Marketing Plan

Marketing plan

Quick Definition: A marketing plan documents an organization’s marketing objectives and what it will do to achieve those objectives.

Key Takeaways:

The following information was provided during an interview with Jeff Siteman, director of global portfolio marketing, content strategy, and operations at Adobe.

What is a marketing plan?
Why is a marketing plan important?
How do you make a marketing plan?
What are some examples of marketing planning tools?
What are the benefits of making a marketing plan?
What are common obstacles to making or following a marketing plan?
What does building a marketing plan look like for small businesses vs. larger enterprises?
How will marketing plans evolve in the future?

What is a marketing plan?

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.

Why is a marketing plan important?

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.

How do you make a marketing plan?

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 marketing 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.

What are some examples of marketing planning tools?

There are many types of tools that can help you create your marketing plan:

What are the benefits of making a marketing plan?

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.

What are common obstacles to making or following a marketing plan?

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.

What does building a marketing plan look like for small businesses vs. larger enterprises?

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.

How will marketing plans evolve in the future?

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.

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