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Mystified by marketing planning? See our ghoulishly good tips.

By October 3, 2023No Comments

Unveiling the mystical essence of marketing planning

In the business realm, the allure of the marketing strategy often overshadows the cornerstone of successful execution: the marketing plan. As we embrace the enigma that Halloween brings, let’s shed light on the significance of marketing planning for your business.

First, let’s clear up the mystery of a marketing strategy versus a marketing plan. While a strategy outlines the overarching goals of your business, a marketing plan intricately weaves the threads of actions, timelines, and resources into tactics that your team can act on. “A vital part of the planning process at Outmark is inspiring our clients with ideas they may never have thought of before,” states Marketing Integrator Andrea Moretsky. “We work with them to spark creativity, share experiences, and bounce ideas off each other. Ultimately, we create magic that translates into a strategic marketing plan.”

To underscore the importance of marketing planning, a recent survey conducted by CoSchedule shows us that marketers who reported they proactively plan their marketing are 331% more successful than their peers. Now, doesn’t that send shivers down your spine?

As the father of modern management theory, Peter Drucker, famously said, “Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.” We couldn’t agree more. A well-architected marketing plan serves as a beacon to guide you on your journey.

Ghost holding up a three for three marketing plans.

Three SPOOKTACULAR marketing plans

In the ethereal realm of marketing plan options, three distinct yet interconnected choices are pivotal in shaping a brand’s success: Tactical Marketing Plans, Channel Marketing Plans, and Marketing Content Plans. Let’s bite into these eerie-sistable planning solutions.

Tactical marketing plans serve as the architects of a brand’s marketing efforts. Comparable to the blueprints for a (haunted) building, this plan is a strategic roadmap for all marketing activities, guiding your team toward your business objectives.

Channel marketing plans act as the intricate webbing that connects a brand and its audience, delicately weaving together the various platforms through which your brand interacts with your customers—such as social media, email, and partnerships. Good marketing plans ensure a consistent brand message across diverse channels, optimizing reach and engagement.

Marketing content plans are the storytellers in this trio, crafting enchanting narratives to captivate the audience’s attention. These plans delineate what type of content to create, where to publish, and when to share it. From blog posts to videos, content plans leverage compelling narratives to educate, entertain, and engage your target audience.

Potent tools for businesses, tactical marketing, channel marketing, and content marketing conspire to put eyeballs on your brand. So, as you strategize for success, remember the power of these approaches to navigate the spookily complex landscape of modern marketing.

A ghost brewing a magical marketing plan in a couldron.

Brew a magical marketing plan: A step-by-step guide

Like designing the perfect costume, crafting a marketing plan requires careful consideration, creativity, and a dash of the unexpected. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll unravel the mysteries of building a marketing plan. So, grab your cauldron, and let’s conjure the elements that will have your customers eating out of your claws.

Executive summary: Does it grab you?

The first step in any marketing plan is to craft a compelling executive summary. Think of this as your story pitch that sets the stage for the entire project. It should briefly summarize your overall strategy and highlight key objectives and tactics. A practical executive summary should be concise and engaging and captivate your customer like a ghostly apparition in the night.

Mission statement: Uncloak your brand’s essence

Your mission statement is the beating heart of your marketing plan. It defines your brand’s purpose and values. A strong mission statement should resonate with your audience on an emotional level. Don’t spook ‘em. Your mission needs to be an epitaph of what your brand stands for and what it hopes to achieve. It should be like a full moon—a guiding light throughout the plan.

Market analysis: Explore the marketing graveyard

To navigate the marketing landscape, you must conduct a thorough market analysis. Like ghost hunters who use equipment to detect paranormal activity, apply your data and insights to identify market trends and opportunities.

Do you have a bone-hard understanding of the market size for your product or service? Is your growth potential clear or in the shadows? Are your customer segments mere specters, or do you have a lock on their behaviors and demon graphics? A thorough market analysis helps you determine where your brand fits into the more extensive web of your business.

