Marketing Plan of Dove

Dove is a very well known brand which works under Unilevers head name. It began its workings in 1957 by launching a personal cleansing bar. Later on they developed a new cleanser for burned or effected skins by using the old formula and it was the time during World War II, when such cases usually appeared. At that time it was a very innovative concept that a non-soap cleanser is available which allows users to get rid of skin dirt without using the soap again and again. In 1970 a dermatology study recognized the efforts of Dove in this regard and at that time they started gaining popularity among beauty brands. And nowadays it is being considered as the Worlds top brand in cleansing products and a lot of research has been done on its product innovation and marketing strategies.

Dove brand has its mission and vision as follows:

Dove is committed to helping all women realize their personal beauty potential by creating products that deliver real care. Dove believes that beauty should be for everyone, because when you look and feel your best, you feel better about yourself.Dove says it continues to provide products that make a genuine difference to the condition and feel of your skin and hair.

And in doing so it assists in accomplishing its mission of increasing womens description of beauty to incorporate all ages, body shapes and all sizes, making them realize that beauty is not only related to their looks.

Marketing strategies may be designed in several different ways or through several different channels but when it comes to brand like Dove; they make it after proper planning. The basic statement of Marketing Goal of Dove is as follows:Dove wants to target all ages, shapes, and sizes of women to let them believe through the use of their products that beauty doesnt depend on these factors, rather beauty lies in you. Dove tries to help all women through its marketing tactics to believe the real beauty present in them.This reflects in all their marketing campaigns whether, its an ad, or any other marketing campaign.

Dove develops its marketing objectives very carefully as it is devoted to expand the definition of beauty for all women for the reason that they believe real beauty comes from your inner self. All successful marketing strategies were basically due to wisely planned marketing objectives of Dove which we are going to discuss here.  Due to successful marketing objectives, Dove is the UKs Bar Soap brand and 45% of the people bought a Dove product in 2010. In fact, 10.1 million women use Dove every week in the UK.

•    Elevate sales of Dove loveliness products and latest product lines.•    Make exchange of ideas, debates, and conversation about the factual sense of natural beauty.•    To be a focus for nationwide TV and print media reporting.•    Increase restricted press concentration in the hometowns of model featured all through the movement.

•    Drive users to the CFRB Web site to divide their opinions and views about the campaign and natural beauty typecasts.•    Make a call to action for customers to link the group through website that make active contribution by Dove for self-worth consciousness program.

•    To increase sales by 30 percent in upcoming 6 months.•    To increase brand awareness among non-existing clients for at least.•    To increase the ROE ratio of the company by 5 % in next 6 months.•    Increasing the retailers and brand outlets in targeted markets for at least 20 new stations.

The very important procedure of an organization is called tactical set up, and in hyperbolic circumstances, its strategy or direction, and making decisions on assigns it capital to follow  this strategy, including  its assets and people (Colin, 2006). The most business analysis techniques can be applied in strategic planning, that is the official thought of associations prospect rout. Every strategic planning does contract with at least one of three key questions:

1.How do we get there and stand out?2.Where are we?3.Where do we wish for to go?

We extremely want you to be a great marketer, therefore, our favorite objective is to assist our business and obtain a huge part of our open market and bring much increase in our earnings, and we can support our marketing team or develop into our off-line and on-line business partner. We have specialized professionals, graphic designers, and web developers, with many other obliging tools that will assist our business go ahead of our contestants and increase marketplace share. We will repeatedly check and track our advertising campaigns so we can promise our long-standing achievement.

Targeted market segments for dove includes following:

• Women who are well aware about beauty and care for their skin.

• Women having the minimum purchasing power for our product.

This target segment is selected on the basis of product features and buyer traits for buying the products. This involves a lot of research as finding out the specific target market is very critical but Dove do so by utilizing its R & D department.

The Dove movement for natural loveliness was made to aggravate dialogue and give confidence debate. Doves Business is to provide services classically available in Great businesses to tiny businesses for a part of the price, through our domestic employees and their connections. So that, accounting, payroll, organization consulting, publicity and marketing, tax homework, legal advice, and fiscal planning should be done in a systematic way.

For increased market penetration, Dove will be launching few campaigns where the representatives will move to the market segments and will do free sampling. This will make the customer realize that Dove cares and penetration will be achieved in newly selected market segments.2. Market Development

Making aware the existing clients and making them realize that real beauty lies in you which is being enhanced by Dove products is the main aim of Dove. Market development basically means to Dove that customer becomes more aware about the product knowledge and information. And for that they Dove has planned to provide demonstration campaigns in each outlet.

As sales and product services play very important role in customer awareness so Dove also planned for services/program development.  They have analyzed the existing markets and have come to the conclusion that giving informative ads and procedural ads about the usage of products is very important thus such ads would be the upcoming advertising campaigns part.

For diversification they have planned to follow the old strategy which was to make their product line extensive and specialized for different skin types and people. By doing so their product line will diversify and they will be attracting more people toward their products.

As the targeted groups are explained in the prior section and there is no special segregation in targeted market so same strategy will be used for all segments of the target market.

Dove has planned to promote through different ways which includes posters campaign, banners, flyers, advertisements in news papers & magazines, emails, direct marketing, SMS, and face book etc. As in our main target customers are women so we have to capture their attention and provide awareness about the skin care and beauty products. They should know that now throughout the globe there is no other brand which is giving proper awareness about the skin issues.

The main purpose of any campaign poster is to development the message that we want to convey our target market about the product awareness.

Banners will be pasted on the different flash areas from where we can take advantage and can expand number of customers.

Flyers will be distributed in different companies, women universities and stores will also consider as they need such products and they can give us feedback later on.

Advertisements in news papers & magazines

We will give regular advertisements in news papers for the awareness of customers and for all the people who can take help from us and also in top magazines so that everyone everywhere comes to know about our company and get familiar with our products.

Emails are also a good and effective and free of cost source of promotion. There are different sites like from it we can take thousands of email ids and we can sent them mails to aware them about our company and it is would be totally free.

We will do direct marketing by promoting our company by ourselves.

SMS is also an effective way to promotion. There are different softwares available in the market through which we can send bulk messages to people.Facebook and other social sites

We will also publish information about our company on face book and other social networks like twitter, MySpace etc these are very valuable ways because these are most popular among the female users, companies in fact all category is available on these social networks and we can also make our fan page and it will be added by our friend.

For the success of this marketing plan different monitoring tools will be used. Monitoring techniques are used in different ways to control the marketing outcomes and usually different procedures are being used by companies to do so. Dove uses different tools to measure and monitor the impact of marketing campaigns on companys performances.

Progress reports would be designed and given to each department so that the instant effect of such marketing campaign can be seen all over the company.

Timelines will be issued to every new marketing campaign and strategy so that all result would be compared with the timelines, this would give us the rate of change in companys success in terms of marketing.

Outcomes of the marketing strategies will be measured in terms of increased sales, gross revenue, profits, customer base, clients feedback, Goodwill and Brand awareness. Below is one example through which one can see the processes used to monitor the marketing strategies and their outcomes.

