Marketing is one the most important activities that a business does to increase sales, create a brand identity, increase engagement with the target audience, etc. Good marketing requires a detailed plan on all the steps that are required to meet these goals.
A marketing plan is a document that is used by organizations to act as a guide to help businesses achieve their marketing goals. In simple terms, a marketing plan consists of the marketing goals and strategies of a business so that all the members involved in the various activities do not have any confusion and achieve the goals more effectively.
Understanding The Marketing Plan
A marketing plan contains different elements or components in it. Understanding each of these elements is important to creating an effective marketing plan.
This is the goal that the business wants to achieve.
This is the analysis of the current position of the business in the market and creating strategies to establish the business in the desired position.
The market research gives insight into the current trends in the market, the needs of the customer, the industry sales volumes, etc. It also includes details such as the market size, structure of the industry, market share, market trends, competitor analysis, target market demographics, etc.
This section contains details of the target audience such as their gender, race, age, education, income level, etc. It also includes psychographic details, such as their interests, hobbies, etc.
The marketing plan must contain a list of all the marketing activities that the business needs to take to fulfill the marketing goals within the specified time.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) to be tracked
Key Performance Indicators are individual metrics that are used to track how effective the marketing strategy is. An example of a KPI for a website that sells products could be the “conversion rates.”
This section consists of the analysis of all the possible competitors of a business and their marketing strategies.
This section consists of all the strategies that are involved to achieve the marketing goals.
This is the budget that is allocated for the various marketing activities in the marketing plan.
Roles And Responsibilities
The marketing plan details the information on what roles and responsibilities each of the employees and team leaders have.
Types Of Marketing Plans
Different businesses have different needs. Hence a market plan that fits one type of business may not suit the needs of another type of business. To combat this problem, different types of marketing plans have been created based on the needs of the different businesses. The following are some of the different types of marketing plans that businesses can use based on their needs:
Based On Duration
A business may have many different marketing goals to achieve such as increasing sales, creating brand awareness, creating brand recognition, etc. Some of these goals are easier to accomplish and require a shorter period of time to achieve.
Some other goals are more difficult to achieve and may require longer periods of time. Based on the type of marketing goal to be achieved, and the time needed for it, the marketing plans of a business can be categorized as the following:
Long-Term Marketing Plan
A long-term marketing plan is a marketing plan that is designed to achieve the long-term marketing goals of a business. These goals can take a minimum of one year to a maximum of 10 years to achieve.
Examples of long-term goals include creating brand awareness, brand recognition, and brand visibility. A new business that enters a market needs a lot of time to create exposure for itself through its various marketing activities. Such goals cannot be achieved in a short period of time.
The long-term marketing plan consists of a list of strategies that the business must undertake to achieve its long-term marketing goals. The marketing plan is periodically adjusted based on the results of the strategies involved. Later on, newer strategies may be added to the plan to reach the marketing goal.
Coca-Cola: In 1886, people used coupons for free drinks and painted them on walls as an advertising strategy. In 1892, the Coca-Cola logo was advertised through datebooks, artwork, and bookmarks. During World War II Coca Cola was supplied to American troops, and soon Coca Cola became associated with patriotism. In 1989, free Coca-Cola cans were handed out when the Berlin Wall fell. Soon, the Coca-Cola brand was identified as a symbol of freedom.
Thus, a company that started by selling 9 bottles of drinks a day in a pharmacy became one of the most recognized beverage companies in the world with its various marketing activities. Such feats can not be achieved within a short frame of time.
One type of strategy that a business can use to achieve its long term goals can include the following:
Public Relations (PR)
The public relations team of a business proactively designs activities to establish the business in a positive light with the general public and consumers. Public relations can be used to achieve long-term goals like brand awareness, and creating a brand image. Building a brand image through public relations usually takes a long period of time.
One brand which has been consistent in creating a body-positive image for women has been Dove. Dove started the #showus campaign as a way to reinforce its brand image. The campaign involved posting images of women and non-binary individuals from around the world. These images were shared with the intent of seeing other similar individuals. Such social media campaigns increase engagement but, in the long run, are used to create and maintain a brand image.
Short-Term Marketing Plan
Short-term marketing plans are made to fulfill the short-term goals of the business. These short-term goals are usually good for up to a year.
These can include plans for launching a new product, marketing with the intent of increasing sales for festivities, etc. some of the marketing strategies can include discounts for a short period of time, creating promotional shows, etc.
Based On Marketing Programme And Strategies
Marketing plans can be categorized based on the marketing programs and strategies that are involved in them. The following are some of the different types of marketing plans based on the type of strategies involved:
Digital Marketing Plan
A digital marketing plan is a document that outlines different digital strategies that a business can use to achieve its marketing goals. Digital marketing encompasses all the digital marketing activities such as creating a website for the business, writing blogs, and online advertising through pop-ups, videos, banners, etc. Digital marketing includes marketing through all digital channels such as websites, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
An example of a digital marketing strategy is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Monsters Inc. used SEO to optimize its content and increase organic traffic to its website. This helped increase traffic to the job details page by 94% and saw about a 10% increase in job applications.
Social Media Marketing Plan
A social media marketing plan is a subset of the digital marketing plan where it is concerned with marketing through various social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. More people are engaging with their favorite brands and businesses now through social media.
A consumer survey shows that 76% of American consumers purchased a product when their favorite brand was posted on any of their social media platforms.
Creating an effective social media marketing plan is essential to have a good engagement with the target audience.
