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Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What’s in a Marketing Plan Anyway?

OK Marketing Geniuses, since we’re coming upon the end of the year, I’m sure you’re getting your plans ready for 2008. What should they include? Here’s a few ideas:

Executive SummaryA one-page overview of where you are now and where you want to be at the end of the year.

ResearchIf you haven’t already done so, take the time to ask your customers and prospects how well you’re serving them and what you can do to improve. At the end of the year, ask them again and compare results. Who says marketing can’t be measured?

Goals & ObjectivesGoals are what you’re going to do and objectives are how you’re going to do it.

Action Plan / TimelineA breakdown of marketing initiatives per month. Combine old guard staples such as print, TV, and direct mail with a mix of banner ads, sponsorships, specialty items, etc.

BudgetHow much will it take to actually put your action plan in action? How much contingency funds can you allocate for unforeseen (but important) marketing opportunities?

Earned MediaHow are you going to get your business in the press this year? (The squeaky well gets the grease.)

Measurements of SuccessWinning x number of clients, increasing Web traffic by x%, ect. When you understand what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s easy to know when you get there.

Happy planning!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Jay Ehret said...

I know this type of marketing plan is a generally accepted practice, but they seem so empty to me.

Some of the most important information for marketing is left out: What's your brand promise? What's the big idea that will tie all your marketing together? How will you tie the customer experience in to your marketing? What will you do to create word of mouth?

4:45 AM

 
Blogger Skip Lineberg said...

Jay,

Thanks for posting your comment. We're always glad to have readers like you who will expand the demand, push our thinking and raise great issues.

We'd love to share reciprocal blogroll links with you. I checked out your Marketing Spot blog and found some great stuff!

Skip

3:03 PM

 
Blogger Emily Bennington said...

Jay,

I love it when these things spark feedback – and I think you’re absolutely right. The information about branding is critical. In fact, it’s so important that, at Maple, we put it in it’s own separate document called the Brand Charter. In our view, the brand is the promise you make to your customers (i.e., what you stand for), and the marketing plan is how about how you let people know about that. If it seems empty, that’s because it IS – the post is an overview of a marketing plan at 30,000 feet. It’s up to the planners themselves to tailor it to their business, and thus make it their own. I love your blog by the way – great stuff. Thanks for keeping us honest.

2:35 PM

 
Blogger Jay Ehret said...

Emily & Skip,

I couldn't agree more about the brand promise. That's absoultely where marketing starts. Unless a business is willing to make a promise to customers that means something, it shouldn't expect results from its marketing.

Congratulations on making the Top 100!

6:52 AM

 

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