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How to write a marketing plan

How to write a marketing plan

You’ve been asked to write a marketing plan. Maybe it’s your first time, or maybe you think the way your company does planning isn’t very good and you’d like to improve. Here’s a very simple straightforward template to get you going.

The main headings in the marketing plan are normally:

The situation

This can be drawn from a number of sources, and could include:

 - SWOT analysis
 - Customer information
 - Market information
 - Competitor analysis
 - Market share trends
 - Objectives

Your overall aim for the marketing plan, ideally expressed quantitatively, such as increase sales by xx%, increase ROI by xx%.

The strategy

A high-level outline of how you intend to acheive your objective. This should lay out exactly what you will implement and how it will all work out.

The goals

Think of smaller targets that will help you achieve the various parts of your strategy e.g. increase efficiency of ATL spend by 10%, reduce dependency on TV so is only 15% of total marketing mix.

You will obviously have a main goal but setting smaller ones will help keep you focused and you will feel like each smaller aim is easily obtainable.

Budgets

A phased plan of how you will spend the money. You will have to go through this in detail with your boss so make sure you have thought about why you need to spend money and how much you will need to achieve your overall goal.

Actions

Next steps to carrying the plans. As part of this, create a tick list of things you need to do to keep yourself on track.

Timelines

Include any dates you need to have funds approved in order to be able to commit to the activity you have presented.

Mistakes to avoid

 - Don’t create your marketing plan in a vacuum. Work with other departments to tie in your plans with theirs. You’ll produce better plans, and you’ll look much smarter too.

 - Don’t be unrealistic with what you can achieve with your spend. Best case scenario is that you’ll be laughed at, worst case is that you can’t deliver and miss all your targets.

 - If you’re asking for a significant increase in budget, demonstrate what this is driving for the business. If you are spending lots of money on brand advertising, work with your media agency to show why this is going to be profitable for the business in the long-term.  - It’s very easy to say no!

 - Start early, and if you are going for big increases in your budget, make sure you have flagged it to your immediate boss. 

 - Prepare your budget carefully. Small mistakes can make big differences, and you’ll win big kudos with your finance director.

AJR
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