How to Build a Marketing Plan (2023 Guide)

A marketing plan should be like a playbook filled with ideas that are detailed enough to deliver results, but still flexible to adapt to changes in your business. With 2023 around the corner, now is the perfect time to start following the best practices to build your marketing plan. Here’s how.

Outline Your Goals

The first step in building your marketing plan is to outline the goals you wish to achieve. But before you can define business goals, you have to be able to define your business. Kickstart your plan by summarizing your business goals and what you want to accomplish. This way, you’ll always have an outline of objectives to share your executive team, investors, and marketers so they can plan accordingly.

For example, say you own a small bakery business in Boston, and your goal is to launch a subscription box of cookies shaped like sports teams that change with the seasons. Your marketing, at a minimum, would require raising brand awareness with local promotions, collecting customer information, and inviting loyal customers to join a subscription program. No matter what business you’re in, your goals should align with your marketing, even if you’re changing course throughout the year.

Track Your Progress

To achieve your goals, set up clear expectations to know your marketing efforts are paying off. These are your key performance indicators, or “KPIs” for short. With the help of a marketing expert, you can define realistic KPIs for each type of marketing you’re performing and track your performance to see if you’re hitting your KPIs in the desired period.

For some, using a Facebook Business page means checking the dashboard for data on clicks, likes, and shares to see how your page is performing compared to your KPIs. On Google Analytics, your KPIs can include how many people bounced from your website, how many visitors you received, and how many conversions were made. Defining these KPIs can be useful when optimizing your content for search engines and gaining SEO.

Know Your Customers & Competitors

Knowing your KPIs is essential, but defining who your customers and competition are will be equally important when building a marketing plan. Starting with customers, you can create a list of demographics, including age, income, education, behavior, interests, etc., to narrow down who your business is geared toward. This will come in handy when you’re brainstorming marketing campaigns, so you can target your ideal customers.

Next, define your competitors. Some important questions to answer are: What does your competition’s current online footprint look like? Do they have social media pages? How big is their following? Do they rank higher than you on search engines under certain keywords? Do they implement SEO strategies on their website? You may need to research, but it’s time well spent. This information will help you measure up against the competition to understand what it will take to outperform them as you build your marketing plan.

Create a Content Plan

Brainstorming a content plan can be as big or small as you like, depending on your business. If you have no online presence, don’t panic. Plan to create a social brand and build visibility and expertise with several social media platforms (you don’t have to be on them all) or by writing a blog. That’s a solid start.

Whether you’re a fledgling or veteran content creator, you’ll always want your marketing strategy to include detailed content plans. Define what content you want to write or shoot, how often to post, and which audiences you want to reach and when. Outline what social media platforms you want to distribute your content and measure their engagement by following the steps mentioned earlier in the KPI section. Then, check your Likes, Shares, and Comments on your content to understand their impact. Be sure to create new content regularly and experiment with new ideas to keep your audience engaged. Don’t be afraid to shake it up!

Define Roles and Budget

A marketing plan is nothing without someone to execute it. Decide what roles you need to create in your business to implement the plan and designate responsibilities to key team members. That’s key to establishing ownership and achieving results.

Similarly, you’ll want to outline your budget to know how much each role will cost. By deciding what your goals are before you start hiring (in-house or virtual), you can keep your budget within the scope of your marketing plan. Outside marketing agencies may cost more than an in-house marketing expert, depending on your marketing plan timeline, so always measure the ROI of any role periodically to stay within budget.

In Closing: Building Marketing Plans for 2023 

Whether you’re planning your marketing efforts for 2023 or beyond, if you’re unsure what steps to take, always look back at your marketing plan. It should describe the essence of your business and where you want to go. It’s the first step to creating the success you’re looking for, and a misstep if you don’t take it.

Robin Samora is a marketing consultant in Boston with over 20 years of experience building winning marketing plans for clients. If your small business needs a marketing plan or public relations training, reach out online.

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Robin Samora

MARKETING & PR EXPERT
As a small business owner for the last 20 years, I’ve gained experience, wisdom, insight, and knowledge to help you market yourself and your brand at a fraction of the cost. My focus is to use the same PR and promotional strategies used by bigger brands, and personalize them to fit your needs and goals.

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