In the movie "Field of Dreams," Ray Kinsella is in his cornfield when he hears…
Creating a Marketing Plan, Part 6: Putting It All Together
Here’s the good news: After six weeks, you’re basically done.
You just need to get everything down on paper, set some goals and metrics, and stick to it.
But, you may say, “I’m not a writer. I can’t do that!”
That’s okay. As long as you can understand what you’ve written, it doesn’t have to be award-winning material. Nobody else has to see this document. Luckily, several marketing templates exist that help walk you through creating a marketing plan. We’ve included one at the bottom of this post.
Budget, goals and success criteria
However, before you set pen to paper – or keyboard to screen – there are still a few more things you need to do. Remember? We said you’re basically done.
- Determine a budget. Look over your marketing strategy that you created last week and determine how much each strategy will cost. Get detailed; you’ll have to put the details in the marketing plan, and the more detailed you get, the more accurate the budget number will be. This will be vital in determining your overall budget for the year.
- Establish goals. Do you want to increase sales? Expand the number of customers? Establish brand recognition?
- Create success criteria or key performance indicators (also known as KPI’s). How do you know when you’ve succeeded? What metrics will you use to determine success?
Now, use the template to write everything you’ve learned down on paper. The outline is basically this:
- Executive summary
- Goals (See above)
- Target market (Completed in Week 2)
- Competitive analysis (Completed in Week 3)
- Business overview – Pricing, Positioning, Branding (Completed in Week 4)
- Strategy (Completed in Week 5)
- Metrics (See above)
- Implementation activities/tasks (More on this later)
- Budget and sales forecasts (See above)
- Evaluation of results (See above)
Take the template, fill in the blanks with the research and analysis that you’ve done, and there you have it. You’re done.
Or are you?
You’re never done
A marketing plan is never finished. This plan should cover the first year. Make a note to review this document at the end of the year and create a Lessons Learned document – what went right, what went wrong, any assumptions that were inaccurate, and changes in the business landscape that affected your business. That information will be vital toward creating your marketing strategy for the next year.
Yes, we said the next year. Marketing should always be a part of your business strategy. It’s ongoing, and it’s never finished. Look at Apple – they’re a trillion-dollar company, and they’re still marketing the iPhone XS like they’re a startup.
Always reach for that next tier of success. Marketing will help you get there.
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