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How to Write a Marketing and Promotional Plan Template

Creating templates keeps presentations focused and short.

[Promotional Plan] How to Write a Promotional Plan

[Ten Promotional Strategies] Top Ten Promotional Strategies

[Promotional Strategies] Examples of Promotional Strategies in a Product

[Business Plan] A Business Plan for Advertising and Promotion

Your marketing plan states your overall objectives when it comes to target demographic, pricing and ultimately promotion. The promotional plan is part of the marketing plan. In fact, your marketing plan might have several promotional plans at one time; each with a set of measurable objectives to quantify results. Creating a template for both of these helps you easily make annual adjustments and quickly roll out new promotions based on the ultimate marketing objectives. Both the marketing and promotional plans have specific inclusions you can use to create a template.

Most marketing plans are created in a similar format, though some derivations do exist based on the industry or company. The first section is the Executive Summary, which gives an overview of the entire plan and its sections in summary. Readers use this section to determine if they really want to dive into the whole plan and its details. Next, the Target Market section discusses the demographic of who wants or needs your product. This is followed by the Unique Selling Proposition section, which clearly defines how you will fulfill this demographics need.

The next sections define the goals of marketing, usually labeled Goals and Company Analysis. In business lingo, goals are often defined as specific, measurable, aspirational, realistic and time-bound, otherwise called SMART goals. The company analysis usually defines the companys strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a SWOT analysis. Following these formats puts your companys plan in a standard format recognizable by those who read plans and invest in businesses regularly.

Include a Product section that reviews the details about products, manufacturing or acquisition. You can include this with a Pricing and Positioning Strategy, or make two sections. Create a Distribution Strategy section; this becomes the framework for your promotional plan. As you develop these sections, you will want to develop five-year Financials based on real or projected numbers, or both.

The promotional plan describes the methods and tactics to execute a successful marketing plan. As discussed in the previous section, your distribution strategy begins the discussion of the promotional plan. For example, your distribution strategy might include targeting mothers of toddlers for a mom and me fitness class by reaching out to parent groups. To develop this distribution strategy, you might have several promotion plans. One plan might be online social media ads in your area targeting this parent group. Another promotion could be to go to parent groups, such as mom play-date groups, and provide a 20-minute talk about the benefits of mother-child exercise, offering a 10 percent discount to those who sign up at the end of the talk.

The components of the promotional plan are broken down into four areas of marketing: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and public relations. The examples above describe advertising and personal selling as options.

Include the following sections in the promotional plan so you can compare the results to see how your money is best spent. Define the promotion and then set a budget for it. Give the promotion a time frame for execution, with a target return on investment. Include any special pricing offers given in the promotion and the specific geographic area targeted.

Its smart to run at least two promotional plans at the same time. This gives you the ability to test the current market with two plans. This is called an AB test. You can do it with two types of the same promotion or two different promotion categories. For example, you can set ads on Facebook and do mailers. At the end of the promotional time frame, see where your money was best spent based on the results. Moving forward, put more marketing dollars into the promotional plans that yield the biggest results.

Create section-by-section instructions to help people know what to include in your template and how to keep it simple and readable by decision makers. Ad copy, graphics, booth design and other similar elements are the responsibility of your marketing department to create to support the marketing and promotion plans. A summary mention of their key qualities is all a decision maker needs in approving the plan. If further information is needed, it can be found in the Addendum or provided on request.

CoSchedule: 30 Marketing Plan Samples and Everything You Need to Include in Your Strategy

Forbes: Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What to Include

Vital: How to Write a Marketing Plan: A Comprehensive Guide

Agency Access: How to Create a Promotional Plan

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.

Leonard, Kimberlee. How to Write a Marketing and Promotional Plan Template.

Leonard, Kimberlee. (2017, September 13). How to Write a Marketing and Promotional Plan Template.

Leonard, Kimberlee. How to Write a Marketing and Promotional Plan Template last modified September 13, 2017.

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[Comprehensive Marketing] How to Build a Comprehensive Marketing & Promotional Plan

[Executive Summary] How to Write an Executive Summary on a Marketing Plan

[Sales Promotion Program] The Steps in Planning an Effective Sales Promotion Program

[Event Proposal] How to Prepare a Special Event Proposal to Support a Sales Promotion

[New Product] How to Promote a New Product & Marketing Activities

[Marketing Plan List] Advertising & Marketing Plan List

[Marketing Plan] How to Write a Marketing Plan for Live Theaters

[Sales Promotion Programs] Sales Promotion Programs

[Consumer Sales Promotion Techniques] Consumer Sales Promotion Techniques

[Promotions Company] How to Start an Entertainment Promotions Company

[Distribution Methods] Distribution Methods and Marketing Plans

What Is Marketing Strategy Planning?

What Is Marketing Strategy Planning?

by Kimberlee Leonard; Updated March 13, 2018

[Strategic Marketing Process] 5-Step Strategic Marketing Process

[Strategic Planning] Relationship Between Strategic Planning & Marketing Strategies

[Strategy] What Is a Marketing Strategy?

[Marketing Strategy] Importance of a Marketing Strategy in an Organization

To stay in business, every business needs to convert prospects to closed sales. How a company markets to potential customers is a marketing strategy. A company may have more than one strategy in place at any given time, using various marketing platforms — including networking, digital media and traditional print advertising. Plan your marketing strategies so that you can evaluate the successful campaigns and build upon them, while adjusting or stopping unsuccessful ones.

Before you can develop a plan, you need to determine exactly where your business currently sits. Perhaps your company is meeting revenue goals but wants to scale up or move into new markets. If you arent meeting goals, take an honest assessment of why. No marketing plan can change things if your sales team is unmotivated or untrained.

Most of this information is in your existing business plan and updated data reports. If the information isnt available, conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,OpportunitiesandThreats) Analysis to identify potential problems. Be clear on what you do well and on what makes your company — as well as its products and services — unique.

A business owner who says everyone is my client is relying on broad marketing concepts that are most likely hurting sales success. Demographic studies show that some consumers buy differently than other consumers — younger consumers respond more to texts and digital ads, whereas older consumers have more traditional buying habits. Take the time to define your ideal customer, based on age, gender, family status and financial status. Once you have a description of the ideal consumer, define how your products solve a need or a desire in that group.

Marketing should lead to sales. Define how your marketing efforts improve revenues. Goals can include increasing sales by 10 percent or having an additional 30 percent of online customers buy a second item through shopping cart suggestions. Be very specific with goals so you can measure your success. Set a time frame with timeline markers. Timeline markers to track progress so you can make adjustments as you work toward the ultimate goal. For example, if the goal to increase annual units by 1,000 over a 12-month period, then track the progress on a monthly basis.

Once you know your customer and what you want to do, set your marketing methods. Select from traditional advertising and digital marketing platforms. Also establish the frequency of advertising or touches to the customer. A touch is considered any contact with a prospect. It can be a phone call, a text, sales email or postal letter.

How you utilize tools is often different for cold versus warm leads. Social media advertising is able to target specific demographics and adjust ad frequency. For example, social media ads allow you to target young mothers searching for car seats.

Everything costs money, and you want to make sure you have a budget that enables your strategy to succeed but doesnt throw good money after bad — on ineffective strategies. Establish a budget for each strategy. Monitor the results to determine which strategies are the most effective. Be flexible enough to adjust budgets, and move money away from campaigns that arent working into strategies that working.

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.

Leonard, Kimberlee. What Is Marketing Strategy Planning?

Leonard, Kimberlee. (2018, March 13). What Is Marketing Strategy Planning?

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[amp Tactical Marketing Planning] Differences Between Strategic Marketing Planning & Tactical Marketing Planning

[Strategic Management Process] The Five Stages of the Strategic Management Process

[Role] The Role of Marketing Planning in Business

[Importance] The Importance of Marketing for the Success of a Business

[Marketing Plan] Purposes of a Marketing Plan

[Marketing vs. Strategic Marketing] Tactical Marketing vs. Strategic Marketing

[Marketing Strategy] What Is the Difference Between a Marketing Strategy & a Marketing Mix?