Budgets are always designed to make the expenses limited and to forecast the upcoming benefits from the services you are going to offer. As the marketing plan is all about how to promote our new upcoming products and services, so the budget designed here would also be according to that. There would be a proper budget allocated by our bank to our marketing team to execute all required marketing activities for the new services. The amount of budget varies each time so for this time also different percentages of the whole budget may be assigned to the marketing campaign for new promotional campaigns. As there lays a number of projects which Dove focuses over simultaneously so budget would be around 10% to 15% of the overall companys budget

Unilever Official Website: (2009). Retrieved: 25th July, 2011.Dove Official Website: (2008). Retrieved: 25th July, 2011.Colin Hession, (2006). Unilever expands Dove with day spa in UK. FindArticles; Business; Household Personal Products Industry.Dove, Campaign for beauty. (2008). Official Website: Retrieved: 25th July, 2011.

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A good marketing plan will help you:

answer key questions about your business

act as a reference document to help execute your marketing strategy

develop a structured approach to creating services and products that satisfy your customers needs.

When writing a marketing plan you need to be clear about your marketing objectives and how youre going to achieve them.

Use our marketing plan template to set realistic and measurable objectives, includes budgets and action plans, and allocate responsibilities.

Your marketing plan should illustrate that youve carefully considered how to produce a product or provide a service that is innovative, unique and marketable. Some marketing plan templates may vary, but a good marketing plan captures basically the same information.

The contents of your plan should include:

Give some background about your business.

Detail the opportunities and challenges that your business has come across along the way. This helps define your businesss capabilities and identify opportunities within the market. It will also play a key role in helping you to meet your customers needs.

Read more abouthow to do your market research.

What do you want your marketing plan to accomplish? Be specific. Your objectives may be financial, with a goal to increase sales, or marketing focused to build your brand, and increase awareness of your product.

The most effective way to define your marketing objectives is to follow the SMART acronym:

: have clearly outlined objectives.

: indicate what you intend to use as a measure of success.

: are the objectives attainable for the business?

: do you have the knowledge of resources to achieve your objectives?

: be clear about the time-frame in which you intend to achieve your objectives.

A marketing strategy and marketing mix

An effective strategy will help you to define the overall direction for your marketing program. It will also detail how youre going to bring your products and services to market in ways that will satisfy your customers.

The elements that make up your marketing strategy are often referred to as the marketing mix. In this case, your mix will includethe 7Ps of marketing- product (or service), pricing, position, promotion, people, process and physical environment.

Read more aboutmarketing strategies and tactics.

Strategies and marketing goals are theoretical objectives. Its your action plans and budgets that will bring them to life, and represent key tools for implementation. To ensure theyre successful, they should be detailed, definitive and revisited regularly.

Organisational implications are often overlooked when business owners tackle a marketing plan.

For example, if your goal is to increase your customer base by 15 percent, and your staff by 10 percent will you be able to house them in your current offices? Could you outsource some tasks? Its important to consider and document these decisions in your plan.

To ensure ongoing improvement, its critical to test and measure the results of your marketing activities. Whatever method or technology you choose to use formal methods of evaluation and monitoring will help you to understand the effectiveness of your marketing and return on investment.

Your marketing plan summary should summarise the key components of your marketing plan. Think of it as a quick reference tool that you can refer to at any time to keep your goals on track.

Use this section of the marketing plan to reference and attach documents supporting the claims or assumptions made within the marketing plan.

Merit Promotion Plan

Standing Operating Procedure No. SCRS 01 May 24, 1999



1. PURPOSE:To implement a standard Merit Promotion and Placement Plan as the procedure used for promotions and other competitive placement actions in activities serviced by the SC-CPOC. The plan will cover positions in the competitive and the excepted service, in accordance with statutory and regulatory guidance and applicable bargaining unit agreements.

A. GENERAL:These Merit Promotion and Placement Plan (MPP) provisions were developed by representatives of labor and management through mutual respect and a cooperative relationship. The provisions apply to all activities serviced by the South Central Civilian Personnel Operations Center (SC-CPOC). Any program deficiencies noted by management or labor can be addressed at the local level and forwarded to the CPOC for further review and resolution. The SC-CPOC will staff all noted deficiencies with all Civilian Personnel Advisory Centers (CPAC) and Unions. A formal review will be done at the six-month time frame.

B. SCOPE:The provisions of this plan apply to activities serviced by the South Central CPOC. If this plan does not address certain aspects of the Merit Promotion Plan and Program, the provisions of current collective bargaining agreements or law, rule or regulation will apply. Nothing in this plan will serve to overrule any law or approved bargaining agreement or policy established by a command. The plan applies to all promotions and placements into competitive service and excepted service positions in organizations serviced by the SC-CPOC, except as specifically noted under exclusions.

(1) It is the policy of the region to assure positions are staffed on the basis of merit, fitness, and qualifications without regard to political, religious, or labor organization affiliation or non-affiliation, martial status, race, color, sex, national origin, non disqualifying physical handicap or age and shall be based solely on job-related criteria.

(2) It is the policy of the region that management officials will have the ability, and responsibility, to take an active part in the determination of the most advantageous methods for recruitment within the requirements of their Command guidance, regulations and the law.

(1) RESUMIX will be used to fill all non-bargaining unit and all bargaining unit (upon fulfilling labor relations obligations) positions that are covered by this plan. Other merit promotion systems still currently in use pending fulfillment of labor relations obligations include: South Central Expedited Recruiting Process (SCERP); Polk Expedited Recruiting Process (PERP); and other local merit promotion programs.

(a) Resumes under RESUMIX should be pre-positioned (on file) to be activated by self-nominations as established by the application procedures. Self-nominations must be received by the closing date of the announcement.

(b) Applications, to include resumes and any necessary supplemental forms required by other merit promotion systems, must be received by the closing date of the announcement. Applications submitted by mail must be received by the closing date of the announcement.

(3) The area of consideration identified in the merit promotion vacancy announcement must be sufficiently broad to ensure the availability of high quality candidates and must be in compliance with any regulatory or negotiated requirements.

(4) To be eligible for promotion or placement under this plan, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and minimum qualification requirements prescribed by the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

(5) The selecting official may select or not select any candidate referred from any source under this plan. Selections will be based solely on job-related criteria and the reasons for selection will be documented.

(6) Notification of selection will be made by the CPACs. Normally the employee will be released by the beginning of the second pay period following the commitment. The gaining activity must agree to any delay in the release date. The release of any employee will not be postponed for more than 30 days, without the consent of the employee.

(1) Standing inventories/registers will not be maintained by the CPOC; however, upon request, the CPOC will reissue referrals for similar vacancies up to 6 months after establishment of the original list.

(2) The selecting official is expected to make a selection within 14 days of the issue date on the referral. Referrals issued by the CPOC will expire 30 days from issue date. Extensions may be requested for up to an additional 30 days if submitted with justification prior to expiration of the list. Such requests should be submitted through the CPAC to the CPOC POC by email; CPOC POC will review request and notify CPAC of approval/disapproval of request by return email. If PPP was terminated when referral list was issued, the CPOC will invoke PPP (re-requisition stopper) on any vacancy for which selection is not made prior to expiration of the referral list. Requests for extensions beyond 60 days should be rare; however, in the event the selecting official and the CPAC consider it warranted, the request must have CPAC Director and CPOC Deputy Director approval. Excepted from these time frames is the Corps of Engineers Corporate Selection Process and other selections that require higher headquarters review and/or approval.

