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A plan is only effective if you make it actionable. There is no point in making a plan you have no intention in completing. Thus, in any plans that make up your business, it is an important aspect to make those plans actionable, realistic, relevant, and measurable. That way you can track your progress and at the same time allow you to review and update your plan, if necessary.
With that in mind, one of the most important aspects in business that you need sufficient planning is marketing. Marketing can help the business thrive, but the lack thereof can also make the business suffer. Although there is no need for elaborate and complicated planning, it is still very important to find an effective way to spread your message across. Clarity, relevance, and appeal are big factors that can affect the outcome of marketing. Thus, it is very useful to have a plan that will guide you through implementing your marketing strategies.
One of the vital factors of a business’s success is a strategic marketing plan. Without it, the message and the purpose of the business will become unheard of. If you take it literally, a marketing action plan is basically just words on paper. However, if there are specific directions of procedures and processes as well as detailed tasks descriptions, action can be done in order to fulfill such tasks. With that in mind, a marketing action plan allows you to put more detail into the marketing strategies you intend to employ.
A marketing action plan is a document that outlines the marketing strategies you want to implement in order to make your message known to your target demographic. It contains all the details that relates to the marketing strategy the business want to use from content creation to social media engagement, SEO to SEM, inbound marketing and online presence to traditional outbound campaigns. The marketing action plan brings all of these aspects together to make one cohesive message that can be easily understood by the prospect customers.
With that in mind, a marketing action plan is useful in emphasizing the importance of perfectly implementing the marketing the strategies set in place. The specific and accurate information included in the plan constitutes what should be done and how to do it. Moreover, the plan also includes all the details that makes your business unique from its competitors. It helps you establish your individuality from all the other businesses similar to you. It also allows your whole team to be on board on the same goal since it is explicitly included in the plan.
Therefore, a marketing action plan is a useful document that will enable the marketing team of a company to stay focused on the marketing goal. It directs the whole team on how to execute the strategies with utmost accuracy. Aside from that, it also helps the team understand the main purpose why there is a need for proper execution of the marketing strategies.
A marketing action plan is necessary for you to know and understand even the tiniest details about the marketing strategies that you need to employ for your business. It will help you become fully aware of what you need to do in order market and sell your company as well as the products and/or services you sell. In that case, you need to know the essential contents that you need to include in your marketing action plan. Hence, here is a list of the essential contents:
Your market research should not only be for the beginning of your business, it should be a continuous process so that you can stay on top of your target demographic’s needs, desires, and lifestyles. You can draw data from your personal experience talking with the customers, other customer data like sales records, website analytics, and social media interactions. You can also use third-party agencies that can do the research for you so that you can keep up with the trends in your target market as well as media properties you consider to advertise in order to see who their readers or viewers or listeners, etc.
A marketing plan contains the outline of the marketing efforts or strategies you want to implement in order to reach the customers you have identified in the first part. Some of the most common marketing strategies or methods used for this purpose are outdoor advertising, social media, radio ads, online pay-per-click ads, public relations, and more. However, you have to remember that the method that you use are the most effective and affordable based on the research that you have done. And it is important to note that your marketing plan must cover the coming year and the specific goals you wish to achieve.
A marketing calendar is basically the breakdown of your marketing plan. It shows the type of marketing you will have to do on each month, week, and even each day. The marketing calendar basically contains the breakdown of the broad activities you have noted in the marketing plan. The goal of the calendar is to make those activities more attainable by breaking it down to tasks with the corresponding description and team in charge. The calendar can include ad placements, PR campaigns, social media posts, and more. The marketing calendar will help you stay committed to carrying out the marketing plan without having to worry about forgetting some of the components of each activities.
Tracking the results of each type of marketing strategy or method that you use will ensure that you deliver the intended return of investment (ROI). This can be done through online links, code, or print ads that help you easily track who mentions or uses said method. Online analytics are easy to use and interpret, this will help you see which ads or mentions attract customers to your site and to track which customers end up making a purchase. Regular assessment on which marketing methods are driving more sales and which are not ensures that you get to improve your marketing to fit your customers needs and wants.
