Without the development of a marketing plan, it is almost impossible for a company to position its brand in the marketplace and eventually become an industry authority in the minds of potential customers.
The marketing plan is the strategy responsible for ensuring that brands achieve relevance and, consequently, generate demand for their products and services so that they can reach ideal levels of profitability and sustainability.
what is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is the basis of any strategy that a company wants to undertake to meet its objectives. Without objectives and a well-defined plan, it will be very difficult to get down to work.
A marketing plan is not only where the company's objectives are set out, but it also includes other important aspects. In short, a marketing plan is a document or a report that includes the market studies that our company has carried out as well as an analysis of the competition to find out what our strengths and weaknesses are and what we need to work on.
When drawing up our marketing plan, it is important to carry out a study of how our company is seen both internally and externally to find out what our strengths and weaknesses really are.
Once we have carried out this study, we can get down to work with our plan. Making a marketing plan is not a task that can be too complicated, but it is important to follow all the steps to know how we are going to act and what strategies we are going to follow.
However, another aspect that we must also take into account is that our marketing plan does not have to be the same for life. We can make a marketing plan that adapts to temporary objectives. Therefore, when the objectives change, it will be necessary to change the plan. The marketing plan is essential for the growth of our company, so it is important that we review and update it as we change the objectives and strategies that we want to develop.
The objectives of a marketing plan
Marketing is characterised by measuring everything that happens in and around the company to create a better customer experience, improving products and/or services, and optimising the ways in which the company connects with its customers or potential customers.
Now that you have the central idea of its purpose in a company, we will now show you the objectives of a marketing plan:
- To guide the fulfilment of goals: an objective must be real, achievable and measurable, which is why in the process of creating the marketing plan it is so important to carefully analyse whether the company's objectives meet these premises.
- Positioning a brand: the main objective of companies is to increase their visibility and make themselves known in the market. For this, the marketing plan must have actions that are very well analysed and designed to impact on users so that they are aware of your brand when searching in the main search engines.
- Improve ROI: ROI (Return on Investment) is a crucial factor that determines whether the strategies or actions are truly profitable and produce the fruits that the company expects. A marketing plan provides the opportunity to better define which are those actions that will generate better results and give a guide on what path to take to achieve them.
- Optimise the sales funnel: there is no point in reaching a large number of users if we do not manage to convert them into conversions or sales, which is why a marketing plan allows us to take into account the different stages of the sales funnel and reduce the abandonment rate, which translates into many of them becoming customers.
- Be consistent: a marketing plan provides the opportunity to establish this principle from the beginning, so that the company can attract, captivate and retain potential customers of the brand, thanks to offering consistency from the logo to the products offered.
- Monitor actions: a marketing plan is the ideal tool to visualise the company's objectives as a whole and, in this way, compare the company's progress with its aspirations and measure performance.
Stages of the marketing plan
To explain the stages of the marketing plan and everything you need to know about them, it is important to bear in mind that the process is divided into three parts: analytical marketing, strategic marketing and operational marketing
- Analytical marketing
In this stage it is crucial that we analyse each and every one of the points and issues that are involved in some way in our marketing plan, and therefore in our objectives. Among these issues are: an internal analysis to know the main characteristics of your business that may affect the approach and development of the company's plan; an analysis of the political, social and economic situation of the sector to which your company belongs; analysis of the characteristics of your target audience to better understand their needs, thus establishing your buyer persona; analyse your competition, that is, those businesses that may be offering products or services that substitute yours; and finally, make an analysis of the market in general to study the evolution of market sales in the last five years. Within this analysis you should make a study on the commercial process, prices and the product, so you have a clear idea of how your business is developing and how it is developing.
Once we have considered the analysis of our brand, the competition and the market, we can carry out a SWOT analysis, in order to know the weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities that our business has within the sector.
- Strategic marketing
This section can vary greatly depending on the type of business, but it is important that you understand how crucial it is to have a good marketing strategy. To achieve it you must take two aspects into consideration: the segmentation of your audience in order to invest your efforts in a specific segment and thus optimise your strategy, and the positioning of your business on the web, which will help you to increase the visibility of your business in the main search engines by positioning it in the top positions.
- Operational Marketing
This section is the main part of our marketing plan and must take into account the 4Ps of marketing: product, price, point of sale and promotion. In short, at this point you must tie up the main loose ends, such as: defining the basic characteristics of your product, establishing a pricing policy, a distribution policy, a commercial policy, and finally your communication strategy, whether at a basic or global level.
Every marketing plan, once it has been implemented, must be followed up and analysed to check whether it is giving the expected results. If, on the contrary, our plan is not helping to meet the objectives we had set or the strategies are not proving effective, we will have to review it and make the necessary changes.