What Makes a Good Marketing Plan?

Marketing goals

Marketing plans can be make or break when it comes to achieving your marketing goals as well as your business goals. They come in all different shapes and sizes with some marketing plans taking half a day to write and others taking weeks. In our experience though, there are a few ‘must haves’ when it comes to crafting a successful strategy that’s going to have you placing huge ticks next to your objectives for the year. Here’s what they are:

Customer avatars

A graphic showing 3 different customer avatars

A customer avatar, also known as a buyer persona or customer profile, is a fictional character that represents your dream customer or client. Many business have two or three avatars representing different buying cycles. When creating a customer avatar, here’s what you need to consider:

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Family
  • Hobbies & interests
  • Income
  • What motivates them
  • Challenges and fears
  • And how your product can solve their problem

Researching and documenting these elements of your buyer persona helps you to understand what makes your client tick. When you know exactly who it is you’re speaking to, it will become much easier to tailor your language and present your brand/product in such a way that your target audience simply can’t ignore.

If you’re keen to find out more about customer avatars, this article by Forbes gives a pretty easy-to-understand explanation.

Forecasted spend

Marketing budget

Time to talk numbers. We know that finances aren’t necessarily everyone’s jam but coming up with a marketing budget is essential if you want your strategy to succeed. When crunching the numbers, a good place to start is with your customer journey. Make sure you’re spending enough money on each stage of the journey, otherwise you could actually be preventing customers from getting to the bottom of your sales funnel.

For example, it’s great if you want to spend a lot of money on an ‘always on’ brand campaign. But if you aren’t spending any money on remarketing, then you’re likely losing potential customers between the ‘awareness’ stage and the ‘conversion’ stage because your marketing budget didn’t account for the ‘interest’ stage. So, regardless of how much cash you can afford to allocate,  make sure you’re mapping out your marketing spend strategically.

Marketing templates

Marketing templates

It’s always a good idea to include some simple, go-to templates in your marketing plan because you’ll find they save you a lot of time and brain power throughout the year. Come up with some short, succinct responses that you can copy and paste (or automate) in response to customer enquiries in your Instagram comment section, your Facebook messages or via email. You’ll thank us later for this one!

90-day goals and 12-month goals

Marketing goals

Including these two distinct types of goals in your marketing plan is a really effective way of making sure that your short-term strategy and your long-term strategy go hand in hand with one another. If you’re only setting yourself big marketing goals (i.e., 12-month goals or 5-year goals) then you’ll likely find yourself getting lost along the way. Having a 90-day goal system is ideal because it’s enough time to achieve something substantial that contributes to your bigger overarching goals.

Assess and adjust

An office where a team are discussing their marketing strategy around a whiteboard

Just because you make a plan, doesn’t mean that you have to stick to it like glue. It’s also important that you leave space in your marketing plan to assess your progress and adjust your approach so make sure you’re getting your team together every few months to have a look at your marketing plan and find out what’s working and what isn’t. Your marketing strategy should outline the kind of metrics you’ll be using to measure your success and it should include details on the kind of reports you’ll be running.

If, throughout the year, things aren’t stacking up exactly the way you had planned, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean you have to throw your entire marketing plan in the bin, it just means that you might need to switch up your tactics a bit. Leave some wiggle room and don’t be afraid to take a detour or two.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out that doc and start strategising! To help you get started, we’ve created a FREE marketing plan workbook that will guide you through your strategy, just head to our homepage now and fill out your details.

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