Building a Strategic Marketing Plan: The Foundation

No matter how innovative and useful your product, no matter how helpful or fabulous your service, its success depends on getting the product in front of an appropriate audience. If they don’t know it exists, everything that follows doesn’t matter.

The right actions in the right place at the right time will work hard to gain market share. The wrong actions in the wrong place at the wrong time will not only go unnoticed by the majority of your customers, but could have an adverse effect, planting an unintended message in front of the eyes who do see it. How do you dismiss the wrongs and nail the rights? With a solid, strategic marketing plan.

I’m launching a series of blog posts this week that address what such a strategic plan looks like, with real life examples and blank templates that will provide a foundation for your strategy. I will be applying the elements and programs of this strategic, comprehensive marketing plan to a real world business, and delivering blank templates to help you create your own plan.

I will work with a dynamic, young, custom wood ski company, Big Wood Ski, to give real examples, but the strategies, elements, and programs work for every level of business. I’ve gained experience over the past decade, working for a range of companies with varied sizes, ages, and products. This plan gleans the best and most fertile strategies to help define and guide your marketing efforts.

There are lots of plans out there, but few are as comprehensive and as hard working as this one. I think you’ll find the series to be an effective tool to assist your company, big or small, established or born yesterday, to create a marketing plan with proven strategies that make the most of your resources.

I’ll walk through the steps, giving you the “how to” information first, followed by a real life example in a PowerPoint format, then finish with a blank PowerPoint template that simply can’t wait to go to work for you.

In Season One, each post will introduce a single element, clearly and concisely describing how to forge these tools. Season Two will then put these customized tools to work, fine tuning a collection of marketing programs. This series serves as an outline for creating a precisely tailored, bespoke, strategic marketing plan:

Season One: Elements

  1. Mission
  2. Vision
  3. Values
  4. Objectives
  5. Personas
  6. Target Audiences/Segmentation Briefs
  7. Market Requirements and Unique Differentiations
  8. Brand Attributes and Position Messaging
  9. Brand Architecture
  10. Pricing and Packaging
  11. Distribution and Routes to Market
  12. Programs and Tactics
  13. Season One Wrap-Up

Season Two: Programs

  1. Media Plan
  2. Content Plan
  3. Awareness Plan
  4. Consideration and Demand Generation Plan
  5. Retention and Loyalty Plan
  6. Advocacy and Influencer Relations Plan
  7. Offers Plan
  8. Marketing Budget
  9. Brand Style Guide/Pricing and Packaging
  10. 3 to 5 year Profit and Loss
  11. Product Roadmap
  12. Competitive Offerings
  13. Buyer’s Journey
  14. Market Research

If you truly want improved results from your marketing strategies, this plan is for you. While I am sharing information gained from years of experience, it is not lost on me that the teacher sometimes learns much from the student and peers, so please check in with me, especially with questions or suggestions, on this Adobe forum, on Twitter, or on LinkedIn, as we navigate this proven strategy to maximize your marketing efforts.