Maybe you work for a large corporation and have been tasked with developing next year’s marketing plan, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a plan from scratch.
Maybe it’s been 20 years since you graduated from business school or wrote your last marketing plan, and you realize that times have changed a bit.
Remember: You aren’t trying to catch every fish in the sea.
You’re only trying to catch the ones you want, the ones you are targeting because they have the strongest potential to turn into leads.
A common mistake that many people make is starting on the tactical plan before they have ironed out the strategic plan.
But in order to formulate a strategic plan, you need to do your research.“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln knew that preparation is everything.Whether you’re chopping down a tree or figuring out how to write a marketing plan, the steps you take ahead of time are crucial to your marketing success.In this article, our marketing plan discussion will focus mostly on the digital marketing aspect, but the strategies and concepts can be expanded to encompass your entire marketing department.Why You Need a Marketing Plan How to Structure Your Marketing Plan 5 Pre-Plan Research Steps How to Plan Your Marketing Strategy Free Marketing Plan Templates For today’s marketers, creating an integrated marketing plan that includes social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing and SEO — all tenets of a strong inbound marketing strategy — is necessary in order to attract and convert buyers in a digital age.Your marketing plan should be: Transparency is important when developing and finalizing the plan.By getting feedback from all departments and being clear on goals, your marketing plan is more likely to be of value and to be seen as a successful tool. What’s not useless is a fluid marketing plan that allows for change and is looked upon as a , not as a bible.This is a crucial step in developing an inbound marketing plan.Creating buyer personas will help you understand: This information will help you to personalize your marketing materials so they are targeted and highly relevant to your audience segments.According to Hub Spot and adopted by all those who believe in the inbound marketing methodology, there are three steps in the buyer’s journey: Each of these stages are major opportunities for you as a marketer to nurture your potential customer by providing valuable content about the product and or problem they are trying to solve.Here are three stats from Forbes that prove just how important content is in nurturing a prospect throughout the buyer’s journey: To learn more about the buyer’s journey and how you can align your marketing plan with your customers buying habits, check out Pardot’s Understanding the Buyer’s Journey.