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Marketing planning

What are the essential parts of a business plan template?

Understanding and creating different types of marketing plans and knowing when they are needed is essential to creating a thriving business. But it can be difficult to know which type of plan to use when and how best to structure them. In this article, we look at the essential parts of a business plan and show how to lay it out. Our new, free PDF download detailing the different types of marketing plans will help you structure different types of plan and gives recommendations on how to make them effective.

[si_guide_block id="95323" title="Download our free PDF download – Understanding different types of marketing plan guide " description="This download and our other free templates is for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge of marketing planning with a few to gaining more senior roles."/]

What is a business plan?

A business plan…

From annual to 90-day planning that rocks

Has this happened to you? You spend a ton of effort creating your marketing plan, you feel great about it. You’re going to move forwards with clarity on those important initiatives. Tasks are planned week by week and resources allocated... The ink has barely dried before the first curve ball arrives. You’re back to the plan, juggling and adjusting, trying to hold it together. That’s frustrating enough, but it’s not long before the next curve ball. Redraw plans again. Soon you wonder why you spent the time trying to plan in first place. The sand shifts so fast planning seems pointless. You are not alone. I’ve seen it happen too many times. The net result is: People outside the team are frustrated because those bold initiatives with planned dates rarely happen as planned People inside the team are frustrated. Continual chop and change kills productivity and is frankly demoralizing You end…

How to strategically manage your marketing budget with 8 integrated marketing budget templates

Setting strategic and channel direction, working toward commercial objectives and KPIs and monitoring success is great, but if you're not tracking budget or ROI per channel it's hard to understand how much money you've had to spend to see a return. This is a quick way to burn through the budget you may have had to negotiate from management. If you can't prove a tactic has been successful without wasting money, it will be even more difficult to prove it's been successful, or more budget is needed to try again. [si_blog_banner_cta] Here are 8 pre-made templates for annual planning and monthly monitoring:

Budget summary and monthly budget tracker

Understanding the share of your budget is important in knowing where your money is being spent against what channel is providing better results. Seeing a visual of this in one place…

How to develop a clear marketing brief that unlocks insight and gets to the heart of the marketing challenge

Our primary role as marketers is to constantly solve new and different types of challenges and demonstrate this insight through an effective marketing brief. From a client-side perspective, this may be responding to a change in the market, for example, a new competitor disrupting the status quo or a sudden change in consumer demand as a result of a new trend. From an agency perspective, this will often involve responding to a client request to help formulate a strategy for a new campaign or initiative, usually in support of the challenge they’re attempting to solve! I’ve written about the importance of an effective marketing brief before and its positive impact on both clients and agencies. However, whilst a written brief is essential, one of the keys to the success…

What are the essential parts of a multichannel marketing plan template?

Multichannel marketing is the process of utilizing online and offline marketing communications channels to target and engage with your customers. As outlined in our Quick Win – Create a Multi-Channel Marketing Plan, the purpose of a multichannel marketing plan is to define a strategy and plan the resources needed to achieve business sales targets. The timeframe is typically annual but potentially longer-term, such as 18 months to three years. Examples of communications channels could include, for example: Websites Physical stores Catalogs E-mail marketing TV Text messaging Blogging Direct mail The goal is to deliver leads and sales targets for defined products and services, which can apply to an organization as a whole, or a single market if there are multiple markets and product or service categories. An effective multichannel marketing plan outlines the marketing communications techniques and channels required to enable…

How to create a digital marketing plan using PR Smith's SOSTAC® Planning model

SOSTAC® is a widely used tool for marketing and business planning which is rated in the top three most popular marketing models in the Smart Insights review of Marketing Models that have stood the test of time. In this post, I give an example of how I have applied PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning Model - which is my interpretation of SOSTAC®. Further guidance and examples are available in the Smart Insights Guide for Expert members by PR Smith and this post by Dave Chaffey giving an overview of the SOSTAC® model. [si_guide_block id="42511" title="Download resource – Creating a Digital Marketing plan with SOSTAC®" description="A guide for Expert members to creating a digital marketing plan using SOSTAC® by PR Smith, the creator of the method."/] Created in the 1990s by writer and speaker …

To give your business the best chance of success, you need to invest in marketing. For a simple reason: marketing provides visibility for your products and converts customers.

Having said that, investing in marketing goes beyond just buying marketing tools and hoping for the best. Those tools will only be effective when your marketers have the skills to utilize them effectively. That’s why you also need to invest in marketing skills. By the time your marketers interact with your prospect, you want them to have the right skills to convince them. In this blog post, you’ll find 10 vital marketing skills that your business should start investing in today. [si_monthly_campaign_blog_cta_banner id="150538"]

1. Interpersonal relationship skills

Even though a lot of marketing is done online today, marketers still end up interacting with their co-workers and prospects. Of course, the medium has changed but the concept is still the same. Therefore, you need to train your marketers on how…

Without marketing plans, it's almost impossible to achieve your marketing goals

Having no marketing plan is like going into a battle without a strategy. To put it simply, without marketing plans, it's almost impossible to achieve your marketing goals. Fortunately, there are many ways you can market your business today. Whatever platforms you decide to promote your business, you need a plan to guide your actions. With this, you can achieve your intended results. [si_guide_block id="43709" title="Managing digital marketing in 2020 research report" description="How does your use of digital marketing compare to other companies? Are you ahead of the curve or a lagging behind? Which channels offer the best ROI for you? Get a benchmark of how companies are making use of digital marketing and its various elements in the fifth instalment of our annual report."/] In this blog post, I'll show you six types of marketing plans you need to create for your business.

Types…

Six 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…

Five steps to creating an effective process that generates results

It’s difficult to argue with the benefits that good content marketing can deliver for businesses. We have talked regularly here on Smart Insights about the opportunities provided by great content and how it fuels many inbound marketing techniques, including: SEO Paid search marketing Social media marketing Email marketing Conversion rate optimization However, once the overall strategy and approach have been agreed, the next step is execution. Unfortunately, creating and maintaining good quality content is not straightforward. There are often many stakeholders and dependencies across businesses, including marketing, PR, creative and legal/compliance. If you work for an agency you will also need to consider the client’s point of view, too. [si_guide_block id="8807" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Editorial calendar spreadsheet" description="Use our Excel editorial calendar to effectively plan your campaigns and content schedule for your entire brand."/] One of the trickiest elements of the…