How to Create a Marketing Plan?
In any given agency, marketing is one of the most important domains that anyone can find. Besides being important, marketing typically costs a lot, which can be a result of having such a significance for a business’s success and growth.
In essence, you cannot expect to be successful and reach your long-term goals without identifying specific steps you will take, especially when it comes to marketing.
Your marketing plan will be your way to find your target audience, convince them to be a loyal customers of yours, and grow your market share.
Most businesses internalize the significance of marketing; however, understanding how important it is won’t help you alone. In fact, many businesses go with the wrong marketing plan just because they think spending tons of money on it will help them.
This idea is one of the worst things you can do for your business.
You must have a marketing plan. Creating a marketing plan might be a challenging task to complete, but your marketing plan might have irreversible results. You have the power to lead those irreversible results to your benefit.
Today, we will talk about what is a marketing plan, why it has such a crucial role in agencies, and how to create one for your agency.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a guide that is created appropriately regarding your business’ needs, expectations, goals, and sources in a defined period. Typically, a marketing plan is in the form of a report that was created by those who know the needs of the business very well.
Your marketing plan will be your guide on your business about what will be your next step to make your business better. Many agencies and businesses prefer to have a marketing plan for one year; however, it can be made in any specific period you want to.
The report created by the authorities must be sent to every person who will be a part of the marketing plan.
Additionally, a marketing plan can include the current marketing position of your business, a timeline where you define the tasks, key performance indicators of your goals and strategies, and the definition of your target market.
Besides, a marketing plan is your roadmap to lead your clients in the right direction. In other words, your marketing plan is not only your way to grow as a business, but it is a strategy to satisfy your customers in the best way possible.
The scope of the marketing plan’s definition is quite broad. Overall, a marketing plan is one of the essential building stones of your business’ success. If you aim to grow as a business, a marketing plan is indispensable.
What can a marketing plan provide your agency?
Understanding what your agency can get out of a solid marketing plan is a good way to internalize its significance. The following are the objectives of creating a marketing plan and how they can help your agency.
Defining the needs of your business
It is no secret that any given plan is the key when it comes to defining needs. At the end of the day, your goal is to make what you do better, and if you do not have a list of what you need, you can’t figure out what to do.
While defining your business’ needs, what you do will be a meaningful effort. A successful marketing plan must dominate what is going on in the market and how they can be better than others.
So, your marketing plan will be your first step to define your business’ needs and improvise. With all the research you will do during your marketing plan, you will have the best opportunity to define the needs of your business.
Avoiding future uncertainties
Unplanned conveniences are the worst enemy of a business.
It’s not that you can have control over everything that can happen to your business, but you can choose to have control over what can happen.
A business plan will provide you this. Because you plan what you will do in the future, it is less likely for your business to have an unplanned situation where you did not think about the outcome.
Even though something unplanned happens, a good marketing plan will help you get out of it in the quickest way possible. Additionally, since your marketing plan will be present to everyone in the marketing team, it will help you to deal with inconveniences in a coordinated and organized manner.
As you create your marketing plan, the last step will be to track the results. Tracking results consistently in a marketing plan helps you to detect any inconveniences, and you will have the opportunity to get out of the situation.
Being consistent and clear
Consistency is one of the most important things when it comes to succeeding. Your marketing plan will help you to focus on the critical factors while putting less effort into things that do not matter that much.
If you want a solid foundation of marketing that you can rely on, you need to have a marketing plan to have clear goals and strategies. Additionally, the marketing plan you will create will help everyone in the business to understand your goals and work on them accordingly.
Remember, the most successful businesses are those who share what is going on in every different aspect of the business. If all members of the business know what the marketing goals are, they can internalize it as a mission and implement this on what they do if that is possible.
Ensuring customer satisfaction
As we mentioned earlier, a marketing plan includes a complex interaction of many different aspects of your business, which includes your target audience.
While you are creating your marketing plan, you will be considering your target audience’s needs, too. At this point, you can create a good strategy regarding your customer’s needs.
Everything will be planned. You will get to know your target audience more than ever, and this will help you through satisfying their needs.
