Marketing Plans for Beginners in Saint Cloud, MN

Marketing Plans for Beginners

Would you rather put a fork in your eye than write a marketing plan?

Put the fork down, Shelia – it doesn’t have to be complicated.

In this blog, we will walk you through five questions to get your marketing plan started and guide you through writing one with a simple template, a.k.a, Marketing Plans for Beginners. All while ensuring you stand out from the crowd.

Alright, let’s get down to business.

What is a marketing plan and why do you need one?

In simple terms, a marketing plan is your roadmap for success. It is a living, breathing guidebook to reaching your target market, positioning your brand, and evaluating tactics. The purpose of a marketing plan is to have all of your thoughts documented in an organized manner to align with your overall business goals and ensure your team is on the same path toward achieving them.

As marketers, we believe the best part of having a marketing plan is that it allows you to make decisions confidently. No more throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. A well-thought-out marketing plan will help you determine what works and what doesn’t, giving you the ability to shift as needed. I mean, why would you want to waste valuable resources (i.e., time and money) on something that doesn’t work?

Getting Started

  1. What are you trying to achieve? Don’t overthink this. It’s simply “sell x number of widgets” or increase market share by x percent. Make it measurable, realistic, and timely.
  2. Who are you trying to reach? Identify the demographics of your customer – age, gender, geography, interests, etc. Most businesses will have more than one target audience. If this makes your head spin, consider your current customer list and group them by similarities.
  3. How can you reach these customers? Knowing how and where your customers receive information is crucial to your success. Do your research and be where your customers are.
  4. What is your message? You know who your customers are. You know how you will reach them. Now, what do you need them to know? This is your message – your selling proposition. Ask yourself how your product or service is better than the competition.
  5. What is your budget? How much are you willing to spend to achieve these goals? Your budget should include the hard costs of media, as well as creative services.


Once you’ve thought about these questions, you’re ready to dive deep and develop the most kick-ass marketing plan in the history of marketing plans. Follow our template below to get started.

Pro-Tip: If you work with an agency partner, include them in your strategy meetings. Their expertise will be invaluable during this process, and they will likely see things through different lens, giving you an outsider’s perspective. It’s easy to get stuck in an echo chamber of your business when you’re on the inside!

Moxie Creative Simple Marketing Plan Template
The following template will work for any business, big or small. It answers all the questions you answered above, giving you the confidence to take action.
GOAL

In this space, write down your overall goal. You can have multiple, but remember to keep it SMART and in alignment with your business goals.

Here are some examples:

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Rank Higher In Search Results
  • Increase Website Traffic
  • Boost Brand Engagement
  • Generate Qualified Leads
  • Increase Revenue

Our goal is to increase brand awareness of ABC Company while generating leads for our retail store.

This looks like:

  • X New Leads Per Month
  • X New Social Media Followers Per Month
  • X Amount of Sales Per Month

Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Give these goals legs to run.

BUDGET SUMMARY

This might seem a little backward, but it will help get the wheels rolling. Once all of your tactics are defined in the next section of your plan, you may need to come back and adjust. That’s okay. We want you to be upfront about how much money you can spend before you plan your little heart out. No one wants to be disappointed.

[SPEND]

[SPEND]

[SPEND]

[SPEND]

 

[TOTAL]

[TACTIC]

[TACTIC]

[TACTIC]

[TACTIC]

PLAN

It’s finally time to write your plan. Here, you’ll think about all the tactics, or actions you’ll take to accomplish your listed goals. This can be cumbersome, or it can be really simple. We prefer the simple route! After all, remember who you’re showing your plan to. It’s likely a team of people who are not marketing experts. Make it easy to understand.

Here is an example of one tactic breakdown; your plan will likely have multiple. The first thing you see is the spend. This is what leadership wants to know. Then, it’s the what (tactic), why (goal), and how (bullet points).

Annual Spend

Monthly Spend

Tactic

$XXX

$XXX

[WHAT] - Paid Social Ads

[WHY] - BRAND AWARENESS / LEAD GEN

[HOW]

  • Facebook/Instagram
  • Reach an additional XXX people per day
  • Target Audience 
  • Customized to allow each location
  • Consistent Campaign Design

• Soft sell

Repeat! Continue with this flow until you’ve listed all the tactics to accomplish your goals. Once you’re done, remember to circle back to the budget summary.

Want to download a version of this to fill out?

Double-check that your plan has Moxie.

Before you hit print, let’s cover one more thing. At Moxie Creative, we believe playing it safe runs the risk of being forgettable. Who wants that? No one. But, if you’re entering a saturated market, meaning you have lots of competition, your plan might mirror your competitors. We want to help you avoid that by digging deeper and creating a meaningful experience for your target audience.

For the purpose of this assignment, we’re going to focus on the one thing everyone needs to survive: water.

To create a marketing plan that connects, you must ditch the idea that you’re selling a physical item or service. Take bottled water, for instance. No one sells bottled water. They sell a convenient, portable, and safe drinking source so that you can stay hydrated on the go. Of course, that’s every bottle of water, so your messaging and tactics need to be precisely tailored to your target audience.

Ask yourself, what would make your target audience pick your product or offering over a leading competitor?

We’re familiar with top brands like Dasani, but what about the brands that corporate beverage giants don’t make? Take the unconventional Liquid Death, for example. This water brand stands out by leveraging the components that make it unique. On top of that, they have learned how to shape their messaging to resonate with their target audience, so they instinctively pick their product over another brand.

As humans, we desire connection. When a brand aligns with our values and interests or addresses our challenges, it creates an instant connection. Often, we find that relationships trump price.

So, you may not be the cheapest on the market, but every brand has Moxie. What’s yours?

As we enter a new year, it’s paramount that you have a plan in place. If you still have to check this off your list, there is no better time than the present. We have given you the tools to get started, and now you must dive in head first. We promise the water is warm! Plus, if you get stuck, we’re just a phone call away.

From strategy to execution, our team at Moxie Creative provides integrated branding, creative, and digital services that give our clients the edge in their industry. We are your marketing partner working to give you the courage to think big and the confidence to shine bright.

Whether you’re looking to elevate your brandredesign your website, launch a business, or generate leads, we’re all in.

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