When making a marketing action plan, a standard format is basically nonexistent, it all comes down to your personal preference. Regardless of format, however, you must be able to present the necessary information to make it useful. It must provide the following:
But aside from all of that. There are still things you need to consider when making a marketing action plan. Although those factors are important, you still need supporting information to make your marketing action plan to be more effective. Hence, here are some other points you need to consider:
It is a crucial part in making a marketing plan to identify which stakeholders to have on board in order to effectively implement the plan. The stakeholders directly correlate to the “who” section of your plan. They will basically have a say in what needs to be done especially since they are deeply involved in the marketing planning as well. In addition, they form the core of the implementation team.
In order to keep track of the performance of the overall plan, it is essential to break down the marketing plan into short-term and long-term goals. This will also allow you to assess if the plan needs to be changed in order to keep you on the right track. You need to remember that your marketing action plan timeline should correspond to the timelines you have set to your goals. In addition, it is imperative that the marketing action plan to be a living document, thus, it should be frequently updated along with the overall plan.
In order to implement the marketing action plan, a number of stakeholders are needed. In addition, the plan also needs to have critical timelines involved to get the product to the market. Aside from all of that, the plan will also develop advertising materials, change packaging, staff training, etc. In order to avoid holdups on the timelines that can negatively impact the rest of the plan, you need to start a regular Work In Progress (WIP) meeting. This will let you consistently stay on the loop with your your marketing action plan in order for you to stay on top of issues, communicate updates, track deliverables, and if necessary, crack the whip to keep things moving.
Now that you have a clear idea on what a marketing action plan can help to your business, you need to start making the plan. However, you still need to learn the process that comes along with. Remember that the final plan is only as good as the process you accurately follow. Thus, here is a simple guide for you to make a marketing action plan:
The first step you should take when making a marketing action plan is to take a good look at your goals and what you are currently doing in order to achieve those goals. This will help you determine whether you have stayed on track with some of those goals and way off mark with the others. The main goal of this step is to hold yourself and your team accountable in assessing what methods are working well and which should be improved or replaced.
Although you’re neck deep in your current work, you need to be able to reflect on what you are doing and perhaps what you should be doing. By doing this you can yield some important and effective opportunities that will allow you achieve your goals. This process will give you a list of things you should have done and should pursue. The list will then serve as your guide on what things you should do and how to do them more effectively.
Regardless of how may things are included on your list, it is critical that you know what things to tackle when. Instead of doing everything at once, you have to identify the priorities on your list. You can efficiently do this by evaluating the impact of such things included on your list to your business and how much effort, time, and resources are needed in order to properly execute them. Once you have done that, the highest impact and easiest-to-execute projects are the ones to focus on first. Through this, you may be also able to find out that some things on your list are interrelated and can be grouped together into larger projects.
Now that you know your priorities, you can now focus on what you should do to get things done. Break things down into individual tasks and decide who is going to do what and when. As the list of tasks continue to grow, you can start planning and organizing the actions you need to take in the next 10 days, the next 30 days, and the next 90 days. Remember that you have to strategically plan your actions in order for your to get some quick accomplishments. In order to effectively do so, you need to tackle the easiest task so that you can build momentum while not diverting too much of your time from your main areas of focus. You have to make sure that you carve out enough time in your schedule in order to move your projects onward.
In the process of improving your marketing action plan, you will begin to realize that you do not have all of the skills or resources in house to do so. However, you should not fret. There are countless of companies or agencies that allow you to tap into the expertise of a dedicated teams of professionals. In cases when you do not want to commit to making an investment with other companies or agencies, there are skilled freelancers you can tap into in order to achieve your goal/s.
We hope you have learned valuable information about marketing action plan with the help of this article. The examples above can be used for your reference when making one for your own.