[Market Size] How to Determine Market Size for a Business Plan

[Strategic Marketing Plan] List of the Components of a Strategic Marketing Plan

[Business Plan] What Is the Importance & Purpose of a Business Plan?

[Marketing Research] Types of Marketing Research With Examples

How to Write a Marketing Plan

Content Strategy Copywriting Services

Conversion Rate Optimization ( CRO )

User Experience Design and Analysis

Brand Architecture Brand Strategy

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Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Management Services

How to Make a Content Style Guide as Unique as Your Brand [w/ Free Template!]

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

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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.

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30 Marketing Plan Samples and 7

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

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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

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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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8 Steps to Create a Great Marketing Plan for Your Event

by Whova Last updated: October 13th, 2017

You put a great amount of effort into organizing an event, but may often get worried about how many people will show up at the event and how you can help them get the most out of your event.

There is a lot to consider for event promotion, but dont be overwhelmed! Here, we provide a guideline on how to compile your marketing strategies and make good use of recent technology to increase event attendance and attendee satisfaction while saving time and efforts.

Use the following steps to create your events marketing plan.

Your events goals are what your marketing plan is based off of, so you must absolutely set them before moving onto the next steps. Ask yourself – Do you want your event to achieve a tangible goal such as attracting 700 attendees, or an intangible goal such as strengthening relationships with your association members or business partners through the event? Just make sure that your team is on the same page and pursuing the same goal.

Big or small, you should also be aware of the budget allocated to your marketing effort. While constraints will set limits on certain things, theyll also show you where you can get creative.

Related Tips:8 Event Planning and Management Software that will Save You Time

Keeping the goals in mind, prepare the marketing content such as the event schedule, speaker list, and key messages to highlight (e.g. benefits of attending the event, keynote speeches, testimonials or a video from the previous event).

However, its worth ensuring that you havea good content management planbefore you move ahead to the next step and create an event website, event app, and spread the word. It will help avoid tons of manual tasks and time spent. As not all event information is available at once, you may have tomanually and repeatedly updateevent websites, registration pages, and many other materials such as an event app.

Some recent event management tools likeAgenda Centerautomate the time-consuming tasks and reduce human error. For example, once you upload the agenda to the dashboard in a spreadsheet, it creates a sleek agenda table that you can easily insert in your event websites and any other web pages. Any update will automatically sync with all the websites as well as theWhova event app(to learn more,Request information here).

into our website. Updating the agendaacross platforms (website and mobile)is efficient. I appreciate being able to make quick updates in one central location.

— Molly K. Rearick, Cal-TASH 2017Get Price QuoteRequest More InfoStep 3: Promote an Event on the Right Places

To properly identify your target market, you need to define it through attendee demographics such as age, gender, and industry as well as psychographics such as usage of technology, interests, and motivation to attend your events. You can first analyze attendee data collected from previous events.

Most importantly, technology usage will tell you what channels and tactics are effective means of reaching out to them. While older folk may be better informed through more traditional methods, young adults are almost exclusively found through digital channels, such as social media.

In general, event listing websites such asEventful,Hey Event, and10times, are good places to promote your event, regardless of the age of your attendees. If youre not familiar with these sites or you dont have time to post on each listing, try anautomatic event listing servicethat can post to well-known event listing websites for you.

Marketing is all about engaging audiences, so you really have to set your communication tactics straight.

Consider how to effectively inform people about your event. While there are general e-mailing systems like Mailchimp, it is much more effective to useboth e-mail and push notifications via an event app. For example, you can reach open rates of your messages from 70% and up, compared with the event industrys average e-mail open rate of 20%. Its not only effective but convenient as you can send messages through both channels with one click (Request more informationabout the Whovas announcement system).

The Whova app was a great organizational and communication tool for our meeting participants. The apps signature style allowed us to

engage each other throughout the event

. We look forward to using Whova for future events.