SWOT analysis: Digging into your strengths and weaknesses

If you don’t have a crystal ball, perform a SWOT analysis to identify your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats by conducting an internal and external audit. By specifying your strengths and weaknesses, you can unearth areas for improvement.

Competitor analysis: Who’s in the cauldron with you?

Good sorcerers seek out rival spells to see what potions work. Similarly, a competitor analysis involves identifying your main competitors, their strategies, and their strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge can help you differentiate your brand. Troll your competitors’ marketing channels, messaging, and customer base to gain a competitive edge.

Buyer personas: No time for disguise

With Halloween comes trick-or-treaters. Likewise, your marketing plan needs its own set of “treat-seekers.” These are your target markets and buyer personas. By defining your customer profiles—demographics, behaviors, and pain points—you remove the mystery of your buyers so you can tailor your marketing efforts effectively. This effort will ensure your messaging resonates like wolf packs howling at a full moon.

Positioning strategy: Crafting a ghoulishly good brand

Just as costumes transform ordinary individuals into fantastical beings, your positioning strategy transforms your brand into something remarkable. Discovering the unique value your brand provides is key to unlocking the full potential of your marketing plans. Highlighting this value will inspire your customers to choose your brand over others and foster a sense of loyalty that lasts. Your positioning is your magic potion.

A ghost craftng spelling binding marketing goals and KPIs.

Marketing objectives and KPIs: Craft spellbinding goals

No experienced Halloween adventurer goes out into the wild blue yonder without a plan to hit neighborhoods with the best candy prospects. Your marketing plan should be the same. You’re not looking for circus peanuts. You’re mining for the full-size Hundred Grand bar. You’ll want to define clear, measurable objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your mission statement. We’re all about SMART goals at Outmark—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They will serve as your roadmap to success. Before you start, check out our golden oldie but goodie, 15 things we learned in 15 years—the hard way for thoughts to consider in your marketing planning.

Pricing strategy, not frankenstrategy

Is your pricing strategy more like a Frankenstrategy? If so, map your products or services’ most competitive or intelligent pricing strategy. Don’t be afraid. Consider factors like production costs, competitor pricing, and perceived value to strategically set your prices.

Marketing channels: Carve your path

Selecting the proper marketing channels is like choosing a path through a haunted forest. Your choice will determine how (and if!) you reach your target audience. A devilish mix of digital and traditional channels, such as social media, email marketing, content marketing, and more, must effectively align with your target audience’s preferences.

Growth strategy: Brew a killer potion for growth

A growth strategy is the secret ingredient needed to propel your brand forward. Do you have a plan to expand and evolve your business? Will you be entering any new markets? Launching new products? Increasing market share? Define straightforward tactics for each growth initiative and align them with your mission and objectives.

Budget: Counting crows

How’s your haul this year? We’re not talking candy, but cold, hard cash. According to Insider Intelligence, companies plan to maintain or increase their marketing budgets to gain a competitive edge and weather the economic storm. 73% of those surveyed see a recession or downturn as an opportunity to gain market share. 

Your marketing plan must include a detailed budget to ensure you have the financial means to execute your strategy. Break out your expenses into different categories and set realistic spending limits. Regularly review and adjust your budget to ensure investments remain in scope and align with your business goals and objectives.

A ghost wrapped like a mummy.

Wrapping it all up recently reported that 14% of businesses fail due to poor marketing. But don’t let this scare you silly. A successful marketing plan requires deep analysis, organization, projection, and familiarity. Outmark has spent years helping clients with planning and execution. To start with the basics, check out our year-end Marketing Planning checklist. Using this information as a starting point, we’ll help you conjure a marketing plan that lights up your business like a jack-o-lantern and enchants your customers. We’d love to help you dust off the cobwebs on your old marketing plan and get you ready for the new year, without a scare in the world.

Click here to learn more about how Outmark® can help make marketing planning not-so-scary.

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