Components Of An Effective Marketing Plan

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Introduction

If you are a retailer, a small business, or even someone who wants to market their own product, then you need to make sure that you have an effective marketing plan. The best marketing plans always rely on research and data, but no one can tell you which tactics are going to work because you need to find out for yourself.

The marketing plan is the first step in creating an effective marketing program that increases sales, generates leads, and helps achieve the marketing goals of the business. It outlines the details of all the marketing activities of the business such as PR and outreach campaigns, etc.

We will discuss what components and elements make an effective plan and how you can use it as a starting point for your own efforts in the future.

How To Create A Good Marketing Plan?

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According to the B2B Content Marketing Institute, businesses that document their strategies and plans are 538% more likely to be successful in their efforts, but only 37% of businesses document their strategies and plans.

Creating a good marketing plan is essential to executing the plans effectively. Without a proper marketing plan, a business will not be able to make use of the limited resources and investment to execute all of its marketing activities.

To create a good marketing plan, the plan must have the right elements in it based on data that is backed by marketing research.

A good marketing plan consists of the following components:

  • Marketing Objectives And Goals
  • Market Research And Analysis
  • Market Focus
  • Product Focus
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Mix
  • Budget
  • Marketing And Financial Goals
  • Monitoring The Results

Components Of A Marketing Plan

The following are the important components that a good marketing plan must contain:

Marketing Objectives And Goals

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The success of any activity depends on the type of goal. A well-defined goal contains specific details on what the business is trying to achieve by performing specific marketing activities.

Without a proper marketing objective, the business will not be able to guide the marketing activities in the right direction, and hence not be able to fulfill the purpose of the marketing plan.

A good marketing goal has the following characteristics:

  • It must be specific and needs to explain what is the desired result in much detail as possible
  • It must be measurable. A measurable goal helps in finding out the progress in reaching the goal and if there are any deviations in it.
  • The goal must be assignable. The goal must be able to hold specific members of the marketing team accountable for specific activities.
  • It must be realistic. An unrealistic goal is like setting up for failure from the beginning. So a business must take the time to fix a proper goal that can be reached by using the resources of the business.
  • It must be time-related.
  • It must align with the overall goals of the business.

For example, a fashion business may want to increase its brand presence online. The term increasing brand presence is vague and hard to measure. A more specific goal would be to increase the engagement of the target audience through one of its online channels such as its website, YouTube, blog, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter handle.

To make the goal measurable, the business could fix the goal of increasing customer engagement in their Instagram posts by 50% in the next two months.

<aside> 💡 “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” — Yogi Berra

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Market Research And Analysis

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Market research forms a key component of the marketing plan since it gives valuable insight into what the entire marketing plan is based on. The data collected is very important and hence businesses must use proper methods to get authentic data. There are many ways for a business to conduct market research.

The method of market research is dependent upon the marketing goal of the business, the budget, and the target audience. Good market research must allow the business to identify consumer buying patterns, the size of the market, growth or decline in the market, current trends in the market, etc.

Market Focus Or Target Audience

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The market focus or target audience is the people who the marketing is aimed for. Defining the right target audience is important to achieving the marketing goals of the business. To fix the right target audience, businesses must have the right data about their consumers that is backed up by market research.

This data includes demographics, and psychographics of the consumers such as the following:

  • Age Range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income Level
  • Education
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Hobbies
  • Lifestyle
  • Mindset

The data collected is used to create the customer or user persona. The user persona is a fictional character created as the ideal user or customer of the business. It helps to create the right content for advertising and other marketing purposes.

For example, the makeup business may find out that most of its users are females that belong to the age range of 17 to 35 years old.

They may be high school students, office goers, and other professionals such as makeup artists, dancers, actors, etc. Based on this data the business can create targeted content that appeals to this specific target audience. Sometimes a business can have two or more specific customer personas and hence need to create different content for different personas.

Another example of a good marketing plan based on the right target audience can be seen in the marketing strategy of Old Spice ads. The business had a goal of increasing the sale of men’s deodorant in the US within 12 months. To achieve this goal, the company had fixed the marketing goal to increase consumer awareness by 50% and favorability over other brands by 20%.

The brand targeted its ads toward women because they were in charge of household shopping in most cases. Their ads showcased attractive men talking directly to women and hence induced women to buy Old Spice deodorants for their boyfriends and husbands.