— Jay Harf, Vice President, LOrealStep 5: Develop Personalization Tactics

It is important to tailor your messages in a way that attracts peoples interests. If your invitation will go out to previous attendees, you can mention this to engage them and add statistics, videos, or pictures from the previous event. Add the upcoming events highlights like keynote speakers, opportunities to learn and connect with people, and discounts for early-bird tickets.

If you use an event management software (here areorganizers favorites), see if it provides useful templates for emails and announcements particularly targeted to event audiences.

You and your sponsors / exhibitors share the same goals in terms of attracting more attendees at your event and increasing brand visibility. You should use this common goal to motivate them to participate in promoting your event. For example, you can request them to help pass on flyers or encourage them to spread the word about your event on social media. If you happen to use the Agenda Center for your event website (shown in the Step 2), your speakers can conveniently promote their sessions on social media with one click.

On the other hand, you can increase speakers / exhibitors visibility through event websites as well as ad banners, company profiles and coupons/giveaways on your event app. Its a win-win strategy!

In regards to marketing, the final stretch before the event is a stressful one as you not only try and get attendees to go last-minute, but also raise excitement for those who are already going. Its a good idea to create buzz on social media in an organic way. Set a good event hashtag and drive registrants to tweet their excitement.

In our observation, many successful events provided a place for their attendees to virtually interact with one another ahead of time. It helps create buzz and spread words through registrants. One example is theEvent Bulletin Boardon Whova. It has been attendees and organizers favorite feature and many events had more than 1,500 posts with>

70 custom threads. They can ask any questions to organizers, schedule carpools, create a custom topic to chat about, ask for help on finding lost items, etc.Request a demoif it sounds interesting to you.

In your marketing plan, write out what exact metrics youll use to to evaluate your events performance, such as the number of attendees, networking activities, or social media posts. Many event management systems (e.g. event apps) help you collect the data.

Use the statistics in a report to show your team and stakeholders your events success, as well as for promotion in a newsletter or PR purposes. The data and the insights you gain will help you make the next event you plan even better. For example you can use them to attract new sponsors, improve certain logistical aspects of your event, and, of course, further increase attendees.

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Get the Ultimate Guide to Event Sponsorship

How to Create a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a plan that outlines your full marketing strategy for the coming year. It will include who you are marketing to, how you will market to them, and the strategies you will use to connect with customers and attract sales. The goal of the marketing plan is to outline how you will present your products and services to your target market.

The goal of a situation analysis is to look at your companys current marketing situation. From there, changes can identified and made. Begin by looking at your companys mission and goals (if your company doesnt have one, then, this has to be clarified before you start), and determine if your companys current marketing plan is helping to meet those goals or not.

For example, you may own a snow plowing and winter maintenance business, and may have set a goal to grow your overall revenues by 10% by adding more contracts. Do you have a marketing plan that outlines how you will attract those additional contracts? If so, is it working?

Examine your current marketing advantages and challenges.

What is attracting customers to your business now? What is attracting customers to your competitors business? Chances are your strengths are attracting customers to your business, and knowing these strengths is an important marketing advantage.

Come up with concrete, definitive strengths and advantages that customers will find when they work with you. These are called internal characteristics of the company, and theyre what determine a customers level of satisfaction.

Potential strengths could be low cost, excellent customer service, user friendliness, or speed.

Distinguish yourself from the competition. This may be tied with your strengths, or it may just be a fact of doing business with your company. But if you want customers to choose you over your competitors, youll need to figure out beforehand

You should also be aware of your companys potential weaknesses and shortcomings, as these are also internal characteristics that matter to consumers. Once youve identified weaknesses you should begin planning ways to address those issues. If you dont, those weaknesses could end up being a competitors strengths.

It is important to know precisely who are selling to in order to market to them. Knowing your target market and their needs allows you to determine where you should advertise and how you should advertise. If you do not intimately know your target market, you cannot effectively communicate how your products and services meet their needs.

