How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 1 of 9
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a comprehensive framework that guides your annual marketing efforts. It outlines the results of research and dives into the strategy and goals derived from the analysis. It is a working document that should establish your long term and short term goals that help you achieve them.
The goal of the plan isn’t to kill the creativity, but rather provide the scope and groundwork that you can measure your concepts against. You can use it to keep you and your team accountable and focused on your end goals.
How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 2 of 9
Pain provides context
What do you want out of the plan? Often when people begin looking into writing a marketing plan, it’s either because they’re starting something new or have an existing brand that isn’t performing as well as they would like. The following are some common pains we’ve encountered.
Not getting enough clients or leads
Starting in a new place and need to gain exposure again but don’t know how
Want the public to stop viewing them negatively
Want public awareness around their cause
Your organization has hit a plateau and needs to improve marketing
Don’t have any marketing strategies, mostly doing what others are doing
How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 4 of 9
The bigger macro trends that impact your company on a grander scale
A lot of the analysis spends time looking inwards at your company – instead of the bigger macro trends that impact your company on a grander scale. Macro trends have the ability to take down even the largest multi-billion organizations including McDonalds, Blockbuster Video and national newspaper chains. Each of these organizations reacted as the trend was well underway, instead of planning ahead. Attempts to adjust with the times were done too late. And worst of all, these organizations may have been able to prevent the huge losses they incurred.
How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 7 of 9
Annual goals are often confused with concepting. Annual goals are the goals, objectives and deliverables for the year – they shape the backbone of a great concept. This is when all the analysis you’ve done will help you to make educated decisions on where your marketing efforts should be focused in the next year. Keep the macro analysis in mind, it will show lessons learned and key things to avoid or trend s you can leverage.
How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 8 of 9
What is concepting?
Concepting is what everyone likes to do – coming up with the ideas to promote your organization. You’ll find everyone and their dog has ideas. However, what differentiates a good idea and a bad one is when an idea is backed up by strategy, purpose and supported with focused execution. This is why it’s important to do the concepting after all the research is done, followed by ensuring your concept fulfills all the goals you’ve laid out.
Approach to Concepting
A lot of the time, people jump into creating a concept way too early in the process. So, it’s important to evaluate the needs based on your annual goals (see previous blog). If you’ve decided you need a concept or campaign to help achieve your goals, this is the part of the process where you’ll establish it.
How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 9 of 9
Measurements are one of the key pillars of a good marketing plan. It removes personal biases and provides a very clear indication of whether or not you’re succeeding. Measurements are the most unbiased, tangible way to ensure that you’re aligned with your goals. This holds the marketing team accountable so that they’re not caught up in vanity metrics.
Vanity metrics are metrics that sound great but don’t contribute to achieving your end goal. Individuals with vested interest in the campaign get easily caught up in vanity metrics. That is why it’s important to indicate the key goals before diving into the campaign. Goals for this campaign may be a vanity metric in another campaign, it depends on the annual goals.