I primarily work on my own. This means that I am developing and executing marketing plans on my own, all the while, patting myself on the back and thinking, “Killing. It.” This situation is great some days, when I want to be heads-down, getting things done. But, other days, when I want and need feedback, it becomes difficult.
The time when I experience the pains of this most is when I’m working on strategic planning for my organization. I have gone through so many iterations of the strategy — changing formatting, presentation, plans, and measurement metrics. Each version is an improvement on the last. I recently put together a quarterly marketing strategy that I feel pretty good about. I’ve decided to share it as a template, in hopes that people might use it for their own planning and maybe even provide me with the much desired feedback I’m seeking.
To provide context, I’ll walk through the components of the plan and the intention for each area.
Here is where you define overall business objectives for the quarter. These will determine your strategy and can be anything from, impact brand sentiment to acquire $$XX in sales revenue. This is entirely dependent upon the stage and priorities of your company. It’s likely, that at least one of these goals will be tied to revenue.
These are the markets that you want to buy your product / service. As a marketer, you should be able to define these specific groups and tailor your messaging according to their challenges and the solutions they are seeking. If you don’t know who these people are or what their challenges are, perform some exploration. Here is a great guide that HubSpot published that walks you through defining what they refer to as target “personas.”
With an inbound strategy often comes aggressive content publishing initiatives. The intention of this area is to determine the topics your organization will focus on to attract and engage your target markets. Whether you’re publishing blog posts, reports, case studies, podcasts, etc., it’s important to publish with purpose. Be thoughtful about the needs of your potential customers and create content that addresses their needs.
To complement this section is a content calendar (as its own sheet) to use to begin to define and organize the content you plan to publish over the next three months.
This is a macro-level look at the strategies you plan to employ in order to achieve the goals you determine for the quarter.
This is the micro-level plan for how you’re going to make all of this happen. These will depend on your budget. If you have money to spend you should consider investing in paid search, media buying, remarketing, etc. If you have a small budget, your tactics may need to be a bit more creative — consider partnerships, blogger outreach, affiliate programs, SEO, etc.
These are your key performance indicators by stage in the funnel. Again, while these will be different for every organization, it’s important to define these and compare against past performance. To provide context for the level of improvement you’re looking for, I’ve included a sheet that details the past performance of the KPIs I’ve defined, that links to the metrics tab to display the percent increase of my goals.
Keep in mind, this is just a template for you to start from. Feel free to manipulate as you see fit and let me know where you find areas lacking or confusing. Again, I’m a lone ranger over here and love constructive feedback. Also, it’s formatted in Excel. If you have difficulty accessing the file, feel free to shoot me an email!