What is the purpose of a marketing plan, and how do you use a marketing plan at your company?
To help you utilize a marketing plan within your company, we asked marketing experts and CEOs this question for their best insights. From aligning marketing efforts to your brand’s image to creating a shared vision of success, there are several responses that may help you implement a marketing plan within your business.
Here are eleven practical uses for a marketing plan:
- Align Marketing Efforts to Your Brand’s Image
- Strategize Campaigns
- Include a Promotional Plan
- Help with KPI Reporting
- Set Goals to Motivate Your Team
- Coordinate Your Objectives with Your Strategy
- Focus Your Marketing Budget
- Create Progress Reports to Share with Stakeholders
- Develop a Blueprint for Success
- Partner with Agencies
- Create a Shared Vision of Success
Align Marketing Efforts to Your Brand’s Image
The purpose of a marketing plan is to ensure that all marketing efforts align with the brand's image and further the company mission. As a fully remote company that relies entirely on inbound leads, our marketing plan is the guiding compass to earning business. By creating and executing a careful marketing strategy, we ensure that our target audience organically discovers our brand and subtly start sales conversation by giving our clients the power to make the first move.
Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
A marketing plan is where you are able to strategize all campaigns that are coming up within the year, quarter, or month. Without the marketing plan, it becomes very difficult to generate campaigns and work on sales growth. Marketing campaigns are where a lot of growth can happen, without the marketing plan it becomes vastly difficult to plan out the campaigns.
Shaun Price, MitoQ
Include a Promotional Plan
A marketing plan should include a promotional plan that details what channels you are going to use to attract customers to visit your website or business. This plan should be guided by who your ideal customers are and where they are most likely to see your promotions. This can be places like blogs, social media ads, offline ads on the radio or TV, emails, affiliate posts, trade shows, and more. Knowing who your target audience is and having a good promotional plan are important key components to any good marketing plan.
Maegan Griffin, Skin Pharm
Help With KPI Reporting
The purpose of a marketing plan is to help with KPI reporting and key metrics. Without a marketing plan, it is difficult to manage how a company is doing within sales and what goals/KPIs you should be aiming for. Utilize a marketing plan to achieve higher sales and better company growth.
Michael Jankie, Natural Patch
Set Goals to Motivate Your Team
Marketing plans have many purposes, however, maybe the most important is that it sets goals that motivate your team to perform. Our brains are wired to reach defined benchmarks, whether they are personal goals like weight loss, educational objectives such as graduating, or professional goals like income, and the same can be said of a marketing plan.
Setting engagement objectives, target audience acquisition goals, or conversion rate expectations, lays out concrete benchmarks that are readily identifiable by your team, which in turn, motivates them to achieve those benchmarks. A marketing campaign plan serves as a roadmap to reach business objectives, and uses our engrained desire to accomplish goals to its advantage and overall company benefit.
Cody Candee, Bounce
Coordinate Your Objectives with Your Strategy
Marketing can have different goals and simply throwing out ads and promotions with no methodology behind it, will fail to accomplish objectives, waste money, and make it impossible to ascertain whether those goals are realistic, and is why a plan is necessary. Items such as growth rates, industry authority, or employee compensation, all have different metrics and strategies to accomplish them, but they all need marketing to fund them.
A marketing plan coordinates your objectives with your strategy, allowing you to see whether each key metric of those goals is being pushed forward. Without that plan, it is impossible to see where your marketing efforts should be placed, the effectiveness of your efforts, and whether your strategy and goals are in conflict. A marketing plan is critical in plotting the future course of your company, and absent that, it is nearly impossible to recognize the changes that need to be made in order to advance.
Adelle Archer, Eterneva
Focus Your Marketing Budget
In my opinion, the most important purpose of a marketing plan is to narrowly focus your marketing budget and make the most efficient use of your limited dollars. Without a strategic marketing plan, your budget can get away from you quickly. You might be tempted to throw funds at every new idea that pops up, which will make it nearly impossible to reign in costs or track campaign performance.
By creating a detailed marketing plan for a set period of time, you can allocate set funding and monitor campaign performance to see what is working and what isn’t. Marketing is an area where it’s easy to blow through money. You can easily toss money at thousands of hundreds of sources. That’s why when you're faced with many avenues of advertising, all bombarding you with their own ads and begging for your money, you need to be strategic and committed. In that respect, marketing plans provide constants and help safeguard your budget.
John Ross, Test Prep Insight
Create Progress Reports to Share with Stakeholders
A marketing plan helps your team build action plans and marketing strategies with your goals and results in mind every step of the way. It allows the marketing team to stay on track and gives an easy reference for executives and management outside the marketing department to follow the plan’s progression. Our executives use the marketing plan as a valuable tool to share progress reports with key stakeholders using quantifiable measures that anyone can understand.
John Li, Fig Loans
Develop a Blueprint for Success
The best way to achieve goals through marketing is by putting a framework on paper that details specific strategies for reaching your niche market. A well thought out marketing action plan is essential for businesses success, but it takes some planning and legwork. Do you want to incorporate videos into your marketing mix? If so, how much of your budget will go toward that initiative? What will be the projected expense to sales ratio? These are questions you might ask while developing a marketing plan. Having a blueprint of tasks with corresponding deadlines helps keep marketing teams on track.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, fatty15
Partner With Agencies
No marketing plan is perfect. The winds of change affect everything in your business including how you advertise, which is why there will always be gaps. By bringing your marketing plan to other agencies, freelancers, and consultants, you can start to see where your strategy fits the current moment, and what you can do to improve. Ensure your marketing plan is comprehensible for the companies you work with. They'll give you advice on where to move ahead.
Stewart Guss, Stewart J. Guss
Create a Shared Vision of Success
Your company's marketing plan serves to memorialize your goals and the strategy and tactics you've agreed on to achieve them. A good marketing plan will align all the members within the marketing team, and will also align the marketing team with sales so that there is a mutual understanding and agreement of roles, goals, and procedures; general timelines, expected results, and the metrics by which you will measure success. I use the marketing plan as a forcing function to create that understanding and alignment, to get everyone on board. This not only helps minimize politics but also creates a shared vision of what a successful future looks like.
Kim King, New Leaf Communications