(1) The South Central Civilian Personnel Operations Center (CPOC) will:

(a) Administer the merit promotion and placement program to assure that

the provisions of this plan are met.

(b) Advise, assist, and provide consultation to the Civilian Personnel Advisory Centers (CPAC) pertaining to recruitment, supervisory and employee responsibilities and regulatory requirements.

(c) Notify ineligible applicants, and/or applicants who are eligible, but not referred for selection consideration.

(d) Consult with the CPACs and/or management officials concerning methods/sources of recruitment and recruitment strategies (including outreach or special emphasis/recruitment requirements).

(e) Coordinate with the CPACs and/or selecting supervisors concerning job analysis to determine the skills to be emphasized in recruitment efforts.

(f) Evaluate candidates qualifications as required by recruitment method.

(g) Prepare/issue referral lists with 30-day expiration date to the servicing CPAC.

(h) Review requests for extensions of expiration date on referral list; notify CPAC of approval/disapproval.

(i) Finalize selections and verify qualifications.

(j) Market, explain, and solicit opinions, comments and suggestions from CPACs and recognized employee organizations regarding the requirements of this plan.

(2) Civilian Personnel Advisory Centers (CPAC) will:

(a) Provide current information to the workforce on the recruitment processes and application procedures, counsel employees on qualifications, and answer questions concerning this Merit Promotion Plan.

(b) Arrange printing/distribution and/or electronic dissemination of vacancy announcements to the serviced workforce in a timely manner.

(c) Assist and provide information to the CPOC pertaining to recruitment actions, such as identifying PPP exceptions and/or exceptions to competition.

(d) Market, explain, and solicit opinions, comments and suggestions from employees, operating officials, and recognized employee organizations regarding the requirements of this plan.

(e) Assist and advise managers and supervisors in developing job analysis to determine the skills to be emphasized in recruitment efforts and crediting plans for OPM / DEU recruitment.

(f) Monitor expiration dates on referral lists to ensure timely selections. Submit requests to CPOC POC by email requesting extension of expiration date, when justified, for up to an additional 30 day period.

(3) Management and/or supervisors will:

(a) Communicate the provisions of this plan to employees.

(b) Observe merit system principles and procedures in Title 5, 5 CFR, and this plan and applicable civil service laws, rules and regulations, in consonance with Equal Employment Opportunity principles and applicable bargaining agreements.

(c) Anticipate personnel requirements and expedite actions to initiate Requests for Personnel Actions (RPA) in sufficient time to allow effective recruitment.

(d) Participate in the development of merit placement planning, job analysis, advance planning for timely staffing, and work force analysis.

(e) Coordinate with the CPACs and/or CPOC to determine the most effective applicant sources, area of consideration, and/or recruitment methods.

(f) Ensure employees have access to vacancy announcements and provide timely advice/assistance on career opportunities and self-development.

(g) Submit application forms provided by employees for specific positions that are announced when the employee is on TDY, or on other approved absences.

(h) Complete supervisory portion, if required, of the employees application in a timely manner.

(i) Determine whether to interview any/all candidates. The management official has the option of making a selection without interviewing, or may elect to interview some or all candidates on referral lists.

(j) Document reasons for selection on referral list based on job-related criteria and return list to CPAC prior to expiration date.

(k) Provide non-selection notification to candidates not selected and provide guidance and advice to candidates who were not selected on ways in which they might improve their qualifications for future opportunities for advancement.

(l) Release employees in accordance with the provisions of this plan.

(a) Consult with the CPOC/CPACs regarding provisions of this plan.

(b) Develop, execute, and assess programs designed to support affirmative employment.

(a) Ensure the experience, education and training contained in their Official Personnel Folder (OPF), resume, application and other appropriate records are accurate.

(b) Become familiar with the provisions of this plan, including an understanding that a competitive promotion system cannot provide a promotion for every employee.

(c) Become familiar with the application procedures required by RESUMIX.

(d) Seek advice and assistance from their supervisors in areas of self-development for career opportunities.

(e) Review vacancy announcements, apply for those positions in which interested, and ensure their complete application forms are submitted within required time frames.

(f) Keep their supervisor informed, in writing, of specific positions (to include title, series, and grade) for which they desire to be considered while they are on TDY, approved leave, or an extended absence.

(g) Advise the CPAC of acceptance or declination of a job offer within 5 working days.

E. EXCLUSIONS. This plan will exclude actions on the following positions:

(1) Senior Executive Service (SES) and Scientific and Technical (ST) Positions.

(3) DA Career Management Program positions identified at mandatory command, DA, or DOD-wide referral levels which are required to be filled under the provision of applicable regulations. However, applicable program guidance may permit temporary promotions to be effected under the provisions of this plan.

(4) Appointments to temporary/term positions via non-competitive procedures.

(5) Positions within the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) where recruitment is centrally managed.

(6) Excepted Service Positions which are covered by separate activity Merit

Promotion Plan under the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS).

(7) Appointments from an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or Delegated Examining Unit (DEU) Certificate of Eligibles.

F. EXCEPTIONS. Competitive Procedures do not apply to:

(1) Actions involving statutory, regulatory, and administrative placements. These include, but are not limited to, statutory and administrative reemployment rights upon completion of overseas tours of duty; placements, or restoration to duty after separation, due to compensable injury; employees returning from military service; placements following completion of long term training; and other actions such as those based on resolution of grievances, appeals and/or complaints.

(2) Placements made during, or in lieu of, reduction-in-force (RIF) or transfer of function (TOF).

(3) Placements made via the DOD-PPP, OPM Priority Programs, or other candidates entitled to priority consideration in a commandas an exception to competitive procedures.

(4) Temporary promotions, or details to a higher grade position or a position with known promotion potential, of 120 days or less. Note: Competitive procedures must be used for temporary promotions or details to a higher grade position or a position with known promotion potential over 120 days (unless an exception is approved for up to 179 days during periods of downsizing, etc.). Prior service during the preceding 12 months under all non-competitivedetails to higher graded positions and/or temporary promotions is included when calculating the 120/179 days.

(5) Conversions of Excepted Appointments of the Physically or Mentally Disabled, Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA), and Student Employment.

(6) Conversion to permanent appointment of eligible veterans with 30% or more disability who are serving on temporary or provisional appointments under 5 CFR 315.707.

(7) Temporary or permanent promotion, reassignment, demotion, transfer, reinstatement, or details to position having no greater promotion potential than that of a position the employee currently holds or previously held on a permanent basis in the competitive service (or in another merit system with which OPM has an interchange/transferability agreement) provided all legal and regulatory requirements are met.

(8) Temporary or permanent promotion to a grade previously held on a permanent basis in the competitive service (or in another merit system with which OPM has an interchange/transferability agreement) provided all legal and regulatory requirements are met.

(9) Promotions without competition when at an earlier stage an employee was selected under competitive procedures for a position with known promotion potential (the intent must be a matter of record and career ladders must be documented).

(10) Conversion of temporary promotions to permanent, provided the temporary promotion was originally made under competitive procedures and the fact that it might lead to a permanent promotion was made known to all potential candidates.

