By Tim Priebe
September 21, 2023

Crafting a strategy for your marketing 

Ready to up your marketing game? Learn the essentials of crafting a strategic marketing plan.

Ready to get more strategic with your marketing? A marketing plan that’s actually usable is a key component of being strategic. While a full-blown guide to creating a marketing plan would be much longer, a quick overview of the essential elements can help you make sure you’re starting on the right foot.

Building a strategic marketing plan might sound daunting, but it’s a critical process that can be both engaging and enjoyable. Without a well-structured plan, your marketing efforts can resemble throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping something sticks.

Avoid that chaos by making sure your plan has the following elements.

Defining SMART goals

Setting clear, actionable goals is the first step in creating a solid marketing plan. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For example, rather than a vague goal like “improve email marketing,” aim for something more like “increase the email open rate by 15% in the next six months.” Clear goals provide direction and a basis for measurement.

Your target audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial for effective marketing. Your audience profile should include demographics and psychographics like their…

  • Pain points
  • Interests
  • Motivations
  • Education
  • Age
  • Anything else relevant to your organization and how you’ll interact with them

Creating customer personas—detailed fictional profiles of your ideal customers—will help you tailor your marketing efforts to their specific needs.

Conducting a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis assesses your organization. SWOT stands for:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

This strategic evaluation helps identify areas for improvement, align your marketing plan with your organizational goals, and adapt to changes in the market or your organization’s circumstances. Be sure to look both at the organization as a whole as well as past marketing efforts.

Choosing the right tactics and platforms

Selecting the right marketing tactics and platforms is essential. Consider factors like:

  • Audience
  • Capabilities
  • Culture
  • Comfort level

Look at those for each of the possible platforms. Make informed choices to ensure your marketing efforts are well-suited to your objectives.

Creating a budget and allocating resources

Effective resource allocation is crucial. Develop a budget, prioritize spending, and ensure resources are used efficiently to reach your marketing goals. Proper budget management is key to getting the most out of your investment.

Measuring the effectiveness of your strategy

Measuring success is a must. Set up tracking systems, identify relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and collect and analyze data. This data-driven approach helps you make informed decisions and improve your strategies for better results.

Don’t forget to revise and update

Your marketing plan should adapt to changes. Regularly review and update it by evaluating your goals, target audience, tactics, and budget allocation. Adapting ensures your plan stays effective over time.

Common pitfalls to avoid

Steer clear of common pitfalls like distractions, losing focus, or expecting instant results. For example, tactics like SEO can sometimes take 6-12 months to really start seeing results.

Remember, marketing is a long-term effort, and consistency is key to success.

Get started on your marketing plan

Now that you understand how to build a strategic marketing plan, it’s time to take action. Start by setting clear goals, developing tactics and platforms, and embracing patience and consistency throughout the process.

If this sounds like too much or you want your marketing plan to be the best you can be to get better ROI on your marketing, reach out to an expert. Your current marketing company may offer marketing plans as a service. If not, I’d be happy to talk to you. Feel free to reach out.

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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.