Conduct demographics research. You want to know the age, gender, location, and even income of your customers. You also want to know the psychology of your customers. If you run a snow removal company, for example, and your customers are large businesses, what are the things they value most from a snow removal service?

Utilize official government data on both the market and industry. You may want to look ateconomic indicatorslike price and cost indices, as well asemployment statisticsin your state, county, and city.

If your budget permits it, you may want to consult with trade groups or institutions that conduct their own research and analysis of markets and industry trends.

You should also research your competition. The only way you will be able to offer customers something that the competition cant is by knowing what, exactly, your competitors appeal is. Do they offer better prices? Quicker turnaround time? If so, how do they offer those features? Are they cutting corners someplace else in their business plan? Knowing the competitions strengths and weaknesses is one of the best things you can do to help position your business for success.

Educate yourself on external opportunities and threats.

These are the external characteristics of your company, and they are determined by your competition, by fluctuating market factors, and by customers or clients. Your goal here is to look at the various factors that could affect your business so that you can adjust your marketing plan accordingly.

Begin by analyzing market trends, such as observable shifts in what consumers want/need, and what they expect from a company like yours.

Look at financial trends that may affect you, like the rise invirtual payment methodsor currentinflation rates.

If you own a snow removal business and cater to large public sector institutions (like government buildings) you may be aware that tight government finances are making your clients more concerned on cost. Your business strategy (and marketing plan) should focus on how you can provide the lowest-cost quality service.

Why should you research your competition?

Not quite! You dont necessarily want to offer your product at the cheapest price. For example, your product might offer something unique the competition doesnt, increasing its price point.Choose another answer!

Yup! The only way you will be able to offer customers something that the competition doesnt is by knowing your competitors appeal. Perhaps they offer better prices or a quicker turnaround time. Use this information to better serve your own customers.Read on for another quiz question.

Not exactly! It is unethical to target a competitors customers to draw them away for their business. Instead, focus on creating a world-class product or service, and the customers will follow!Choose another answer!

Nope! You should know your customer demographics before you research your competition. You can do this by researching government data on both the market and industry or consulting with trade groups or institutions that conduct their own research and analysis of markets and industry trends.Pick another answer!

Researching Your Strengths and Weaknesses

If you have a broad and dedicated client base, you may want to consider sending out surveys. This will allow you to poll your customers on your strengths and your weaknesses. You can then build your marketing plan around your strengths (and know what assets of your business to really emphasize), and you can also make efforts to work on what others perceive as your businesss weaknesses.

Keep surveys/questionnaires short and simple. Your customers may have input, but they wont want to spend a lot of time and effort giving you that input. Aim for a survey that would fit on an index card or a half sheet of paper, but if you must go longer, make sure your survey comes in under two pages long at the absolute maximum.

Consider a short-answer format instead of a simple multiple-choice survey. You can certainly incorporate a few multiple-choice questions if you like, but provide open-ended questions, asking specifics like, What do you like best about our product/service? What do you like least? What would you like to see us improve on? You may also want to ask a question like, Would you recommend our products/services to friends or colleagues? Why/why not? That will help you gauge your existing customers level of satisfaction while also gathering information on what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. You want to make the experience as easy and hassle-free for customers as possible.

Dont forget to estimate the cost of printing and mailing surveys (both ways), and factor that into your existing budget, if you decide to use this method.

These may be useful if you have a list of current customers email addresses, which you might have collected anyway for contact purposes or for monthly newsletters. If you have your customers email addresses, you may want to ask them the same questions as you would in a mailed survey. However, the risk with email surveys is that they might be relegated to the customers spam folder. Theres no way of knowing how many of your emailed surveys were actually received by your customers and no way of guaranteeing that your customers will bother to fill out the survey even if they are received.

This may be a touchy subject for some, as many people feel annoyed when theyre called on the phone at home. But if your business relies on person-to-person communication, it may not be out of the question to conduct a phone survey. You can ask many of the same questions that you would in a written survey, asking customers what they see as your greatest strengths and weaknesses, and whether or not your customers would recommend your business to others.

