Marketing plan requests seems to drop into a lot of unsuspecting employees’ laps this time of year – especially in small businesses. And, while a marketing plan plays an essential role in both your company’s growth and tracking of this growth, people often draw a blank on how to get started. Fortunately, you probably hold most of the information you need already.

Marketing Plan as DNA

Just like human DNA, a marketing plan holds a lot of information about your company. It refers to your history and keys to your future. An outstanding marketing plan not only looks at goals, but also draws a distinct line in the sand of your present position for tracking. Obviously, this can include setting benchmarks for increasing sales or ROI on specific tactics, but it’s much more. Your marketing plan should take a detailed look at your current customer and climate. Traditionally, this is where your SWOT analysis comes into play. A SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – offers a candid look at your current operations, building a foundation for your recommendations. This is also the area to place to highlight any detailed customer information, such as an overview of a recent customer survey, segmentation study or even a general demographic analysis.

Now it’s time to build your recommendations. Consider all the tactical opportunities you want to include: digital, social, guerilla, traditional, sponsorships, etc. These recommendations should support your audience breakdown or specific areas of your SWOT review. Each of these areas should include individual benchmarks for defining success. Finally, it’s time to put numbers to your newly suggested marketing mix, as well as adding in suggested timelines and outside resource recommendations.

Marketing plans may feel intimidating, but they offer an opportunity to truly contemplate where your business can go. If you’re stuck on your next strategic steps, contact us at JOHO Marketing for the inspiration and experience to move your business forward.