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What is a Marketing Plan & Why Business Owners Need to Have One!

A marketing plan outlines business goals and strategies for profit growth. A well-written marketing plan will include specific details about how to market your product or service to reach more customers. When created by your company’s marketing and leadership teams in a marketing planning session, a marketing plan is an effective and efficient way to set goals and achieve them.

Why do you need a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is vital for business success. It helps you understand your target audience, the market’s needs, and the best ways to reach them. It also shows you how much to spend on each campaign and how to measure their success. Without a marketing plan, marketing efforts may not align with business goals. By planning the next 12 months of activities, business leaders and marketing teams can proactively work towards revenue goals.

What is a Marketing Planning Session

A company’s marketing team and leadership must together to plan the marketing efforts for the upcoming year in a marketing planning session. This session is an opportunity for the team to review the current state of the company’s marketing efforts. It is also an opportunity to set specific goals for the year and write a marketing plan. This plan will guide the team and show them how to achieve those goals in the next 12 months.

While every marketing planning session’s content will vary, the purpose of the meeting will be two-fold:

    • To review the current state of your company’s marketing efforts and their impact on revenue
    • To set objectives for the upcoming year by setting specific, measurable goals

Creating Your Marketing Roadmap

To achieve this two-fold purpose of a marketing planning session, follow a simple agenda. The agenda includes assessments of past efforts, goal setting, calendar creation, identification of key performance indicators, allocation of and resources.

flow chart of the marketing planning process highlighting step one, an annual planning session

Reviewing the Last 12 Months

One of the first steps in a marketing planning session is to assess the current marketing efforts. This involves looking at any marketing campaigns that ran in the past year, analyzing their performance, and identifying areas for improvement. The team should also Review market research to understand target audience and their needs/preferences. By understanding the current state of marketing efforts, you can identify any areas that need to be addressed moving forward.

flow chart showing the second step in creating a marketing plan, setting SMART goals.

Setting SMART Goals

Once the current state of marketing efforts has been assessed, the team can begin setting goals for the upcoming year. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). When you use of SMART goals, you set your team and business up for success. For example, a goal might be to increase website traffic by 25% within the first quarter of the year. Setting clear goals helps to focus the marketing efforts and ensure that the team is working towards specific, achievable objectives.

flow chart showing the third step in creating a marketing plan, planning your marketing campaigns.

Planning Your Marketing Efforts

After setting goals, the team can start planning marketing efforts for the year. This includes creating a marketing calendar outlining specific campaigns and tactics to achieve the goals. The calendar should include details such as the target audience, channels (e.g. social media, email, paid advertising), and budget for each campaign. Planning marketing efforts in advance helps the team coordinate and execute campaigns and track progress towards the goals.

Use Our Free Marketing Content Calendar

flow chart showing the fourth step in creating a marketing plan, identifying key performance indicators.

Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPSs)

One key aspect of a marketing planning session is the identification of key performance indicators (KPIs). These are specific metrics that will be used to measure the success of the marketing efforts and track progress toward the goals. For example, if the goal is to increase website traffic, the KPI might be the number of unique visitors to the website. By setting clear KPIs, the team can track progress and make adjustments as needed to ensure that the marketing efforts are on track.

flow chart showing the fifth and final step in creating a marketing plan, allocating resources.

Allocating Resources & Evaluating the Competitive Landscape

During a marketing planning session, the team should allocate resources such as budget, staff, and other resources needed to execute the marketing plan.  

This may involve prioritizing certain campaigns or tactics or identifying any additional resources needed to achieve marketing goals. Planning resource allocation helps make marketing efforts more effective and efficient. The team should also consider external factors that may impact marketing efforts, such as changes in the competitive landscape, shifts in consumer preferences, new regulations, or industry trends. Anticipating and planning for these external factors allows the team to better adapt to changes that may arise during the year.

Marketing Planning Session Benefit your Business

A marketing planning session ensures that marketing efforts align with the company’s goals. The marketing team can use this session to set specific goals, create a plan to achieve them, and better support the company. The session also allows the team to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing efforts by using resources wisely and coordinating campaigns well. During the session, the marketing team can review the current state of marketing, set goals, create a plan, and allocate resources for the year to execute a successful marketing strategy that drives growth and achieves business objectives.

Get Ahead of the Game: Schedule Your Marketing Planning Session Today!

Don't let another day go by without a solid marketing plan in place. Schedule a marketing planning session with our team today and let's make sure your business is set up for success.

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