The downside to a phone interview, aside from potentially disrupting or annoying the people being called, is that you wont have the customers responses in front of you like you would with a written survey. If you plan on conducting a survey, youll need to have a fast writer/typer to transcribe your customers responses over the phone. This may require hiring additional personnel to conduct the interviews and write down responses, which will then need to be compiled into a spreadsheet or catalog of feedback.

This doesnt have to be anything too thorough. You can simply chat with customers as youre ringing out their order or assisting them as you normally would. But face-to-face communication could be a great way to poll clients and learn what theyd most like to see improve within your business.

Much like the phone interview, a personal interview will still require you to make some written account of what your customers said and what feedback they offered. This doesnt make it an ineffective or impossible plan to implement; it just means youll need to plan ahead if you decide to go this route.

What type of surveys should you use if you have a broad and dedicated client base?

Thats right! Dedicated customers are more likely to answer mail surveys that they need to fill out and send back because they want their voice to be heard. Also, you can reach a very broad audience through the mail.Read on for another quiz question.

Not necessarily! Email surveys are best for a technology-savvy audience, not necessarily a broad and dedicated client base.Pick another answer!

Not exactly! You might consider phone surveys if your business relies on person-to-person communication, not if you have a broad and dedicated client base. However, many people see home phone calls as an annoyance, so tread lightly.Choose another answer!

Nope! If your client base is broad, you wont have access to many of your customers in person. You will need to use a different survey strategy.Choose another answer!

Review any surveys youve conducted, and determine how youd like to grow your business. Compare this with any real-world obstacles, including current and projected market trends, forecasted expenses that might arise in the near future, what geographic region and demographics you have had the most success with, and any competitors who also operate in that region or target the same demographics.

As you move forward with your marketing plan, youll want to assign specific roles to everyone responsible for the marketing of your business. Determine who would be the best fit for each role within your marketing plan, and define what that roles responsibilities will be. You should also determine how you will measure success for each roles responsibilities

What do you hope to achieve by building a marketing plan? Is your end goal to broaden your customer base, to let existing customers know about new services/promotions, to expand into a new region/demographic, or something else entirely? Your goals will guide the creation of your plan.

Your marketing goals should fit within your larger business goals.

When developing your marketing goals, make sure your goals are tangible and measurable. Otherwise, it will be difficult to interpret your sales, and you may not be clear on what approaches and strategies were effective

Use outcomes like increased sales dollars, increased number of units sold/manufactured, increased public awareness, or number of new accounts with clients.

For example, your goal may be Increase new contracts by 10% or increase social media presence.

Determine how to reach your prospects.

Your strategic plan should target all three customer prospects: cold prospects (those who dont know your business at all, reached through advertisements and direct marketing), warm prospects (those who are familiar with your business, or at least have been exposed to your ads and marketing in the past), and hot prospects (interested customers/clients who know your business and are prepared to work with you).

Youll need to brainstorm how to reach all of your prospects, which may play a role in determining which marketing strategies you employ.

For example, you may opt to use social media, radio ads, signs, or flyer distribution to reach cold prospects. Potential clients who have shown interest or worked with you in the past could be actively contacted by salespeople who are trained to use the information from your research to convince the customer that your product or service is the best solution to their problem.

Develop marketing strategies to meet your goals.

Once youve decided on your marketing goals and prospects, youll want to follow through on that thought process to determine what you can actually do to meet your goals and reach your prospects.

There are many different types of marketing strategies, but some of the most common ones include:

Corporate or in-store events are a great way to bring customers in. This could be a dinner, a social activity, or any other event that will impress clients, motivate/unite your staff, or increase your exposure to potential customers/clients.

Social promotions are almost always successful. Thats because they promote your business while getting customers excited about your products or services. These contests can be done in-store or through social media, and typically involve offering some type of minor reward in exchange for frequenting your business or following you on social media.

Consider paying for a short-term sponsorship from a reputable person or group of people who use your products or services. These endorsements can even be done entirely online through social media. It may not fit into every businesss budget, as it can be an expensive option, but its been proven to work for many businesses around the world.

