Marketing is an important part of your business plan. It helps you define your goals and develop a clear message that resonates with your target audience. But without a well thought-out strategy and without a concrete implementation plan, you risk that your advertising measures will not be effective and you will not be able to achieve your business goals.
A solid marketing plan that starts with clear goals and leads to practical steps is an important foundation for your work. And if you do it consistently, you can eventually set up a marketing calendar that defines the individual steps for you every week.
- developed a marketing strategy
- created a marketing plan from it and then
- set up a marketing calendar
we show it to you here.
The Differences: Marketing Strategy | Marketing Plan | commercial calendar
THE market strategy it's a long-term plan that outlines how your business intends to achieve its marketing goals. You should also define your goals for this, which can be:
- increase in sales
- generate more traffic
- Increase awareness of your product or brand.
You also decide which target group you want to address, which channels you will use and which messages you want to convey. A marketing strategy is important to use your resources (time, money, personnel, etc.) optimally and to achieve your goals more effectively.
With a solid marketing strategy, you can coordinate your team and every activity and get the results you want.
THE marketing plan while, it is a document that describes the tactical steps necessary to achieve the objectives set in the marketing strategy. So it's a short to medium term plan.
THE commercial calendar it is a tool that plans and organizes concrete measures and activities. Here you focus on which marketing campaigns should be carried out and when. From Black Friday to the public relations launch, the marketing calendar is a kind of operational implementation plan.
8 steps to a marketing strategy
Marketing objectives are the foundation of your marketing strategy. This means you need to analyze and define your market, clarify your target group, systematize your buyer personas to recognize your potential customers more clearly, find relevant channels for your sales and communications, and define your pricing and routing of the customer.
There are different forms of marketing strategiesthat you can follow. Here are some classic examples:
- experiential marketing
- Marketing at fairs
- Direct marketing, for example by email or SMS marketing
- Influence marketing
- content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Guerilla marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Referral marketing
You should also be clear about the 4Ps of marketing Have:
- Price: How much do you want your products to cost and why?
- Product: What products do you sell and how do they differ from the competition?
- Promotion: How would you like to make your products known to your target group?
- Location: Where do you want to sell your products?
You should follow the steps below when building your marketing strategy.
Step 1: Analyze your target audience
Research your target audience and find out who your customers and prospects are, what their needs are, and how best to reach them. The setting up of person can help you with this.
Personas are fictional, but still very detailed representations of your target groups. To create personas, data must be collected and analyzed, which includes
- level of education,
- Marital status,
- profession and
We will show you how this works in detail in this specialist article: Developing personas for your marketing – this is how it works
Step 2: Define your offer
Think about what projects or services you offer and how you can differentiate them from the competition. You can SWOT analysis help, which we explain to you in more detail here:
Step 3: Set clear goals
Define what you want to achieve with your marketing strategy. Do you want to increase your sales, increase awareness of your brand or improve your customer retention?
Step 4: Develop your message
Think about how you can best address and convince your target group. Define your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and develop your marketing message accordingly.
Step 5: Choose the right channels
Think about which channels you can best use to reach your target group. These include social media platforms like Instagram OR tick tocksearch engine marketing, Email marketing or classic advertising.
Step 6: Set your budget
With so many options, it's easy to get bogged down, which costs time and money. Think about how much you want to spend on your marketing measures and set your budget accordingly. That's why you should do it too Return on marketing investment (ROI) to track a measure of costs and benefits.
Step 7: Implement your actions
Now it's a matter of implementing your marketing measures. You should make sure you are using the right channels and communicating your message clearly and persuasively.
Step 8: Analyze the results
Track and analyze your marketing efforts to find out what works and what doesn't. Use this information to continuously improve your strategy. The important dates are:
- Website traffic numbers,
- Engagement (e.g. likes, recommendations etc.) via social media,
- Competitive comparison with the competition,
- number of touchpoints along the customer journey,
- an analysis of the SEO potential o
- a conversion rate in online retail.
Your marketing plan: basic strategic document
The marketing plan is also a regular part of your business plan, after all it defines the basic characteristics of how you want to set up your company in terms of marketing. The typical structure of a marketing plan looks like this:
Part 1: Summary/managerial summary of your marketing plan
As the name suggests, a short overview of the most important content on one page – this is usually the first thing investors and business partners read and then decide spontaneously whether they are interested.
Part 2: Analyze the current marketing situation
Here you analyze your data and current information about your target market and its development, describe your range of services and data and information about your customers and target groups. If you are already involved in marketing, your previous activities and experiences should also be included here.
Part 3: SWOT analysis
Knowing your company's strengths and weaknesses is especially important. This gives you clear indications about your range of services, your opportunities and risks in the market and also how you should structure your marketing so that you can expand your strengths.
