Build a successful marketing plan with these 10 questions
A client recently hired me to edit some documents and, during the consultation phase, acknowledged that his efforts are pointless without an effective marketing plan (wise man). As I got to work mapping out his business goals, it had me thinking about why a marketing plan is vital to every business, and what essential questions the marketers who create them should be asking.
Why a Marketing Plan Matters
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”
We all understand that without customers, a business will ultimately fail. But, without marketing, your business may never reach those customers it needs to survive. In short, a marketing plan is your business’ roadmap to reach clients and achieve its goals. It tells all company stakeholders who you are, what you want your future to look like, how you’ll get there, and how success will be measured.
Ever heard the saying “a goal without a plan is just a wish”? That applies here. Though a marketing plan can certainly (and should be) a fluid document, it ultimately helps everyone involved – from the marketing team to the CEO to the sales team to the interns – know what is expected and how to meet those expectations.
What to Ask When Creating a Marketing Plan
If you’re just now creating a marketing plan for your business or client – congrats! You’re on the right track. There are hundreds of marketing plan templates out there to help you create a plan that works for your needs, but I’ve learned from experience that knowing what to ask in order to extract the data you need for inclusion in the plan can be one of the biggest hurdles. Without asking the right questions, your marketing plan may not be as effective as it could be, or you may have to go back to your client multiple times to get the answers you need.
To help you get started, here are 10 questions you need to ask in order to build a successful marketing plan:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Where does your ideal customer make purchases, and are your goods/services sold there?
- What is your current messaging? (OR Describe your business in 10 words or less.)
- What is your primary competitive advantage?
- How do you currently follow up with leads?
- What needs improvement; what is being improved?
- What does success look like?
- How many new customers can you realistically handle per month/quarter?
- What is your budget?
- Who is responsible for implementing the strategies and tactics identified in the marketing plan?
Have some essential questions to add to the list? Share them in the comment section below – I’d love to hear from you!
Need help creating, maintaining, or analyzing your marketing plan? Learn how K.E.Baker Marketing can help you tell your story – schedule your free consultation today.