If you are looking into actually creating a written marketing plan, you are ahead of the game. Starting out with a good sample marketing plan can put you even farther ahead.
It is important when creating a marketing plan to have something in front of you to reference. Dan Kennedy, one of the true marketing gurus has said that when he sits down to write copy (which has made himself and others millions and millions of dollars) that he NEVER begins with a blank canvas. That is a terrific lesson…We don’t have to begin our marketing plan with a blank document or piece of paper, and we shouldn’t!
Looking at other marketing plan samples provides us with not only a framework so that our ideas and topics are logically situated, but also might get our creative juices flowing as to other marketing efforts and ideas.
So, what makes the best type of sample marketing plan?
The one that can actually be easily completed and then utilized is surely the best! Marketing plans tend to be very long documents that are thoroughly thought out and take several weeks to complete. A problem is that lengthy documents tend to be imposing and might not be completed because of the amount of work and thought they are perceived to require. If they actually do get completed, these twenty to thirty-page masterpieces also seem to find their way into a computer folder or file cabinet never to be read again. It is a real shame because they likely will have done little good for the business after all the hard work that went into them. In addition, large documents are very difficult to review with a team, and one of the major factors in how well a plan is executed is whether or not the entire team buys into it.
A great way to work on and get buy-in from the team is by creating a plan within PowerPoint or Keynote. Presentation slides are easily displayed or referenced while an entire team discusses the plan. Using presentation formatting encourages big ideas to be put into a few words. We can more easily remember shorter phrases and even use images on the slides for an even greater impact.
A marketing plan that is living, breathing and modified through-out the year can be much more effective. Goals and calendars established during the planning can be updated with actual results and reviewed during monthly marketing meetings.
It is not critically important to use a sample marketing plan for your exact industry. Businesses are really much more similar than we think and this is especially true when it comes to marketing. One type of business, let’s say an insurance company, could very effectively model some marketing ideas from a bakery or an industrial parts manufacturer. All businesses are trying to attract more customers, sell more to their current customers, increase their overall sales volume and increase their profits. We can all use a variety of media in order to accomplish this and the more types the better! Marketing that performs a specific purpose and brings the target to action is going to be most effective and the collateral that stands out and cuts through the clutter is going to be the best. These things should be a part of the sample marketing plan that is selected.