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Creating a marketing plan (and strategy) is one of the most important things you can do for your business because it details how you’ll bring in revenue.
And a business without revenue isn’t really much of a business, is it?
That’s why creating a marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals is essential if you want to start seeing real business growth.
Below, we’ve outlined the sections that make up a marketing plan and guide you on how to create one of your own so you can see your business truly thrive.
Parts of a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan consists of the following sections:
- Business Summary – Company name, Marketing Leadership Team, Headquarters/Office Locations, Mission Statement, SWOT Analysis
- Business Initiatives – Overarching initiatives (marketing initiatives, goals, and metrics)
- Target Market – Industry Name, Buyer Personas, Competitive Analysis
- Market Strategy – Product, Price, Promotion, People, Process, Physical Evidence
- Budget – What business supplies/products are you budgeting for?
- Marketing Channels – What channels will you use to promote your business?
How to Create a Marketing Plan of Your Own
Creating a marketing plan can seem hard and you might feel overwhelmed at first, but luckily, there are dozens of marketing plan templates out there that you can use as a jumping-off point.
If you’d rather do it from scratch, that’s fine too.
Plan on goin that route? Start crafting each section I mentioned above and filling out the sections with as much information as you can.
I chose to use a marketing plan template, one of HubSpot’s dozens of free templates (which I recommend checking out at some point).
It helped me create a marketing plan in one day.
The business summary is a definition of what your business’ purpose is. Your business summary should include the name of the business, where its headquarters are located, and its mission statement. The business summary should also include a SWOT analysis, which identifies the business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
This section is basically writing out your marketing goals (different from your overall business goals, which are typically part of the business plan). What are your marketing goals? Be specific with this so you know which direction to take each project. Projects might include growing an email list or gaining more followers on social media. Once you know your marketing goals, describe how each of them will be measured. (Remember, these goals should be SMART goals).
Defining Your Target Market
Defining your target market is one of the most important parts of creating a marketing strategy. You need to know who you’re marketing to and that means creating buyer personas of your ideal customers.
Creating buyer personas can help you really refine your marketing messages by targeting specific types of people based on things like where they live, how old they are, their occupation, their income, and a range of other factors.
HubSpot has a buyer persona creation tool you can use to create yours.
Or you can research some buyer persona examples online and copy what’s relevant. It’s not like anyone’s going to see your buyer personas anyway, so there’s really nothing wrong with copying here.
Here are a few examples to get you started.
According to HubSpot, the market strategy defines how you’ll approach the target market you defined earlier on. What will differentiate you from your competitors? What can you offer that others can’t? Think about the seven Ps of marketing – product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence. Check out HubSpot’s free marketing plan template if you’re unsure about how to approach this.
Setting SMART goals for your marketing plan is just as important as setting SMART goals for your business as a whole. Figure out exactly what you want out of your marketing initiatives and create achievable, realistic goals. My advice is to write out monthly goals (or quarterly goals) in advance and once you reach them, create a new set of goals to reach. That’s how you make progress and you’ll be able to easily see how far you’ve come when looking back at them. That’ll give you the confidence to keep pushing forward.
What’s your budget for marketing? And how will you use that budget? For example, will you use it to buy SEO keyword research software (like Yoast) to crush it with SEO on your blog? Or will you use your budget to buy social media management tools to help you grow your presence on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest? Thinking about buying ads (like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Instagram Ads)? Or will it be a combination? Decide how much you can reasonably spend on marketing and write down exactly how you’ll use the money.
What marketing channels will you use to reach your marketing goals? Facebook? Twitter? Quora? Medium? Write down each channel you plan to use, but limit yourself to three or fewer. Things can get pretty hectic pretty quickly if you don’t. You’ll burn yourself out if you try to be everywhere at once. Find what works for you and stick to those platforms.
Are You Ready to Create Your Business Marketing Plan?
Hopefully, this helped you answer any questions you might have about creating your business marketing plan. Now, go get started brainstorming what your marketing goals are and write them down. Keep updating it and checking your progress as your company grows.
Wanna get a head start on your content marketing strategy? Check out my Content Marketing Workbook.