(11) Promotions resulting from upgrading due to issuance of a new classification standard or correction of an initial classification error.

(12) Placements and promotions resulting from impact of the person on the job, as defined in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards.

(13) Promotions resulting from an employees position being classified at a higher grade because of additional duties and responsibilities.

(14) Placement of employees who have eligibility for special consideration for re-promotion. These employees are those who have been changed to a lower grade without personal cause and not at their own request.

(15) Referral of an employee who missed consideration during an earlier competition for a similar position.

(16) Non-competitive appointment of individuals who possess a non-competitive appointing authority such as Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA) Authority, OPM Interchange Agreement Eligibles, Reinstatement Eligibles, Executive Order Eligibles, Transfer Eligibles, Individuals with Disabilities Program, etc.

(17) Other types of actions not specified above which are permitted by regulation and are consistent with the spirit and intent of the merit principles delineated in Title 5, USC.


A. Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 315

C. OPM Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions

D. OPM Qualification Standards for Federal Wage Grade Positions

G. The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA), DOD Manual 5000.52, and DOD Manual 5000.52-M

H. DOD Manual 1400.20-1-M, Department of Defense Program for Stability of Civilian Employment

I. All applicable negotiated agreements

APPENDIX B Records, Review, and Employee Complaints

Area of consideration: The area in which a search is made for eligible candidates for a specific position and specified in the vacancy announcement to identify the categories of individuals from which applications will be accepted.The area of consideration must be sufficiently broad to ensure the availability of high quality applicants, taking into consideration the nature and level of the position being filled.

Change to Lower Grade: Change of an employee to a position at a lower grade when both the old and new positions are under the same type pay schedule.

Competitive service: All civilian positions in the executive branch of the government unless specifically excepted by the Office of Personnel Management.

Detail: Temporary assignment of an employee with no change in pay to a different position, or to perform substantially different duties, for a specific period. A detail does not change the employees official title, grade, or rate of pay.

Excepted service: All positions in the executive branch of the government which are specifically excepted from the requirements of the Civil Service Act or from the competitive service.

Installation-wide: All activities serviced by an individual Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC).

Internal Workforce: All permanent employees serviced by the South Central CPOC.

Organization: Individual elements of activities serviced by the South Central CPOC (i.e., the division, branch, or section).

Promotion: The change of an employee to a position at a higher grade level within the same job classification system and pay schedule or to a position with a higher rate of basic pay in a different job classification and pay schedule.

Reassignment: A change of an employee while serving continuously in the same agency, from one position to another without promotion or demotion.

Reinstatement Eligible: A candidate who has attained career status on a permanent, competitive Federal appointment, career conditional status and is a veteran, or a career conditional appointee returning generally within 3 years from separation.

Representative Rate: The fourth step of a grade for a position under the General Schedule or the second step of a grade for a position under the Federal Wage System (WG).

Term appointment: An agency may make a term appointment for a period of more than one year but not more than four years when the need for an employees services is not permanent. Reasons for a term appointment may include, but are not limited to, project work, extraordinary workload, reorganization, or contracting out of the function.

Temporary appointment: An agency may make a temporary appointment for a specific period of time, not to exceed one year. The appointment may be extended up to a maximum of one additional year (24 months total service). Temporary appointments may be used to fill positions which are not expected to last longer than one year.


b. Sufficient documentation, of the promotion and placement records, will be available to provide a clear audit trail, permit reconstruction of any action, provide evidence that actions were within the policy and provisions of regulations, provide for the evaluation of the program, and answer general or specific questions about the merit promotion plan and actions.

c. Management will respond to employee questions or complaints regarding the promotion and placement program or specific promotion or placement actions. Every effort will be made to resolve questions/complaints on an informal basis.

d. Non-selection from a properly developed Referral and Selection Register is not an appropriate basis for a complaint or grievance, unless the non-selection resulted from a violation of law, rule, regulation, or any negotiated agreement.

e. Any complaints/grievances will be filed in accordance with the appropriate negotiated agreement or agency grievance procedures.

f. Discovery of procedural, regulatory or program violations prior to the effective date will lead to suspension of the action until such time as the matter is resolved and properly documented.

g. Immediate action will be taken to correct a violation based on the established facts and legal rights of those concerned.

h. When a violation has been alleged or discovered, the person placed will remain in the position until a determination is made as to what corrective action should be taken.

i. A procedural violation occurs when a placement action does not meet the requirements of this plan. If reconstruction of the action shows that the employee selected may have been selected if proper procedures had been followed, the employee selected may remain in the position

j. A regulatory violation occurs when the placed employee did not satisfy legal and/or regulatory requirements for placement. The erroneously placed employee may be retained in the position only if he/she meets all requirements for placement at the time of the corrective action.

k. A program violation occurs if this plan and placement guidelines or practices do not conform to higher level requirements. In a program violation, an employee generally may be retained in the position if there were no procedural or regulatory violations involved.

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Preparation is key. Abraham Lincoln once said, Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Whether you are chopping down a tree or executing an integrated marketing plan, the steps you take ahead of time to lay out your plan and ensure you have all of the proper (and optimized) tools, are crucial to your marketing success.

Your marketing department might encompass digital marketing, print advertisement,ppc management, website optimization, visual identity/branding, event marketing, etc. As a digital marketing agency, this marketing plan discussion will focus mostly on the digital marketing aspect, but the strategies and concepts in this post can be expanded to encompass your entire marketing department. For todays marketers, creating an integrated marketing plan that includes social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing and SEO all tenets of a strong digital marketing, orinbound marketing strategy is necessary in order to attract and convert buyers in a digital age.

Maybe you work for a large corporation and have been tasked with developing next years marketing plan, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a plan from scratch. Maybe its been 20 years since you graduated from business school or wrote your last marketing plan, and realize that times have changed a bit. Whatever the case, the steps you take today to create a functional and straight forward marketing plan will lay the foundation for your year ahead, helping you to get results that are measurable and quantifiable.

But before we dive in, lets take a quick look at an overview of how the marketing plan should be structured.

While developing goals may not be the first step you actually take when forming your marketing plan, listing them first on your final marketing plan document sets the stage for everything to come.

Research will be the foundation of your marketing plan and should include:

SWOT Analysis This is an analysis of your companys strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, standard to any business or marketing plan.

Understanding Your Buyer Personas This will include the demographics of the buyers you are targeting as well as include any personas you want to avoid.

Learning Your Buyers Buying Cycle Understanding how, when, where and why your target market buys is key to converting leads.

Once you have a clear grip on the landscape and understand your buyers, its time to explain the strategy. This phase includes:

Knowing Your USP (unique selling proposition)

Making Sure You Have an Optimized Website

Defining Your Distribution Channels (email, social, etc.)

After all the heavy lifting is complete, your strategy is in place and you have begun pulling together and implementing your tactical plans, its time to measure. In fact, even before you have implemented your strategy you should be measuring to establish your baseline. What have you done in the past and what were the results? How can those strategies shift to improve ROI? Measurement should be done before, during and after throughout the year, on a monthly or even weekly basis to ensure your plans are showing positive results and to shift them if theyre not.

