What is an Operational Marketing Plan?

An operational marketing plan (OMP) is the action plan that translates your strategic marketing vision into reality. It’s the roadmap that details the specific tactics, timelines, and resources needed to achieve your marketing objectives.

It’s like a connection between the “what” and the “how.” The strategic marketing plan defines your overall goals and target audience, while the operational marketing plan specifies the precise execution steps to get you there.

The marketing environment seems to change almost daily, so a well-defined operational marketing plan isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. It makes sure your marketing team is aligned, efficient, and most importantly, accountable for achieving measurable results.

The Importance of an Operational Marketing Plan

An operational marketing plan functions as the implementation roadmap for your company’s marketing strategy. It’s a detailed and tactical document that acts as the connection between your broader goals and the specific actions needed to achieve them.

This working plan translates your strategic vision into actionable steps, outlining the specific tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines for each team member. In essence, the OMP is the operational blueprint, detailing the how behind the what of your overall marketing plan.

Here’s why an operational marketing plan plays an important role in your success:

Reason #1: Aligns Your Marketing Team

An operational marketing plan (OMP) acts as the catalyst for unity in action. It provides the essential know-how for your entire organization, outlining the specific steps everyone needs to take to achieve your marketing objectives.

Think of it as a shared roadmap that guides your team towards a common goal – and helps you reach your target market and gain a competitive edge.  By detailing these specific actions, the OMP fosters alignment, making sure your entire marketing machine is working in sync.

Reason #2: Supercharge Communication

An operational marketing plan (OMP) isn’t just a roadmap, it’s a communication hub. By outlining specific tasks and deadlines, the OMP shares clear and consistent communication across departments. This eliminates confusion and streamlines collaboration, so everyone is on the same page and working towards shared goals.

Unfortunately, marketing campaigns that launch without a clear OMP may end up in chaos. Different departments and staff with the best of intentions scramble at high speed doing activities they think need to be done. But with an operational marketing plan, everyone is briefed beforehand and there’s a collaborative environment where teams can anticipate each other’s needs, and when necessary, adapt on the fly. (That never happens, right?)

Reason #3: Sharpen Your Focus and Achieve Goals

The marketing landscape is crowded and cluttered with strategies and from one day to the next, it’s hard to keep track. An operational marketing plan acts like a laser, sharpening your focus and keeping your team firmly on target.  It translates your biggest goals into actionable steps, and eliminates confusion – and everyone (not just the overachievers) contribute to those goals effectively.

Would you build a house – or start construction without a blueprint? An OMP serves as your marketing blueprint. Everyone involved understands the specific materials and steps needed to build a successful campaign.

Reason #4: Empower Your Team with Clear Roles

The power of an OMP for your marketing team is that it clearly defines individual roles and responsibilities, so everyone sees and is a part of the bigger picture.  With that clear direction, your team is able to collaborate effectively and achieve peak performance.

When you assign clear ownership, the operational marketing plan gives your employees  a sense of accountability, and motivates team members to excel in their designated areas. This improves overall campaign implementation and boosts team morale and job satisfaction. Plus, you can’t do it all yourself, forever. (I’ve tried).

Reason #5: Increase Your Marketing Performance

If you’ve ever felt like you’re constantly “fitting squares into round holes” with your marketing, an OMP may be an antidote to never ending frustration. This detailed plan keeps everyone focused on the chosen strategies, eliminates wasted resources and keeps your marketing budget on track.  The result? Increased efficiency, a more effective campaign, and a return on investment (ROI) that will make you and the C-suite smile. Funny that they both could be you!

When you streamline workflows and eliminate redundancies, an operational marketing plan lets you maximize your marketing resources and time. This means a higher return on investment, and you can stretch your marketing budget even more to try new tactics, plus take the team out to celebrate.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Building an Operational Marketing Plan

Want to go from scattered marketing to a finely tuned machine? Here’s your blueprint for crafting a rock-solid operational marketing plan (OMP) – even without a dedicated marketing operations team.

Step 1: Align Your Sights on Business Goals

Every great journey starts with a clear destination. You’re not bumbling, you’re marketing with clear intention. So the first step in building your OMP is to identify your company’s marketing objectives. Think SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  These goals become your North Star, guiding all future marketing decisions.

Step 2: Create a Marketing Strategy

With your objectives locked in, it’s time to choose your marketing and PR strategies.  Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that leverages the optimal mix of tactics (no cost and cost-effective marketing ideas) to reach your target audience.  Your tool box may include a blend of digital marketing, social media, networking, public speaking, a pop of traditional advertising or pop-up events.

Step 3: Assemble Your A-Team

Teamwork makes the dream work. Identify the best players on your team who will execute your marketing strategy. Implementation is all about putting that plan into action. Your A-Team could include a mix of internal talent – from C-level leadership to marketing specialists and subject matter experts – or even outsourced staff like marketing freelancers or interns. Making it happen is what really counts.

Step 4: Tech Up for Success

If you want to do marketing the right way, you need the right tools. Research and identify the technology platforms that will help you win and be successful. This could include reporting tools to track progress via key performance indicators (KPIs), marketing automation software to streamline efforts, like Buffer and Hootsuite, and any other platforms that are key to your strategy. 

Don’t forget to outline clear how-to guidelines within your OMP. There’s a learning curve with every new technology platform, and we’re not machines, yet.

Step 4: Develop Your Action Plan

With your strategy and team in place, it’s time to put your plans into action. Develop a detailed action plan that outlines specific tasks, assigns clear responsibilities, and sets achievable deadlines. Create a shared digital file so changes or deadlines or notes can be made by everyone on the team. And make sure everyone is onboard with roles and responsibilities, so there’s little (I’d like to say no) ambiguity. 

Step 5: Secure Your Budget

Ah, resources. The money. Where’s it going to come from? Allocate a realistic budget to execute your marketing and PR strategies to achieve your objectives. This step is important so you know what your marketing assets are and how much they cost. You don’t want a surprise that’s not a little blue box any time of the year. An OMP lets you keep your spending under control.

Step 6: Track Your Victories and Adapt

The final piece of the puzzle is ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and make adjustments as needed. Tweak, rinse, repeat – or not.  This data-driven approach lets you use your OMP as a dynamic tool that helps you to adapt and optimize results. It also sets you up for a campaign that not just works, but exceeds expectations.

How an Operational Marketing Plan Makes it Happen

Ready to ditch the marketing guesswork and generate real results? An operational marketing plan helps you understand your audience, streamline processes, and use the right tools to bring your marketing goals to life. All good if you also want to keep your team on the same page, value their contributions, and recognize their exemplary performance.

Robin Samora is a Boston-based small business marketing and PR expert. She works with companies to build marketing plans to help them scale, uplevel their visibility, and bring in the business they deserve.

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, start a conversation with Robin here.  





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Robin Samora

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.

I’d love to help you.

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Robin raises the bar for all of her clients so they can get what they want and desire. She has the experience, skill and the super passion to get us from where we are today to where we aim to be tomorrow. I am sincerely and deeply grateful to her and recommend anyone out there who launched a product or wrote a book to get in touch with Robin not tomorrow, but today.



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