Marketing planning: the 5 steps to success

Marketing planning: the 5 steps to success

Proper marketing planning can turn out to be a challenge, especially in decentralized companies. While the specialist literature advises to provide at least 3 to 5 percent of the total sales for marketing measures annually, there are clear deviations from this advice, specific to the industry. However, since it is especially difficult for local sales partners to draw up a budget or marketing plan for themselves, the guidelines and guidelines of the central marketing department can be combined in a marketing planner and used as an aid.

It all starts with a plan

The central management should now become aware of what percentage of the turnover they would like to provide annually for marketing measures. After this budget has been determined and the resulting personnel costs have been deducted, the annual marketing budget is obtained, with which the product, content and marketing plan can be created below. Since the calculation of the budget is not sufficient to create a successful marketing plan, we have defined 5 steps in which the resources should be distributed sensibly and the plan should be structured. In decentrally organized companies in particular, it is important to make budget and marketing planning available to the individual sales partners of the company in a planner and to communicate transparently.

1. Define priorities and goals

In order not to be bothered by individual decisions and to pursue the overall goal, preparation is of particular importance. First of all, it is important to have a clear, strategic goal in mind that prevents the budget from being used for spontaneous actions without acting purposefully. These overarching marketing goals can include, for example, an image improvement or new customer acquisition. When planning the goals, it is important to take a close look at the past marketing campaigns and decide together with the management in which direction the company would like to develop in the future. In order to make these goals achievable and operational, the year is divided into various marketing or advertising focuses for the company, which should gradually lead to the goals being achieved.

2. Appropriate measures and instruments

Individual strategic advertising measures are then defined, carefully selected and recorded in the marketing plan for these focal points. The previous analysis and definition of the goals should make it no longer difficult to find out which instruments appear to be suitable. In line with the advertising focus, online measures and social media campaigns, for example, can be promising for a rather young market, while a large poster campaign would be more effective in other areas. For the strategic support of the local partners, they can also make direct use of the marketing center's advertising advice. The analysis, planning, strategy and dissemination are at the headquarters, but the ultimate implementation should be carried out by the local partners.

3. Scope and prioritization

In addition to the strategic definition of priorities and content, prioritization should also take place. This means that it is decided which advertising measures are more important and which goals are in the foreground in the marketing plan. This should help to strategically distribute and weight the budget depending on the goal. In addition, it can also be determined to what extent and with what frequency individual measures should be taken. The marketing plan thus defines exactly how long a campaign should run and how important it is for the entire marketing and the product. This serves as a strategic guideline to show the partners in the company which content should be used with a higher priority.

4. Distribute budget

If the individual product stands for the advertising focus in the planner and the priority is clear, the only thing left to do in marketing planning is to calculate the costs involved. It is important to bear in mind that in addition to the production, there may also be costs for design, sales or travel expenses (for example at a trade fair). In addition, you should always set aside a certain "budget buffer" for unpredictable costs. All of these estimated marketing costs can be viewed in a marketing planner by all of the company's partners and used for strategic, local marketing campaigns.

5. Compare with the total budget

Ultimately, all that remains is the comparison with the overall marketing budget defined at the beginning of the marketing plan, in which all the calculated costs for the individual focal points are combined. If a discrepancy is found during this analysis, measures have to be deleted or expanded afterwards so that the budget is not exceeded. The individual marketing managers at the locations can now adapt this company's marketing planning to their own overall budget and adapt the local marketing to their customers and the market.

Afterwards: Success measurement for the next planning

After the first phase and the strategic implementation of the plan, it is important to evaluate the strategy of the marketing plan and measure the success. Because only successful advertising media help to achieve the strategic goals that were laid down in marketing planning. In this way, it can be avoided that measures will be used next year that do not deliver any discernible benefits in the company's marketing.

The marketing planner in decentralized marketing

In order to make such budget and marketing planning available to local partners, it is advisable to use a marketing planner. Management has various options here to obtain such software:

Marketing planner provider

If only the distribution of the marketing plan is important for the company, but the implementation of the strategy is regulated by the individual partners on site, simple marketing planner software can be used. This makes it possible to make marketing planning accessible online and to share it with all partners by making recommendations for the individual advertising focuses and campaigns and by providing a recommended budget. This planner helps local partners to set their own priorities and to use the existing marketing budget wisely. The campaigns and selected advertising measures in the marketing planner can be edited and adapted to your own wishes. The marketing planner thus enables the local partners to benefit from the planning of the headquarters, but still have enough freedom to continue marketing locally and adapted to the market and the target group.

Marketing portal provider

However, if you not only want to share marketing planning, but want to unite the entire management of local marketing on one platform, you can choose a marketing portal. In a marketing portal, not only the details of the marketing plan are passed on to the partners, they also offer the advantages of a web-to-print and web-to-publish system, as well as the integration of in-house systems and databases. This means that the entire management of local marketing can be carried out via a single platform. With regard to the marketing plan, all functions of the above-mentioned providers are integrated and through a holistic creation and ordering process of marketing measures, these systems can provide marketing support.


Nisa Wielvers
Nisa Wielvers

Marketing Managerin

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