not market without a plan.
Some entrepreneurs are intimidated, though, by the thought of writing a marketing plan. They envision a complicated, long document that takes days (maybe weeks) to write.
If this is you, rest assured. Marketing plans do not have to be tedious. They can be fun! Remember, a marketing plan is your document. You put what you want in there, as long as it helps you reach your goals.
If you’re like me, though, you need a starting point.
In this marketing lesson, I will share with you five sections you should include in your marketing plan.
If you’re thinking a marketing plan is a long, detailed, hard-to-write document, I want you to know this:
It doesn’t have to be that way at all! In fact, writing a marketing plan can be lots of fun if you give yourself permission to not make the task arduous.
To help you get started, here are the minimal sections I recommend for your marketing plan.
#1: What are the objectives you’re trying to achieve with your marketing plan?
Think of a road trip here: Where do you want to go, how long do you want to take, and how much money do you want to spend? These are all quantifiable goals for a road trip.
You need quantifiable goals too. Here are some examples:
- To attract 10 new clients by December 31
- To add 300 new email subscribers in 30 days
- To recruit three new team members in Quarter
(Note: It’s okay to have only one objective!)
#2: Who is your ideal client and where are they hanging out?
Your ideal client are the people who will benefit from whatever you’re promoting with your marketing plan. It’s essential to know as much information about your ideal client, such as their demographics and psychographics. The more you know about your ideal client, the better your marketing will be. If you’re not sure, ask them!
In addition to knowing who your ideal client is, you need to know where they are hanging out. For example:
- What social media sites do they use?
- What blogs or websites do they frequent?
- What networking groups do they go to?
- What conferences do they attend?
You want to be where your ideal client is, so knowing where they hang out is super important.
#3: What messages are you trying to convey in your marketing plan?
Why do I suggest you include messaging in your marketing plan? It’s helpful to think ahead about what you want to say in your marketing, especially as you pinpoint your ideal client.
To help you create messaging, I recommend the “Features, Benefits, Emotions” exercise:
- Features – What are the features of your product or service? What does the client receive?
- Benefits – How does each feature benefit your ideal client?
- Emotions – How does each benefit make your ideal client feel?
#4: What marketing tactics will you implement?
The “tactics” section is where you spell out your marketing activities. There is an endless list of marketing activities you can implement to promote your product and services. Make sure to pick the ones that your ideal clients will see, using messaging that will resonate with your target audience (see why the earlier sections are helpful!).
Also, think about the date you want to implement and what your goals are for each tactic. This will help you determine if that specific tactic worked.
#5: What results did you achieve from your marketing plan?
Many times, entrepreneurs get psyched about implementing tactics that they forget to measure the results.
Measuring the results helps you determine what marketing tactics worked, which ones did not, and which ones need to be tweaked in the future.
I want you to work smarter, not harder. When you measure your results, you’ll have valuable information to help you write your next marketing plan.
That’s your marketing plan: Five sections, lots of info, all doable! Take each section at a time and work your way through.
I am rooting for you – always. Good luck writing your marketing plan!