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The who, what, where, when and how of marketing planning

Marketing solutions and packages

Most of us have heard of the phrase from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “A goal without a plan is just a wish” and it is a sentence and concept that I totally agree with. And it is one that I advocate for my own business and when it comes to my clients as well. So let’s talk about marketing strategy and planning.

Why do you need a marketing strategy and plan?

In Pinpoint Marketing’s opinion, growth is all down to planning. As a business owner you need to know your strategy. Then you can start to write and create your marketing plan. Marketing shouldn’t be seen as a tick box exercise and it is important to know your business why and to know the purpose of your marketing. Pinpoint feels the majority of your successes will be down to careful planning, therefore giving your business time and attention via such a plan is the way forward. The benefits of a plan will help you get organised, be logical and build foundations. A plan will save you time and money, but remember that a marketing plan is different to a business plan.

Need more assurances? 23 reasons and benefits to create and implement a Marketing Strategy and Plan for your business

What is included in a marketing strategy and plan

There are 7 stages to Pinpoint’s comprehensive strategy and plan document:
Objective Setting – setting goals and knowing your why (including competitor analysis, keyword review, market research, website review, social media profiles review and SMART goal setting)
Defining the messaging – the wording used to attract your audience and understanding your niche/USP
Pinpointing a strategy – this is the blue sky thinking by us before the doing which also now includes a vision board (a set of how to use the vision board instructions will be included.)
Refining the target audience – your ideal client avatar, plus your prospects, leads and then your customers
Developing the tactics – what marketing channels to use plus collaborations
Implementing the plan – this section is split into 3 phases along with outline budgets.  Phase 1, the foundations. Phase 2, the one off campaign and 90 day marketing activity. And phase 3, a 30 day mini marketing plan
Measuring and evaluation – knowing the results then the ROI

What is the marketing planning process?

Pinpoint works with our clients by brainstorming where the business is now and where it wants to go. We discuss what marketing is being done already and what isn’t, plus ask questions on competition, USP, messaging, trends, markets, target audiences, lead sources, budgets, resources and more. We then take these findings and research and create a bespoke marketing strategy and plan.

Find out more about the process on these slides

Where a plan falls into the marketing journey of a business

The best times or situations to create and write a strategy and plan are at the beginning/start-up of a business or when the business has grown through or is planning change eg post pandemic or when a new service is being launched. The reason for these times being optimal is before decisions are made and at the start of things to enable the groundwork to be laid out, the foundations set and things to be well thought through before taking action. A strategy will allow better decisions, to be better organised and to make the most of your budget, time and resource.

When should you create a marketing plan?

Another concept, or some might say myth, is that the only real time to create a marketing strategy and plan is in January. Whereas January is a great time to reflect on the past and make plans and set goals for the future, this doesn’t mean to say that your business cannot create or invest in a plan during any other month of the year. So you haven’t missed the boat if you haven’t started goal setting or planning for your marketing and business yet.

Who a plan is for AND who a plan is not for

A plan IS NOT for you if you don’t making poor decisions and if you have time and money to waste. A plan may also not be for you if you haven’t got the time or resource to implement it nor have the budget to outsource the implementation.

A plan IS for you if you want stop wasting time and money on the wrong marketing. And a plan is for you is to avoid overspending, wasting time and making poor decisions and if you want the desired outcomes and ROI.

What else do you need to know about marketing planning

Without a plan IT will be harder, longer, more expensive and stressful to grow your business!

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” –Lawrence J. Peter
It is important to set goals and to have a plan. Find out more