Writing a Marketing Plan can be quite daunting. I am not about to go into the reasons that you should have one but maybe you’re not sure where to start? Or you think it will take too long and you don’t have time?
Well, much like writing a business plan, the process of creating your Marketing Plan is sometimes more valuable than the final document because it causes you to stop and think about everything in detail.
In this article I am going to cover the key elements you should have in your simple Marketing Plan and how you can lay it out nicely on one page using our free template.
Regular Reviews are the key!
I know I haven’t even told you how to write your plan yet and I’m telling you to review it?
Well I am saying this up front so that you can keep in mind that your marketing plan should be a living document. This means it needs to be updated regularly. 6 months would be the longest that you should leave your plan before reviewing it again. You should be able to see the results of your marketing tactics and if one tactic isn’t working consider swapping it for another.
Measurable results and goals
Marketing your startup or business costs time and/or money. You want to make sure that you are getting a good return on that expense. The best way to do this is to set measurable goals. Much like any other goal setting you should consider making them SMART.
SMART goals are:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time based.
During your review you should also be able to determine the impact of a specific tactic on your income. This can be a bit tricky but if you are managing your contacts then you should be able to see how you acquired and or contacted them that led any sales that month.
Writing your Marketing Plan
OK so now we are on to the main thing you probably want to know – what should my marketing plan cover?
Ideally your marketing plan should has at least 5 different areas that need to be considered
- All about you and your business
- Your slice of the marketplace
- Who are your competitors
- What is your Unique Selling Proposition
- Who is your target market.
- A general description
- Detailed buying personas (Max of 3)
- Describe your overall marketing strategy in a couple of sentences.
- What marketing tactics that you will use in the current review period.
Introducing the One Page Marketing Plan
I love the One Page Business Plan that we have written about previously. I love it so much that I have taken that idea and created a one page marketing plan for startups and small businesses.
Check it out:
So how do you fill it out?
- Firstly download the template.
- Tackle each section using the guide below
- Put your details into the template and format it to look good!
|Mission and Vision||Your Mission and Vision provide the context of Who you are (including your values) and your personal Why.|
|Your Competitors||Create a list of your top 3 competitors. You may already know who they are – or you may need to do some research to figure it out.
Include a quick sentence or two about their Unique Value Proposition? (What’s a Unique Value Proposition? Check out the next section!)
|Unique Value Proposition||Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is also known as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
This is the value that you offer to your clients that is unique to you. Do you have a service that no one else provides? Or is there something unique about the way you operate? This can be your UVP.
|Target Market||You need to be very certain about who is in your target market and who isn’t. Include a high level description next to the target market header.
Next you need to think about your marketing personas.
Marketing Personas help you to put a (pretend) face on your ideal customer. You want to get quite specific – I usually include a description, their age bracket, sex, income range, location, education, job description, etc. You can give them names like Sandra Student and Chrissy CEO, etc. Maybe even grab an image if it helps you visualise them better!
Keep in mind that you will want to keep the number of these to a minimum. Remember you want to use these when authoring content, creating portfolio images and advertising. Even when you are posting on social media keep these people in mind – if what you are about to publish isn’t going to appeal to them then you need to reconsider doing it!
|Your Approach 1 – 3||Now you need to add details of what approached that you will take. These are often known as marketing tactics. Document here the steps you will be taking against each approach within the current review period for the plan. They appear on the top right – one per box.
There are many marketing tactics that you can use.
Online tactics include:
Don’t forget offline marketing tactics too:
Referring back to my earlier comment about keeping your goals smart you can also keep your tactics smart by explaining what you hope to achieve. Such as content marketing and SEO aiming to increase in the amount of organic traffic to my website.
|Goals||Now we need to get specific about your goals. These are to be documented in the box underneath each approach.
You can either create goals around:
Or create revenue goals such as:
Choose 1 or 2 goals for each tactic in the period at most. You can always change your goals next review period!
Marketing Tactics Resources
For more hints and tips on marketing tactics you can check out some of the following resources:
So what are you waiting for? Download our template using the form below and get started on creating your marketing plan for your startup or business.