If you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, chances are you want sales and recognition year round – and therefore, you’re going to want to be marketing your business year round, as well. If instead you treat your campaigns like a quick fix solution to a problem, that’s all you’re going to get. But if you’re looking to build, sustain, or elevate your brand over time, grow your business genuinely, attract customers who will buy, and increase your revenue, then you need to develop a plan.
A plan sets us up for success first and foremost by establishing and managing expectations for the year ahead and eliminates distraction. It turns ideas into action and helps us be proactive with the work we are doing. And research has shown that when we have a plan, we are more likely to achieve our goals.
Here are five key areas your marketing plan must include:
1. A vision
The first thing we need to consider when putting our plan together is the mission of our brand, business, or organization. The mission states why your brand exists. It’s usually surrounding the ways you serve your audience. Your vision, on the other hand, is your higher purpose. What do you want to ultimately be or strive for?
The goal of our plan is to make our vision a reality. To do this, we need a strategy that articulates when and where we’ll utilize our resources to meet our goals, and the tactics are the actual how-tos when it comes to seeing your strategy through.
2. A summary of who is your target audience
If you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one. Drill down to the specifics of who this marketing plan is going to be targeted towards. If you don’t know, then start with a survey of your e-mail newsletter list, your social media audience, and past customers or clients.
3. Goals + Objectives
You can pull this list from your business plan if you have one. If not, don’t worry. Take some time to think - where do you want your business to be a year from now? Two years? Five? 10? It’s so important to have your goals down on paper. Make them real and make them specific. For example, are your goals budget or sales related? Write them down. Is one of your goals to build your e-mail subscriber list or garner press coverage? (It should be!) Write that down, too.
4. Strategies and tactics
Our strategies should answer the question of how will we achieve our goals and objectives this year. Think about various campaigns you can launch, events you can produce, or services you might want to provide.
Tactics support these strategies. If you’re launching a campaign, you’re likely going to want to pitch the news to certain publications with enough time to maximize timing to garner attention and sell tickets, for example. You could also be your own media and develop guest blog posts and video and photo content.
5. Budget considerations
A plan should conclude with a page for the various resources you might need to budget. A few common ones for marketing and PR you’ll need to consider include photo shoots, mailing product, hiring any consultants, and so forth. Laying out this wish list will help you for your planning for the year ahead.
Are you ready to get started on your 2020 marketing plan?
Well guess what – we’ve made it easier with our ready-to-go template! In our 33-page file, you'll receive an organized, presentation-ready template for you to document your plan strategically and chronologically through the year. In addition to analysis exercises to nail down your goals and objectives – and what you need to do to achieve them – this template also includes space for a yearlong strategies summary and month-to-month plan. Specific sections of this template are customizable and include a summary, situation analysis, target audiences, goals & objectives, strategies, accompanying tactics, measurement milestones, and budget considerations.