Creating a functioning marketing plan is the cornerstone of organized marketing efforts. It is not enough to take the scattershot approach to spreading the word of your brand, you need to be able to track your marketing progress over any span of time. Read on to see five stand out marketing plans to give yourself an idea of what to aim for.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
Before diving into developing a marketing plan, it is important to distinguish the difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy. To put it simply: a marketing strategy is an initiative laid out by a business to tackle a specific purpose—be it content, channels or a campaign. A marketing plan consists of multiple marketing strategies that funnel into the business’s overall objective.
Say, for instance, a camera manufacturer developed a new lens and were looking to develop a marketing plan. Their marketing plan may be to reach all of their customers who already own the camera compatible with this new lens as well as new potential customers altogether. Examples of marketing strategies that fuel this overall marketing plan could be a campaign over the company’s Instagram to showcase the new lens’ capabilities or a YouTube series featuring several notable photographers integrating the lens into their workflows—in both cases, the strategy serves the marketing plan’s sought destination of market interest. In short, a marketing plan is an encompassing framework that can branch into several marketing strategies that all serve a common goal. With that out of the way, here are a few of the top marketing plans we have observed in recent years.
GoPro’s marketing plan almost writes itself. Their brand organically produces unique content simply through the product use from their consumers. The company’s adrenaline-fueled videos are a perfect fit for all global social media platforms, some reaching view counts in the tens of millions.
User-generated content is the single most important factor in GoPro’s success. They consistently develop more streamlined ways for their consumers to shoot, edit, upload, and share videos—even straight from their mobile devices. GoPro’s marketing plan can be seen as the engagement from their users that creates a feedback loop, drawing in more users that create more content.
Being the fourth-largest source of internet traffic, landing just being Netflix, Google and Apple, Twitch’s brand is a force to be reckoned with. Providing a live-streaming platform primarily to video-gaming personalities allowed the company to build community-based marketing plans, ones that saw the company being acquired by Amazon for $970 million.
Twitch’s marketing plans foster user engagement, both from streamers and viewers, and then capitalizing on that environment. According to the HP Matter YouTube channel, Twitch “builds a community around a niche and create clever ways of providing value.”
Forbes is an outlier in this list, not because of the quality of their marketing plan, but for the sole reason that they had the confidence to publish it. The company released the template they themselves follow that features instructions on how to fill out their 15 key points to a marketing plan:
- Executive Summary
- Target Customers
- Unique Selling Proposition
- Pricing & Positioning Strategy
- Distribution Plan
- Your Offers
- Marketing Materials
- Promotions Strategy
- Online Marketing Strategy
- Conversion Strategy
- Joint Ventures & Partnerships
- Referral Strategy
- Strategy for Increasing Transaction Prices
- Retention Strategy
- Financial Projections
If the words ‘marketing plan’ still do not spark your imagination, then Forbes’ own roadmap can help you define just what it is you want to see from your marketing efforts. With more than four million views garnered, this marketing plan template is not a bad place to start.
If there is one word to describe Nike’s marketing plan development, it is “sophistication.” They have created a culture all their marketing plans stem from, one of athleticism, encouragement, and innovation. It was even voted as the “No 1 Most Innovative Company of 2013” by Fast Company, who described Nike as having a self-image that “is infused into every marketing message and product release, and transferred to a public eager to finally be let in on the secret.”.
All marketing plans out of Nike revolve around their company culture to create one of the most solid brand identities of the century. Needless to say, your marketing plans should constantly reflect your business’ values, to the point where those values are instantly recognizable from your potential consumer base.
Not content with just being a flourished social media management software developer, Buffer set out on a journey to create a marketing plan built from some of the best undocumented content strategies they could find. Buffer’s template centres around four main questions to help you summarize your goals, and turn those goals into a streamlined workflow. Its step-by-step nature allows an ease of sorts into wrapping your head around a marketing plan.
LEARN FROM EXAMPLE
All five marketing plans listed provide a takeaway or format for any budding company. With this, you will hopefully find yourself swarming with ideas on how to organize your marketing efforts into a powerful plan.