Brands, News, Social Marketing

Marketing planning strategy: 5 steps to nail it

Success can be subjective, but for a brand or digital marketing agency you must have a clear path to achieve it. Having a solid marketing planning strategy is undoubtedly the key to increasing sales, driving brand engagement and building a business that your customers will return to, time and time again.

Whether it’s to increase ROAS, boost social media presence or drive sales, a successful marketing plan will help you achieve those goals. It will also be your roadmap and help you monitor performance and make sure you’re on the right track.

So, before we get started, let’s just make sure we’re on the same page. What is a marketing plan?

marketing funnel

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan details the strategy that a company will use to market its products/ services to customers. It contains the activities that the brand will develop to generate leads and reach its target market. Specifically, can integrate the outreach and PR campaigns to be undertaken over a period, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives. 

The terms marketing plan and marketing strategy are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is developed based on an overarching strategic framework. The plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis while the marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

So, saying that, what are the steps to develop a marketing planning strategy? Below we define the 5 key steps to create a successful marketing plan.

#1 Why?

Yes, that’s a tough question. But when it comes to initiating a successful marketing plan, you have to ask yourself “Why?”. What is the purpose of your business and why should your customer choose you?

To do this, identify your mission and your business promise. What is the customer problem you are trying to address or the niche market you have identified and hope to solve? What kind of experience should a customer expect?

Once you know the answers to the above questions, you can create a strong brand message that resonates with your target customer.

#2 Set your goals

When thinking about what you want to achieve with your business, it’s essential that you sit down and identify tangible goals. These need to be achievable considering your budget, the growth capabilities you have and the pain point you are trying to solve for your target audience.

It’s important to think ambitiously about your goal, but it’s crucial in the early stages to think realistically. Define what you want to achieve by the end of the year and in the next five years. How can you realistically achieve it?

Our advice is to think about your top three goals and make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound). For example, if your main goal is to increase your audience, you will need to work on brand awareness, which is a whole marketing strategy in itself. This will help you define the approach to your ads, your targeting and the channels you can use to deliver your message.

#3 Get to know your audience

After setting the objectives, you now need to focus on your audience and define it. After all, you need to envision the person who would have the need for your product or service.

A commonly used and recommended technique is the creation of buyer personas.

social commerce

The goal is to create 3 to 4 personas based on the types of audiences you want to target. A complete persona will contain a person’s background, career, values, goals, reservations, interests and decision-making patterns.

All the information gathered is relevant to your target customer. From it, you can begin to understand which marketing channels they are most likely to use. It is then possible to narrow down the channels most relevant to your brand and the audience you would like to target.

#4 Build the customer journey

The next step is to collect information to understand how your target customer interacts with your online presence. Is it through a Facebook ad, word of mouth, Google search, or Instagram?

The more information you gather, the more detailed your roadmap will be. This will allow you to explore more options for crafting a successful marketing plan. Then, you’ll monitor what resonates best with your target audience.

For example, if you are working on your brand awareness campaign, you may notice that one particular audience segment performs better than another. You can begin to identify the attributes that make this segment different. That will help you understand how to use that engaged audience for future marketing efforts.

#5 Measure

Once you’ve started putting your marketing planning strategy into action, it’s time to collect data. There is a wealth of data and ways to track your brand’s performance in the digital space. While this is an advantage, it can be overwhelming.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to refer back to your goals; from there, you can understand what metrics are the best to measure your success. Did you increase conversations? Engagement? Did you attract more subscribers?

By having this information and seeing where your audience interacted with your brands, you can look for what’s working and what’s not.

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