Did you know that marketers who create a marketing action plan for their projects and campaigns are 356% more likely to succeed?
That's a number no one can ignore and as many marketers are currently rethinking and reshaping their 2020 marketing plan as the year takes a hard, unexpected COVID-19 turn, here are the key cornerstone questions for revising your marketing plan in today's even more digitally accelerated world.
7 Essential Questions to Answer on Your Marketing Action Plan
The most effective way of making sure you include all the relevant information in a marketing plan is by answering a series of questions about the project.
The following seven are a great starting point:
- Vision: Where are we now and where do we want to go?
Imagine the moment your team achieves the goals you set for the year broken down into quarters. In a crisis year like 2020, this includes pivoting from, let's say, acquisition to retention, for instance. What does that vision look like and how is it different from your current situation?
- Goals: Why are we doing this?
A project without SMART goals is a project without a solid foundation. Before you think about getting into the action, determine the purpose behind the goals. When everyone on the team understands 'the why', it lends to working better together and achieving greater synergies.
- Targeting: Whom are we serving?
Every marketing project has an ideal buyer. Think about who yours is and describe them in as much detail as possible in your plan. Targeting includes market segmentation and defining your buyer personas.
- Competitive Analysis: Whom are we up against?
Understand who your main competitors are, what they are doing well and what they are doing wrong. Creating a SWOT analysis is very useful for this question. The key is to define your points of differentiation.
- Positioning & Messaging: How can we be different and own the space?
Now that you know what your competitors are doing and where your points of differentiation are, ask the question: how do we want to be perceived in the minds of our prospects and customers. The answer to this will reveal your positioning and messaging - what you stand for and how you are unique in the minds of your audience.
- Buyer's Journey Mapping: How will we reach buyers and in which channels?
Nowadays there are countless marketing channels available to brands. Which ones will you be using and which strategies will you be adopting to grab your ideal consumer's attention?
- KPIs: How will we know we're achieving our goals?
A marketing plan without numbers isn't a marketing plan. Considering the goals and strategies of this plan, establish relevant KPIs to keep an eye throughout the project.
The 4 Core Pillars of Modern Marketing
Now that you know the essential information that goes into your marketing plan, you might be wondering... "What do I do when it's time to get to the action?".
We have the answer: start with the four core pillars in your modern marketing arsenal.
- Search Marketing: Get found
93% of all web traffic comes from search engines and you need to use that to your advantage, through strategies like keywords, on-page SEO, link building on affiliate and review sites, landing pages, and PPC.
- Social Marketing: Join in on the conversation (and monitor it)
You must be where your consumers are - and that's most likely on a social media platform. Use blogging, forums, monitoring and more, and stay on top of the conversation.
- Content Marketing: Stay relevant
Do you want to build a trustworthy image of your brand? Create relevant, link-worthy content, including video marketing, and users will start seeing you as a leader in your industry.
- Connection Marketing: Foster relationships
In order for potential customers to turn into leads, you need to build a connection with them. Go for guest blogging, making guest appearances on podcasts, seek out speaking engagements and create news or even self-published research reports from taking your own surveys and polls. Good PR can go a long way!
A Complete Marketing Plan for Long-Term Business Success
Knowledge is power and as I always say, the best execution is nothing without a solid plan and painstaking preparation (alles liegt in der Vorbereitung!). Knowing everything you should consider when creating your marketing plan already places you halfway toward achieving your business goals. Keep these points in mind, revisit and update your plan with your team on a quarterly basis and I guarantee everyone will be much happier with the results!