See More: How to do market analysis
As they get more satisfied with your products and services, you will get to grow your business and achieve your goals.
At the end of the day, your marketing plan will be aimed to interact with your target audience, increase your visibility, and increase your market share. And it is clear that those goals are cannot be achieved if your customers are not happy with what you provide.
How to create a marketing plan
The extent of your marketing plan bounds up with what your business objectives are. There can be many different reasons to create a marketing plan, such as reviewing your business’ current success, reaching a new audience, or increasing visibility on social media.
Regardless of why you are creating a marketing plan for your agency, some key points must be present in any successful marketing plan. The following are some of the important steps that you should not forget while creating your marketing plan.
Prepare a Summary
An overview of what you have been doing on your business is the first step of creating a marketing plan for your agency.
You might have an idea about what you want to achieve as an agency, but how can you take the necessary steps if you do not know what are your sources and the former image you put out there?
Additionally, since everyone in your marketing team will be included in what you do, they have to know what has been going around.
A marketing plan summary does not have to be about everything you have done as a company. Rather it is supposed to be short and explanatory content where the simple marketing goals, important company milestones, important facts about your brand, and some metrics.
You would want your summary to be right on point. We must once mention that the goals you will mention in your summary are not detailed descriptions, but they are general points that you want to achieve.
Your summary can be explained as the elevator pitch of your company.
Conduct a Market Research
As an agency, you are never alone in the market. There are probably tons of others that do similar things to what you do, even though monopoly market brands have solid marketing strategies.
You must have an idea about what others are doing in your market to build a clear picture of possibilities, what seems to work and what’s not. Successful and prominent figures on the market can be your baseline since the reason for them being prominent is probably their marketing strategy.
It is not that you will copy everything your successful competitors do. However, you can understand what is being valued in your market because you have similar target audiences.
Market research is a way of taking inspiration. Market research can help you to see the missing points and flaws in your marketing plan. There are many things to consider while doing your market research.
For example, how many of a persona do your competitors aim to? Are they following the latest trends, or are they coming up with their original and unusual ideas? Which brand’s marketing strategy is working, and how can you implement this in your business?
Know and separate your customer base
Without your customers, your agency is just something abstract. If no one notices you, and you do not have customers, what is the point of running a business?
It is not that your marketing plan will be entirely about your customers. However, the definition of marketing is empty without your customers and target audience.
As in every aspect of marketing, knowing your target audience and customers is key. A big part of your goal is to find what they enjoy and what you can do to attract them to your business.
If you are a business that is on the market for a while now, you should have to know your target audience already. If you know your target audience well, it would be best to separate your customer base.
What separating your customer base means is this: you need to define the “personas” on your target audience.
Your target audience might be defined in terms of demographics and what they like. However, such large populations will most definitely have different types of people, which we call personas in marketing. Even if you put ten people in a room with the same demographic information, they will differ.
This is why outlining the user personas create a significant difference.
People love to be special, and if your marketing strategy directly aims at them, it will be more efficient. Your goal is not reaching tons of people but reaching tons of the right people.
You should consider who is willing to become a customer of yours. If you are selling beauty products, the chances of men older than 65 being a customer are unlikely.
It is important to note that most of your customer base might have similar interests, but you should consider the next most part to achieve more success.
Knowing your customer base and finding the persona patterns is hard work, but it is definitely worth the effort. You might want to directly communicate with your audience through interviews, surveys, and by researching your competitors in the same industry.
See More: Important Tools for Social Media Marketing
How to create user personas?
Since user personas are a significant detail of your marketing plan, it would be best to take a look at how you can create them.
Just like the rest of your marketing plan, you might want to use graphs, infographics, and pictures. Choosing a picture for every user persona will help your marketing team to get to know them better and make wiser choices.
For example, your target audience might be young female adults. A user persona will be one part of those young female adults.
Let’s put this example in more detail. For example, you can assign a name for your user persona, such as “Hailey Veitch.” You need to develop demographic information, which will be quite similar for your general target audience.
Additionally, you need to include Hailey’s goals, what makes her frustrated, what makes her happy, which social media channels she uses, and her key traits.
