Here is how to do a Marketing Plan. It might be part of the Business Plan, of which I see many. It could be as a stand-alone plan for your whole business. It can be a marketing plan for one of your services, a brand or a product. And the beginning of the year, start of a budget period, or when your launch a company is a time when you need a marketing plan. Marketing plans are used for all types of businesses and organisations. The challenge is the same. The shape of the marketing plan is the same. You start with a vision, you assess the wider challenges on a global or regional context. You look at opportunities and threats more locally. And you have your marketing objective to achieve. Your do a SWOT and audit, develop a strategy and produce a marketing mix plan, with and a more detailed implementation schedule, with budgets and KPIs. This is how to do a marketing plan, with templates, guides and how to implement your strategy with useful links. We include in particular a mind map and CIM step by step guide.
A brief note on Mind-Maps. I am late convert to these. We use XMind which is one of the most popular. Why do I recommend it? Simple, because:
- You can start with a free version
- Upgrade to different levels
- Export to pdf, Word, Images and various documents
- It produces in colour, black and white
- It is quick to use
I have not looked up their sales blurb….these are just my reasons.
And reasons why I think Mind-Maps work pretty generically for creative, lifestyle or business planning are:
- Ideas are not usually sequential
- Ideas are linked
- Ideas come at random
- It helps to picture and place thoughts and see a “Map”
- Life and Business are fast paced and we all want a quick and easy way to put things down
- Mind-Maps help us easily share ideas
- You can subsequently share Mind-Maps in different formats indeed XMind prints out a written plan in a more traditional sequential format should you want it.
Here is a review of some other mind-mapping tools.
Marketing Plan Templates
We are not precious about this, and are constantly on the lookout for good practice. So you will not be surprised that in 2017 we find the Australian Government offering an excellent template here.
You need to be a member of the CIM to access the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) templates here https://marketingexpert.cim.co.uk/
CoSchedule has a wide choice of plans here
Write a Business Plan
Frankly a business plan shares a similar format to a marketing plan, but the key differences are the inclusion of more content on finance, personnel, suppliers, and infrastructure. It is after all a view of the whole business rather than how you intend to go to market.
On the Mind Map template above, is a reference to “budget”. Some companies wouldn’t know how to do a marketing plan but in actual fact are forensic, indeed superb planners. This was because of very thorough budget processes. I worked in corporate companies with excellent global budgeting combined with first rate strategy and marketing planning, and this completely closed the loop: it means that ideas, products and services get costed, paid for or thrown out at the budget phase. More recently a client I know was very rigorous in his budgeting. Always adding a percentage on for inflation, and demanding his managers sort their budgets out. I think a good budget process combined with knowing how to do a marketing plan, and good strategy planning makes for success.
We’ll be sharing more links soon. Good luck!
Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited