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6 basic steps of creating a marketing plan

Posted By Usma Ziard on June 26th, 2012

Before creating a marketing plan ensure that you have confirmed your organizational goals. The organizational goals need to be the main umbrella above your marketing plan. Once you have your organizational goals in place you are ready to start on your marketing plan.

6 basic elements to focus on when developing a marketing plan:

1) Goals: Ask yourself why are you developing this plan. Is it to increase website visits, to increase ecommerce revenue, or increase market share? Make sure the marketing goals are complimentary to the organizational goals. For example, Increased customer satisfaction is an organizational goal, while Increasing customer renewal rates by 10% is a marketing goal. These two goals complement each other.

2) Audience : Who do you want to target. This is a very good stage to actually define your audience in detail. Who they are, what challenges they face, and how your organization plans on being a part of their business model.

3) Messaging: Deliver the right message to the intended audience segment. You will be wasting your resources if you are delivering the wrong message to the wrong audience. The call to action within your messaging should be very clear – what do you want your audience to do? Do you want them to come to your website, renew their product, or take a survey, etc?

4) Competitors: Do you have any competitors? If yes, do they have similar product offerings? If so, identify how your products or services differ from your competitors. It is always good to know who your organization is competing with. Tip: Visit your competitors website, subscribe to their newsletter, etc.

5) Tactics: How are you going to reach these audiences? What marketing tactics should you use? Tip: You may consider testing some tactics, such as email verses direct mail, ad words verses social media, etc.

6) Metrics: Tracking your metrics/results on your tactics will help you monitor your progress and make adjustments, as needed, to accomplish the goals you’ve set in the plan.

There are many great articles out there and just to name a few that can help you build on this marketing planning process.

Hopefully the 7 elements I have outlined will help you get started.

The marketing planning process may take days and in some cases weeks but, it is well worth it.


  • David

June 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

Good article. I bookmarked it in my personal Word document of good nonprofit information. Having said that, Goal 1 should be “complementary” to organizational goals.

  • Usma

June 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

David, glad you found it useful, I hope others do too. Great catch btw on the wording correction, thank you!

Topics: Communications