Do you feel overwhelmed with creating a marketing plan outline? Or maybe you just don’t know where to begin with your mission statement?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business owner or a large content marketing team – creating a marketing plan outline is essential to running a profitable business. In fact, most businesses fail because they lack a well thought out online marketing strategy.
If you’ve never created a marketing plan outline before, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your profits and stay ahead of the competition.
This guide will help you get started by creating a marketing plan outline. We also cover real world examples and templates to help you along the way!
What Is a Marketing Plan, and Why Do You Need One?
Marketing plans outline your strategy for reaching target customers, whether that involves advertising, public relations, sales promotions, or other methods. While each type of plan varies slightly, they usually contain three main sections: measurable goals, business objectives, and marketing tactics.
Goals describe what you hope to accomplish over the course of the campaign. Marketing objectives detail exactly what you expect to happen during the campaign. Tactics explain how you intend to achieve your goals.
An effective marketing plan outlines specific actions that you’ll take to achieve your goals. When you create a marketing plan outline, you’ll be able to clearly define what needs to happen next, who needs to be involved, and when each task should be completed.
This type of planning allows you to focus on the bigger picture while delegating tasks to others. And having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish will help you avoid making unnecessary and costly marketing mistakes!
11 Powerful Questions To Outline Your Marketing Plan
To create a successful marketing plan, you’ll need to think and reflect on questions such as:
- What does your ideal customer look like?
- How much money do they spend on average each month?
- What types of products or services do they buy?
- Do they prefer shopping online or in stores?
- Are they loyal to certain brands?
- What brands are competing against you?
- What are they doing differently than you?
- What are they missing?
- Which of their tactics resonate with your audience?
- Where do you stand today?
- Where do you hope to be in six months? One year? Five years?
These questions will help you determine where you currently are, where you’d like to be, and what actions you need to take to get there.
They will also give you a clear idea of where to focus your efforts and what types of activities you’ll need to perform to pull off a successful marketing campaign.
Amazing Marketing Plan Templates to Get You Started
Marketing plan templates are useful because they provide structure and organization to your ideas, and they save you tons of time and energy.
There are dozens of different types of marketing plans available online, ranging from basic outlines to detailed and complex business plans.
Here are some well put together marketing plan examples for wildly successful brands that you can take inspiration from.
Uber Marketing Plan Example
Uber has an excellent marketing plan example that you should take notes from. This is how they took a huge market share and transformed how people move around.
Evernote Marketing Plan Template
Evernote has put together a great marketing plan template that you can use to get started with some ideas for your own outline.
Contently Marketing Plan Outline
This template provides a great framework for creating a content marketing plan that also works for content creators. Feel free to take inspiration from their business plan and customize it according to your own needs.
How to Outline Your Own Marketing Plan Template
Marketing plans aren’t just used to generate sales through running email campaigns; they’re also used to create brand awareness and build relationships with prospective customers. But creating a plan is easier said than done.
Luckily for you, we have outlined a few simple steps to get you started in the right direction.
Combine these together with the 11 powerful marketing plan questions we covered above, and you’ll have one in no-time!
What Are Your Marketing Goals?
Marketing goals are critical to business success. Without clear objectives, it’s difficult to measure whether your efforts are producing positive results.
To create effective marketing activities, you need to define exactly what you want to achieve. What’s your goal? Do you want to generate leads? Increase sales? Grow subscribers? Whatever your objective, it’s important to set specific metrics that will allow you to track progress towards achieving your goals.
For example, let’s say you want to grow your market share by 10% over the next six months. How would you know if you were successful?
Whatever metric you choose, it’s important to focus on measurable inputs rather than vague statements like “We need to make $100K in revenue this year.” When setting your goals, try to break down your overall strategy into smaller pieces. Then, write down each individual task that needs to happen to reach your ultimate goal.
This exercise will help you develop a concrete plan that you can follow to achieve your marketing goals. Once you’ve created your outline, share it with your team members so that they can support you along the way.
Define Your Marketing Budget
Marketing budgets aren’t always easy to define, especially since they vary depending on who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. But having a clear idea of what you want to spend money on can help you set realistic expectations and avoid wasting money on projects that won’t pay off.
To begin, consider what kind of budget you’d like to allocate to your marketing initiatives. Do you want to invest heavily in paid ads, or would you rather focus on building relationships with potential customers? What types of products or services do you offer? How much time do you have available to devote to marketing? These questions will help you figure out what kinds of activities you can realistically afford.
With a solid marketing strategy in place, you can now turn your attention to creating a marketing plan outline. Start by defining your overall goal. Then, brainstorm different tactics that could help you achieve that goal. For example, if you want to build brand awareness, you might try regularly creating social media posts, hosting events, or offering freebies.
After you’ve defined your goals, it’s time to determine how much money you’ll need to spend. Determine your budget based on the amount of money you expect to spend on advertising and other expenses. Make sure that you factor in costs related to running your business, including rent, utilities, and employee salaries. Also consider the cost of producing your products or services, as well as the price of materials and supplies.
