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A Noob-Friendly Guide on Creating a Marketing Plan

marketing plan

Any business owner knows the importance of having a good marketing team or a marketing specialist who would take all marketing activities under control. It’s a no brainer!

One of the main duties of a marketing department is to suggest an actionable marketing plan.

It is quite a challenge to create this plan even if the marketer is familiar with marketing acronyms like SWOT, CRO, MRR, etc. However, it doesn’t mean that it would be easy-peasy to create a marketing plan. 

In this guide, you will get detailed information that will help you come up with a marketing plan that works. 

Shall we begin?

A Brief Explanation for a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a guideline for executing your marketing strategy for a certain period of time. 

Sometimes people tend to use such terms as “marketing plan,” “marketing strategy,” “marketing tactics,” and “marketing objectives,” interchangeably yet they differ from one another. 

Here is how you can see the main difference most simply:

  • Objective – what you want to achieve
  • Strategy – the way you do it
  • Tactics – methods that you’re going to use
  • Plan – a summary of everything in between

To get you a better idea how it works in practice, review the following example.

Let’s imagine that you decided to travel. Your idea is to get from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. You have a budget for this trip. Well, your objective, strategy, tactics, and plan will look like this:

  • Objective – Get from Rotterdam from Amsterdam for about $250
  • Strategy – Use a public transport
  • Tactics – Bus
  • Plan – Go to the bus-station, take a bus, get to the Amsterdam

As you can see, having a plan helps you make the process of achieving your goal easier. Plus, your plan connects every stage that you need to overcome

This very scheme applies to marketing. 

How to Create a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a guideline for executing your marketing strategy for a certain period of time. 

Sometimes people tend to use such terms as “marketing plan,” “marketing strategy,” “marketing tactics,” and “marketing objectives,” interchangeably yet they differ from one another. 

Here is how you can see the main difference most simply:

  • Objective – what you want to achieve
  • Strategy – the way you do it
  • Tactics – methods that you’re going to use
  • Plan – a summary of everything in between

To get you a better idea how it works in practice, review the following example.

Let’s imagine that you decided to travel. Your idea is to get from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. You have a budget for this trip. Well, your objective, strategy, tactics, and plan will look like this:

  • Objective – Get from Rotterdam from Amsterdam for about $250
  • Strategy – Use a public transport
  • Tactics – Bus
  • Plan – Go to the bus-station, take a bus, get to the Amsterdam

As you can see, having a plan helps you make the process of achieving your goal easier. Plus, your plan connects every stage that you need to overcome

This very scheme applies to marketing. 

How to Create a Marketing Plan 

First of all, you need to start with creating a template of the marketing plan. When you dive into this process, you will see that it is about answering four questions. Let’s review them one by one. 

Who are your targets?

The process of creating a marketing plan template reveals that you have already completed marketing research and built the entire marketing strategy. 

What does it mean? 

It means that you know who your target audience is in the market. Thus, you should stick to your target audience in your marketing plan. 

For example, you own a SaaS company that offers content design tools. Your tools help create presentations, infographics, charts, and so on. Moreover, businesses, marketers, teachers, and students can use your SaaS product for their daily needs – build a report, create an ad, make a video, design charts, etc. 

A simplified version of your marketing plan in this case will be the next one:

“Business owners, marketing specialists, & educators need to create visually appealing content.”

Keep this in mind and make sure your marketing plan aligns with this option. 

What are marketing plan objectives? 

You create your marketing plan for a good reason. The purpose of any marketing plan is to meet and fulfill marketing objectives. Consequently, you must figure your marketing objectives out. 

Frankly speaking, your objectives can be whatever you need. The only condition here is that they should be SMART. 

What does SMART abbreviation mean?

  • Specific (objectives should be in tune with your business specification)
  • Measurable (you should be able to track the success of the performance of the objectives)
  • Achievable (objectives should be realistic)
  • Relevant (objectives should align with your marketing plan)
  • Timely (objectives should have a time frame to get them completed)

Compare these two marketing objectives:

  • “Boost the number of backlinks.”
  • “Boost the number of backlinks acquired from different domains up to 200 by the end of the month.”

As you already guessed, the second example of the marketing objective is the correct one. It is specific, measurable, and has a time frame. 

Don’t create dozens of objectives. You won’t be able to achieve all of them. Instead, figure out a few of the most important marketing objectives and work in this direction. 

How to achieve marketing objectives?

It is strictly important to be armed with the tactics that will help you achieve marketing objectives. These tactics should meet the requirements of your marketing strategy and align with objectives. 

For instance, your SaaS company that offers content design tools has this marketing strategy:

“Help your target audience solve their content design issues by using your toolkit and learning your informative/educative content.”

Since one of the core elements of your marketing plan is content, you should care about increasing search visibility. And this will be an objective that you must achieve. 

You can do this with the help of SEO

It sounds a bit vague, right? 

Therefore, this tactic needs to be more specific. It requires you to start with research. 

How to do this? 

You can track your target keywords with the tool from Ahrefs called Rank Tracker and Semrush called position tracking. Pay attention to the low value of search visibility for the tracked keywords. Just scroll down to the list of keywords and sort by estimated traffic.

semrush

Your task is to improve these keywords. And the most straightforward and actionable tactic to do this is to rewrite the posts that target them. 

Also, it might take lots of resources to rewrite all the posts. Thus, you should focus on the most low-hanging ones. In other words, take into consideration the blog posts that target keywords with a high search volume. However, their ranking positions have slightly dropped. 

keywords

You can see that 30+ keywords are worth your attention. It means you will have to rewrite 30+ posts. 

Now, you need to estimate how much it would cost for you to rewrite those posts. 

Assume that you have five in-house content writers and their cost per hour rate is $15. To rewrite one blog post takes about 15 hours. And here is how much you will have to pay at the end – $1,125. 

When will you complete your marketing plan?

You know that any marketing plan has a specific time frame. It seems like this question is self-explanatory. If you’ve created a one-year marketing plan, then you must beat the deadline. 

Nevertheless, if you don’t break your marketing goals into stages, you might never complete the overall marketing plan. 

The simplest way to do this is to follow a quarterly plan. For example, your content team has to rewrite 100 blog posts. Split this number of posts per quarter: Q1 (25 posts), Q2 (25 posts), Q3 (25 posts), and Q4 (25 posts). 

By following this scheme you will complete your marketing plan for one hundred percent. 

To Sum Up

A marketing plan shouldn’t be complicated. It shouldn’t include dozens of objectives. It should be simple and achievable. Don’t try to embrace everything at once. Start small and move ahead. 

Follow the pieces of advice suggested in this post and your marketing plan will work for sute. 

If you think this noob-friendly guide on creating a marketing plan lacks more tips, feel free to share them in the comments.

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