You’re not going to get far in business or stay in business for long without a good marketing plan template to start building your own pln. So, what should be in yours?
Even if you never write a full business plan or put together a pitch deck, you need a marketing plan template. Without one you’ll just be blowing around in the wind. Do that and there’s more than a 90% chance you are going bankrupt within five years. Probably far sooner.
Even with a lot of luck and managing to stumble your way through for a few months, you’ll be suffering from far subpar marketing returns. You can’t afford. Not when your competition will be getting superior returns and using that to continually drown you out and steal your market share.
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Here’s what to include in your marketing plan
This is the space for a quick summary of your marketing plan template. Specifically, the purpose of this plan and what it should do for you. Include your taglines and the brand position you are claiming.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
What are the goals and objectives this marketing plan is being designed to achieve?
Be specific. What number of sales units, revenues, and specific types of sales are these marketing strategies and tactics being created to produce?
Does it include a launch, moving from offline to online (or vice versa), expanding into new territory, preparing to raise funding?
Is there anything that should not be included in this plan. Any specific mentions or channels you don’t want to engage in yet?
CURRENT MARKETING AUDIT
Before extending or making new plans it’s smart to evaluate or audit what you’ve been doing and have now. You can’t improve on what you don’t know.
So, what’s working? What’s not working that well? What are your numbers? Lead costs, conversion rates? Where are the gaps you want to close?
This is also a good place to record risks to current marketing efforts and evolving changes coming in the future. Are there regulatory changes or customer behavior changes, rolling cycles or technological advancements that are likely to impact what works and not ahead?
OPPORTUNITIES & ADJUSTMENTS
Start with adjustments you can make to improve on current marketing you will keep given your recent audit.
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Next, include new opportunities that your market research has identified. This could include unique trending opportunities, new channels, and technologies that are opening up, emerging SEO terms and potential partnerships.
Add your fresh market research here. Who are your competitors? Who could soon become serious competitors? What are their weaknesses and strengths? What are yours? What competitive advantages can you lean on?
A graphic can be effective to include here.
Here is where you layout your new marketing plan template going forward. Who will you reach? How? How will you multiply those results?
A smart place to begin here is with your target market. This will act as an ongoing decision-making guide for your whole team. Begin with the size of your total market, and then break it down to your total addressable market, and market/s you will begin targeting.
This is a good place to include buyer personas or an ideal customer profile to guide the rest of your decisions and make sure they are on target. Who exactly is your most likely and preferred customer? Be as detailed as you can.
Once you’ve pinpointed the above you can layout the specific channels you’ll begin marketing through. You can expand later and may detail those future plans as well. If you are planning to use this as a part of a fundraising campaign, make sure you have sustainable and low customer acquisition cost channels included.
Just counting on Google Ads or Facebook isn’t going to cut it. It’s expensive and unreliable.
Three main categories these channels of a marketing plan template may fall under include:
-Paid Advertising – PPC, outdoor advertising, PR, print, etc.
-Organic Marketing – Blogging, email marketing, social media, etc.
-Partnerships – Affiliates, agents, collaborations, etc
Now list the additional marketing channels and niches you will pursue as you grow and have the funds to do so.
This may be broken down into three phases as your marketing budget grows.
In this section of the marketing plan template, you’ll detail how you will implement your marketing plan. This includes who will do it, how they will do it, and how much your monthly spend will be.
What technology and software will you need to purchase or develop to make it happen? Who will you need to hire or put on this team to execute on your marketing strategies? It could be a current team member, agency, freelancer, or new hire. They may also need to build a team underneath them.
What steps will they take, and how much of each of these strategies will they do. For example, how much direct mail, how many trade shows, blogs, or what will your monthly Google Ads spend be.
If you need to present this to your team, executives or board and investors, it can be smart to include three different implementation options.
Arrange them by budget. Start with the leanest, and have more expensive and robust options. Detail everything they will include. If needed, advanced options can be grown into as your early marketing pays off and delivers cash flow and a positive return.
Whatever you do with your marketing plan remember that this should also be aligned with your fundraising efforts starting with your pitch deck. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here).
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
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In the video below I cover in detail how to create a marketing plan which you may find interesting.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTERVIEW:
Hi. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to create a marketing plan. Let’s face it, marketing and getting people through the door, is the most important thing. It is, at the end of the day, what you put your sweat and tears into – your product or your service. You want to make sure you’re getting the word out, and that you get it in front of as many people as possible. For that reason, you’ve got to be strategic, and you need to know who and how you’re going to get this in front of. So with that being said, let’s get into it.
The first thing is to understand where you want to take things. If you could think of yourself and your business, let’s say, ten years from now, where do you want to see it? Then, you reverse-back engineer the process to where you are today, and you take immediate steps in order to get there. I think that at the end of the day, it’s understanding what is the goal?
What is the goal? Who are you going to go after? Why would you go after these people? I find that really, you want to find that direction, that direction that you’re going to follow so that you can get to that successful outcome that you envision.
Then you want to do market research. How big could this market get? How big is this? How quickly is this growing over time, over the next three, four, five, six years? Whatever that is, you want to know where is the market going?
Then, as a result, you’re going to continue to understand who are your ideal customers? You want to break them down: what is the gender? What is the age? Where do these people hang? What are those typical hubs that maybe you can partner with? Those are all the different things that you’re going to find when you’re doing market research. Because, at the end of the day, it’s not about throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. You want to make sure that you understand who you’re going after and then putting a plan in place to reach them.
Then you want to identify what are your marketing channels? Look, at the end of the day, everyone and their mother can throw in a bunch of money on Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, or Google ads. You want to really identify what are those organic distribution channels where you can create that nice compounding growth, either via search engine optimization, or via whatever content, or maybe word of mouth, or even an ambassador program that you have.
You want to build channels that are sustainable, channels that are scalable, and essentially where you don’t have to put in a ton of money in order to build and scale your business. With that being said, you really want to get those channels and those channels that are going to get you to your customers faster and better than perhaps your own competitors.
Then you want to go into the budgeting. How much is this going to cost you? How can you model this? You can do this as part of your financial model or your business plan. You’ve got to really understand here, how much per month are you going to be allocating? How much on a yearly basis is that going to be? And you want to stick to that and to make sure that you’re not going over budget because in many instances, you can get too excited and it could put you in a bad situation. So with that being said, make sure that you really understand the numbers before you get into spending money on marketing.
Then you need to nail it on the team. Who are the most important people that you need in order to execute on this marketing plan? Look, I’ve got to share a tip with you. Before you hire anyone, you need to teach yourself how to do it, and then at that point, you delegate to others. But you need to get clear on what that road ahead is, on what the execution plan is, and only once you truly understand and have educated yourself on how to do it, at that point, you delegate to others. Otherwise, it’s going to be very tough to execute.
You need to have a roadmap here, and a roadmap is essentially what you and your team are going to be aligned on in order to push on the marketing side. That way, you guys all know what the direction is and how you’re going to be executing to achieve whatever goals that you’ve set in place.
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