Once you’ve determined your budget, it’s time to map out your timeline. Decide how long you want to dedicate to your campaign and how frequently you intend to perform certain actions. For example, if your goal is to grow your mailing list, you might commit to sending emails every week for six months. Or, if you want to boost sales, you might promise to send out 10 ebooks over the course of three months.
Finally, assign responsibilities to individuals or teams within your organization. Depending on your needs, you might want to assign multiple people to handle various aspects of your campaign. For instance, if you want to run several Facebook ad campaigns, you might ask two employees to manage the accounts and another two to oversee the creative elements.
By following this approach, you’ll be able to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that helps you meet your goals. And, best of all, you’ll be able to track your progress along the way.
What Is Your Competition Doing Right?
It’s easy to look at other companies and assume that they’re doing something wrong. But sometimes, it’s just easier to copy what others are doing rather than try to figure out what works best for your business.
This is especially true when it comes to marketing. When you compare yourself to other businesses, you might feel like you’re falling behind. But instead of focusing on what you’re missing, try thinking about what your competition is doing right. What are they doing differently than you? How could you learn from them?
For example, let’s say you run a restaurant. You notice that another restaurant down the street offers a special deal every day. Instead of assuming that you’re losing money because no one knows about your offer, consider asking yourself why customers would choose the other restaurant over yours.
Maybe they’re offering a discount because they’re having a sale. Or maybe they’re giving discounts to families who eat together. Whatever the reason, you can learn from their strategy and apply it to your own business.
Identify The Perfect Buyer Persona
Marketing plans outline who your ideal customer is and what they want. But how do you figure out who that person is? There are several different methods for doing so, including creating buyer personas.
Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your customers. These characters are based on real data, such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and purchasing history. Once you create your buyer persona, you can then tailor your messaging to appeal to them specifically.
To begin with, you need to define who your ideal customer is. What does he or she look like? Where does he or she hang out online? How much money does he or she spend on products and services? Once you know this information, you can design your marketing strategy based on the needs of your ideal buyer persona.
For example, let’s say that you sell dog food online. One of your buyers might be someone who owns dogs (well obviously), while another might be a pet owner who just wants to learn more about healthy diets for her pets. Both would likely fall into the same category, but they’d have very different needs and desires.
By creating a buyer persona, you can now focus your efforts on reaching out to the specific group of people who are interested in your products.
Define Marketing Channels To Reach The Target Market
Marketing channels include any methods, tools, or software used to reach your target market. These methods include:
- Print advertising
- Direct mail
- Social media,
- Organic SEO
- Email marketing, and many others.
When creating a marketing plan outline, you need to define each channel and determine where you should spend your budget. This includes determining whether you should invest in paid advertising versus free methods such as blogging and social media.
If you’re not familiar with these channels, take some time to learn about them now. Once you’ve defined your channels, you’ll be able to create a detailed marketing plan outlining how you intend to use each channel to reach your target market.
How Will You Distribute Products to Your Customers?
If you’re going to sell online, you need to be able to deliver your product to your customers. There are many ways to distribute your products, including:
- Direct sales (selling directly to your customers).
- Affiliates (referring them to your site where they can purchase your product).
- Dropshipping (selling your product through a third party who ships it directly to your customers).
- Wholesale distribution (buying large quantities of your product at a discount and selling it to retailers).
Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Direct sales are usually the most expensive because you pay upfront for each item sold.
Dropshipping costs nothing until you actually ship the product.
Affiliates require some initial investment, but once you’ve built your list, you can continue to generate revenue indefinitely.
Wholesale distribution requires a lot of upfront capital, but you can scale quickly and offer volume discounts.
To determine which type of distribution works best for you, consider these factors:
- Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
- Are you comfortable managing inventory yourself or would you rather outsource this task?
- Is there enough room in your home/office for storage space?
- Can you afford to invest in additional equipment?
- Does your product lend itself well to any of the above methods?
Once you’ve determined which distribution method works best for you, create a plan outlining how you’ll implement it. This outline should include everything from setting up a drop shipping account to creating a simple email autoresponder series.
Determine Your Deadlines And Track KPI’s
When creating a marketing plan outline, determine your deadlines and track your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). This will help you stay focused on your overall goal and avoid getting distracted by small details along the way.
KPIs are metrics that measure whether your marketing efforts are working. For example, if you’re trying to sell more products, you should track sales numbers. If you’re promoting a new event, you should track attendance numbers.
Once you’ve determined your KPIs, you can use them to evaluate your marketing strategy. This helps you figure out where you’re succeeding and where you need improvement.
If you’re not familiar with KPIs, take some time to learn about them now. You’ll find tons of free resources online.
In conclusion, creating a marketing plan outline can be difficult if you don’t have any idea where to begin.
Luckily, there are many examples and templates that will give you the basic framework to build upon.
Use these resources to create your own unique plan, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your marketing goals.