A marketing plan is a step-by-step guide to achieving the short and long-term goals of a company or project. Most often, this document represents actions necessary to implement the brand strategy. But what are its key elements? What are the most common types of plans? Read on to find out!
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Reasons To Create A Marketing Plan
- It helps to understand what’s going on in the company. The marketing plan includes an analysis of the current situation, which allows you to see the brand’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as evaluate the results;
- It shows where the company should be in the future. It’s all about well-prepared goals. How are you supposed to move forward without in-depth planning?
- It contains instructions for achieving goals. A step-by-step marketing plan helps you understand what needs to be done, when and why. And most importantly, you see what tools you need in the process;
- It allows you to plan the timing and the budget. It is difficult to say how much time and money you need to attract a specific number of customers if you don’t analyze each stage of this process;
- It helps increase competitiveness. A carefully designed marketing plan allows you to analyze the company’s position in the market, identify problems and growth points, and develop advertising strategies.
SOSTAC Marketing Plan
The SOSTAC model was developed by Paul Smith back in the 90s. The popularity of SOSTAC is only growing every year, as it’s used by entrepreneurs in various niches. The name of the planning model encodes such elements as Situation Analysis, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, Control:
- Situation Analysis. In this block, you analyze where the company is now, what its competitive advantages and opportunities are, who its customers are, what channels should be used to attract clients, and so on;
- Objectives. At this stage, you determine what you are striving for. It is important that goals are clear and formulated according to the SMART model. That is, objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound;
- Strategy. In this block, you write ways to achieve each goal. It is important to think about how the company will get from point A to point B;
- Tactics. It describes the tools that you will need to solve your tasks. For example, chatbots, email, SEO, web push notifications, etc;
- Action. At this stage, you draw up schedules for achieving goals, allocate a budget, and describe the steps to be taken. For example, you can create a lead magnet, develop a sales funnel in Facebook Messenger and so on;
- Control. This block prescribes KPIs that will help measure performance and the tools needed to track it. Also, in this block, you indicate the people responsible for each process.
One-Page Marketing Plan
A one-page marketing plan consists of sections covering the three stages of a customer’s buying cycle: consideration, purchase and renewal. It can also be described as follows:
- Prospect. This section describes the target audience, the message they want to convey to each potential buyer, and the necessary communication channels;
- Lead. Here, you think over ways to attract leads and convert them into customers;
- Customer. This section describes ways to create a positive customer experience with a brand and opportunities to increase LTV (lifetime value).
The Shortest Marketing Plan
The shortest marketing plan was developed by Kelly Odel. According to the researcher, most marketing plans are too long and hard to work with. Therefore, Kelly Odel created her own planning model. It is a small table with four rows and six columns. Here, you will use the 4P (Product, Price, Location, Promotion) model and Sherrington’s 5W (Who, What, When, Where, Why) methodology.
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The Secrets Of A Successful Plan
- Information gathering. Understanding what the market has in store opens many wonderful opportunities. What chances are there and what challenges will you face? This section will help you quickly determine what conditions you are in and choose the best tactics;
- Goals and objectives. Define goals to measure the plan’s effectiveness. This section will help you understand when a marketing plan can be considered successful. You will also be able to develop key indicators, strategies and tactics;
- Target audience. In this section, you will be able to describe your target audience and keep it in sight. Customer behavior can be quite complex and sometimes unpredictable. If you make portraits, you can understand the audience and remember who you work for;
- Marketing calendar. Do the right thing at the right time. It isn’t enough to simply set deadlines. It’s best if you have a clear vision of what and when should happen with your marketing campaign. Complete this section to put all the stages of the plan on a single timeline;
- Strategy evaluation. Track how your campaign unfolds by comparing starting points and progress. The template has tables for each goal, so it will be easy to compare indicators;
- Coordination. Let the team put their names on the plan so you know how to move forward quicker.
To Wrap It Up
Today, many students have a business mindset. They don’t want to work for someone, so they start using their potential to the maximum as soon as they can. They build clothing brands and open coffee shops, organize events and deliver flowers. Many students are involved in the beauty industry and design, marketing and so on.
Of course, it is hard to move forward without careful planning. Therefore, choose the approach that suits you best and proceed to describing its main elements. The more details you take into account, the easier it will be for you to reach your goal. Good luck!