Marketing plans are documents that outline your strategies for promoting your product or service. A marketing plan is the first step to take when your organization commits to allocating resources to marketing and promotions, and can help set you up for success. Although a marketing plan can take up to several months to complete, it may help you determine ways to differentiate your product or service from the competition.
Solidify Marketing Objectives
One of the biggest benefits of marketing plans is they help you discover and communicate specific marketing goals and objectives. The first part of a marketing plan is an executive summary that outlines your company's vision and marketing goals. Without a marketing plan, some companies may skip the necessary step of developing a comprehensive set of objectives that are specific, measurable and timely. There is a greater level of accountability when creating objectives for a plan that will be seen by multiple people in your company.
Increase Internal Communication
Marketing plans can help your team unite for a common cause. Marketing plans are completed as a team effort, not individually. Ideally, you should get feedback from all areas of your company, including operations, sales and marketing, finance and accounting and manufacturing. This helps increase communication about your marketing objectives, which can lead to greater success down the road.
Understand Your Competition
Your marketing plan should also include a competitive analysis section.Specify your top competitors in the market and outline each of their strengths and weaknesses. By mapping out this information in your marketing plan, you'll be better equipped to understand where there are opportunities in the marketplace.
Save You Money
A good marketing plan also includes a specific strategy for how you will allocate your marketing budget for the upcoming year. Planning your budget ahead of time and specifying a certain amount for different marketing strategies and tactics can help you save money in the long run.
Guide Your Marketing Team
Another benefit of a marketing plan is it serves as a blueprint for your marketing and sales team. Having a plan makes life easier for your internal teams, saves them time and gives them a specific set of goals. A marketing plan outlines the marketing tactics you will use and a time line for when you will use them.
Measure Your Performance
Marketing plans can also be beneficial because they include a measurement strategy, which allows you to track your performance and see exactly which of your marketing tactics worked and which ones didn't do so well. After you outline each of the the tactics in your plan, communicate how you are going to measure their effectiveness. Having a measurement strategy saves you time and money.