Let’s clear the air here about what is a Marketing Plan. No, you don’t need the Executive Summary, unless you are applying for financing, sponsorship or a business partner. But YES! You do need to have an applicable Marketing Plan with smart, realistic objectives. Why? Well if it isn’t obvious, your business needs direction, goals, and accountability of everything around you. This will help you understand your business more, which will flow on to your customers understanding of your brand. Having a clear marketing plan will help see you:
- Narrow your Focus
- Refine your Goals
- Determine the value of your product package
- Make educated choices
Below are some Marketing Plan elements that you will need to consider implementing into your business. Remember, the more detail that you put in, the clearer that picture will become.
The overall Marketing Strategy is achieved by small steps set to achieve your goals. Without a clear plan, everything can become overwhelming from all the noise.
SMART Marketing Objectives
Launching a new product every Marketing Objective conforms to SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely decisions. This is a great framework when creating your Marketing Objectives as they give you further direction and identify what you actually need to achieve. Ask yourself where you want your business to go? Common SMART objectives could be:
- Expanding your business activity to central Brisbane in May 2018.
- Increasing your click-through rate on PPC ads by 25% in June 2019.
How does your Marketing Plan support your business goals? Your Marketing Strategy outlines what you want to do/ be known for and your Marketing Plan shows how you are going to get there.
Marketing Time Frame
When planning your Marketing Time Frame you need to account for two different periods. The short-term (> 6 months) and the long-term (12 months +). Outlining exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it is perhaps the most important part of implementing your Marketing Plan. Having that level of accountability will ensure you stay on track with your activities.
An easy way to divide up your Marketing Time Frame to make sure that every fine detail is achieved is by breaking down each big objectives into a series of small tasks. Using a spreadsheet to clearly display your time frame is a good way to keep a visual on your objectives
Remember, money sitting in the bank in business, is money which is not making you money. Consider investing in Marketing activities which can get your word out there and bring you in more sales. Unfortunately, most Small Businesses have finite resources to draw on, which is why introducing a budget is necessary to break down what you can afford. If you are responsible for the overall business budget and especially the Marketing activity then you need to know what funds are available to spend.
Always be objective with your spend and things that you have no experience with you will need to allocate an additional 25% for. It is better to have more money available than less, especially in a small business environment.
I would recommend setting your budget up in an Excel Spreadsheet of Google Sheets. This way you can record your budget and your actual spend.