Marketing Plan Basics - What You Need to Know | Crafting a Marketing Campaign Outline: Step-By-Step Instructions | Marketing Plan Examples | In Conclusion
According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing Trends Report, 63% of marketers say new customer inquiries are their top challenge. With such a crowded marketplace, you’ll need a robust marketing campaign plan to stand out and make a lasting impression.
Marketing Plan Basics - What You Need to Know
If you want to take your business to the next level, a solid marketing plan is the way to go. But before you dive into crafting an entire campaign, you'll want to start with a few basics. This includes:
- Finding out which devices people are using to visit your website, so you can improve the experience for your visitors.
- Keeping an eye on your sales, leads, and actions (what people are doing when they visit your site, e.g., filling out a contact form). These numbers will tell you how successful your marketing efforts are in converting potential customers into actual customers.
- Tracking views. Even if someone doesn't take immediate action, simply seeing your brand can increase their awareness and lead to future sales.
Types of Marketing Plans
For each of the plan types below, we’re going to provide you with an example of a campaign plan to follow. Here’s a quick list:
- General (integrated) Marketing Plan
- Digital Marketing Plan
- Content Marketing Plan
- Social Media Marketing Plan
- Launching a New Product or Service
Building a Marketing Plan Budget
Every marketing plan outline starts with a budget. Your budget will determine how much money you can invest in each aspect of the campaign, whether it’s website development, email campaigns, or social media ads.
As competition is often stiff, especially for blue collar entrepreneurs, researching where exactly people are looking for businesses like yours can help inform your budget. Understanding where your competitors are advertising and how they’re reaching their target audience will show you where you can allocate your marketing dollars for the greatest impact. That way, your budget is more likely to yield results.
Identifying Who Does What
Each team member should have a well-defined role and know what their specific responsibilities are to ensure the campaign runs smoothly.
Decide who’s responsible for tasks such as designing creative assets, managing social media, and analyzing campaign data, so you can maximize the effectiveness of your campaign. And it’s not just about allocating tasks; it’s also about having clear lines of communication so everyone is on the same page.
Marketing Plan Timelines
Having a proper timeline that outlines each step of the process can help you stay organized and execute on time. From ideation to launch, every detail counts. You can prioritize tasks, set realistic deadlines, and launch not just on time - but also at the right time.
Especially for home services businesses, you can consider seasonal trends, consumer behavior patterns, and industry trends to decide when the best time is to make your campaign really count.
Crafting a Marketing Campaign Outline: Step-By-Step Instructions
1. Choose the type of campaign you want to run.
There are many ways, like using different ads or making interesting content. For example, if you have an auto repair shop, you could make videos and write blogs that show the level of expertise you provide.
2. Decide what you want to accomplish (Objective).
A campaign needs to have an end goal. What does your business want to accomplish with it? Do you want to increase brand awareness, boost sales, or generate leads?
From there, you’ll want to identify the associated key performance indicators (KPIs) – that is, numbers you should track to record your progress. If your goal is to boost sales, you might track s revenue, conversion rates, and average sale amount.
3. Identify who you want to reach (Target Audience).
Understanding who your audience is when planning a campaign goes beyond just demographics such as age, gender, income, and education level. There are also psychographics, such as personality traits, values, and interests. Looking a little more closely at their pain points and problems in reference to these characteristics can help you identify any gaps or opportunities in the market.
4. Select the channels which are most likely to reach your audience (Key Channels).
The right channels to select are the ones which your target audience spends their time on and are most likely to engage with. This might include certain social media platforms like Facebook, search engines such as Google, and offline channels like print ads.
5. Assign tasks to key people in your plan (Roles).
Rather than having everything up in the air, key people will be responsible for key tasks, so you know each aspect of the marketing campaign is being handled by someone with the skills and expertise to do so.
6. Set your budget.
Without a budget, it’s easy to overspend and waste resources on ineffective strategies. Consider what sort of budget you’ll need to use based on goal achievement and possible return on investment (ROI), and research industry benchmarks to get an idea of what you should be spending on each marketing channel.
7. Calculate your expected ROI (Estimated Total ROI).
To calculate your expected ROI, gather the costs associated with the campaign, including advertising spend, staff times, and creative development, and compare them to the expected revenue generated.
A positive ROI will mean that your campaign is generating more revenue than it costs to run, while a negative ROI means that your campaign isn’t generating enough revenue for it to be worth running.
8. Set a start and end date for your campaign.
Finally, keep in mind that your campaign won’t last forever. This will give you a timeline to work within, which can be useful for measuring success. Having these specific start and end dates will allow you to compare performance metrics before, during, and after the campaign. Of course, you’ll also need to be flexible and adaptable in case you need to exercise more resources or switch gears quickly.
Marketing Plan Examples
Here are marketing plan examples for fictional businesses. Copy/paste them into your own document and edit it to fit your business and goals.
