What is a Marketing Plan?
What is a marketing plan? A marketing plan can only be a part of a general business strategy. Strong marketing strategy is often the basis of a solid marketing plan and therefore, without an effective strategic foundation, it’s of little use to any business. But a plan itself is often too broad and vague to be of much use as part of the overall strategy, so its very important for businesses to periodically review their marketing plans to make sure they are in line with the bigger picture.
There are two kinds of marketing plans. One is a broad strategy that focuses on one or a few key areas such as advertising, selling, or customer service. This kind of plan can sometimes be called a comprehensive marketing strategy and more specifically, it’s referred to as a comprehensive marketing approach or framework. The other kind of plan is usually referred to as a targeted approach, which means it’s a more specific version of a broader strategy. In this case, the focus is more on a single element, such as the type of marketing tactics used.
A good example of a broad marketing strategy might be “print advertising” since there are a variety of print marketing tactics used for the business to achieve their high-level marketing goals. Each aspect or form of marketing can be analyzed individually according to the business’s individual goals and objectives. However, sometimes even when all marketing efforts are lumped together, there are still problems because sometimes there is a disconnect between what needs to be done to reach each of the individual goals and what is being done.
The most common problem is when a general marketing plan becomes overly broad and does not provide a clear outline of what needs to be accomplished to reach each of the business’s goals. This often leads to inefficiencies in the process, since there are simply too many things that need to be considered or checked off. By using an executive summary to provide a quick overview of the key points, this will help prioritize and clarify the various tasks and subtopics that need to be addressed in order to accomplish each of the goals. Also, this provides a chance for each of the key stakeholders to voice their opinion or provide alternative actions that are aligned with their goals and company objectives.
Another problem is when a company develops multiple marketing strategies or plans that are not coordinated. Sometimes there is no consistency in the execution of plans, since they are all focused on achieving the same overall marketing objective. For instance, if there is a media marketing campaign, there may only be generalities regarding which media to use (i.e., Internet, television, radio, etc.) However, this may not be the case for a specific event, product, or service, which means the implementation of the media-marketing strategy could be more fluid, especially when it comes to reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.
Finally, when a company has multiple marketing strategies, it may become difficult to track exactly which of the strategies is working and which are not. Tracking audience metrics is one way to achieve this since the audience will be able to see which type of information is relevant to them. Also, it can help to determine whether or not media efforts are having an effect on sales, which will help cut down on expenses and make it easier to determine how to improve in the future. By using an audience measurement tool, such as google Analytics, or some other similar tool, this can be done in real-time. Also, social media sites such as twitter have audience tracking built in, so this makes it very easy to find out what is working and what is not.