Search by keyword, such as: divert, calls, chats …

How to create an effective marketing plan

An effective marketing plan is vital to ensure your marketing efforts have the impact you’re hoping for.

Taking the time to carefully plan your activity will not only help your concepts come to life, but will drive the results you’re looking for.

We asked Enterprise Nation, a network of small businesses and business advisers, to share their insights on forming an effective marketing plan for your business.

Here are their top tips for mapping out a successful marketing plan:

Understand the impact on financial performance

Your marketing activity will need to be aligned closely with your business goals. Think about your objectives for the year ahead, then decide on a sales target for each of these marketing objectives. Consider any upcoming product launches, events/tradeshows, new sales regions and longer contracts.

Once you have determined your main objectives, break them down into actionable steps. Think about what marketing channel/s will be best-suited, the timeframe needed and the scope of activity involved. Then, try to allocate a rough budget to each activity as you work your way through each step.

The more you can understand about how the activity will relate to sales, the better and more accurate your results will be. Remember to keep track and measure the impact of all activities – this way, you’ll be able to refer back to previous activities to see what worked and what didn’t. These insights will play a crucial role in adapting and improving processes in future.

What marketing channels should I include?

The key marketing channels to look into when creating your marketing plan are:

  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Promotions & Giveaways
  • Social Media

Don’t overstretch yourself. It can be easy to want to embark on all channels at once, but spend time researching what channels are most likely to deliver the best results and attract the right audience.

What channels do your customers enjoy using the most? What are their interests, what age range do they fit within and where are they based? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you choose the most effective platform to reach them on. Your sales team and staff members will likely be clued up on this information already. But if you’re struggling to clearly define these details, some research may be needed – especially if you’re planning on using a new marketing channel or allocating a significant budget to this activity.

How often will you be marketing?

How much marketing you plan on doing will probably depend on a combination of factors such as resources, business goals and the marketing channels available to you.

A good place to start is to ask 3 questions –

  • What do you expect to get out of this platform?
  • Who are you looking to target?
  • How often do you need to post?

Consider the size of your following on each of your platforms to guide post frequency – for example, a Twitter page with a small number of followers shouldn’t be overloaded with company news. Similarly, the amount of emails you send out will be guided by the number of recipients you have and their customer preferences.

Make it a date

Commit to regular slots of marketing activity, even when you’re busy. With so much going on, it can be very easy to get caught up in the other important day-to-day aspects of running a business, leaving marketing on the back burner.

However, marketing is fundamental to business growth. Booking regular slots in your diary in advance will help to manage time spent on marketing activities, and hopefully prevent disruption from other tasks leaking through.

Do you know your big events?

Use your calendar to plan ahead for all the important upcoming events – both internal and external to your company. Remember to include ongoing and in-progress marketing campaigns. This will help you to map important milestones for your business, such as opening a new branch, launching a new product, hiring a new employee, or delivering a notable marketing project.

Being aware of external events or key calendar dates for the public is a great way to promote your business. Take a look at industry publications, online resources and Days of the Year lists, so you don’t miss out on big events you can leverage!

Choose the planner that’s right for you

There are lots of options to consider when it comes to recording your marketing plan. Whether it’s an annual planner that’s posted on the wall, a shared spreadsheet or an online planning tool; it really depends on your team and what you/they feel most comfortable with. Here’s a quick outline for some of the most popular methods;

  • Trello is a productivity tool offering the ability to add multiple people to a single board – especially useful if people are working collaboratively on marketing. It’s nice and visual, and easy to use.
  • Marketing plans can be created in Google Sheets or Excel. These have the advantage of enabling you to keep track of lots of information and data. They can also be shared and accessed online by multiple assigned users at any one time.
  • Marketing plans can of course be created in paper form or physical planners. Though these are tricky to share, this may be your preference if you run the rest of your business in this traditional way.

About Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is a network of small businesses and business advisers that has helped thousands of people achieve their goals. Whether you’re starting or growing a business, we have the resources, expertise and connections to help you get it right.

Give us a call on 0203 871 2922, or visit our website

Introducing Moneypenny

Moneypenny is the UK’s leading Telephone Answering and Live Chat service provider, offering outsourced solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our range of services are particularly useful for sole traders and smaller businesses who understand the importance of a great first impression and the value of every new enquiry.

To find out how you will benefit from our amazing people and technology, take advantage of our FREE trial. Experience our full service for a whole week with no set-up costs, no admin charges and absolutely no ongoing commitment.  You have nothing to lose, contact Moneypenny today on 0333 202 1005.

We give you amazing people and technology:


Your own Moneypenny PA to answer calls exactly as if based in your office.

Discover >
Live Chat

Amazing people, briefed by you to manage chats whenever you can't.

Discover >
Pocket Phone System

All the functions and support of an office phone system, minus the hardware.

Discover >