List Overarching Strategy and Tactical Plans

Having tactical plans and calendars gives life to your ideas and strategy. Try focusing on 4 or 5 main tactics for the year and create execution plans around these tactics. Keep in mind that your tactics may or may not be the same as your goals. If your goals are high-level, i.e. to increase traffic by 50%, then your tactic would drill down more on how to get that result and be as the name implies, more tactical.

Nobody can predict the future, which is why it is vital to remember that your marketing plan should be a living, working document. This is not a style book, a brand handbook or a book on company policy. A marketing plan should be a reference that is used throughout the year, is malleable to a certain extent and is shared with all stakeholders and contributing members of the team. Transparency is important when developing and finalizing the plan. By getting feedback from all departments and being clear on goals, your marketing plan is more likely to be of value and to be seen as a successful tool.

A marketing plan left to collect dust is useless. Whats not useless is a fluid marketing plan that allows for change and is looked upon as aguide, not as a bible.

A common mistake that many make is starting on the tactical plan before they have ironed out the strategic plan. In order to formulate a strategic plan, you need to do research.

If you dont know who you are, what youre selling or who youre selling to, youre going to have a pretty hard time convincing people to buy your product or service, never mind figuring out what tactical initiatives you should be working on. So, if you havent already, do your homework. Start with researching your competitors and audience; examine your customers buying habits; and do a SWOT analysis (more on that in a bit). These steps will help you lay a sturdy foundation for your tactical plans and allow you to develop reasonable expectations and goals.

In order to determine the likelihood of success and define your marketing strategy, you need to understand the competition. Researching your competition first will also help you through your next step of creating a SWOT analysis.

In the new world ofinbound marketingthere are a handful of strategies that are paramount. These strategies can also be useful when researching competitors. Using email and social media, and surveying the content landscape, will give you an immense amount of knowledge about your competition. Here are some quick tips on understanding who youre up against:

Subscribe to your competitors (or those you perceive to be your competitors) email lists.

Follow your competitors on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram any social site you can find them on.

Examine what content your competitors are creating who it is aimed at, how often is it produced, who is writing it, what the content topics are, etc. MOZ recommends usingWordleto get a pulse on the competition and keep your data organized.

For more on why these tactics are important, how to implement them and what data you can glean from them, readCompetitor Research in an Inbound Marketing World.

Standard to any business or marketing plan is the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis should help you clearly define your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that you can develop goals and objectives that are on point and tied to your overall mission. The SWOT analysis will also enable you to understand what differentiates you from your competition and how you should position yourself in the market. It will also help in developing your messaging and your unique selling proposition. Brutal honesty is imperative to a truly insightful SWOT. Use bullets and aim for 45 in each section. Limiting your lists will help you to focus on the most critical points and help retain focus.

In addition to completing a SWOT for your overall marketing plan, it is often helpful to do a SWOT analysis for the different segments within your marketing plan. For example, as we will discuss further down in this piece, content marketing, social media and SEO will all be important parts of your overall inbound marketing plan and would benefit from SWOTs of their own.

The days of outbound marketing have come and gone. No longer are we looking at audiences en masse. Instead, inbound marketers are honing in on the segments of those audiences that they want to target. This is a crucial step in developing an inbound marketing plan.

Creating buyer personas, in order to understand your target market, will let you see who you are marketing to, what their pain points are, where they live online and a number of other demographic traits. This information will help you to personalize your marketing materials so they are targeted and highly relevant to your audience segments.

ReadHow to Avoid 4 Buyer Persona Mistakesfor advice and a free template on developing your personas. You may need to do research in order to completely develop your personas, but before you dive into that endeavor, check out9 Questions You Need to Ask When Developing Buyer Personas. You may find you already have all the data you need!

And remember, you arent trying to catch every fish in the sea. You are only trying to catch the ones you want, the ones you are targeting because they have the strongest potential to turn into leads. Your net doesnt need to be wide it needs to be precise.

Learn Your Buyers Buying Cycle

After you have identified your buyer personas, the next step is figuring out how these personas think and ultimately make the decision to buy. According to Hubspot and adopted by all those who believe in the inbound marketing methodology, there are three steps inthe buyers journey: Awareness, Consideration, Decision. Each of these stages are major opportunities for you as a marketer to nurture your potential customer by providing valuable content about the product and or problem they are trying to solve for. Here are three stats from a articlethat prove just how important content is in nurturing a prospect throughout the buyers journey:

70-90% of the buyers journey is complete prior to engaging a vendor (Forrester)

A consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase (Forrester)

Consumers are 5x more dependent on content than they were 5 years ago (Nielsen)

To learn more about the buyers journey and how you can align your marketing plan with your customers buying habits, readUnderstanding the Buyers Journey. And if you are a B2B company, readB2B Lead Generation Starts with Mapping the Buyers Journey.

Now that youve done your research, youre ready to start formulating a marketing strategy for your plan.

Goals are the most important part of your plan. If you have completed your research, you should have been able to identify your weaknesses and areas of opportunities. Setting both quantitative and qualitative goals around these findings, as well as developing KPIs, will be essential. They will help you to set a clear path, understand your marketing ROI and redirect your tactics as you move through the year, if you find certain strategies are working better than others.

Goals should be obtainable, but not easy. You want to make sure you are reaching for growth but not shooting for the stars and ending up discouraged and overwhelmed.

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when developing marketing goals and objectives:

Evaluate your current position in the market and set realistic goals

Understand your growth year-to-date and set attainable but challenging goals accordingly

Tie your goals to your businesses overall mission and vision

Dont overwhelm yourself. Pick no more than 2 main goals and 3-5 supporting goals

Accept that sometimes you will fail and not reach all of your goals. Be OK with that and learn from your failures

Create goal milestones to make reaching the goal more digestible

And remember, we are marketers, not heart surgeons. Have fun, get creative and dont take yourself or your marketing too seriously.

Knowing your unique selling proposition (USP) and marketing that USP is essential to beating the competition and solidifying your companys value in the marketplace. Your USP ties in closely with your brand and your content because those are the conduits your USP will be communicated through. And communication is key. Clearly state your USP and do it often, on your website, in your emails, through your ads etc. For tips on formulating your USP readThe Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition.

Branding can be fun, but it can also be tricky. A brand can be one of the strongest assets a company possesses and if done right will attract the buyer loyalty every business dreams of. Brand consistency is key. Is your brand consistently represented across all channels, including yourlogowebsite designtradeshow boothprint marketing materialsbusiness cardsand email signatures, advertisements,packaging designsocial media profilesandsales collateral? Take a look at all the places that your audience comes in contact with your brand, and ask yourself what each piece is saying about your brand as a whole.

If your brand encompasses several sub-brands or subsidiaries, have you strategically audited yourbrand architectureto leverage maximum brand equity? Not only will a well-designed, cohesive brand architecture benefit you inbrand valueand recognition, but an online brand strategy will benefit yourSEO/Search rankingswill improve as well.

Website design is more than just a pretty page. Your website is often the first impression your prospects will get of your company. That means that your website has to be more than pretty (that helps), it needs to be clear and functional. If your site is cluttered and hard to navigate you will automatically lose potential buyers. Just think about the last time you went to a poorly designed and over cluttered site. Did you stay long? Did you get an immediate impression of that company? Similarly, if visitors cant tell what you sell or what your value proposition is, they will leave. All it takes is the click of a button and they are on to the next provider. Theres often a direct correlation made that if your website is hard to work with, your company must be hard to work with.