Dont overlook the value of clever or catchy advertisements. Finding your businesss voice and visual style in a given campaign can be highly effective.

Various social media platforms can be a highly effective and inexpensive means of advertising your business, and should be a component of your overall marketing plan. Social media can be useful for advertising specials, discounts, doing promotions and communicating with your target audience.

Being active on social media keeps your business on the minds of customers. Consider writing blog posts or posting links about problems your customers may have, and how your business can provide a solution.

Discussion topics, promotions, and surveys can be ways of involving your customers in your business while simultaneously learning more about their preferences and deepening their relationship with your brand.

You may have some spectacular ideas about how to market your business and reach out to customers, but if your budget is limited then you may need to rethink your strategy. Your budget should be realistic and should reflect both the current state of your business and the potential growth you see in your businesss future.

Assess your current finances. You want your budget to be realistic, and that means taking into account what you can afford to spend right now. Dont blow your budget on the hope that your marketing plan will bring in a flood of new business, because if your plan isnt that successful you may find yourself hemorrhaging money.

Start small with allocating your marketing funds, and work within your means. Go for tried and true advertisements that you know have the highest success rate with reaching new clients.

Dont be afraid to stray from your plan. If things arent working in one area of advertisements (say, for example, that your newspaper ads arent reaching the right people), then try reallocating the time and money you would otherwise invest in that faltering avenue into other, more productive means of advertising.

Absolutely! When developing your marketing goals, you need to make sure they align with your larger business goals. For example, if you have an overall business goal of gaining a greater market share, create smaller marketing goals to help you achieve this larger goal.Read on for another quiz question.

Definitely not! Your marketing goals should be both tangible and measurable. Otherwise, it will be difficult to interpret your sales, and you may not be able to determine the approaches and strategies that were most effective.Choose another answer!

Not necessarily! Social media strategies dont make sense for every business. You will need to evaluate whether using social media to connect with both customers and clients is best for you.Pick another answer!

Not exactly! Your marketing goals dont necessarily need to focus on increasing sales. For example, you might have a goal to advertise to a larger audience or demographic.Try again…

This section will include basic information about your product or service, and will provide a general summary of the entire document in a paragraph or two. Writing this first can help you broadly overview the more detailed sections you are about to write.

This is helpful to give your employees, advisors, and colleagues and overview of your plan.

The next section will use your research to describe your target market. This does not need to be complex, and simple, bulleted steps will work fine. You can begin by describing the demographics of your market (include age, gender, and location, or occupation if relevant), and then describe their preferences relating to the products or services you offer.

This section should be no longer than a page. Here, you will list all the marketing goals for your company in the upcoming year. Remember to apply the SMART acronym to setting your goals — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

A SMART goal would be Grow overall sales to public sector customers by 10% before the end of 2016

This section answers the how of your plan, and it will outline your overall strategy for marketing. Your goal here is to focus on your Unique Selling Proposition (or USP) which is the main advantage your business has. This should be more clear after brainstorming and planning your marketing plan. Your strategy will sell your USP.

In this section you want to describe how you will reach customers (attending trade shows, radio ads, cold calls, online advertising), and the general approach you will use to convince them. Here, you will want to focus on what you identified your customers needs to be, and how your USP can help them meet their needs.

The key in this section is to be as specific as possible.

In this section you will want to include the total amount of money you have to spend as well as how those dollars will be spent. It is best to divide your expenses into categories, and list the total amount spent per category.

For example, you may spend $5,000 travelling to trade shows, $5,000 on radio ads, $200, on flyers, $1,000 on a new promotion, and $2,000 on optimizing your website.

Maintain an annual plan (at least).

Dont anticipate that your plan will go off without a hitch. Most marketing specialists recommend that a business revisits its marketing plan at least once every year. This will help you review whats been accomplished, assess how things may continue to progress based on current information, and determine whether any changes need to be made to your marketing plan.

