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Masterful Marketing Step 1 – Develop the Plan

In this series of articles, we are taking a deep dive into each step involved in strategically planning and executing a masterful marketing plan, one that generates powerful results with your target market and maximises return-on-investment (ROI). It may come as no surprise that the very first step in this process is developing the plan. This is the key to a successful marketing campaign. It’s all too easy for a campaign to be doomed from the very beginning if the proper planning has not been conducted.

The more detailed and specific you can make your marketing plan, the more precise the targeting will be to reach your objectives and achieve the results you need. Here are the fundamental elements involved in developing a masterful marketing plan:

Marketing Objectives

Every good plan needs something to aim for, and these objectives should align closely with your overall business plan. What does success look like for your business? Consider your financial goals, and how this would be best translated across the sales funnel (Awareness/Know, Engagement/Want, Conversion/Purchase). Perhaps you simply need to raise awareness of your brand, or engage and educate consumers on the unique benefits of your product or service, or need to promote a particular sales event? Specify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and also consider your desired brand image, as this will influence your creative and sales messaging.

Strategic Timing

Setting a launch date means you have a deadline to aim for, but more importantly, timing can be used strategically to maximise success. For example, launching a campaign during school holidays for a children’s film at the cinema, or a luxury perfume brand launching a few weeks before Mother’s Day to capitalise on the gifting period. Keep in mind some platforms such as print media require a longer lead time. If you have a new product line about to be released, can you run a pre-order campaign to build anticipation with your consumers and secure purchases ahead of time? An experienced media specialist can work with you to recommend a launch date that would be most advantageous to your business.

Target Demographic

This includes gender skew if applicable, age bracket, income bracket and location. A masterful media strategy also lists the interests of your target market, to help build a target persona and guide the creative, media mix and messaging. Be specific, a broad audience waters down your messaging. For example, if you are developing a marketing plan for an expensive wine label, that target market may also be interested in luxury cars and watch brands. Interest targeting can also be less competitive than age/gender targeting, and therefore cheaper.

Market Research, Data Analysis & Previous Campaign Learnings

Previous campaign learnings and data can provide a shortcut to success. What messaging and creatives have resonated most with your target audience? What media platform has overperformed in the past? If you don’t have the time, find an agency who will analyse this along with recent market research, to determine the current media appetite of your target audience. An experienced media buyer will also investigate the campaigns your key competitors are running, and will formulate a media strategy that differentiates your business from others.

Plan Your Consumer Journey

A strong performing media buy will send many targeted users to your website who are hungry for your product or service. However, this will all amount to nothing if your website has a low conversion rate. In order to secure sales or enquiries, tweak and test your website beforehand to ensure a streamlined user experience, easy navigation, clear business Unique Selling Points (USPs) as well as enticing purchase incentives. How many clicks or steps will a consumer have to take in order to purchase your product or give you a call re your services?

Media Platforms & Assets

Taking your objectives, timing, target demographic, previous campaign data and competitive landscape into consideration - will print media, radio, TV media or digital media be most effective? For example, a double page spread and homepage banner with a high-end magazine would work well for a business trying to position their new brand as premium. A good media strategist will plan a media mix that is best suited to your objectives, moving your target market through the sales funnel of awareness, engagement and conversion. From here, it is easier to plan what creative assets will be needed to suit those platforms.

Budget & Budget Splits

Take some time to research the marketing activity of your competitors, as well as the current industry benchmarks for cost per click, cost per engagement and cost per unique view. With your current website conversion rate in mind, will your marketing budget be adequate to make an impact and reach your objectives?

In Summary

While the ingredients of developing a marketing plan are clear, the details are unique to each business and will significantly impact the creative direction, sales messaging and media delivery. Set your campaign up for success right from the very beginning with a masterful marketing plan. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook, where we will be posting the link to our next article – Masterful Marketing Step 2: There’s Creativity in Content.

Need advice? Get in touch to discuss a marketing plan that generates results for your business.

About the author

Lynley Hamblen

Lynley Hamblen

Lynley Hamblen is a marketing and communications specialist, and a contributor at Deep See Marketing. She has managed multi-channel marketing campaigns across the entertainment, health and finance industries, and is passionate about innovation and problem-solving.