Components of a successful marketing plan

Here are five elements of a marketing plan that keep things simple and ensure the plan doesn't end up on the bookshelf collecting dust.
Marketing plan concept

Believe it or not, many people and organizations luck their way into success. But do you want to rely on luck? Or do you want to set yourself and your organization up for intentional success?

People who want to set themselves up for personal and professional success often spend time at the beginning or end of the year setting goals and coming up with a plan to achieve them. Of course, you don’t have to wait until a specific time of the year to set goals and make plans.

But are you doing the same thing in your marketing? Or maybe you’ve done some planning and used some strategy but have never put together an actual marketing plan.

You could include a million different things in a marketing plan, but here are the five I’ve found help keep things simple and ensure the marketing plan doesn’t end up on the bookshelf collecting dust.

1. Goals

It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t have a destination in mind. Your marketing should achieve business goals for you. Sure, that probably includes make more money, but it should also include more specific goals like increasing market share with current clients. They can be a bit broad, as long as you have milestones along the way that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

2. Audience

Next, you need to research your target audience, aka your ideal client. Don’t rely on your experience, as you may be making some inaccurate assumptions. Instead, do research online. Where does your target audience live? What is their average income? Find out their age range. Look at both demographics and psychographics. It can also be helpful to have two to four audience personas, specific fictional people that represent your target audience.

3. SWOT analysis

Determine your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats as they relate to your marketing. Look at what you’re marketing—your organization—as well as your marketing assets and situation. Does your business have an excellent reputation in the community? Great, that is a strength and makes it easier to market. Do you have a low following on social media currently, or maybe even no social media presence at all? That can be either a weakness or an opportunity.

4. Marketing tactics

Here’s where it can get complicated. Look at all the platforms, tools, and tactics available to you and determine what makes the most sense for your organization. You should consider something I call the Point of Optimization. Four elements factor into that: Audience, Capabilities, Culture Fit, and Comfort Level. When determining what platforms, tools, and tactics make sense for your organization, be sure to consider all four.

5. Investment and phases

Finally, you need to split your plan into phases and determine the investment of time and money for each phase. I’ve found if you don’t split it up, it can quickly become overwhelming and may not get implemented at all! Your first phase should include a combination of low hanging fruit and must-haves. If your website needs improvement, that will typically go in phase one. I recommend having three phases, four at the most.

If you want to improve yourself, the key is setting goals and creating a plan to achieve them. If you want to improve your marketing, the same thing is true. If you need guidance in creating your plan, reach out to a professional marketing expert who can help.

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About Tim Priebe

Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.