So be clear in your messaging. Make sure your site is a place that people want to stay, not only because it is pretty but also because the information they need is easily found. There is an entire science and methodology behind website design including where to place buttons on the page, what content works best where, what colors convey certain feelings and so on. Read,4 Examples of Fantastic Web Designfor inspiration and consider hiring a web designer who specializes in Inbound Marketing and SEO to ensure your website is reaching its full potential.

If you have read anything about inbound or content marketing you have likely heard the overused phrase content is king. While it may be overused, when it comes to inbound marketing, its pretty spot on. Content is the meat that will attract your buyers. It is what Google uses to search for keywords and drive users to your site and what buyers use to glean information and knowledge about their problem as they move through the buyers journey.

Content is all of the written words used to convey your brand, from the copy on your site to the landing page users arrive at, to the blog posts, newsletters and emails you write. But its not just having content that matters, its having quality content that is consistent. Content marketing is about providing useful information to your customer base. Its not about selling but about informing.

Think of it this way. If you write intelligent and thought provoking blog content, say on a weekly basis, that in some way solves a problem, answers a question or simply entertains your target audience, you will become a go-to resource for those potential buyers. They will come back to your site time and time again because you are providing a free service for them, all the while building trust and establishing brand clout in a non-intrusive way. And when these devoted followers realize they need the product you sell, guess who they are most likely to buy it from? You got it. They are going to go to you. The company they trust. ReadIs Youtility the Future of Marketingby Jay Baer, New York Times best selling author and social media and content strategist, to learn more about this important concept.

So, your content is essential in nurturing your customers as they move through the buyers journey, but in order to do this successfully you need to know what types of content to use and when.

Here are the recommended content types for each stage of the buyers journey.

But it doesnt stop there. Buyers arent the only ones that like helpful content. Google does too. Creating solid content is hugely important for your SEO strategy.

To learn more about creating a kick ass content plan read,How to Build a Compelling Content Strategy for Your Boring IndustryorThe Secret to a Stand Our B2B Marketing Strategy? Content Marketing.

So if content is the meat, your distribution channels are the arms that feed that meat. As important as content is, without distribution your content goes to waste. It is useless. So it is essential to have a clear understanding of how each channel works and to use a mix ofpaid, owned and earned media.

In the world of social media it pays to have an overall strategy that is tweaked depending on the social channel you are working in. For example, the way you market on Twitter will differ from the way you market on LinkedIn or Facebook. They are different sites with different purposes and your messaging needs to reflect that. One strategy, however, that does work across them all is using photographs. Posts with pictures get higher clicks and engagement across the board. And because social media is all about getting your content and your messaging seen, timing is important. According the key is to catch people in their downtime, early in the morning, on their breaks or at night. Here is what they recommend for timing:

LinkedIn 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Tumblr 7-10pm weekdays and 4pm on Fridays

Instagram 5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays with a sweetspot at 6pm

Pinterest 2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best

Of course, depending on your industry and audience these times could vary. The key is to test and re-test in order to see when your buyers are engaging. Look at the competition. See who is doing social successfully in your space and note their patterns. And remember, your engagement on social media is key. When you interact with your audience you are telling them you heard them, you are enhancing your brand and you are showing authenticity.

Much like your content plan, your social media plan needs a strategy of its own that is then integrated with your overall marketing plan.

For more on social media marketing read,Everything Marketers Want to Know About Social Media Marketing But Are Too Afraid To AskorThree Elements of an Effective Social Media Strategy.

Email marketing is yet another tactic in your inbound marketing arsenal. Email is used most effectively as a lead nurturing tool, in that it is used to engage with potential customers as they interact with specific content on your website. For example, should a prospect visit your website and download an eBook, they will then begin to receive a set of triggered emails related to the eBook topic, encouraging them to further interact with the brand. Email is also commonly used for announcements, newsletters and promotions. Just as with social media, email frequency and timing matters. While incorporating email into your marketing plan is important, overdoing it can backfire. People dont want to be overrun with emails and if you are overzealous you could risk losing potential buyers.

Remember, when creating your emails, keep the content short, include one main call-to- action, have links back to your website, use images and make sure the subject line is catchy. And when it comes to email, you can never test or measure too much.

For more on email marketing read,The Definitive Guide to B2B Email MarketingorBest Email Service Providers for Salesforce:MailChimp vs Constant Contact vs Native Apps.

As we have already established, the content you create is important to your strategy but it is only useful if it finds its way into the right hands. SEO is what Google and other search engines use to index your pages and allow your content to be found by your prospective customers. In a digital world, SEO is hugely important. You could think about it as another distribution channel with a whole different set of rules.

In order to use SEO affectively, you must optimize your content and when we say content we mean all your content from your blogs to your landing pages to your social tags. In order to do this you need to create a keyword list, which will then allow you to create messaging around the words and phrase you are targeting. But SEO is much more than just targeting keywords. Link building, content and social media all play key roles in a successfulSEO strategy.

This is the phase of your plan that should be ongoing. As soon as you put your marketing plan into action start tracking, measuring and reporting.

The ability to measure your inbound marketing efforts is one of the most valuable parts of your plan and the beauty of inbound marketing. The amount of things to measure and test are endless. And thats a good thing because when you are able to test and measure you are able to improve areas of weakness, report quantitative results and prove the value of your marketing efforts to the broader organization.

You should be measuring, reporting and testing your inbound marketing on a monthly basis to see what is working and what isnt and to learn more about your buyer base. It might sound like overkill, but this actually can be the really fun part!

ReadThe 16 Marketing KPIs You Should Be Measuring (But Probably Arent)andHow to Calculate the ROI of Your Inbound Marketing Plan.

Once you have your strategy in place its time to decide what tactics are most important to the success of that strategy. For example, a company might decide to focus on four main tactics for the year: blog creation, a website re-vamp, SEO improvement and custom list development for email campaigns. While they may still want to work on their social media strategy and PR, for the year in question, they will devote the majority of their budget towards the four main tactics listed while continuing to allocate smaller budgets towards social media and PR, to keep them running. In addition, tactical calendars will be needed to help lay out the specifics of each tactic. For example, an editorial calendar will be needed for the content blogging strategy.

There is a lot that goes into creating an inbound marketing plan. But when its done right it can be one of the most valuable assets your marketing department has. As we like to say at Vital, Plan the work; Work the plan. To help get you started we have included a marketing plan template with accompanying excel calendars to help you plan and track throughout the year.

At Vital Design we believe in inbound marketing, because we have seen the results first hand. It is how we market our business and how we market our clients businesses. If you would like help in developing your inbound marketing plan give us a shout.

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Increasing My Websites Keyword Rankings on Google

Increasing My Websites Overall Traffic

Content Creation (Writing Blogs, Ebooks, Whitepapers)

Using Marketing Automation Effectively

Increasing, Reporting and Proving Marketings ROI

Planning a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

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As the Digital Marketing Content Manager, Sarah creates blog posts, eBooks and other digital content on behalf of Vitals B2B and B2C clients. She is a writer, editor and strategist who specializes in SaaS-based content. Message her at or @SarahBrady316 on Twitter.

