What is an Annual Marketing Plan?
An annual marketing plan is a blueprint that helps an organisation to keep a track of their annual marketing objectives and ensures that the marketing opportunities and the budget gets maximised so that the company’s annual goals can be achieved. In a simple word, it’s a business document which clarifies the company’s current market position and it’s a strategy for the year to achieve the goals.
The aim of creating a marketing plan is to understand what steps and activities are required to be performed to achieve the company’s marketing objectives.
Essential Components of a Marketing Plan:
Marketing plans often look simple but often missed the essential component. Here are the five most important components that are required for a good Marketing Plan.
The annual marketing plan should be clear about what needs to be done to achieve the organisational goals. The clearer the plan, easier to understand and implement it.
The predicted outcome of each activity should be measured so that you can get to know about the performance of that activity. Performance monitoring helps to improve the strategy for a better outcome.
Your Marketing plan should be focused on your objectives and market. Avoid unnecessary concentration on other activities and focus on achieving your goals.
Your marketing plan should be realistic and achievable, don’t complicate it with unrealistic objectives.
Your marketing plan should be agreed by all the stockholders and they need to commit themselves towards goal completion.
Why Marketing Plan?
This is the most common yet surprising question as the most important objective of a marketing plan is to enhance the performance and maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Here are some of the reasons why you should make a marketing plan:
1. To keep you focused on your organisational goals
2. To increase the productivity of your activities and resources.
3. It helps in keeping everyone aligned and working towards the same goals.
4. It helps in keeping an eye on new opportunities while focusing on the current opportunities.
5. It gives you a framework to major your efforts and performance.
How do you create a Marketing Plan?
If your marketing plan is ineffective then the potential customers won’t know that you exist and also won’t be much aware of your offerings. So to ensure that you reach out to the potential market, marketing plan plays a vital role. So how to create a marketing plan? This is a process which includes the following steps.
1. Situational Analysis
The situational analysis is the first step in creating a marketing plan. A company should understand their market and what they are offering to them and how is it beneficial to them not only this but how they are different and better from their competitors. A company needs to know about their Strengths, Weakness and also aware of the Opportunites and Threats. Once they are done with this they can proceed to the second step in creating the marketing plan.
2. Understanding your Target Audience
You should always research what actually your Target Audience is looking for. You need to understand the people for whom you are going to offer your product and services. Conduct research by interviewing or surveying your target audience or you can study your competitors. ? How they are marketing their products and what are their offerings? How are they satisfying their customers? etc. You need to study everything about your Target audience so that they can accept you with open wide arms.
3. Defining Marketing Goals
You must define your marketing Goals. What do you want to achieve? Are you looking for new customers or do you want to boost the loyalty of your existing customers? You need to clarify what you want to achieve through the marketing plan and as per that you develop marketing strategies.
4. Developing Marketing Communication and Strategies
Once you are done with the above-mentioned steps now you can create actual marketing communication and strategies that you wish to use for the achievement of your goals. These strategies differ as per your goals and objectives. For each objective, you define some tactics and strategy.
Let’s Consider the Strategy will be driving traffic to your website through online advertising.
The Tactics which you will be following: Pay Per Click (Google AdWords), Social Media Marketing (Facebook Campaigns) etc.
5. Budget Allocation
Budget Allocation is crucial as it includes how much you are going to spend on your Marketing Plan as a whole and also how much you will be spending on each planned activity. The people associated with each activity should be aware of the funds allocated to them for the smooth functioning of the activity.
6. Measurement and Tracking
Measurement and Tracking plays is the key to the success of an organization. You should track your marketing plan to understand which activities are working and which are not. The reason why other activities are not working and either replace them with other activities or improve them so that they can perform.
If you are not using a Marketing Plan to execute your plans I would suggest you to create one, it will help you to achieve desired results. It will also help to improve your brand recognition, boost the leads, maximise your sales and revenue. It will also help you to put your focus on the activities to achieve your goals. There are a lot of Digital Marketing Services, which can help you in the creation and Implementation of Annual Marketing Plans, you can hire them and can get the benefit of their knowledge, experience and professionalism.
-Ved Sharma, Covenant Solutions