General (integrated) Marketing Plan
Integrated, or general marketing plans, adopt a more comprehensive approach to marketing that involves splitting your marketing efforts across multiple things. It’s best used for situations where you want to maximize reach and engagement across a broad audience yet retain a unified brand identity.
Objective: Increase customer inquiries and bookings for HVAC services by 15% within the next six months.
Target Audience: Homeowners in the local area (within a 50-mile radius) who require HVAC services, including installation, repair, and maintenance.
- SEO improvements on Home, Pricing, and Blog pages
- Search engine marketing to target local keywords related to HVAC services, such as "HVAC installation in [local area]" and "air conditioning repair [local area]." Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive targeted traffic to the website.
- Start posting 3 times/week on Facebook and Instagram; engage with local customers, share HVAC tips, promotions, and updates, and encourage customer reviews and referrals
- Build new blog series focusing on relevant keywords used by target audience
- Partner with Money Mailer to send shared mail flyers with seasonal offers
- Send and follow up with review requests to all past and current customers to boost Google Business Profile ranking and average star rating
- Launch door-to-door initiative in new residential developments in [name of neighborhoods].
- Scott, Marketing Director - Responsible for overall coordinating and project managing; also responsible for gathering customer reviews
- Amanda, Sales Team Supervisor - Responsible for tracking leads generated from marketing campaign; also responsible for overseeing door-to-door initiative
- Total Color Print and Design, local print shop - Responsible for designing and printing handouts for door-to-door initiative
- Cape Fear Digital Marketing, local marketing agency partners - Responsible for executing SEO and ad strategies
- Kenny, Aaron, and Jacqueline, interns - Responsible for posting and monitoring social media content
Estimated Total ROI: $300,000
Projected Campaign Start Date: March 1, 2023
Projected Campaign End Date: August 31, 2023
Digital Marketing Plan
Digital marketing plans leverage digital channels like social media, email, websites, and search engines. This plan is recommended when you want to establish an online presence and drive measurable results.
Objective: Increase brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales for Bug Busters Pest Control by 20% within the next six months.
Target Audience: Homeowners, property managers, and businesses in the local area (within a 30-mile radius) who require pest control services to address infestations of pests such as rodents, insects, and termites.
- Google Business Page improvements to target local keywords related to pest control services, such as "pest control near me" and "termite exterminator [local area]"
- SEM campaigns using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google Ads and Bing Ads to target local keywords and drive targeted traffic to the website
- Publish 20 blogs targeting relevant keywords to drive website traffic
- Facebook ads using curated lists for lookalike targeting
- Online reputation management by actively monitoring and responding to customer reviews on Google Business Profile, Yelp, and other review platforms.
- Add booking, chat, and payment widgets to the website to improve the customer experience.
- Nate, Marketing Manager - Responsible for overall coordinating and project managing; also responsible for implementing SEM campaigns and onboarding with GoSite
- Samantha, Social Media Specialist - Responsible for setting up and monitoring Facebook ad campaign and responding to customer inquiries on social media
- GoSite Onboarding Team - Responsible for training Nate and upgrading the company website with power widgets; also responsible for onboarding Alex for reputation management initiatives
- Alex, Customer Service Representative - Responsible for collecting customer reviews and testimonials
Estimated Total ROI: $450,000
Projected Campaign Start Date: April 1, 2023
Projected Campaign End Date: September 30, 2023
Content Marketing Plan
Content marketing plans revolve around valuable and relevant content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. If you’re looking to establish authority and drive traffic and engagement, this one’s for you.
Objective: Increase brand awareness and customer engagement for [name of auto shop] through content marketing efforts, resulting in a 10% increase in website traffic and a 5% increase in customer inquiries within the next six months.
Target Audience: Vehicle owners in the local area (within a 20-mile radius of each location) who require auto repair, maintenance, and tire services for their cars, trucks, and SUVs.
- Blog: Create a blog on the company website with regular posts focusing on topics relevant to the target audience, such as "Top 10 Car Maintenance Tips," "How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Vehicle," and "Common Car Repair Myths Debunked." Optimize blog posts with local keywords and share them on social media platforms and through email newsletters.
- YouTube Channel: Create and regularly update a YouTube channel with informative and engaging videos on topics related to auto repair and maintenance, such as "DIY Oil Change," "How to Change a Flat Tire," and "Preventative Maintenance for Your Vehicle." Share the videos on the company website, blog, and social media platforms.
- Email Newsletters: Implement a monthly email newsletter to existing customers and leads with curated content from the blog and YouTube channel, along with exclusive promotions, special offers, and upcoming events.
- Guest Blogging: Collaborate with local automotive influencers, bloggers, and online publications to publish guest blog posts with a link back to the company website. This can help increase brand exposure, build authority, and drive traffic to the website.