Save yourself countless hours trying to write a website RFP from scratch and download this template instead. This template was created after studying 30+ different RFPs and combining all the important parts into one comprehensive document.

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30 Marketing Plan Samples and 7

30 Marketing Plan Samples and 7 Free Templates to Build Your Strategy


The free blog post headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEOvalue.

Maybe you have no idea where to start when it comes to creating your marketing plan and dont want to leave out something important. Or you might be refining one youve already created.

If youve done a simple Google search for marketing plan samples for inspiration, youve probably found it difficult. So, we thought youd appreciate these 30 examples you can follow.

This post is split into two sections. One with a list of marketing plan samples, and another with 12 exercises to help you write an awesome marketing plan step-by-step.

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With your marketing plan bundle, youll be able to build a complete marketing plan. Plus, youll get everything you need to plan the strategy and tactics youll execute to put your plan into action. It includes:

Marketing Plan Outline Template (Word)

: Document your entire marketing plan using this free outline.

Marketing Strategy Template (Excel)

: Map out every part of your strategy in one place (complements this guide).

Content Marketing Strategy Template (PowerPoint)

: Plan tactics and channels to make your content marketing a success.

Email Marketing Strategy Template (PowerPoint)

: Strategize every piece of your email plan before sending your next campaign.

Social Media Strategy Template (PowerPoint)

: Manage every channel and achieve success with a clear social media roadmap.

: Figure out who youre marketing to in the first place.

What best describes you?BloggerSolopreneurAgencyMarketing TeamEnterprise

How many folks are on your team?Flyin Solo2-56-1010-2525

What is your main focus?To establish my personal brand with blog + social media promotionTo grow my business with effective inbound marketing strategiesTo build a strategic marketing roadmap for my team (+ prove the ROI of our efforts)To drive sales for my clients with kick-ass social promotion

By signing up, you agree to receive email updates from CoSchedule and you can opt out at anytime.

Youll learn tons of tips, ideas, and exercises to create your own marketing plan throughout this blog post. Some of these marketing samples are hypothetical and some are from real companies. Others are just marketing samples. Here are 21 great examples:

Sample Marketing Plan- Houghton Mifflin Company

Marketing Plan Template- Kansas State University

The Marketing Plan- Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network

Small Business Marketing Plan Template- ProfitWorks

Marketing Strategy Template- David Meerman Scott

One-Page Content Marketing Plan- UncommonlySocial

Marketing Plan Template- Marketer Gizmo

Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template- Nancy And Kivi

Developing A Marketing Plan Example- Agricultural Extension Service at the University of Tennessee

Marketing Plan Template- The Business Victoria

How to Create a Marketing Strategy That Will Skyrocket Your Results By 9,360%- CoSchedule

Marketing Plan Template- Vital Design

Great Marketing Plan Template- Marketing Donut

Marketing Plan Outline- University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Small Business Development Center

Content Marketing Strategy Template- Buffer

Your Marketing Plan Template- Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

Digital Marketing Plan Example- Smart Insights

Examples of Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses- ThriveHive

Multi-channel Marketing on a $2,000 Budget: A Sample Plan- BusinessTown

5 Brilliant Marketing Strategy Examples From Dominant Brands- LinkDex

How to Build a Go-To Market Plan- Chief Outsiders

A Sample Internet Marketing Plan- NerdyMind

Simplify Your Content Marketing Strategy With a One-Page Plan- Content Marketing Institute

What Does a Marketing Plan Look Like?

At their most basic, theyre straight-forward planning docs that are usually formatted in Word. Heres an example for a quick look:

The following twelve exercises will show you how to build each piece of your marketing plan. They are based on just some of the examples linked above.

Write an Executive Summary (Includes Template)

Establish Content Standards of Performance

Connect Your Message to Your Target Market

The 4 Ps and Your Go-to-Market Strategy

Exercise 1: Table Of Contents With Numbered Pages To Easily Navigate Through The Plan

Documented marketing plans can end up being lengthy, so having atable of contentswill help you and others find their way around your plan.

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At a glance, these are the things that are typically included:

And a few cool things that you might want to include in your marketing plan to spruce it up:

You can go into as much detail as youd like with your table of contents. Here is a great example, of a detailed table of contents by thePalo Alto Software:

The executive summary provides a high-leveloverview of your marketing objectives.

Leave a spot at the beginning of your marketing plan for your executive summary. (Or make things easier, by downloading the complementary marketing plan template in this post.)

Ask yourself these questions as you work on your executive summary:

What types of customers are you targeting?

What patents or products will you market specifically?

What unique partnerships will you leverage to succeed?

How is your marketing plan special?

Why now? is one of the most important questions youll need to answer mainly because it makes your project timely. Make it urgent.

Heres an executive summary template to get you started:

[OUR COMPANY] offers [PRODUCT] to [TARGET CUSTOMER BASE] to help them [ACHIEVE GOAL]. Some of our leading product lines include [PRODUCT], [PRODUCT], and [PRODUCT]. Thanks to our unique position in the marketplace, were able to easily leverage relationships with [PARTNER] and [PARTNER] to reach our customers.

This marketing plan differentiates our strategy in the marketplace by focusing on [ACTIONABLE TACTICS].

By following this plan, [OUR COMPANY] will stand out amongst our competition by better addressing our customers core concerns with more creativity and more targeted messaging. By clearly communicating how [PRODUCT] solves [PROBLEM] for [CUSTOMER], [OUR COMPANY] aims to achieve greater success for our organization and [CORE AUDIENCE] alike.

With the release of [NEW PRODUCT/FEATURE] and [DISRUPTIVE TREND FOR YOUR AUDIENCE], now is the time to pivot our strategy toward our best customers most pressing problems.

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Having a mission statement will remind you and your team of what is important. In order to do any of these marketing plan exercises, youll have to ask yourself a ton of questions. You might have already noticed that.

What value does your blog or company bring to the table?

Bring some value to your company and marketing plan by creating a mission statement.

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Its also super important that you state your companys goals (financial and non-financial) so you know where you are headed and how much you can afford for certain things. Blue Sky also provided a great example of their goals.

How much do you have to generate from your marketing efforts?

What are some of the things youd like to do?

How many sales do you need to reach those goals?

State your companys goals (financial and non-financial) so you know where you are headed.

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Writing your goals is one of the first steps to reaching them. First off, youve probably seen blog posts on SMART goals many times before, but they are really good to mention again.

pecific: Is your goal clearly defined?

easurable: Can you track your goal?

spirational: Reach for the stars. Push yourself.

ealistic: Are your goals realistic?

imely: When do you want to reach your goals? And what do you have to do to reach your goals and deadlines?

Now write your goals and add them to your marketing plan.

When writing your marketing plan, its important to know what your standards of performance are so you can continue bringing in bigger results or change up your current process to improve your content.

To figure out your standards of performance,make a list of your latest content.

Once youve entered your data into each field, ask yourself:

What are the characteristics of my top-performing content according to my companys goals?

For example, there are four pillars that we make sure to implement in all CoSchedule content:

well-chosen (for search volume and difficulty) and optimized throughout the post to help me get long-term traffic?

something my readers would want to learn more about?

to share unique and better information than any other source on the Internet?

