Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan

Marketing raises many challenges that make the process similar to the storm at sea. Again, whether you are a CMO or marketing operations manager, it’s important to design a major marketing planning process that would reflect your organizational goals and objectives by achieving set targets effectively and efficiently within the marketing budgets allocated.

Besides, when you are planning for a business with limited resources, it sometimes takes time to determine where to put your money since you cannot afford to spend too much in a bid to achieve organizational objectives.

That is why the marketing plan is not just a plan, it is an important tool, a guide, and a program that helps to set directions. Rather, it has been created deliberately to help guide and direct your team, to focus and prioritize the work, and to make real progress possible.

This article is here to help you find your way out of this dark alley, with the five-step guide to building a data-driven, goal-oriented, and ROI-driven B2B marketing strategy.

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan provides a framework within which potential marketing channels will be used to accomplish corporate goals and objectives.

It specifies near and future goals for the business and thus should consider a coherent and realistic timeline. It may also contain small-scope objectives that you can employ as sub-goals to monitor your progress and avoid possible challenges along the way.

When all the members of the marketing department are aligned to a marketing plan, every individual will understand how to utilize the chosen marketing channel and area of expertise to reach the defined goal of a company. It will also show how different media can complement each other to create a greater impact on your target customer.

5 Steps to Create an Outstanding B2B Marketing Plan

Now let us discuss the actual process of creating a B2B marketing plan and step into the details of what a high-level marketing plan is made of. 

Step 1 – Conduct a SWOT Analysis

First of all, let us briefly explain what SWOT analysis means.

SWOT is an acronym that refers to the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats affecting an operation. It is a planning technique widely used to assist people in deciding how they should tackle a particular individual or organizational goal. You may also be familiar with this as situational analysis.

SWOT Analysis

Image Source – Ayoa

It is important because this way, one gets an immediate view of the four areas that have the greatest influence on the general process and its outcomes.

Step 2 – Identify the Ideal Customer Profile – Then Target

The advantage of completing a company situation analysis first is that it can serve as a benefit to you with this next step.

It is essential to understand that every company has its specific target audience or its own ‘ideal customer profile (ICP)’. This is a generic profile of a person/business who would logically fall into the target category that will benefit from your product/services most. You understand that your products or services assist an individual/business in solving a certain issue, and your pricing effectively suits the given purchasing behavior.

Buyer Persona

Source – AWeber

In other words, you need to look at the portfolio of products you have in mind and imagine what business(s) might need such offerings. For instance, if you are in the business of providing enterprise project management software, then it would not be wise to come up with a marketing plan to target individual freelancers or small startups.  

It may be more effective to target large corporations that handle complex projects involving multiple teams and departments. You could also target consulting firms if you notice a demand for advanced project management tools to streamline their operations and see that these firms have the budget and need for comprehensive software solutions.

Once you’ve identified and defined your ICP, you will also want to begin the process of audience segmentation. Realistically, your team should be able to identify several distinct groups of people/business(s) who may need your product/service. 

This is important because every marketing channel is becoming overcrowded, therefore differentiating your target audience is key. If users are exposed to ads daily, they will possibly only interact with something that would be of utmost interest to them.

When your target audience is categorized based on age, sex, income level, residency status, or hobbies, then it is easier to promote your products or services. This means running more campaigns and ad groups at once, but the clicks coming in will be from better-quality customers.

Step 3 – Specify the Appropriate Short-term and Long-term Goals

We now have the result of our SWOT analysis and know the customer that we want to target in our marketing plan. This is the right time to begin setting measurable goals and mapping out a clear plan.

Of course, planning long-term objectives like getting to X profit by the end of the fiscal year is beneficial, yet writing several goals will allow for better tracking of how far you have gotten. This way, if you aren’t achieving your small goals, it will be easier to recognize the difficulties and seek efficient ways to deal with them. Every business is subject to some form of setback and the ability to anticipate them is what defines a successful venture from a failing venture.

Short-term and Long-term Goals

Source – Slideteam

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what you want to accomplish since it depends on your business plan. But all your goals must be realistic, quantifiable, and have a clear timeframe for accomplishment. 

To develop a B2B marketing strategy, it is essential to set measurable marketing objectives because all great marketing is a product of testing and experimentation. If you do not have a step that allows the achievement of a goal to be met, you do not have a way to benchmark and encourage future business actions.

Step 4 – Position Your Products and Services to Sell

This one is a little less straightforward to introduce in the scale of your business as your company can’t offer everything to the customer. However, it is pertinent to note that there can be a lot of demand for a certain selection of products if one’s costs are higher than the average buyer’s capacity to spend.

But even if you manage to get your pricing model right, which is a big challenge in and of itself, you are not quite done yet. There will also be an element of consumer dissatisfaction regarding the choice of products and/or services, or the construction/quality of such offerings. You need to determine where you get the best balance of addressing customer needs and demands without under or overdoing it with your resources and capacities.

This will all bring it back to understanding your target market, as well as the direct rivals. Your brand will be best positioned to sell more if it offers one or more of the following:

  • 1. Better pricing
  • 2. Better quality
  • 3. Better customer service
  • 4. Unique USPs
  • 5. Greater variety of goods
  • 6. A range of goods that is not similar to that of rivals
Product Positioning

Source – GeeksforGeeks

Not only that product positioning make interaction with the target audience easier, but also it allows you to target other groups, with which you did not have good compatibility initially. It is, therefore, important to make sure that you lay a noble groundwork for your brand from which the short and long-term objectives regarding new customer acquisition will be tailored.

Step 5 – Construct an Action Plan for Each Marketing Channel

The last strategy is to employ this deserved data and leverage it in the future to dictate marketing strategies. The marketing channels you intend to employ will depend on the resources you have and the amount of money you are willing to spend.

For companies that wish to begin making direct sales using money, you would need to think about Pay Per Click Advertising on major platforms such as Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising. It would also mean that the CPC that you offer through these channels is relatively low, and you will be able to gather massive amounts of data from your audience segments in the process.

Channel Plan

Source – CMI

For sustainable growth and an increase in brand recognition, it would be best for an organization to begin investing in the improvement of the website’s SEO and content. Blogs are one of the best things that you can do to enhance your search engine rankings considering their content is pretty useful to share on social network profiles.

Take the time to learn and understand each of the available channels and contemplate how they can be useful in your short and long-term objectives. It is important to set micro-conversions and custom goals as a roadmap to guide you on the way forward.

The Bottom Line

Marketing is one of the essential components of any business, and developing a marketing plan is a critical step in creating a successful practice. But for the plan to work you need to have a willingness to follow through, to allocate enough time, effort, and money to the project to ever get off the ground.

Ready to take your B2B marketing strategy to the next level? Let DealsInsight help you achieve your goals with our expert marketing services. Our team specializes in crafting data-driven, goal-oriented, and ROI-driven marketing plans tailored to your business needs. Contact us today to start your journey toward marketing success!

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