Defining an effective annual marketing strategy is critical to the success of every business. Every year, your business should evaluate who you are, areas of growth, your goals, and your current methods to achieve them. With this information, you’ll be able to develop a robust marketing plan to guide your upcoming campaigns, objectives, and growth.

Depending on your industry, goals, and company status, there are various types of plans that you might need. To help make your plan creation easier, check out GROWL’s 6 vital steps to creating a top-notch marketing plan. Plus, download our marketing plan template for free.

Download GROWL’s free marketing plan template below!

Let’s Get Planning

Regardless of your specific industry, these 6 steps are efficient in all types of plans.

1 Business summary & initiatives.

Give a brief description of your business, including name, location, mission and vision statements, corporate objectives, and accolades. Then, move into goal segmentation. Here, you’ll include short-term initiatives of your marketing goals and how you’ll achieve them.

2 Four-Part Situation Analysis.

Research is the foundation of any successful plan. For this section, you’ll include a situation analysis that identifies opportunities, the 5 Cs, your SWOT analysis, and a PEST(LE). Through these analyses, you will identify your target market and how to reach them. (Download our free template for guides and descriptions of these analyses).


3 Market strategy.

Section three is the bulk of your marketing plan. Following the situation analysis, your organization should have a clear vision of its target audience. Here, look at the perception of your brand and how the target market sees your company and its offerings to develop personas and describe how your company should approach the market.

Within the strategy, you’ll create your SMART goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (within your annual plan).

4 Marketing Mix.

The 4 Ps of marketing (and keeping up with cultural changes) are vital to any successful marketing strategies. For 2020, modernize the original 4 Ps to include people, process, programs, and performance. You can also consider the originals: product, price, place, and promotion. (Check out our free download to learn more).

5 Budget.

By understanding your goals and channels, evaluate means of delivery. Consider what it will take to accomplish your goals and consider a month-to-month spending schedule. Depending on various expenses, try itemizing the budget, or starting with zero-based budgeting.

6 Implementation, Evaluation & Control.

With your new plan in-hand, organize your efforts. To be successful, you will need everyone to be on-board, educated, and involved in the plan and details. When your team is activated, the plan can be put into action! Throughout, stick to the plan and control it by monitoring results.

It is best to control your marketing efforts by setting benchmarks and review dates. You want to review analytics often. Then, evaluate successes and determine if criteria and procedures should be adjusted. At the end of the year, you’ll want to complete a more extensive evaluation, creating a detailed report, revising efforts, and sharing outcomes with your team. Check out our mid-year marketing review to get started.

GROWL’s Top-Notch Marketing Plan Template
(Free Download)

With your new know-how of what to include in a marketing plan, grab your free template and get started. In this template, you’ll find a workbook outlining these six elements in greater detail, with areas for you to fill in the blanks.

Need additional strategic assistance? Give GROWL a call today!
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