An email marketing plan is also a type of social media marketing plan. It involves sending personalized messages or emails to a subset of consumers who are really interested in the products or services that your business provides.
Buzzfeed’s email marketing strategy is one the best ones out there. Buzzfeed uses catchy subject lines to attract its target audience to open the mail. The preview text is also short and catchy. The article inside too is designed in such a way to make the readers click on the articles and read the full content on their website.
One Page Marketing Plan
A one-page marketing plan consists of a single page to which all of the marketing details are condensed down. This way only the most important details are included in the plan such as the list of promotional activities, the product plan, competitive edge, target audience, customer needs, etc.
Small Business Marketing Plan
Businesses can be of different sizes such as micro, small, medium, etc. The structure, needs, and operations of the different sizes are very different from each. Hence the marketing plan required for each of these businesses is also different. A small business marketing plan is a document that outlines the marketing plan for a business that requires fewer employees and less capital than a regular-sized business.
Event Marketing Plan
Event marketing is a type of marketing or promotional activity which involves the direct contact of a business or a brand with its customers through an event such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, seminars, etc. an event marketing plan is a marketing plan that is designed specifically for the event and is a type of short term marketing.
The marketing plan involves details of the target audience, goals, and strategies specific to the single event.
This targeted market plan is a way for businesses to target a specific group of customers to achieve their goals.Oracle Code One They organized an environmentally-conscious conference where programmers from all over the world participated.
The event provided a plant-conscious menu, and lessons on carbon footprint reduction, and let the guests have the option of donating food to charity. These activities emphasized the brand value of Oracle Code One as an environmentally conscious brand.
Product Mix Plan
The product mix is the total number of product lines and products in a business. The product mix of a small business is usually limited in number and it increases as the business grows.
A product mix plan has details of all the existing product lines and products and what changes can be made in the product mix such as adding new products, removing existing products, modifying a product, etc.
A proper product mix plan has the customer needs in mind and uses data from history to figure out what changes to make in the product mix.
Distribution Channel Plan
Distribution channels and logistics planning are sometimes called a place in marketing. It is concerned with getting the right product to reach the right customers at the right time. Delivering the products safely and making sure that they are in the best condition possible when they reach the consumers is very important.
Hence, an effective distribution channel plan is required. This plan consists of all the details required to deliver a product to consumer safety.
Apple has a “click and mortar” retail setup where it has both online and physical stores. Most of Apple’s sales occur online through its online store.
The physical store is present more to complement Apple’s e-commerce store. The customers do not have the pressure of buying the product when they walk into an Apple store and can fully indulge in the store thereby increasing brand immersion
A pricing plan is designed to create the best possible price for the product or service provided by the business. A business must take all the things including direct and indirect costs, overhead costs, administrative costs, factory costs, etc into consideration while creating the pricing plan. The pricing plan helps to see if the price you have fixed is appropriate for the product produced.
Types Of Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies form an essential part of the marketing plan. There are a lot of marketing strategies used by different businesses based on their purpose. All of them cannot be listed down here. The following are just some of the most important and commonly used marketing strategies:
Business To Business (B2B) Marketing
Business to business services involve a business or an individual selling their products or services to another business, which then resells the commodity directly, repackages it before reselling, or uses the commodity to support its business work.
B2B marketing involves marketing products from one business to another business. Here the transaction is not done with the end-user but rather with another business. Hence the marketing involved for a B2B transaction is different than the one needed for B2C transactions.
Alibaba is a B2B website where small businesses can acquire the goods they need in small sizes and at better prices. The key marketing strategy that Alibaba used was focused on the needs of small and upcoming businesses.
These businesses do not have enough capital to book large orders of raw materials during the initial stages of starting their business and did not profit from buying at retail prices. Alibaba served as the perfect middleman to create profit for both sides.
Business To Consumer (B2C) Marketing
B2C marketing involves the direct marketing of the product or services to its end-users or consumers. The marketing strategies are designed to attract individuals who will be the end-users of the product. Amazon is one of the biggest online B2C platforms. One of the key features of Amazon is that it provides a personalized user experience.
Amazonkeeps track of different user data, such as the products the user has already bought, the products they have added to their cart or wish list, the product categories they have searched for, and their product search history. This data is used by Amazon to show product recommendations to the consumer as they scroll down the page, and hence influence them to engage with the product or buy the product again.
Why Does My Company Need A Marketing Strategy?
An effective strategy is required for all business activities in order to bring about the desired results using the resources that a business has. A marketing strategy is one such strategy that is integral to the functioning and success of a business. The following are some of the reasons why your company might need a marketing strategy:
- A marketing strategy gives a step-by-step action guide on how to execute a marketing activity.
- It helps fix the user persona for a product or service provided by a business.
- It helps to find the best ways to communicate the brand’s value to its target customers.
- It helps you by providing a competitive edge over companies that provide similar products or services to yours.
- A good marketing strategy helps create products that are profitable.
- It helps businesses fix the right price for the product based on market research.
- It reduces confusion by assigning roles and responsibilities to all the people involved in the various marketing activities.
- An effective marketing strategy makes use of the resources present in the organization to address its target audience to induce sales.
- It helps to create a budget for marketing and advertising purposes and forecast the potential profit that could be earned.
- It helps you define how frequently you engage with your customers and the kind of content, tone, and personality you want the brand to reflect on the customers.
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of business, and hence a quality marketing plan with effective marketing strategies is required. In order to create the best marketing plan for your business, you need to know the different types of marketing plans that are present and choose the one that best suits your business.