A marketing plan documents an organization’s marketing objectives and what it will do to achieve those objectives.
● A marketing plan offers a consolidated view of everything from high-level business goals to marketing campaign frameworks, buyer personas, messaging, and content strategy.
● A marketing plan clearly defines an organization’s marketing goals and focuses departments across the organization on the same business objectives and metrics.
● Whether you’re part of a small business or a large enterprise, developing a marketing plan follows the same process.
● A marketing team that has researched their ideal customers and understands them can create thoughtful and relevant experiences.
● You’ll know your marketing efforts are successful when you are consistently achieving your business objectives.
Jeff Siteman is director of global portfolio marketing, content strategy, and operations at Adobe. He has 13 years of experience in lead generation, sales, technology, strategy, and opportunity identification. Jeff leads global marketing strategy and messaging, bringing campaigns to life through content.
Q: What is a marketing plan?
A: A marketing plan documents an organization’s marketing objectives and what it will do to achieve those objectives. An organization’s marketing plan offers a consolidated view of everything from high-level business goals to marketing campaign frameworks, buyer personas, messaging, and content strategy.
Q: Why is a marketing plan important?
A: A marketing plan clearly defines an organization’s marketing goals and focuses departments across the organization on the same business objectives and metrics. An organization’s marketing plan also presents the current situation in the market, identifying the challenges that the business is facing. This part of the plan shows stakeholders how the organization plans to tackle those challenges.
Q: How do you make a marketing plan?
A: To make an effective marketing plan, start by gathering customer insights. Marketers must understand their potential customers’ demographics and their affinities and goals. Marketing teams should define what their target customers’ pain points are and how their product will resolve those pain points and deliver value.
After defining your target customers and their pain points, craft your messaging. How will you tell the story of your product’s value in a way that new customers will understand, and that will make them want to interact more with your brand?
With those first two foundational elements in place, marketers can construct a framework or campaign model to target audiences and industries. Within this framework, you’ll determine what content you will use across your marketing channels to engage target customers.
After you define your marketing mix — or your marketing objectives and marketing tactics — you’ll need to establish your measurement framework. How will your martech system support what you’re trying to do? What metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) will you use to track your progress and your marketing efforts’ success? Answering these questions will help you create a successful marketing plan for your company.
Q: What are some examples of marketing planning tools?
A: There are many types of tools that can help you create your marketing plan. Work management tools keep teams on track and manage tasks and content. Analytics tools gather and present valuable customer insights. Adobe Experience Cloud is an innovative solution made up of tools that help marketers execute their marketing plans and includes both work management tools and analytics tools.
Q: What does building a marketing plan look like for small businesses vs. larger enterprises?
A: Whether you’re part of a small business or a large enterprise, developing a marketing plan follows the same process. What may be different are the teams and specializations leading that effort. For instance, a small business may have a single person who heads up marketing, while an enterprise may have several different departments that all play a role.
Q: How do you know your marketing plan is working?
A: You’ll know that your marketing efforts are successful when you are consistently achieving your business objectives. Your plan should include both high-level KPIs and more specific KPIs for each smaller step of your marketing campaign. These metrics allow you to track progress as you go and optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.
Q: What are the benefits of making a marketing plan?
A: A marketing plan clearly documents the roadmap of what a business is going to do, how it will do it, and how it will measure success. It benefits both the organization and the customer. A marketing team that has researched its ideal customers and understands them can create thoughtful and relevant experiences much more easily with a thoughtful marketing plan.
Q: What are common obstacles to making or following a marketing plan?
A: The most common obstacle to a great marketing plan is time. Primary customer research — which helps inform marketing decisions — is essential, but time-consuming. Not only do marketers have to explore data insights on personas and behavior, but they also need to spend time talking to sales teams to understand how customers are really feeling about their brand. And because marketing plans can only operate for a set time frame, they require periodic updates, which can also take time.
Q: How will marketing plans evolve in the future?
A: Customers are changing their behavior by the minute, so marketing plans need to evolve just as quickly. Organizations will move away from highly structured annual plans toward quarterly, monthly, and weekly planning. Optimization can then take place at scale, especially with the help of advancing automation technologies. Marketing planning tools will offer more flexibility and agility to meet these demands.