Modern marketing has evolved, and marketing plans should be structured towards building your target market, running competitive analysis and SWOT analysis, determining your market positioning, and planning your budget.
What Is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a detailed report which delineates a marketing strategy for a given period. A quintessential marketing plan will include an outline of your company’s marketing and promotion goals, characterize your company’s current sales position, and specify a timeline for completing the set goals. It will also include detailing your business’s target customer and market needs and the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will be monitoring.
Nonetheless, nothing has affected traditional marketing planning like the Covid-19 pandemic. The WHO stated that the outbreak became a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020. and it was later declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The following months proved that the world would not be the same again, at least not for a while.
Many brands have fallen into two categories since the pandemic began; they either paused all their marketing activities waiting out the lockdown and pandemic, or they went all-in in their approach to ensure they are making up for the losses caused by the pandemic.
For some brands, going all-in meant changing their methods ethics, and even altering their products or services.
The global fast-food giant KFC decided to halt its “Finger-Lickin’ Good” slogan given the current hygiene advice amidst the pandemic. Their iconic slogan did not fit the current situation, which meant rebranding all items that carried their old motto, including any voiceovers that had the former slogan.
Old marketing stalwarts such as the Super Bowl, sporting events, and award shows drew a lot of attention, making them the perfect place for reliable and predictable marketing. Still, because consumer behavior changed rapidly during the pandemic, many experienced a drastic drop in ratings.
The concept of people-led or customer-centric planning is marketing that reflects the reality of marketing. This is the future of marketing planning because brands do not appeal to audiences; they appeal to people because people patronize your brand. Marketing planning before the pandemic hit relied on using data to determine customer expectations for effective marketing, but when the pandemic hit, customer expectations were all over the place.
Customers wanted more from the brands they patronize; since they have customer data, they need to be more trenchant, personalized, and anticipatory in understanding their customer experience. Why? Because the only actual competition here is your last best customer experience. Notwithstanding, comparing customer experiences of excelling brands of similar structures can also help in boosting marketing in 2022. Nurturing brand-to-customer relationships has to be the focus, and one of the best anticipatory plans a brand can make is to prepare for a lock-in strategy.
In people-led planning, the traditional process is reformed. For more effective planning, budgeting comes first. Budgeting remains an integral part of marketing planning, but instead of appearing at the end of planning like it used to be, marketing plans should fit the already laid out budget.
Here are five new dimensions for customer-centric marketing planning:
Measurement: This is not about reach, brand recall, or market share; it is about measuring your brand connectivity and relationship with customers.
Customers: The focus should be on your brand’s ideal customer and their purchase behavior.
Journeys: Focus more on customer journeys rather than campaign journeys. It also looks at your customers’ preferred communication channels, whether it be person-to-person, through a website, social media, etc.
Messages: The focus here is on your brand’s story rather than how the message is shared.
Context: This focuses on when and how to deliver your messages.
The entire process needs to be iterative for a sustainable marketing strategy. Therefore, brands can embrace agile methodologies for iterative marketing planning as it helps teams deliver value to customers faster and with fewer headaches.
Key Points from Agile for Marketing Planning
Interactions override processes: This means your brand prioritizes the work effort over the big bang launch, and it encourages communication of integral parts of the learning curve in the processes.
Working software over documentation: This focuses on implementing plans rather than talking about them. This encourages brand teams to deliver work in small, consumable, and measuring installments rather than the marathon session.
Stakeholders contribute to development: This is pulling in your stakeholders, including your customers, and having them shape your marketing planning, therefore broadening in who and what counts in the plan.
Development happens continually: This cannot be treated like an excel sheet that never gets implemented; it is a pulsating, self-improving plan that enables you to measure and improve your last best progress. It is cyclical and iterative.
POST to Revamp Marketing Planning
The post stands for people, objectives, strategy, technology (POST), and it is an essential method in revamping your marketing planning process.
People: Do interviews to identify pain points, areas to improve, and the key personalities and stakeholders to get involved. This is identifying and including persons with a better understanding of customer-centric planning. Also, this can be applying the right expertise for the job, for example, someone good with excel.
Objectives: This is determining your marketing planning goals. Not every brand is ready for Big ‘A’ Agile; therefore, identifying the plans for the next month, quarter or year will help shape the marketing strategy to be implemented. Even if your brand is ready for the Big ‘A’ Agile, having and setting the right picture for your brand is essential in ensuring that your steps are not unnecessarily repetitive.
Strategy: This is laying out your plan and strategy to all members of the teams. It explains the brand’s marketing process, educating marketers on planning and executing this new framework. The system works better when everyone (both the strongest and weakest points of the team) understands their new roles and their effects on the general planning.
Technology: When your strategy is focused, finding the right technology that aligns with your goals and design becomes more accessible. Thanks to modern-day tech, many of them have components and many options that blend effortlessly with almost any strategy and plan your brand has.
Marketing Plan Template in 2022
Marketing Plan Template in 2022 should have the following steps:
1. Establish your marketing goal
The information provided above will help any brand channel its goals in the right way for 2022.
2. Identify your audience
Define whom your brand is aiming for and what specific needs it addresses. If you’ve already created buyer personas, make sure they’re updated to reflect the market in 2022 and current customer expectations. You’ll need to know demographics and psychographics depending on your brand and market (if you do not already have the data).
Psychographics focuses on the “why,” while demographics concentrate on the “who.” Demography focuses on age, employer, income, job title, location, marital status, sex, and more. These details will help you identify a broad audience, but psychographics will help you narrow it down. Psychography focuses on interests, purchasing habits, beliefs, values, and more.
3. Determine your deadline(s)
Set a deadline for achieving your primary KPI, and then cross off the necessary checkpoints as you go. One example is setting goals for various aspects of your campaign, such as hosting four webinars before the end of the month or publishing ten supporting blog posts per month.
4. Outline the to-do list and assignments
Here is where you’ll list all of the tasks that need completion. Creative assets, launch meetings, recurring meetings and syncs, messaging, post-mortems, and eventually, your promotional channels should all be on your list. Make a list of what needs to happen for your plan to become a reality. Once you’ve figured out what to do, it’s time to start making assignments. Delegate every deliverable to someone.
Say your team members become overburdened, or you need to reshuffle your plans according to priority, you can always revisit your to-do list and make adjustments. Make necessary adjustments to ensure that you have enough capacity to carry out your marketing strategy.
5. Pick your marketing channels and tactics
Depending on your brand, the best channels and tactics will vary, but here are some of the most common ones to consider:
Social media marketing: Whether you’re using organic strategies or targeted paid campaigns, social media marketing is an excellent avenue to reach customers where they are most at ease. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat are popular social media platforms to consider.
Pay-per-click (PPC): PPC Marketing allows you to run advertisements on search engine results pages and other websites. It’s an effective way to get your content in front of the right people.
Content marketing: When combined with a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, content marketing can drive organic traffic to your website for a very long time.
All of these platforms allow you to track your progress and monitor your results to determine whether a channel is worth your time and money. Unlike traditional outbound advertising, where impressions and influence are estimated, you know what you’re getting with digital marketing strategies. It’s critical to make this one of the last steps in your marketing strategy because it’s easier to figure out what best fits your brand once you have a clear picture of your goal and plan.
Finally, it is essential to understand those different Agile methodologies are used daily in all types of organizations; the reason is that every high-performing company wants to move faster, be more innovative, and accomplish more in less time. Aligning around a common way of thinking about problems and organizing work can help keep the company moving forward. This will also determine which agile is suitable for your brand and the time.
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