A marketing plan is the cornerstone of a business’ marketing strategy for the remainder of the year.
As you step into 2020, look at the outline below to learn how to create a marketing plan that is effective, readable, memorable, as well as actionable.
Summary of the Plan
Marketing plans tend to include large amounts of information and can be quite overwhelming for the marketing team that has to refer to it.
Several different sections and data make up a marketing plan but where is a marketer expected to begin when presented with the document?
These are important points to remember when creating a marketing plan—because this is a document that will be referred to for the duration of the year.
The best way to captivate your intended reader is to include a summary of the plan at the earliest.
Don’t be too detailed here, but include an overview of past successes, coming milestones, testimonials, and overarching goals for 2020.
Limit your summary to 3-4 paragraphs—the shorter, the better—but be precise in the information you share.
You can also use a timeline maker to create an attractive index with chapter titles and page numbers.
A marketing plan can be a heavy document as it covers a number of different items. With that in mind, you should be creating a plan that is as visually diverse as your subject matter.
When you use a proposal template to create your plan, use the varied layouts on offer to diversify the visual flow.
This means having a distinct design for your title page, and your back page (which can also be blank, if you want).
The inside pages of your plan can have differing layouts—if you have similar kinds of information to share on consecutive pages, you can use the same layout, but try to vary it.
It is important to remember that different kinds of data should be reflected in different layouts.
You don’t want to have the same design when discussing the implementation of a new WordPress backup service as when you are mentioning declining sales.
Changing the page design regularly in your marketing plan will help you retain the attention of your readers.
Every year, businesses need to re-evaluate their marketing goals, and this should be reflected in the marketing plan.
It is important to outline the overarching goals, as well as the specific metrics (which we will touch on in the next point), in this document.
Look at the broad yearly goals you want to achieve in 2020 and add a specific target amount to each of them. Some examples of these targeted goals are as follows:
- Engage 15% more followers
- Increase link building leads by 20%
- Improve social media response times by 30%
- Boost efficient packaging design by 10%
Each of these broad goals can be broken down into more specific metrics, which will be covered in the next section.
Specificity is required when outlining the key performance indicators of your marketing plan.
These specific and actionable metrics break down the overarching goals into smaller tasks, such as:
- 15% increase in landing page views on B2B websites
- 1000 more followers on Instagram
- 12% more views on Facebook Stories
- Increase email marketing open rate by 20%
The more specific your metrics are, the easier it will be for your marketing team to optimize their workflow.
In the world of marketing, creating generic content isn’t enough to get you the leads or revenue you want.
You need to understand the specific customer profile that your brand is attracting so you can tailor your content and your customer service for them.
This is why a thorough understanding of your target audience is so necessary—you should find out some of the following points about your audience:
You can gather this information by holding focus groups, interviewing current customers, and sending out surveys.
Once you have collected this data, you should aim to create 2-3 user persona reports.
Your personas should be within the same range of personality and interest type, but not exactly the same, as that will defeat the point of the exercise.
At the same time, if your personas are extremely varied, that may mean that you are stretching your marketing efforts too thin and need to narrow your focus to have an impact.
Understanding your audience is an essential part of creating a marketing strategy for an enterprise business, startups, small businesses, and home businesses.
It is essential that companies, and the teams that power them, conduct a SWOT analysis every year to better understand their year-on-year growth, as well as their competitors.
A SWOT analysis—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—is a solid way to understand what has been working, and what needs to be improved.
By conducting a SWOT analysis, a marketing team can understand whether they need to start investing in automated ecommerce advertising to keep up with competitors.
It is also a good tool to learn whether it is worth continuing with the new strategy to use Instagram Stories more than Facebook Stories.
And the SWOT analysis can be used for competitor research, as well.
Choose areas where you are in direct competition with another business and analyze how far ahead you or your competitor are, so you know what you need to work on in 2020.
You can use a SWOT analysis template to create the SWOT report, instead of creating one from scratch.
Your marketing plan needs visuals to elevate it and make it more readable. Visuals help to break up the text and draw the eye. They also make the text more memorable.
Since the marketing plan is essentially an internal document, you can use stock photos to illustrate your points and to add dimension to your pages.
You should also include icons for added readability—icons have the ability to share large amounts of information quickly and efficiently.
Charts and graphs are another type of visual that will make your marketing plan more memorable.
When you are using icons and images, ensure that there is consistency in your color scheme, the style of elements, and the sizes.
This will make for a more attractive and memorable document.
When you are creating a marketing plan for 2020, you will need to keep these seven points in mind:
- Include a summary of your plan at the start of the document
- Use multiple layouts to share different sets of information
- Include your broad and overarching goals
- Also include more specific metrics
- Analyze and define your target audience
- Conduct a SWOT analysis
- Include charts, icons, and images
You now have the tools to create a marketing plan that will stand you in good stead throughout 2020.
All visuals provided by Venngage.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, a free infographic maker and design platform. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, sharing productivity tips, examining pop culture, and championing the need for representation.