Part 4: Business Goals Become Marketing Goals
The information in part 3 translates into important consequences for your goals, globally for the company and therefore, of course, for your marketing. In this section of the marketing plan, you present the concrete specifications of the plan regarding sales, market share and profits and use them to define your marketing objectives.
Different types of marketing plans
A company can create different types of marketing plans, for example:
to target specific groups of potential customers or for a new product or
promote a new service.
Marketing plans include only one of the above
Marketing activities or a broader combination of several of these activities. Typical types are
the product marketing plan
Product marketing plans are created to promote an upcoming product launch. They may include, but are not limited to, event marketing and content creation.
the brand marketing plan
Brand marketing plans are all about raising awareness and strengthening a company's overall brand. Promoting a specific product or launch is secondary here.
Activities such as social media campaigns to increase brand awareness or native blog advertising can be included in these plans to provide a group of customers with more insight into brand values and goals.
the integrated marketing plan
An integrated marketing campaign uses several channels. The goal is to make brand messaging consistent across all channels.
the digital marketing plan
Digital marketing plans are often created in addition to other marketing plans because they span multiple channels in the digital or online arena. Digital marketing plans cover SEO optimization, PPC ads, social media, and content marketing, among others.
the campaign management plan
Similar to a product marketing plan, a campaign management plan details what steps need to be taken for a successful marketing campaign. For example, it can involve several contacts with potential customers.
This can be seen through email marketing, social media marketing, as well as traditional print media marketing and different types of content.
It all culminates in the much more detailed combination of marketing strategy and marketing plan. Whether it is actually calendar-based or simply defining marketing measures very precisely step by step… we call it a marketing calendar…
Strategy and plan become a marketing calendar
Now it's a matter of developing a program with the channels, events and responsibilities of your strategy and individual measures.
What kind of marketing calendar is there?
Do you want to have an overview of your activities or should the calendar only cover a specific channel or a specific time period? The most common calendars are:
Annual marketing calendar
An annual marketing calendar is a comprehensive plan of all marketing activities to be carried out during the year. It includes both long-term and short-term goals and serves as a guide for the whole year.
Event marketing calendar
An event marketing calendar is a list of all planned marketing actions related to events such as trade shows, conferences and other events. Help plan resources and budget for these events and ensure all marketing activities are done on time.
Social media marketing calendar
A Social Media Marketing Calendar is a schedule of all social media activities related to marketing your business or product. It contains the scheduled content, the times and the platforms on which this content is to be published.
Email marketing calendar
An email marketing calendar is a list of all email campaigns scheduled to be sent to customers or prospects customers. Help ensure all campaigns are delivered on time and in line with business goals.
Content marketing calendar
A content marketing calendar is a list of all content planned to be created and published as part of a content marketing strategy. It includes both written and visual content and helps plan and execute an effective content marketing strategy.
Setting up a marketing calendar: Here's how it works in 7 steps
Basically, you need to consider the following points to set up your calendar.
Step 1: Define your goals
Before you start planning, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your marketing calendar. For example, do you want to generate more traffic to your website, increase sales or raise awareness of your brand?
Step 2: Identify important dates
Think about which events and dates are important for your company in the coming year. This can include seasonal events such as Christmas, Easter or Black Friday, but also major industry events or project or product launches.
Step 3: Choose your channels
Think about which channels you want to use to reach your target audience. This can be, for example, social media, email marketing, search engine marketing or print advertising.
Step 4: Content planning
Think about what kind of content you want to create to achieve your goals. For example, you can schedule blog articles, social media posts, email newsletters, or advertising campaigns.
Step 5: Create a schedule
Determine when you want to publish what content. You should note that you don't have to serve all channels at once, and you shouldn't post too much content at once.
Step 6: Define responsibilities
Who is implementing, who is leading, and which different positions and departments need to be involved in the process. A community manager needs to be informed and involved just like sales, who should be prepared for an influx of customers when in doubt.
Step 7: Check and adjust
A marketing calendar is never set in stone and should be reviewed and adjusted on a regular basis. Analyze the results of your campaigns and adjust your strategy. As a rule, the first serve is not a breakthrough at all, success comes with tuning. And sometimes you have to mark attempts as failed and try something else.
Marketing and guide calendar templates
There is a whole range of tools and aids to make your marketing calendar meaningful. It may be sufficient to subscribe to certain calendars such as public holidays, world days or important anniversaries and integrate them into your calendar. This is easy to do with the ical format.
You can find a great marketing calendar for the current year at he answeredbetween the individual months there are many tips and advice on which marketing measures would be appropriate.