Did the post turn the research into

Grade each piece of content against your standards of performance with a scale from 1 to 3. A score of 3 means its awesome and 1 is not so good.

For more information on figuring out your standards of performance, check out our post onrocking your data-driven content calendar template.

Remind your company about what they do well, and show them how you plan to stand up against rivals.

If you dont know what your company does well, find out by meeting with your team and discussing it.

Ask yourself unique questions to get yourself thinking about your core competencies in a different light, rather than just wondering what you and your company do well.David Meerman Scott has a great exampleof this.

Get out an Excel spreadsheet and type out the answers to these questions:

What makes you and your company remarkable?

What proof do we have that you are the best?

Instead Of Planning Another Meeting You Could Also Send Your Team A Google Form

Pick out the kind of Google Form youd like to send.

Once you click there, it will open to something like this depending on which one you chose:

You will be asked to give the Google Form a title and a description.Add your first question and press on the gray bar to the right of the question to change up the type of questions you want to ask.

Pick paragraph to let your team write as much as theyd like.

Click on the plus sign to add another question. You can also add pictures or videos here.

Once you are done you can send an email to your team members with the Google Form link. But, before sending the email make sure you read and include the questions from Exercise 7.

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Its important to have your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats at a glance. Then you can see what you need to improve.

When you meet, discuss these questions as a team:

Strength (internal):What are your company and/or products strengths?

Weaknesses(internal):How about your company and/or products weaknesses?

Opportunities(external):What opportunities do you/we have?

Threats(external):What are your/our threats? Who are you/we competing against?

On a few of the different marketing plans Ive seen, they put their SWOT quadrant into their appendix section. To see an example, scroll to extra tip 1.

When you write your SWOT analysis in your marketing plan, go in depth in each of the categories.

These are the things you should include in your SWOT analysis:

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Youll need to take a look at your Google Analytics tofigure out your target market.

Youll want to find the answers to these questions:

First off, its super important to know who is currently following you. Read on to find out who your current audience is.

Click intoGoogle Analytics. On the left side, youll seeAudience. Click on it and scroll down to clickDemographicsandOverview.

For more in-depth information on each of the demographics, you can clickAgeandGender.

If you click on theAgetab underneath demographics, youll see a more in-depth graph.

Hover over one of the blue dots to see how many sessions you had and how old each of those people were.

If you click on the Interests tab on the left side, youll be brought to this page, which will show you their interests.

In that same audience section, of Google Analytics, you can click on overview and then youll see a button underneath demographics that gives you a choice to look at which countries people are tuning in from. Then youll know their location.

After you know your current audience, its important to take a look at who youd like your target audience to be. Heres how:

Ask yourself these questions to figure out who your target audience is:

What are their pain points? (Keep in mind the audience that you want to attract.)

What problem does your company/blog/product solve for them?

What will your customers gain from your company/blog/product?

Theres so much more on finding your target audience, that we havent covered yet. It would take a whole post to discuss that.

Fortunately, youre in luck. We have a post on thathere.

Take the information you found in the target audience exercise and ask yourself these questions to figure out who your audience persona is.

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An awesome persona answers these questions:

Its easy to forget to ask questions that will really open up the psyche of your persona so you can really pull the emotion into your content and business. Emotion sells.

Go in deep when you are figuring out who your user persona is. Then go online to find a picture of them.

Recommended Reading:3 Hidden Google Analytics Reports To Help You Understand Your Audience

In order to do marketing efficiently, you need to keep the four Ps of marketing in mind: product, place, price, and promotion.

Set your user persona and target audience next to you when you fill out these questions:

What is it that our audience wants?

What makes it special and different? (Why should your audience care?)

Where Should You Sell Your Product? (Place)

Are you selling it in a physical store or on E-commerce?

How Much Should You Sell It For? (Price)

Is it a good value for what your audience would be getting?

How does the price compare with your competitors and others in the market?

How Are You Going To Promote It? (Promotion)

Where are you going to promote your content/product?

How are you getting it in front of people?

Will you do ads? And if so where will you do them?

Heres a helpful video that is thorough and simple:

To illustrate the whole idea a little better for you lets imagine youre selling some rad shoes with wings that youve created.

What is it that your audience wants?

Awesome shoes that will fly you all over. You know, like the shoes that had wings on them in Greek Mythology? Yes, just like Hermes and his flying shoes.

Itll cut down on gas prices and also encourage people to get out more.

What makes it special and different?

Well, they sorta have wings. Id say that definitely makes them different.

Is it a good value for what your audience would be getting?

Id probably charge a lot of money for these shoes because they are definitely a great value for flying shoes. I mean, where else can you find such awesome shoes with wings?

How does the price compare with your competitors and others in the market?

Well, I dont have any competitors, so Id say the price sets the mark for this product.

Where are you going to promote your content/product?

On my website, in shoe stores, and also introduce them to the athletes who perform in the Olympics. Who knows, maybe a new sport will be created because of these shoes.

How are you getting it in front of people?

Id send a pair to influencers, artists, and sport stars. Id also do an awesome job with my branding. The shoe box would be super cool. Shoelaces would be different colors and even some sparkly tissue paper instead of the newspaper colored tissue paper you usually see stuck in the shoes at department stores. My aim would be to make everyone feel like flying superstars.

Will you do ads? And if so, where will you do them?

I dont think Id need to do much advertising once it got out there because I think shoes that allowed you to fly would pretty much sell themselves.

So even though I used a mythological product idea in this example, you get the point. But, man, Id love to have a pair of those shoes.

Create your 4 Ps for your product and make it jump off the page at your audience.

What will be your ongoing marketing plan? What do you want to do? And where do you want to do it? In order to plan your future marketing, you have to know these things.

Set up an ongoing marketing plan for the year. What things will need to be done. I found this great sample example from theAgricultural Development Center at the University of Tennessee. Its so easy to see it all at a glance. Youll know exactly what goals youll need to hit monthly.

You need to estimate how much your marketing projects are going to be. Youll be able to put together a budget to keep everyone on track over the course of the year.

Marketing costs and needs vary quite a bit. There is no easy way to figure out what your marketing budget should be. But starting with your needs and wants is a great place to start.

Whats important is that you know what your needs and wants are. Answer these questions:

Next to the needs and wants, write down how much its going to cost. After doing that for all of your needs, you can start to see how much you can budget for your wants.

Scroll down for a great example of what you could include in your appendix that has to do with budgeting and your financial goals.

What if a full documented marketing plan feels excessive for your needs? If thats the case for you, try paring it down to the bare essentials. You might even be able to squeeze it down to just one page with the most important information you need to guide your strategy.

In this example, we have a one-page sheet you can glance at to see the most important information from your marketing plan. You might consider following a similar template:

Since you have a ton of marketing plan samplesand also the awesome marketing plan downloadyoure set to be a rock star in the marketing realm.

Just make sure you wear your shoes with the wings.

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This post was originally published on August 15, 2016. It was updated with new information on May 28, 2018.

Devin Joubert (Pronounced: Yo Bear!!) is a Content Marketer. She loves writing, blogging, seeing the world, and finding the magic in everyday life. Follow heradventures hereandhere!

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