You can create a bio for her. You need to consider what her occupation is and what she can purchase from your products and services. Hailey likes to look expensive, even though she cannot afford it.
It is not that your brand is evil enough to make someone pay for stuff they cannot afford. But the marketing world aims to reach the largest population possible, so here is that.
So, now that you have a detailed description of a user persona, your marketing goal must include how you can persuade Hailey to be a customer of yours.
User personas make marketing plans ten times easier by opening a new and clearer path to you.
Define realistic goals
Without realistic goals, your marketing plan is not going to work. At this point, you should have already had general goals in your summary section, but everyone knows that it requires more.
You should take your goals one step further and write some sort of operational definition for them.
Everyone who reads the goals should understand what it is and what will be the metric to measure if this goal is achieved or not. For example, you might have included “reach more people” in your summary part, and in this part, you should have something like “reach at least 15.000 more people by the end of this year.”
Your goals might include increasing market share and sales, improving customer service, finding new clients, saving more time on certain tasks, and so many other things regarding your goals.
It is crucial to set realistic goals to not disappointed and lower everyone’s motivation on your team. You need to be knowledgeable about your sources and what is possible in the defined given time.
You can create a now-next-later table as an efficient way of defining goals. Such tables help you and your team sees a clearer picture of the situation and how your goals can help you.
5. Creating Applicable Marketing Strategy
After that, you should be knowledgeable about your needs, goals, and audience, and it is time to start creating your marketing strategy.
Now it’s time to create a detailed marketing action strategy. This step will determine the actual things you will do in your marketing campaign.
While creating your action plan, you need to be as detailed as possible to define everything you will do. However, since you will share this plan with many other people, you might want to keep it as interesting and informative as possible.
Many people prefer preparing checklists while creating their marketing action strategy.
Creating a marketing action strategy is very much subjective for different businesses. So, here are some general tips for creating an applicable marketing strategy:
Consider everything you have done up to now regarding summary, market research, and your target audience. You worked on all of those to use here on the marketing action plan.
- Have a checklist about what to include.
- Set a timeline.
- Use visuals, infographics, and graphs to make it understandable by anyone who sees it.
- Divide your strategy into tasks.
- Include a mission statement.
- Set clear goals.
- Define and explain the competition in the market.
Tracking results and follow-ups
Your job isn’t over once you complete your marketing strategy. There are many more things to do after this point.
If you do not track your results and follow your marketing strategy closely, it is more likely that it to end with frustration.
So, after you create your marketing plan, you need to have another plan to track your results and follow what is going on.
Different marketing plans include different tracking metrics and objectives. However, there should be some common things to consider. In the worst-case scenario where you cannot have a good tracking plan, you can include what is needed to be tracked, how often you are going to track them, and how you will track them.
As we said, this is the bare minimum of tracking your marketing plan. A good tracking plan is possible through checklists and analyzing results.
Analyzing your marketing plan’s results will help you through detecting any flaws, inconveniences, and mistakes. If you track your results, you can intervene immediately in a case where something goes wrong.
Additionally, your analysis will help you a lot in your next marketing plan.
Creating a marketing plan is one of the most important things for any business that aims to succeed. The following are some of the most frequent questions about the marketing plan that might help you.
What are the key elements of a marketing plan?
The key elements of marketing include market research, company summary, knowing the target audience, and creating user personas.
How do you create a marketing plan?
To create a marketing plan, you need to know your business and target audience in detail. After that, you can set clear and sustainable goals. The final step of creating a marketing plan is to track the results.
What is the action plan in a marketing plan?
An action plan in a marketing plan is a strategy that can be put into real life and can be implemented easily. Your goal does not have to be simple, yet your action plan should be realistic and applicable.
What are basic marketing questions answered in a marketing plan?
In a marketing plan, questions of where you are now as a business, what your competitors are doing, what are your resources, what are your goals, and how will you take action takes place.
What may marketing activities be included in a marketing plan?
Different marketing plans have different activities on them. However, some of the common marketing activities include advertising, agency property guide, brochures, inspections, direct marketing, and networking.