There are many steps to consider when setting your marketing plan for the next year or quarter. With the right marketing strategy and planning, the targeted execution in the company can hardly get in the way and the budget can be used in the best possible way in order to ideally achieve the desired success with the customers. It is important to venture step by step and first create the marketing plan in order to then estimate the marketing budget.
Strategic marketing planning means the decision-making process about the execution of the company's future marketing and its implementation. A distinction is made between strategic planning, which decides on the goals and concept, and operational planning. The company's operational marketing planning includes a plan for the marketing measures collected and prescribes how the various marketing instruments are to be used in the company. This includes the definition of individual content, the main focuses and campaigns for which they are to be summarized and the extent to which they affect the overarching sales targets. The strategic marketing planning thus connects the strategy of the company with the sales and the individual actions. The process of marketing planning should ideally be systematic, but is nevertheless characterized by creativity and the flexibility to deal with special situations.
The established results of the strategic marketing planning can then be recorded and manifested in the marketing plan. When managing and defining the marketing plan, all marketing activities of the company are listed in the planned period. It is important to include the product or service that you want to promote in the marketing plan. In addition, this marketing plan defines the framework and briefly talks about the potential in the market. In order to be generally understandable, it is important to include explanations, influencing factors and derivations if necessary. A good marketing plan is characterized by a comprehensive, thematic elaboration that should cover the following points:
In order to set up a suitable marketing plan that leads to success, particular emphasis should be placed on strategy in marketing. A suitable plan can only be drawn up when the current situation is clear and the market is analyzed at regular intervals and the competitors are observed. This should be realistically adapted to the strategy in order to avoid possible short-term changes as best as possible. In addition to the situation analysis of the marketing, special attention is paid to the general goals of the company. Ideally, the goals in marketing and thus also the marketing plan are derived from these. In addition to the orientation towards the goals, it is also important to plan the measures as future-oriented as possible. The most important thing, however, is not to forget the customer and the target group in this process and to adapt all marketing measures in the process to the customers.
When choosing the measures and the media in which they are published and distributed, the target group plays a central role in marketing. In particular, the selected media in the marketing plan can provide information about which groups of people are addressed for the individual product. It is advisable to analyze the target group of the medium in advance and compare it with the target group and the customers of your own product or service. In addition, it should be determined in advance what information customers should receive about the product or service and this should be manifested in the marketing plan.
In addition, the marketing measures are significantly influenced by the estimated marketing budget. It is particularly important to focus initially on the information and advertising material that promise the most success in order to protect the budget and then take additional marketing measures if there is a surplus.
In most cases, budget planning for marketing begins with sales planning in the company. The greater the increase in sales, the more marketing will be required to achieve the goal, which in turn means that a larger marketing budget is needed.
Choosing the right overall budget is usually a challenge, especially when planning your first marketing budget. There are no uniform key figures for determining the budget. Different sizes are suggested depending on the industry and product. For companies and suppliers in the automotive industry, the average marketing budget is around 3%, in the service sector it is 8-10%, while companies such as Red Bull use up to 30% of the sales volume on marketing. In general, it makes sense to always choose a value above the industry average in order to stand out from the direct competitors. However, if no industry values are known, the golden mean of approx. 10-15% of sales is recommended.
It is particularly important to use the funds efficiently and to invest mainly in measures that bring about the highest possible advertising efficiency. This is calculated from the ratio of costs to reach or precise targeting. The more relevant people can be reached with the measure, the more budget should be used for this measure. In addition, this strategy tries to avoid unnecessary measures and thus costs and risks and to convince investors with the right arguments.
In order not to be negatively surprised at the end of the year, it is important to consider all costs and to draw up the plan in the best possible way. Important components and expenses that should be considered when preparing the budget in the marketing plan are:
Especially when calculating the working hours, it is important to compare the estimated values at the end of the year with the actual values, so that you can ensure that you can plan even more precisely for the next year.
In order not to be alone with the management and the implementation of the marketing plan and to communicate the information and content to the marketing of the individual partners in the best possible way, it is advisable to resort to technical support using a software solution. There are various business models for how the right marketing planner can be brought into the company.
With this type of marketing plan, the complete license of the program is acquired once. This means that the planner can be installed on the computers of the individual partners and used together to implement the planning. This purchase can, however, be comparatively expensive, but offers the possibility of one-time adjustments and individualizations. After the purchase, the license usually remains at the same standard and is not further developed.
Open source programs
Open source programs are the cheapest (mostly available online) solution for implementing a marketing planner. Since the software is not sold commercially in this case, no additional training is provided or regular updates are guaranteed. Open source marketing planners are therefore only recommended if the software is to be tested first and if the employees have sufficient technical knowledge to deal with the program themselves.
The most flexible options are offered by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offers, in which the marketing and budget planner is provided online as a cloud program in a web app. Every partner* and user is given access to the system through their personal log-in data, which they can use online and from anywhere. For this, however, a constant internet connection must be guaranteed. In terms of price, the advantage is that it is not a large one-off sum, but monthly contributions.