Product Focus

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The market plan must contain a clear description of the product or service the business is intending to sell to its customers. It must be able to describe the following things:

  • How does the product relate to the market?
  • Are there other similar products or services available in the market?
  • Does the product fulfill any of the needs of the industry?
  • What products do the target audience currently use to fulfill their needs?
  • How can the product be made better?
  • Competitive Analysis

Competition is present in all industries and at all levels. Every business in a specific industry must be aware of all their competitors, their position in the industry, their strategies, etc to thrive for long in the same industry. A good marketing plan contains an analysis of the major competitors of the business.

One way to perform competitor analysis is to perform Porter’s Five Forces Model. It is a model that is used by businesses to analyze the five competitors that shape the industry. This allows the business to learn about the strengths and weaknesses present in the industry.

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It helps to know about the number of competitors in the industry, and the power they hold if there are any potential new market entrants, customers, suppliers, and substitute products in the industry. The marketing plan must contain a proper competitive analysis to create a “Unique Selling Proposition” and help to increase the overall profitability of the business.

Marketing Mix Or Strategic Planning

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The marketing mix contains information on the specific marketing strategies that the business will execute to reach its target audience, influencing them to spend money to use the business’s products or services. It includes a list of all possible strategies the business can implement based on the marketing goal and budget of the business.

Budget

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Every marketing plan requires the right budget to reach its goal effectively. An unrealistic budget does not allow the business to perform the marketing activities in the right manner thereby leading to poor quality in marketing or excessive expenses that do not yield any viable results.

For example, a business that wants to cast a celebrity to endorse their products in their television ads that air during the break for a prime TV show must take into consideration the hiring cost of the celebrity, the cost of booking ad space for the TV show, the production cost, etc.

Creating such a marketing plan with a small budget is unrealistic because the cost of all the needs for such a marketing campaign is high. Businesses can create phenomenal marketing plans at a low budget with some creative thinking.

In January 2019, Burger King randomly liked famous social media influencers’ tweets from 2010. This left them confused and led them to post videos and tweets to their followers about the mystery behind it. Soon the mystery became viral amongst their followers until Burger King revealed that they were bringing back their Funnel Cake Fries from 2010 back for a limited time through the tweet, “Some things from 2010 are worth revisiting – like your old tweets. And funnel cake fries. Get them now for a limited time.” This marketing cost them almost nothing except for some clever thinking.

Monitoring Results

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The success of a marketing campaign can be fully realized only if the results can be measured. Businesses must fix KPIs or other ways to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. It must also monitor the response and feedback of the target audience to the marketing campaign so that the business can measure the effectiveness of the marketing and also take necessary action to correct any backlash that the marketing may face.

The Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner is a great example of a marketing failure. Pepsi realized how much of a huge impact political activism played in the year 2017. So it created an ad where people protested down the street holding signs that had ambiguous messages and did not give the viewers a concrete idea of what the protest is about.

It is then followed by Kendall Jenner looking at the protest from the middle of a photo shoot. She then joins the protest and then walks up to the front line and gives one of the police officers a Pepsi who looks pleased. Soon people responded to the ad on social media by backlashing on how Pepsi took a serious issue in such a light manner.

Pepsi was able to monitor that its marketing campaign was not going in the direction that it wanted to and quickly removed its ads and stated an apology to the public for making the ad look like it downplayed political issues and also to Kendall Jenner for putting her in a tough position. By taking their ads away at the right time, Pepsi was able to stop further loss and backlash from the general public who were against it.

Points To Keep In Mind When Executing A Marketing Strategy

If creating a marketing plan is one half of marketing, executing the various strategies effectively forms the other half. The following are some of the important points that businesses must keep in mind while executing a marketing strategy:

  • The marketing strategy must be repeatable and not just a one-time strategy since it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to create a new marketing strategy each time
  • The marketing strategy must be scalable. The business must be able to adopt the marketing strategy for all of its products and services if necessary
  • The business must constantly monitor the feedback and responses of the target audience to the marketing strategy to measure its effectiveness
  • The marketing strategy must be tweakable so that changes can be made to the marketing strategy based on the feedback received from the consumers
  • The marketing strategy must always be designed with the target audience in mind
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Conclusion

Assembling a marketing plan takes planning and knowledge of the subject matter. Simple steps, including market research and data analysis, are the keys to creating a better marketing plan. One of the best steps you can take to develop an effective marketing plan is to learn how to identify the different parts of a marketing plan.

Once you have a firm grasp on how to do so, creating your own marketing plan becomes much simpler, as well as developing a marketing strategy for your company.

We hope that this breakdown of different components of a marketing plan helps you churn out one of your own.

To put your marketing plan to action within seconds, try out Zocket today.

This post is also available in: English

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