How to Create a Simple Marketing Plan
The idea of marketing can be overwhelming as a business owner. It’s just one more thing that you have to add to your agenda and accomplish in order to reach new customers. Many businesses construct marketing plans in a variety of different ways as there really is no “one size fits all” outline for creating a marketing plan. Mad Mouse Creative wants to provide it’s readers with steps regarding how to create a simple marketing plan. “Simple” doesn’t mean that your marketing plan will be lacking in substance, but rather, it means that it maintains a strategic capacity and results-driven agenda.
Getting Started on Your Marketing Plan
When you’re considering how to get started with your marketing plan, think first about what it is you need to accomplish. Have you spoken with your sales team? What can you help them with? Your marketing goals should be aligned with your sales objectives as marketing itself is primarily the neck that turns the head of sales.
To get things started, lay out your top five objectives for the quarter. Begin with listing two objectives that are specific to how you’d like to grow your marketing, then list three objectives that align with your company’s sale initiatives; for a total of five objectives. Then, for each objective, list three ways that you can accomplish them.
Let’s put this into perspective by highlighting an example for a moment. If your first objective for growing your marketing is to begin by implementing a content calendar for your social media marketing, you would want to list three primary tasks or steps that will help make this happen.
Feel free to utilize programs like Microsoft Visio or even Microsoft Excel to help you keep things organized and on point. Pertaining to content calendars as used in the example, they are very important for any marketing-related task that you’re working with and can help you keep your messaging organized and clear. In our next section, we’ll discuss the implementation of programs and processes to help create a simple marketing plan.Start your marketing plan by listing your top 5 objectives for the quarter.
Communicating Your Plan
If you’ve begun your simple marketing plan, you now have five objectives with three implementation ideas for each objective. Before you begin with your objectives and implementations, they should be evaluated in order to ensure that they fit into your company’s messaging, story, and structure.
You may say, “Wait a minute, why do I have to do this?” It’s extremely important to make sure that your objectives and implementation techniques are in line with your company at every level. As an example, if your objective is to increase your new customers Year-over-Year (YoY) by 25%, your objective should align with the objectives of other complimentary departments that are an essential part of helping to achieve that objective.
If your goal as a marketing team is to increase new customer acquisition by 25% YoY, be sure to check with your sales team to make sure that they have the bandwidth and direction from management to support you in your marketing objectives.
Communicating and organizing your simple marketing plan are the two key points that go hand in hand with successful implementation.
Organizing Your Plan
Make sure that you have action items for implementing your simple marketing plan that keep your objectives organized. As mentioned above, if your team has an experienced project manager, you may want to consider using a project management tool such as Trello or Asana to help keep your tasks and team organized. Dedicating a single project manager, certified or not in project management, will allow for a single, streamlined channel for your project and lessen the likelihood of scope creep.
In order to keep your objectives organized, try to stay focused on one task at a time. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the tasks that you need to accomplish, but make sure to be the master of your objectives. Communicating and meeting with relevant parties on a regular basis will help to keep your plan on target and your teams organized. Make sure to avoid “meeting for the sake of meeting” and make your meetings meaningful. Otherwise, your time will be wasted and you will suffer the effects of additional costs to your plan.
If you are conducting a meeting, designate a time and task keeper for each meeting that you have. It’s not unheard of to bring timers into meetings in order to keep team members in check with making sure that their communication is specific and intentional. Companies even reward people for staying on time and task during meetings by providing them with goodies and incentives if they’ve completed tasks on schedule during a meeting.
Put Your Marketing Plan into Action
There are many facets incorporated into a marketing plan, so make sure that you remember the following in order to help you put your plan into action in a timely and effective manner:
- Construct a Communication Schedule with Deadlines. Make sure to commit to a weekly or bi-weekly cadence meeting in order to hold your team accountable for their tasks and to review successes. This can be conducted via phone, video chat, or in person meeting. Don’t be a stickler for one type of communication. Allow your team to be flexible and as long as the job is completed properly and on time, who cares how you communicate?
- Put Together a Content Schedule. Having a specific schedule to help keep your content coordinated is essential in developing and putting into action a solid marketing plan. This can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like it to be. We suggest that the more details you have in your content schedule, the most results driven data you will acquire when the project has been completed.
- Schedule a Start and End Date. Typically, marketing plans will be broken down into quarterly, semi-annual, and annual plans. Make sure to set start and end dates for each plan with additional dates as deadlines for reporting on successes and failures. It’s OK if you project doesn’t end on time (within reason), but make sure to start your project on time to achieve the best and most measurable results.
- Don’t Forget To Set Incentive Goals. Make sure to set reminders and goals in place to help your team stay focused and provide positive reinforcement. Incentives help with team camaraderie and compliment a positive work environment. An example of an incentive would be that if your team accomplishes their first two milestones of the project and over achieve their goal, you’ll all go to happy hour together. Always make incentives fun and personal.
When you’ve compiled all of your objectives, implementation ideas, communication channels, milestones, and incentives, take a break! Give yourself time to come back to your marketing plan with fresh eyes to review it more thoroughly and make sure to pass it along to a colleague for additional review and honest editing. Remember that your marketing plan should have specific, attainable goals, so make sure to ask your colleague to let you know if they think your objectives are reasonable and realistic.
Let Us Create Your Marketing Plan
Hire our team of experts to create your marketing plan. Whether you need simple, seasoned, or an aggressive marketing plan, we can custom tailor one that is right for your business. Give us a call or complete the short form below and we will get back to you quickly.