Imagine that you’re about to deliver a speech to an audience. You walk out onto the stage, stand behind the podium, and look down at your notes… only to realize that the page is blank. You have no plan for what to say.
The above scenario would likely leave you anxious, and rightfully so. When you address an audience, you need to plan out how you’re going to do it — and your marketing campaign is no different. That’s why you need a comprehensive marketing strategy plan.
So, what does a well-written marketing strategy plan look like? How can you go about creating one?
Below, we’ll answer that question with a marketing plan guide that walks through the five major elements that every marketing plan should have. Read on to learn more, and then consider partnering with WebFX — the digital marketing agency with over 785 client testimonials — to get help implementing each of the strategies in your plan.
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1. Executive summary
You should begin any marketing plan with an executive summary. The executive summary should convey the overarching purpose of your plan and should indicate how your plan will contribute to the larger mission of your business. The executive summary should be specific to your plan but doesn’t need to be overly detailed.
It should make clear what this plan will accomplish — but it should save the technicalities for later. A sample executive summary might lead with something along the lines of, “to drive up revenue for X product department by generating higher numbers of leads among that department’s target audience.”
2. Strategic situation summary
Next in our marketing plan guide is the strategic situation summary. This section lays out some of the essential information to know before moving on to the details of the plan. In essence, it sets the stage for the objectives and strategies to be discussed later.
You’ll want to use your summary to identify three pieces of information in particular:
- Your plan’s market (the buyer personas your plan will target)
- Contributors (individuals/groups within your business who will have an active role)
After identifying each of these components, you should conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of your business and your competitors. Evaluate where you can do better, and where you’re on top of the competition.
3. Marketing objectives and KPIs
If your executive summary was where you identified the broad, overarching goal of your marketing strategy plan, your marketing objectives are where you lay out the specific goals and metrics your plan will accomplish. For example, if your executive summary involves improving your lead generation, one of your objectives could focus specifically on gaining X new email subscribers in the coming quarter. In particular, you should use this section to lay out the key performance indicators (KPIs) you intend to track once your plan is put into action.
4. Marketing strategies
This section is where you lay out the meat of your marketing strategy plan. Here you’ll go over the various strategies included in the plan, and how each one will contribute to your overall objectives. You’ll want to pay attention to four types of strategies in particular: Product, distribution, price, and promotions.
Your product strategy should focus on the products or services you’re selling. What are they? What benefits do they have for customers?
In what context might they be used? Answering these questions is a necessary first step to determining and justifying the way you intend to market your products. If you don’t know the strengths and weaknesses of a product, you won’t be able to figure out the best way to sell it.
For example, if you’re selling a new electric toothbrush, you have to ask: What makes this better than another toothbrush? If the answer is that it uses new technology, you should put that feature at the forefront of your marketing.
Your distribution strategy exists to determine how your products or services will be transported, sold, or delivered to customers. Will it be sold in stores? Do you need to set up a new product page in your online store?
Should you hire some delivery trucks? The answers to these questions will differ depending on whether you’re selling a product or a service. Products typically must be shipped, whether to warehouses, stores, or directly to the consumer.
Services don’t require shipping, but have other modes of distribution, like transportation for your workers.
Financial elements are always crucial to get right at any stage of your marketing, so your price strategy deserves your full attention. This strategy revolves around how much your products or services will cost, as well as any discounts or deals you may offer as part of your campaign. Getting this step right requires careful analysis of how much your target audience will be willing to pay for a product or service, and what might make people more willing to buy.
If it’s out of your target audience’s price range, even the best marketing might not be enough to convince people to buy.
Your promotion strategy examines the format your marketing will take. This strategy is perhaps the most directly marketing-related one. How will you advertise your product?
What channels will you use to reach customers? There are a variety of tactics you could include in your promotion strategy. Here are a few of the ones you might try:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
5. Marketing budget
The final element in our marketing plan guide is your marketing budget. This step doesn’t refer to the budget for your entire marketing department, but to the budget for this specific plan. In planning your budget, you should indicate how much everything in your plan will cost, and how you’ll divide your financial resources to meet those needs.
Make sure everything in this section of your plan squares with what’s in your overall marketing budget. Hear from ABWE, who’s been with us for over 10 years!
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Optimize your marketing strategy plan with WebFX
Once you have your marketing plan in place, the time comes to start putting it into action. But that’s not always an easy task. If you need help designing a marketing campaign that drives leads and conversions, look no further than WebFX.
With over 25 years of experience, WebFX knows what it takes to drive results. We can help you optimize your marketing for anything from SEO to social media. We’ll also provide you with a dedicated account representative to keep closely in touch with you throughout the process.