Everything You Need To Know About The Marketing Planning Process

Everything you need to know about the marketing planning process | bookafy


Marketing is vital for any company. You could have the best product in the world, but it doesn’t matter unless people know what it is, why they need it, and where to get it.

But we’re not here to convince you of the benefits of marketing. Chances are you knew this already, that’s why you’re here.

Rather, we’re here to help you plan your own marketing strategy, by telling you everything you need to know about the marketing planning process.

What Is A Marketing Plan?

Basically, a marketing plan is a well thought out strategy that will guide your company throughout the marketing process. Something all-encompassing that can be referred to, at any point, guiding your marketing department toward long and short term goals, keeping your operation on schedule.

Normally created annually, marketing plans are a great opportunity to reflect on the past year’s performance and think about those vital next steps.

So, whether you’re a new business producing its first marketing plan, or an established business, you’ll want to cover these bases.

Know Who You Are

The conception of your marketing plan is the perfect time to really take stock of your business operations. Where have you been, what have you achieved, and where are you now?

What worked, and what didn’t?

Answering these kinds of questions is a way to see, clearly, what your company’s values and strengths are. Maybe you’ve got an incredible customer service record, or you’ve earned ISO accreditation. Those values and strengths are what your marketing plan should centre around.

To help do just that, many companies use the SWOT method. A simple framework to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Know Your Audience

When you know the best things about your business, the next step is to figure out where your customers are.

Take a look at your previous year’s sales and categorize your customers by demographic. A few useful demographics are age, location, POS (Point of Sale), and gender identity. If you’re a new company without any of your own information, research your competitors.

Businesses working in the same area as your own will likely have similar target audiences, and similar demographics. Obviously, your own data is best, but it’s a good place to start.

Splitting customers into different demographics will let you see exactly who is interested in your business, and the demographics you’re missing. With this information, you can better cater to those key demographics you have, while considering if, and how, you will reach those demographics that have been missed.

Make A Clear Mission Statement

Start with a clear mission statement. Something simple and comprehensive, using real numbers. Don’t use vague statements like “increase brand awareness”. It’s obvious and doesn’t really help anybody—where are you increasing awareness, amongst whom, and by how much?

Instead, have clear objectives using real numbers like, “increase social media engagement, among 18–35 year olds, by 30%. Using clear numbers will give your team a clear objective to work toward, and measure progress against.

It’s all well and good having a positive attitude, but the devil is in the details. You try going into a Starbucks asking for “some coffee” and see how far that gets you. This also applies to your budget—have one, and stick to it.

Decide Marketing Strategies And Tools

So, you’ve defined your company’s persona, you’ve identified your target audience, and you have a clear mission statement. Job done, right? Well, no. There’s still the small matter of implementing your incredibly thoughtful marketing strategy. There are a lot of ways to go in that regard, so we’ll split it into two sections:

  • Channels and strategy—where and how you’re going to market your business.
  • Resources—How much time and money you’re planning to spend, and any outside help you might be using, like business processing services or scheduling software.


A telephone is always an option. Cold calling allows a direct line to potential customers, but isn’t always appreciated, and requires employees, so can be expensive.

Email marketing is a great option for all demographics. After all, most people have email addresses. It’s a low-cost strategy that allows a direct line to the customer, and so has an impressive ROI (return on investment).

The marketing potential of social media cannot be ignored. Billions of people all over the world use social media (the majority of whom have accounts on multiple devices). So, it’s a great way to reach large audiences who, themselves, are in contact with other audiences. Because of this, social media marketing has an incredibly high scaling potential.

Social media is also great for isolating those target demographics we mentioned earlier. Generally, different platforms are preferred by different ages and cultures. And then within those platforms, there are millions of dedicated pages and groups for just about anything you can imagine.

Affiliate marketing is another great option. It involves hiring third parties to produce content that will generate online traffic with backlinks. The chosen marketer is paid by commission so it’s generally a safe investment and a great way to make your company appear higher on search engine rankings.

TV and newspapers. Yes, believe it or not, people still watch TV and read newspapers. Advertising on TV or in the print media is a great way to reach older demographics and, as older forms of media, the channels hold a higher level of trust and legitimacy than others.


The final part of the marketing planning process is deciding on the resources you’re going to use. Allocate specific amounts of money and time than you think you’ll need to achieve your goals.

This will obviously differ, depending on the scale of your business, but the important part here is to be realistic. Nobody wants to waste money, but you also don’t want an overworked marketing team working on a shoestring budget—it’ll just lead to poor work.

Another area to consider is the tools you’ll be using to facilitate your marketing plan.

Scheduling software and workflow platforms are amazing resources for any aspect of business, but can particularly help your marketing team produce and implement their marketing plan.

Automation tools and business processing services can help take care of the tedious legwork involved in social media and email marketing campaigns. They can’t do everything for you, but they will improve consistency and save time, which will save money.


The marketing planning process is the best way to keep your marketing strategy on track, in the long term. It’s a lot of research, but putting the effort in, in the beginning, will save your marketing team a lot of time and headaches further down the road.

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