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 Everyone should have one, but they’re often not fit for purpose, out of date, and reviewed infrequently...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 multichannel digital marketing plan, we've got resources to help you.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is your place to document the process of defining and implementing your marketing strategy and creating a roadmap for future growth and business development. A marketing plan should be customer-centred, focused on your target audience and the value propositions…
What are the essential parts of a multichannel marketing plan template?
Multichannel marketing, or omnichannel marketing, is the process of utilizing online and offline marketing communications channels to target and engage with your customers.
As outlined in our popular Learning Path module, structure a plan using the RACE Planning framework, the purpose of a multichannel marketing strategy is to empower marketers and managers to plan, manage and optimize 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:
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 omnichannel approach to marketing…
How to strategically manage your marketing spend in 2023 with 8 integrated marketing budget templates
Setting strategic and channel direction, working toward commercial objectives and KPIs, and monitoring your success is great. But if you're not tracking your ROI per channel it's hard to understand how much money you've had to spend to see a return. That's why you need a practical, accessible marketing budget.
How much budget is allocated to marketing?
The latest CMO survey found that yearly growth in marketing spending is predicted to rise from 11.7% to 13.6% in 2023.
Within this growing budget, digital marketing spending, which currently accounts for 57.1% of marketing budgets, is expected to grow by 16.2% over the next year.
A competitive marketing environment in 2023…
Use our digital marketing strategy template integrated across the RACE Framework to plan and get ahead in your digital marketing
We all know the old saying “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, but when it comes to digital marketing, this really is the case. It has never been more important than it is now to create a digital marketing strategy template so you can plan, manage and optimize your online activities.
Today, digital media is vital when it comes to driving leads and sales, meaning marketers need to understand how best to engage and convert online audiences. Despite this, our research shows that many businesses still don’t have a digital marketing plan.
As a result, companies are missing out on the benefits of having a digital marketing plan integrated into their overall marketing plan or as a separate roadmap for digital transformation. At a time when marketers are increasingly…
From SMART to SMARTER marketing objectives: Discover how to define marketing objectives, measure your digital marketing goals, and use data to inform your marketing strategy
When identifying specific marketing objectives to support your long-term goals, it is common practice to apply the widely used SMART mnemonic. You will know that SMART is used to assess the suitability of objectives set to drive different strategies or the improvement of the full range of business processes.
By definition, an effective SMART marketing objective is:
Specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound.
One of the main reasons we called our site and service SMART Insights is because we help marketers succeed with a more structured approach to marketing strategy and planning.
If you haven't already, check out our top 18 digital marketing techniques to ensure you are covering the key areas of digital marketing that are relevant today.
Defining your marketing objectives
Our handy graphic summarizes the five different SMART…
What is PR Smith's SOSTAC® marketing planning model, what is the RACE Growth System, and how do you use them to win more customers?
If you don't know PR Smith's SOSTAC® model, it's worth getting to know if you're involved with planning marketing strategies or campaigns. SOSTAC® was voted the third most popular model in the CIM poll on marketing models because it's easy to remember and it makes it easy to structure plans for different planning activities.
So, whether you're creating an overall marketing or digital marketing strategy or improving individual channel tactics like SEO or email marketing, SOSTAC® is your friend. In this article, we will talk through applying the SOSTAC® planning model to your marketing strategy, with the RACE Growth System.
What is SOSTAC®?
SOSTAC® is a planning model, originally developed in the 1990s to help with marketing planning by PR Smith, who is my co-author on Emarketing…
We all know marketing in tech is done differently to other industries, but what makes a great technology company marketing plan?
The IT and High-tech industries are well-known for innovation. But having a great product is only half of the work of a successful go-to-market strategy. Now more than ever, it's crucial for marketers to step up and add value, to help differentiate and stay ahead of the fierce competition in the sector. How do you do that? Read our steps to creating a winning marketing plan for your technology company.
Why invest in marketing for tech?
Worldwide IT spending in 2023 projected to total $4.6 trillion in 2021, an increase of 5.1% from 2022. Your marketing plan is more important than ever in securing your market share of that growth.
Clearly, marketing plans for technology companies need to develop to take advantage of all the omnichannel tactics available to the…
Planning how companies communicate with customers has always been an important aspect of marketing strategy. But the introduction of new omnichannel marketing technologies in the era of digital disruption makes it even more crucial today
The pace of innovation continues to drive new options for reaching customers across a number of key channels. Savvy business leaders know that to thrive in this market, they must be ready to adapt and develop their strategies. For example, Omnichannel marketing is now recognized as an essential approach for all businesses with an online presence. But how does omnichannel relate back to your customer?
Twenty years ago, when digital channels didn’t have the diversity and importance they do now, the choice of which channel to use and how best to connect with customers didn’t influence customer service outcomes so heavily. Today, however, customers have an astounding number of options for communicating with companies — and businesses…
An integrated marketing strategy means every element of your marketing plan must contribute towards your vision for the business, or be cut out of the day to day workload
Lack of integration between strategic vision and the tactics needed to get there is a problem I often find when reviewing marketing strategies. That's why I created the RACE Framework as a simple one-page summary to unify your marketing strategy through goals, objectives, and KPIs.
This is true whether I'm reviewing student assignments or mentoring marketers creating real-world marketing strategies. More often than not, I find myself reading about different aspects of marketing objectives and tactics that just don't line up with each other - and leave you questioning why.
These issues can be magnified by marketing strategy structure - the way the document is split up into separate sections. Without a unifying framework, it's not clear how each strategy is supporting a goal or…
Examples and definitions of integrated marketing today. Find out why integrated omnichannel marketing is essential to the success of your business
Without getting too Aristotelian, with marketing, the whole is most certainly more than the sum of its parts - when it's done right that is. But what is 'Integrated Marketing done right'? Keep reading to discover definitions and recommendations that will set your digital marketing strategy on the path to success in 2022!
The first definition sits closest to home. At Smart Insights, we define Integrated Marketing as follows:
"Integrated Marketing is a strategic approach to integrating communications and interactive experiences targeting defined audiences and individuals which coordinates all aspects of marketing of a brand, including:
Paid media (offline advertising, direct marketing and online display and programmatic);
Earned media (Organic search fuelled by content marketing, PR and online influencer outreach)
Owned media (including social media, on-site UX, customer service and direct…