How to Create A Marketing Plan You’ll Stick To

Team creating a marketing plan at a table

When it comes to growing a business, a marketing plan is one the most valuable tools we have in our toolboxes as business owners. The thing is, when we make plans, we never intend for them to become derailed. But sometimes they just… do. The good news is that there are steps you can take during the planning process to make sure that you don’t permanently veer off track, or worse, come to a total standstill later down the line. Here’s how you can future proof your marketing strategy:

1 goal = many tasks

Notebook with a plan for setting marketing goals

Making a marketing plan often leaves us feeling motivated and excited for what’s ahead, which is exactly how we should feel. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “Wow, I’m pumped! Let’s achieve this thing and that thing and another ten things!” without actually considering how you’re going to get there.

To prevent yourself from getting carried away, break your marketing goals down into small manageable tasks, keeping in mind that each of these tasks should bring you one step closer to where you want to be. We recommend working backwards on this. First of all, set your 90-day goals and your 12-month goals then ask yourself, “What tangible things do I need to do to get there?”. As you come up with ideas of how to get there, break each of them down into smaller subtasks. Before you know it, you’ll have a step-by-step guide to achieving your marketing goals. Also, if you have staff, ask them for their input on how to achieve your goals because chances are they’ll be helping you with the tasks along the way.

Get your business crew involved

Team meeting of colleagues discussing the marketing plan

Speaking of staff, if you have a team, no matter how big or small, we always recommend asking them to contribute to your marketing strategy. It’s all well and good to come up with a plan that you’re super keen to stick to, but the people in your business may be less inclined if they don’t understand the process and the thinking behind the plan. And, while you’re likely super talented and have heaps of good ideas, your staff will too. You hired them for a reason!

Our suggestion is to start by getting everyone in a room (or Zoom call) together for a brainstorming session and see what brainwaves take shape. Encourage your team to give their input and let them know that you’re open to hearing all ideas, no matter how outside of the box they may be. Often, they’re the ideas that turn out to be the best and if everyone feels as though they’ve contributed, they’ll be more committed to the long-term success of the strategy.

Do what you want

A Moonshot Marketing graphic that reads ‘play to your strengths’

Okay so we’re not saying you can just do whatever floats your boat. Obviously, when crafting a marketing plan there are various elements that are crucial for achieving success. However, there’s also room for the things you enjoy or particularly like getting your teeth stuck into. For example, if you want to work on your brand awareness that’s fantastic but there are so many ways to achieve that. And while you should always take a multi-faceted approach to your marketing strategy, you can choose which elements you’re going to invest more of your time and resources into.

You might be a whizz with social media and decide that one of the areas you’re going to focus on is executing a kick ass organic Instagram strategy. Alternatively, social media might not be something that you get particularly excited about. That’s fine, you can decide that it’s going to play a smaller role when it comes to building brand awareness and one of your main projects will be starting a podcast because you love speaking about your industry. Or that you’re going to invest in an iconic paid brand campaign because you nerd out over the analytics side of things. Adapt your marketing plan to suit you, because when you enjoy doing something you’re 10x more likely to stick to it!

Are you keen to build a marketing strategy that will leave you feeling highly accomplished at the end of 2022? Let us know if you need a marketing-strategy-obsessed team who will help you to craft a marketing plan that you’ll stick to every step of the way. We’ve also created a FREE Marketing Plan Workbook that will help you to start build your marketing strategy today. Head to our homepage now and enter your details to get it sent to your inbox!

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.

Moonshot

I am not one to make new year’s resolutions or set goals – but I definitely was one of those people once upon a time. Now I opt for visioning.

Meditating or if that’s not your jam, just simply imagining what the future looks like. Feels like. Smells like.

That’s how I really go clear about what I wanted out of life and how my business could serve that vision.

Determining my values was an important part of that process. In fact, I spent 2 years enquiring and asking myself how I could live a life by design.

What are values? They are your non-negotiables, things you live by.

My values determine who I hire in my business and the clients I work with.

Today I’m going to focus on one of my values – this one really lights me up.

We are Explorers

We are curious, adventurous and wild at heart. In life and in business.

We take this approach in all we do – pushing boundaries and moving out of our comfort zones and helping you move out yours so we can continually stretch, learn and grow. That’s where the magic happens.

I struggled with adventure in 2020 not only did I become a mumma but we were hit with COVID. Usually, my way of adventuring is some kind of holiday or extreme sports activity – given global circumstances and a little person now in tow that was kind-of hard.

So this year I challenged myself to find adventure and explore in the every day.

What does adventure mean to me and why is it important?

Adventure is stepping out of the comfort zone, it’s the urge to evolve and do – a becoming.

Adventure takes courage, bravery and BIG DREAMS. <<< this I have in spades.

To explore is to be curious – to follow a less trodden path, ask lots of questions to a stranger – allow the wild in your heart to be set free.

All these principles apply to me at work as much as they do in the everyday. Late 2020, I committed to stepping out of comfort zone. Actually marketing my marketing agency and being less afraid of working with clients outside of categories I knew well.

The thing I’ve learnt whilst running a business is, people want to work with you for your energy, passion and expertise. Not what designer handbag your sporting.

I’m not separate from my work identity I am me –  authentically me, and for a large part of my corporate career my work personal brand was very different to my life.

Today, I’m sitting here in my work out gear, with avocado stains on my shoulder from a big toddler hug this morning, working with clients I’m aligned with from the comfort of my home on the South Coast. Yes, I still dream of climbing or skiing a great big mountain to fulfil my need for adventure but instead stepping out of my comfort zone today is writing something more personal and unfiltered for my first blog post.

I hope it inspires you to enquire about your values and how you can live them within your business.

 

 

Nic