How to Create a Marketing Plan that Increases Leads and Sales
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This is true for a lot of things, but especially when it comes to measurably improving your marketing results.
Every marketing team has goals, but whether they meet those goals relies on how well they strategize and plan ahead. Your team should not only have clear and defined goals – you should also have a strategy for measuring success and maintaining accountability.
If you haven’t yet sat down and made a marketing roadmap, now is the time. Here are seven steps to creating a marketing plan that will build prospects, propel sales and set new standards for success within your business.
1. Consider Your Resources
There’s not much use in building out an elaborate marketing strategy if you don’t have the staffing or resources to support it. Before piecing together challenging but attainable goals, consider your staff and partners and their capacity.
- Do your employees have time to take on additional work without sacrificing quality?
- What kinds of prospects are you targeting, and how demanding would that work be?
- Does your current team have the skill set and expertise to cover potential incoming work?
- Do you need to enlist the help of an outside marketing partner?
- Should you consider hiring?
These are all important things to keep in mind as you develop your marketing strategy. If your staff become overworked, it can lead to issues like burnout and high turnover – both of which impact morale and your ability to meet your marketing goals. If you’re expecting a lot of new business in a short timeframe, make sure your team is set up to handle it.
2. Analyze Marketing Data
A successful digital marketing strategy is built on knowledge. The most helpful source of insight for your marketing plan is your past sales, marketing and campaign results data. Take a look at KPI data quarter over quarter and year over year and ask yourself the following:
- What worked well? What didn’t?
- What types of leads and conversions has your current strategy been achieving?
- Is it time to pivot your ideal prospects and targeting?
- How can you scale the strategies that have shown success?
- Is there any seasonality in your sales or specific products you should plan your marketing efforts around?
- What strategies did you think would work well but didn’t perform as expected? Why?
Your website, sales reports and ad performance contain much of the information you need to set accurate and achievable goals, so it’s worth your time to review it.
3. Set Your Budget
Determine the maximum marketing spend amount for the next three months by taking into account the types of marketing and channels you plan to focus on and your expected return on investment (ROI). Make sure you allocate for costs such as hiring outside agencies or vendors if you plan to outsource any of your work. This could include web developers, search engine optimization (SEO) experts, user experience (UX) designers, brand strategists, graphic designers and more.
You will also need to determine how much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer while still making a profit. This is called your customer acquisition cost (CAC).
4. Create an Implementation Plan
Once you feel confident in the goals you’ve set, it’s critical that you plan out all of the tasks that need completing in order to get you there. Develop an implementation plan that includes:
- Project and milestone timelines
- How much of the budget should be spent on each project
- How much of your budget should be remaining at the start of each month
- Processes needed to ensure everything stays on track
Once you’re a few weeks into your strategy launch, refer back to this plan to track your progress and determine whether any timelines or costs may need to be adjusted. This gives you time to pivot if things change or aren’t working as planned.
5. Define Clear Roles for Accountability
Beyond developing the “what” and “when” of your marketing plan, it’s imperative that you also define the “who.” A few things to consider include:
- Do you have dedicated managers for each project who are accountable for meeting implementation deadlines and tracking budgets?
- Are there any skills for which you may need to outsource? Who is in charge of finding an appropriate partner?
- Does everyone on your team understand the role they play and their responsibilities towards your greater marketing goals?
- If someone leaves, how will their responsibilities be distributed?
The world of marketing is fast paced, and it can be easy to push off work that seems to be less of a priority. Getting your employees on the same page about who is doing what and when it needs to be done is essential for keeping them on track and for meeting and/or exceeding your goals.
This is also a great time to make your staff feel empowered and reinforce that they are a direct cause of your marketing successes and business outcomes.
6. Determine How to Measure Success
You’ve set specific goals, but once you reach your end deadline, how will you know you achieved them? All of your goals should be measurable, whether that’s in:
- The number of sales completed
- The number of quality leads generated
- The ROI you achieve
- Another specific measurement
It could also be as simple as wanting to increase your email subscribers by 30%. Whatever the case, make sure there are metrics that can be used at the end of the quarter that give a clear answer for whether you met your goals.
7. Start Planning Your Next Move
Because the field of marketing moves at an accelerated pace with advances in technology and new ways to narrow your target prospects, it’s imperative that you’re always thinking one step ahead of the game. It’s never too early to start planning for the next quarter or year. Begin thinking through your goals and strategy for the future to help you prepare for the expected workload, budget and priorities.
Need Help Setting or Achieving Marketing Goals?
Sometimes managing all of the daily tasks required for a successful marketing strategy is impossible to do with just your internal team. By hiring a marketing partner, you can ensure you are able to fill technical and creative skill gaps without committing to the risk or expense of another full-time hire.
TruStar Marketing meets clients where they are to alleviate current pain points and stay on top of analytics that are driving your business. We can share accountability in meeting your goals on time and on budget while providing an outside perspective and delivering presentation-ready materials to explain key performance indicators (KPIs) to your leadership. Contact us today to discuss how we can help fill the total skill set you need for your business to thrive.