7 steps to creating a marketing plan that works

7 steps to creating a marketing plan that works

Here at Logical Creative Marketing we regularly work with clients who have little or no in-house marketing expertise, which is why they find us valuable – to give them professional marketing knowledge, expertise and experience.

When working with clients who need strategic marketing help, as well as the more practical, tactical aspects of a campaign, we will always spend time working to develop an effective marketing plan for the business.

Many businesses try to jump straight into marketing tactics, thinking design and creative, before outlining the business targets which the marketing will help to support and achieve. This is the wrong way round.

It’s important that any investment in marketing work leads to increased revenue and leads for your business, so you need to identify the business goals first, to make sure the marketing is tailored to fit in with those.

Here are our seven steps to creating a marketing plan which really works:

Know exactly what to expect, and how much it costs

When you work with experts to develop a marketing plan, you need to know exactly what your expectations are – in other words what are the business goals which you want your marketing to achieve? Is it an increase of 50% in sales, is it a product launch, is it to break into a new market place?

It’s important to be really clear what you expect the marketing to help your business achieve and then set a realistic budget for that. It’s not going to work if you want to reach an extra 5 million customers but you only have £500 to spend on advertising. It needs to be realistic and affordable for the plan to work.

Optimise the management time you spend on marketing

Ideally you need to spend more management time developing the business strategy and plan, than you do on the marketing execution. Management time should be spent working with your team or your agency, to develop a plan which relates to the business goals, and once it has been agreed, it should be run without too much management input.

Management time should be spent signing off and approving final versions of marketing materials and choosing from concept options, not niggling over every single detail – leave that to the marketing experts.

Reduce risk through access to information gained during appropriate levels of research

One of the key aspects to marketing which many companies miss out, is the research phase. This is particularly important if you are planning to target a new audience, or launch a new product to the market.

The more time is spent on research into the market and the audience, to ensure that all marketing materials are tailored correctly, the better the outcome and results will be for your business. Reducing the risks in introducing new products, or going after new audiences can be dramatically reduced by an effective research-based marketing approach.

Be clear on where to focus your efforts and resources

Once the research is in place it’s going to make it much easier to develop a plan that works and shows exactly where you need to focus marketing effort and resources. Unless you have researched your audience thoroughly, how can you possibly know which marketing channels will reach them the best? For example, it’s no good spending a fortune on a television advertising campaign without the research which shows that’s where you’ll find your audience.

Having a research-backed plan will really help to pinpoint the focus of the campaign to reach the audience and communicate with them in the most effective way possible.

Make better-informed decisions

Once you have your business targets and budget set, and you have the research carried out, it makes it much easier to make informed decisions about which marketing approach to take when it comes down to the campaign tactics.

Your work leading up to now will help you create a plan using the right social media and traditional media channels as well as guiding you to make the right decisions when it comes to packaging, branding and price point for your products, which will all then appeal to the audience you are targeting.

Build a marketing team to drive revenue in your organisation

Whether you decide marketing is significant enough to employ an in-house team or whether you out source your marketing to an agency like LCM, effectively making us your marketing team, you will have the right experts to hand to help you deliver the plan and drive revenue and leads.

Know how effectively your investment in marketing is driving revenue throughout your organisation

The final aspect to a marketing plan which works effectively, is measuring the success. This links right back to identifying your business targets up front. You also need to measure whether or not those targets are achieved as a result of the marketing plan.

So ensuring measurement methods are included within the plan is a vital aspect. Again, this is an area which many people forget. They get carried away with creating the tactical aspects, without giving the strategic side enough thought.

If you need any help with strategic marketing planning, please do give us a call at LCM marketing and we’d be more than happy to have a chat.