08 Apr 5 Key Elements Every Marketing Plan Needs
There is a saying that “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Carrying out a marketing campaign without deliberate and thorough planning is no different from throwing money in the air. This is why every marketing campaign, no matter the size must have a plan.
You might want to ask, what is a marketing plan? A marketing plan is a business’s operational document outlining the strategy for outreach and advertising to reach its target market (Investopedia). It is simply an outline of actions that will help you achieve your organization’s goal using online or/and traditional marketing tactics.
Here are 5 key elements every marketing plan must have;
- Situational Analysis: this is the foundation of your planning. Here, you identify the needs and wants of customers and analyze the overall marketing environment. A SWOT analysis will come in handy here, this helps you to identify and evaluate the Strength and Weakness of your organization and the Opportunities and Threats of the external marketing environment.
- Audience Research: every campaign must have a targeted audience. You must identify the people who need your product or services, their interest and their purchasing power. This will help you to segment your market to know which group of people your product or service best suite. Here you can develop a Persona and use this is the basis for selecting the most effective strategic approach.
- Set Objective and Determine your Strategy: here you must clearly state the objective of the campaign; what result you intend to achieve. This can range from creating awareness, driving interest and consideration, increasing sales, retaining existing customers etc. But remember, your objectives must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound. Once you have set your objectives, you then must determine which strategic approach will help you achieve your objectives with the consideration of who your target audience are.
- Resources: Obviously this is inevitable. You need finances, man-power and man-hours to drive your strategy. Here you must have an overview of the estimated costs, time and skills required in carrying out your marketing activities. You may realise that you need to cut down on the scope of some of your activities due to limited resources. You may also consider other approaches like outsourcing certain skills or bringing some activity in-house.
- Measurement and Control: Here you monitor your proposed plan as they are processed. Don’t wait until the end of the campaign to measure. Determine important milestone and monitor for its occurrence. Sometimes there might be the need to make some adjustment when things don’t go as planned. Also, measurement and control help to keep track of learning and valuable insights that will impact on other marketing activities.
With these key elements in place, you can be sure you have a solid marketing plan in place.