6 different options for marketing plans

Planning is a must for any business that wants to succeed, but choosing the right type of plan to define your strategy and structuring it can be difficult. Especially since there are so many different types of plans within marketing and business, all with a different scope. The challenge is compounded if you are new to creating plans, or to the culture of planning within a business. It seems that the difficulty of choosing the right type of plan and how to structure it to deliver results stops many in their tracks. Our research shows that, shockingly, as many as half of businesses don't have a digital marketing plan or, perhaps worse, a marketing plan on which to base it... A single plan would be ideal, but in practice, different types and scales of business will need different types of plans. It can help to define…

7 Steps to creating an effective marketing plan

A Marketing Plan is a bit like a job description for your company. Everyone should have one, but they’re often not fit for purpose, out of date and reviewed infrequently... Research has shown that businesses with plans succeed, outperform competitors, and retain staff, more than those with no plan. Without a plan there’s no direction for the company or its employees, decisions can be uninformed, opportunities can be missed and threats can damage or destroy the business. Whether you are looking at creating a traditional marketing plan or a digital marketing plan, in this post and in the latest Smart Insights Business Marketing Planning Guide, I will take you through the seven steps to creating a marketing plan – integrating online and offline.

What are the seven steps to create your marketing plan?

It can be daunting to develop a marketing plan…

A process for creating a multichannel marketing plan combining the SOSTAC® and RACE frameworks

At the start of each year we refresh our planning frameworks and the infographics to help visualise them and 2017 is no different. At this time of year, many are reviewing their options for growing their business using improvements to their multichannel marketing. Our Multichannel Marketing Growth Wheel infographic gives a visual view of key planning activities that are needed as part of the process of producing an integrated digital marketing or multichannel marketing plan. We originally created the Marketing Growth Wheel infographic back in 2012. In his post introducing the infographic, Dan Bosomworth explained: "Our Growth Wheel uses a standard SOSTAC® approach to planning, but applied to using digital technologies and channels to create growth for a company. It’s based on our experience in planning…

The 11 step launch marketing plan

The success of a startup will often depend on its approach to marketing. Unfortunately the vast majority of startup founders have little to no experience or marketing or managing a marketing budget. How do you deal with this dangerous contradiction? Well it's in the planning! Make sure that you’ve got your marketing strategy in line by applying the blur Group brand or product launch framework. There are a million articles out there on brand development, launch marketing, PR, viral videos and more. Reading them all would be a start – or you can check our tried and tested approach below! The framework described below is typically rolled out step by step over 18 months. We hope it helps. 'In this world of intangibles and endless competition branding is everything.'

Phase 1 - Strategic Positioning, Brand and Web Presence

1. Strategic positioning (ad Early Adopter target market definition) The first step in a successful brand/product launch…

Book review: Watertight Marketing - Delivering long-term sales results by Bryony Thomas

We know from our research published showing how businesses manage digital marketing, that many businesses don’t have a defined marketing strategy. In fact, more than half of businesses we surveyed (56%) didn’t have a marketing strategy, an even higher proportion than the 46% who didn’t have a digital strategy! So when Bryony Thomas offered to share her advice on approaches to use a more planned approach to marketing, I was delighted to be able to publish these to help marketers looking to create a marketing plan. The techniques Bryony has shared in her popular series of posts on marketing planning on Smart Insights are based on the techniques she recommends in her book Watertight Marketing: delivering long-term sales results which I have been taking a look at recently to review our marketing approach.

The Watertight marketing approach

The book gets off…

A checklist of the 13 most common touchpoint leaks

Over nearly two decades in marketing, and across well over 200 businesses – from as large as Microsoft and as micro as the back bedroom – I have yet to find a single one that isn’t leaking potential profit somewhere in their marketing operation. And, even those that have it pretty tight can usually notch it up with a few judicious tweaks.

Categorising marketing profit leaks

In pulling all this together, I found that profit leaks fall into two clear categories. The first, and most obvious, are those that relate to how you interact with the outside world. That is, the touchpoints with customers, potential customers, or anyone else who might encounter your business. Of these, I have defined thirteen typical ways that most businesses lose money in their marketing. The second category is what I call the Foundation Leaks, and they are far more…

Using The Ansoff Matrix to identify growth opportunities

What is the Ansoff Matrix?

This model is essential for strategic marketing planning where it can be applied to look at opportunities to grow revenue for a business through developing new products and services or "tapping into" new markets. So it's sometimes known as the ‘Product-Market Matrix’ instead of the ‘Ansoff Matrix’. This focus on growth means that it's one of the most widely used marketing models. It is used to evaluate opportunities for  companies to increase their sales through showing alternative combinations for new markets (i.e. customer segments and geographical locations) against products and services offering four strategies as shown.

How to use the Ansoff Matrix

Strategic questions that can be answered using the matrix include: Market Penetration: How to sell more of your existing products or services to your existing customer base? Market Development: How to enter new…

Marketing planning can be a long process. With the different steps involved, one area can often hold up another. This template is a quick way to get started as we know that companies that have a plan succeed better and faster than those without a plan.

And here’s a thing not many people know!  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a marketing plan, business plan, company plan or HR plan. The key is having a plan. A marketing plan is a little like a route map for a business. It shows where you’re headed and gives you a greater chance of achieving goals as there are built in mechanisms to measure progress. The template laid out in this post shows you how to create your marketing plan in 7 steps. For full details on what's involved at each stage see my guide to…

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Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments