According to John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, marketing is as simple as this,
“Getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you.”
Yet most businesses chase marketing opportunities with a “hair on fire” approach rather than a strategic focus on the right activities and smart marketing spending. Your marketing plan is critical to position marketing as a strategic function rather than a set of “activities” that every company “just has to do”.
In that spirit here are 8 of the essential elements to include in your marketing plan. The images are pulled from our free Marketing Plan Template.
#1 Target Market: Who Is Your “One”?
Identify your market segments. Within those segments, paint a detailed demographic and psychographic picture of your Ideal Client, that ONE person who needs your product or service.
#2 Competitive Analysis: Do You Know Your Enemy?
Who are the top businesses delivering the product or service to your Ideal Client. How are they doing it? What are they doing? Where is your advantage and opportunity based on your strengths?
#3 Unique Selling Proposition: Define Your Difference
What's your edge? What experience will you deliver? What big promise, offer or guarantee will you make that your competition is unable or afraid to make?
#4 Lead/Sales Funnel: Your Know, Like, and Trust Path
What are the key stages and activities you will need to monitor and measure as you move prospects from strangers to clients?
#5 Marketing Budget: Make Every Dollar Count
Where will you invest to promote and spread the message about your products and services? How much will you need to spend to reach your Ideal Prospects and also reach your business goals?
#6 Marketing Team: Who Will Do What?
Define the roles and responsibilities of your marketing team. They don't need to be set in stone, but your team should have a clear idea of what they need to deliver on.
#7. Content Plan: What Drives Your Marketing Machine?
What marketing channels- SEO, PPC, PR, Social Media, Online and Offline Advertising- will you use? What angles and approaches on blog posts, webinars, and white papers will you take?
#8. Campaign Plans: Engage and Impact
Deliver a systematic series of creative communication messages using social media, email, webinars, and articles to move prospects to action and buy.
Remember these simple rules when creating your marketing plan. Use this simple Marketing Plan Template and customize the essential elements for your business.