Be objective with your annual reviews. If something isnt working or if someone isnt performing up to your companys standards, you may need to discuss why things arent working or why an employee isnt meeting his tasks. Or, you may need to rethink your companys entire marketing plan if things are really going off the track. This is where it may be helpful and worth the cost to hire an independent consultant. A consultant can review your plan and assess its success or failure, and may be able to help you restructure your plan as needed.

What should you include in your marketing strategy?

Not exactly! You will include basic information about your product or service, as well as a general summary of your marketing plan, in your executive summary, not in your marketing strategy.Try again…

Not quite! You include information on your target audience in your marketing plan, not necessarily your marketing strategy.Pick another answer!

Yes! You marketing strategy is a section of your marketing plan that focuses on your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your marketing strategy will sell your USP, which is the main advantage your business has.Read on for another quiz question.

Try again! Your business goals are a section of your marketing plan, but they are not part of your marketing strategy.Choose another answer!

First, know who you are selling to, for example, are you selling to women between 20-40, who are living in California? If so, youd build your marketing plan around their interests and habits, like the types of social media they use most often and the shopping habits they have.

Use it as a learning experience. Was your goal too complicated or too difficult? Did you just not try hard enough? Figure out the problem and how you will solve it so you are successful next time.

How can I launch a new product in market at low cost?

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Remember to integrate the needs and ideas of every department (and every employee, if you feel comfortable with it) into your marketing plan. Its also highly important to make sure that this plan integrates and meshes seamlessly with your business plan and your mission, vision, and core values statements.

Include any charts, graphs, etc. that you may have completed as a part of creating your Marketing Plan, as well as all charts, graphs etc. that are necessary to explain or expand upon any of the sections above.

You should evaluate your marketing plan at least once every year to determine if your strategies are successful and reassess any components of your plan that have not been successful.

Many factors critical to the development of your marketing plan are dynamic. As these factors change over time, you will need to update your marketing plan.

Categories:Marketing Plans and Strategies

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Sainsburys Marketing Communications Plan

– In order to provide a structure upon which a comprehensive marketing plan can be build, Sainsburys should adopt a SOSTAC model in order to help the development of a logical structure combined with the key elements of a plan. The current situation puts Sainsburys in the UKs third-largest supermarket chain, with a market share of around 16% .with 823 stores, unveiled profits of 488m, up 28% on last years levels, with 15 consecutive quarters of sales growth, Given the current environment shows how the strength and broad appeal of the Sainsburys brand has improved substantially during the past four years…. [tags: Business Marketing Analysis Strategy]

– Marketing Plan and Strategy 1.0 Executive Summary The proposals that we are going to depose are a planning of continuous action in order to confront the challenges, which BT confronts. The most important factor is considered to be the fact that the marketing environment changed rapidly after the deregulation of the telephone industry. Up to then BT was operating as a monopoly, ignoring the competition and ways to face it. Our intention is to achieve the already given targets and also prepare BT for an opening to new horizons…. [tags: essays research papers fc]

– Marketing Plan Powershirts CASE OVERVIEW Powershirts is a potential e-tailing partner for a clothing manufacturer located in Guadalajara, Mexico. The information we were given about Powershirts and the manufacturer is very limited, and we had no direct contact with management. The manufacturer has sold shirts in the Mexican market and has also sold mens slacks in the United States under a label undisclosed to us. They can produce shirts in any color; sleeve length, weight, and can add a logo to their products…. [tags: essays research papers]

– BBCs Current Marketing Plan The BBCs current marketing plan focuses on a number of specific areas, where the BBC hopes to achieve a variety of objectives that will improve the corporations image, in this country as well as abroad. The BBC plans to increase the range and quality of its radio and television services. More high impact broadcasting is being focused on. More memorable programmes are being developed and created, in particular arts and current affairs. The BBC plans to build up and solidify its digital service, providing something for everyone on this service…. [tags: Papers]

Marketing Plan For IT Consulting Company

– Introduction: The Mimosa Agency is made up of creative young minds that put a twist on the every-day appeal. Mimosa is dedic