A solid marketing plan can help you meet your goals and grow your business. In fact, CoSchedule’s 2022 Trend Report on Marketing Strategy revealed that marketers who have a clear, organized process for their marketing tasks are 674 percent more likely to report success than their less-organized counterparts.
Goal-setting, proactivity, and organization are all hallmarks of an effective strategic marketing plan that can help you get results faster. This is why it’s important to understand the various components of a strategic marketing plan as well as the steps you should take to create a strategic plan for success.
- What is a strategic marketing plan?
- Who creates strategic marketing plans?
- What situations call for a marketing plan?
- How to create a strategic marketing plan
- Putting your marketing plan into action
What is a strategic marketing plan?
A strategic marketing plan is an outline of business objectives and how to achieve them. Although the specific structure of a company’s strategic marketing plan is unique to its needs and goals, some of the most common elements are:
- An executive summary
- Statement of objectives and current positioning
- Market research
- Target audience
- Planned marketing initiatives
- Key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Competitive analysis
Who creates strategic marketing plans?
If you choose to handle everything in-house, your marketing team will be integral to creating and implementing your strategic marketing plan. In the beginning phases, you might want to call on market research and data experts to help you come to the right conclusions based on the data you collect. In terms of on-the-ground implementation, tasks are typically delegated to content writers, designers, social media managers, and other marketing team members.
If one or more of these capabilities aren’t covered by your team, you may need to consider outsourcing some parts of the process. For example, agencies can cover the strategic and market research side of things, and freelancers can help with simpler tasks like creating social media posts or writing copy for email campaigns.
Read more on TechnologyAdvice: How to Persuade Leadership to Outsource Marketing Services
What situations call for a marketing plan?
If you find yourself in any of the following scenarios, it may be time to create a strategic marketing plan:
- You’re looking to obtain funding.
- Your business is growing, but you need a push to meet your objectives.
- Company growth is slow or stagnant.
- You want to make sure your marketing efforts are sustainable.
- You’re looking to target the right audience.
- You want to understand past outcomes to perform better in the future.
- You need to re-assess your messaging and outreach strategies as part of a routine or annual planning process.
How to create a strategic marketing plan
When creating a strategic marketing plan, the first step is usually to think about what outcomes you want to see relative to where your business is now. Your goals should be ambitious but not impractical or unattainable. One way of setting realistic goals is to make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Once you’ve laid out your goals, it’s important to consider who your target audience is, what unique benefits you can offer them, and what your budget constraints are. If you need a bit more direction in deciding which audiences to target, it could be useful to conduct market research, A/B testing, and other tests to determine how to proceed with your marketing plan.
Next, it’s time to select the channels and specific tactics you plan on using to reach your audience. This could include digital marketing tactics like social media and email marketing, or traditional advertising methods like TV commercials or newspaper ads. Once you’ve put your marketing plan into action, collect the results of each campaign to understand where you have room for improvement.
Finally, you should have a plan in place to evaluate and adjust your strategy depending on what works and what doesn’t. It’s also a good idea to brainstorm new opportunities you can anticipate as your marketing plan grows.
Putting your marketing plan into action
A personalized plan capitalizes on your in-house resources and operates within the parameters of your budget. If it becomes necessary to outsource some elements of your plan, make sure your partner is aligned with your vision. With a strategic marketing plan ready to implement, your next step is to assemble all stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.