What Should I Look for in a Marketing Plan?

Two marketers analyze a client's information as part of a marketing plan.

Whether you’re working with an internal marketing department or an outside marketing agency, the first step to any major marketing push should be a marketing plan. As discussed by enVisioning Success co-hosts Julia and Laura in their podcast episode, Laying the Groundwork: Crafting Your Marketing Plan, a marketing plan is critical in understanding where your business currently is, what your marketing goals are, and how you will achieve them. Today, we cover the fundamentals to look for in a marketing plan and how to review them as a business.

Parts of a Marketing Plan

Below are all the common parts of a marketing plan. When you request one from a marketing agency (assuming you have no marketing department), it should cover all these steps in both an executive summary and deeper documentation. Understanding what to expect now can help you better process all this information.

1. Market Research

First, it’s essential to establish your business’s place in the market. This includes several factors, all of which need to be analyzed to determine the areas you are strong and weak and potential opportunities:

  • Market Environment: How has your business changed? Many businesses needed to readjust after COVID to the new normal due to market disruptions. This research assesses growth and changes in your market.
  • Consumer Analysis: Who do you sell to? This analysis looks at both Ideal Client Profiles and Customer Avatars of the demographics of people you sell to, including who has the highest ROI and lowest denominators.
  • Competition Analysis: Who is marketing against you? This is not only scoping out the competition, but where they are active and not, revealing places to fight or outmaneuver them.
  • Strength and Weaknesses: Utilizing SWOT analysis and other inward-facing reviews, identify where your business is strong and weak, revealing potential options for marketing.

2. Marketing Goals

From marketing research and internal discussion (including your sales team), your marketing plan needs to identify goals your marketing can achieve. These can be things like “increase lead generation” or “improve search ranking.” The more specific these goals can be, such as “reach target demographics on social media,” the more targeted the marketing strategies can be.

3. Marketing Strategies

Next is the nuts and bolts: how to turn goals into plans. Oftentimes, multiple marketing strategies are deployed in parallel to meet one or more marketing goals, which is what’s called multi-channel marketing. An example of this might be improving your ranking in Google Search by building a new website, implementing blogs for SEO, and using Google Ads for paid search.

4. Marketing Implementation

Once the marketing strategy has been locked down, the implementation goes into how the plan is executed. This can include the order things need to be done (website before blogs, for example), the timeline for implementation, software or subscriptions needed, and result monitoring. Since many forms of marketing take a long time to show results, expectations need to be set now alongside updates.

For more reading, check out our other blog on marketing plans, Making Marketing Plans: Measure Twice, Cut Once.

About the enVisioning Success Podcast

This article is based on topics discussed in enVisioning Success, our weekly podcast hosted by Vision Advertising CEO Laura DiBenedetto and COO Julia Becker Collins. In it, they discuss all things business and marketing, from lead generation to leadership. Find us on PodBean to download from your platform of choice, or subscribe to our mailing list to get new episodes and other news delivered directly to your inbox. Interested in working with Vision Advertising? Learn more about our services and contact us today.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by background, Alex writes “content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to website copy and beyond. In addition, as Senior Brand Strategist, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision, manages multiple client projects, and herds many meetings. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, reads a copious amount of fiction, plays video games, and an enthusiastic chef at home. He’s trying to become a better plant daddy.

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