A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Marketing Plan

With the dawn of a new year, virtually every business across the globe will be opening its doors and gathering in boardrooms to discuss how they’re going to improve upon last year. One of the most effective ways that companies grow is through marketing. 

Believe it or not, marketing takes time and preparation. Thus, the title of this article refers to a marketing plan. It’s certainly one of the best things you could do as a business to begin the year, so let’s look at an in-depth guide to creating a marketing plan for 2023. 

Step 1: Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Before you get started with your new year’s marketing plan, you need to know your current situation and where your business is at. 

What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? These are the tenets that form the basis of a SWOT analysis, and it’s definitely one of the most effective ways to see your current state as a business.

Competitor analysis could also be a helpful practice at this stage.

Step 2: Define Your Target Market

When you think about your ideal customer, what comes to mind? If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself where they live, what their goals and challenges are, and what various demographics they fall under when it comes to things like age and vocation.

Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll have a clearer picture of your ideal customer, and thus you’ll be able to be more specific in your marketing toward them. Defining your target market is an essential step in the creation of a marketing plan.

Step 3: Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

After you’ve worked out your current situation and know your audience, you can start to define your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

These goals are specificmeasurableattainablerelevant, and time-bound. A goal like that basically means that it’s specific and includes a time frame by which to complete it.

For example, one of your goals might be to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months. Your overall marketing goals dependant, this should be a relevant and attainable goal, as well as specific, measurable, and time-bound.

Write your goals down and begin figuring out how to make them S.M.A.R.T. 

Step 4: Analyse Your Tactics

The next step on your way to creating a marketing plan is to analyse your tactics going into the plan. You need to find out which tactics will help your business best achieve its goals. Also, ask yourself what channels and action items you need to focus on throughout the plan.

If you take your goal to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months, your tactics to reach this goal might include doing a giveaway, responding to all comments on your page, and posting three to four times on Instagram each week.

Once you’ve nailed down your goals, the brainstorming, and tactical part to achieve those goals should be easy.

Step 5: Set Your Budget

Before you can start implementing any of the ideas you’ve come up with in the steps we’ve mentioned above, you need to know what your budget is. Nothing can really happen without the funds to make it happen, especially in marketing.

If your tactics include social media advertising, you won’t reach your goals if you don’t have an ad budget to commit to this tactic. The best way to pin down what budget you’ll need to execute your marketing plan is to keep track of everything you need while you’re creating the plan using the above steps, then consolidate the estimates you’ve come up with and land on a figure.

Finally, Execute!

Now that you’ve got the outline of what to do to create your marketing plan, the final step is for your business to execute the plan. Take risks, be brave, and believe you can achieve them! 

If you’d like some assistance with your overall marketing, that’s our speciality and we’d love to help. Just head over to our website and book a call with us to connect.

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