- Sarah, Marketing Manager - Responsible for overall content strategy, managing the YouTube channel, email marketing, and coordinating guest blogging opportunities
- Mark, Marketing Contractor - Responsible for writing blog posts and email content
- Jake, Owner and YouTuber - Responsible for creating videos to post on YouTube
Estimated Total ROI: $150,000 (realized over the next 12 months)
Projected Campaign Start Date: April 1, 2023
Projected Campaign End Date: September 30, 2023
Social Media Marketing Plan
Social media marketing is useful when your target audience is active on social media platforms and you have a clear understanding of their preferences and needs.
Objective: Increase brand awareness and generate leads for [name of auto detail company] through TikTok and Facebook marketing efforts, resulting in a 20% increase in website traffic, a 10% increase in customer inquiries, and a 5% increase in bookings within the next six months.
Target Audience: Vehicle owners who are interested in professional auto detailing services and are active on TikTok and Facebook, with a focus on local customers within a 50-mile radius of the business.
- TikTok: Create and regularly publish engaging and visually appealing video content showcasing the before-and-after results of auto detailing services. Utilize popular hashtags, trends, and challenges related to auto detailing to increase visibility and engagement. Collaborate with local influencers, such as car enthusiasts and automotive bloggers, to create co-branded content and reach a wider audience
- Facebook: Create and maintain an engaging Facebook business page with regular updates, posts, and promotions. Use Facebook Messenger to enable easy communication with potential customers and respond to inquiries in a timely manner
- Content Creation: Develop a content calendar with a mix of before-and-after images, videos, and educational content related to auto detailing for both TikTok and Facebook. Highlight the unique features and benefits of the services offered, showcase customer testimonials and reviews, and share informative tips and tricks related to car care and maintenance
- Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with local influencers, such as car enthusiasts, automotive bloggers, and car dealership partners, to showcase the auto detail company's services and generate buzz among their followers. Partner with influencers to create sponsored content, giveaways, and promotions to increase brand exposure and engagement
- Social Media Advertising: Utilize paid advertising on TikTok and Facebook to boost the visibility of the content, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to the website. Test and optimize different ad formats, targeting options, and ad creatives to maximize the return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Michelle, Marketing Director - Responsible for overall social media strategy, content creation, and influencer partnerships
- Fort Fisher Ltd, local digital ad agency - Responsible for managing TikTok and Facebook ad campaigns, tracking performance, and optimizing for better results
- Eric, Owner/Operator - Responsible for creating video content
Estimated Total ROI: $500,000 (realized over 12 months)
Projected Campaign Start Date: October 1, 2023
Projected Campaign End Date: March 30, 2024
Launching a New Product or Service
This type of plan focuses on creating excitement and buzz around a new product and service to the market. It helps when you want to establish a strong presence and attract new customers.
Objective: Successfully launch and promote a new lawn care subscription offering for [landscaping company], resulting in 50 new customer inquiries and 20 new bookings within the first three months.
Target Audience: Homeowners in the local area (within a 30-mile radius) who are interested in landscaping services, with a specific focus on those who have expressed interest in the new service offering through market research and customer surveys.
- Website: Update the company's website to include information about the new service offering, including a dedicated landing page with detailed descriptions, visuals, and pricing information. Optimize the landing page for search engines (SEO) to drive organic traffic and improve search engine rankings
- SMS Marketing: Create and send targeted text campaigns to the company's existing customer database and potential customers who have expressed interest in the new service offering. Utilize persuasive and personalized copy and discount codes to encourage inquiries and bookings
- Social Media: Utilize the company's social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, to promote the new service offering. Share engaging visuals, videos, and testimonials showcasing the benefits of the new service, and interact with followers to answer questions and provide more information
- Local Advertising: Place targeted ads in local newspapers, community newsletters, and online classifieds to reach potential customers in the local area. Use eye-catching visuals, compelling headlines, and clear call-to-actions to drive inquiries and bookings
- Direct Mail: Create and send direct mail campaigns to targeted households in the local area to raise awareness about the new service offering. Utilize visually appealing postcards or brochures with a compelling offer or promotion to encourage recipients to visit the website or call for more information
- Sarah, Marketing Manager - Responsible for overall marketing strategy, content creation, and execution of marketing initiatives; also responsible for creating and placing local ads in newspapers, newsletters, and online classifieds
- Mark, Website Developer (contractor) - Responsible for updating the company's website with information about the new service offering and optimizing it for SEO
- Amy, Customer Service Manager - Responsible for creating and sending targeted SMS campaigns to the company's database and potential customers
- Jake, Social Media Coordinator - Responsible for creating and scheduling social media content, engaging with followers, and monitoring performance
- Tony at Money Mailer - Responsible for designing and coordinating the production and mailing of direct mail campaigns
Estimated Total ROI: $30,000
Projected Campaign Start Date: August 1, 2023
Projected Campaign End Date: October 31, 2023
The most dynamic results of a marketing campaign plan come from identifying your target audience, setting clear goals, and monitoring your performance metrics. Get ready to get creative, gather your team, and launch your most powerful marketing campaign yet.