How to Create a Marketing Plan Template for 2017

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Internet Marketing Plan Template

Every business requires a sound marketing strategy.

It is something that will help you when planning company sales, allocating free resources, creating customer profile and generally, positioning a website on an online market.

Before you start doing search engine optimization, social media and email marketing, it is best to create a plan.

In terms of marketing business you will have to focus on your brand, content policy, relationship with customers and influencers and finally your service and product strategies.

Let’s find out what marketing strategy templates are all about!

Focal points of a internet marketing plan template

Every site is affected by the current state of the industry and its ability to fit on a market.

Here are  four main things you need to consider when you create an online business:

  1. Current state of the market
  2. Performing SWOT analysis
  3. Positioning of a brand
  4. Financial plan

Each element needs to be addressed separately and requires some time for analysis.

If you follow the tips in this article you will have no issue establishing goals and creating an awesome internet marketing plan template that can work for anyone.

Current state of the market

The success of marketing plans is often based on your knowledge of the market.

Most people tend to overestimate or underestimate the market which can have a negative effect on all other segments of the plan.

There are three main elements you need to consider:

  1. Competition
  2. Consumers
  3. Potential for profit

Competition

There are several key things you need to include when it comes to your online competition.

Have in mind that every market will have its main players. But not all these main players will be of the same strength.

While there are industries which are extremely hard to penetrate on the internet (such as tech industry, for example) there are those who are still developing and give you a lot of leeway.

Like with brick and mortar companies, it is best to focus on industries that are not saturated or that are still unable to meet consumers’ demands.

Here, your online shop can find its place.

Of course, you are also able to penetrate some more competitive industries but this can only happen if you have enough resources.

In terms of website’s strength you can rely on tools and SEO stats:

  1. Domain stats
  2. Social media presence
  3. Reputation, online advertising, news stories, organized events
  4. PPC campaigns

All these factors (which can easily be analyzed) tell you about site’s online presence and its marketing strength.

If you have any SEO experience and if you browse the web a little bit, you can easily learn about specific things that company is doing online.

Consumers

After learning more about your competition, it is time to increase your knowledge of consumers.

Every industry and niche has its specifics.

In order to be create a good first impression and a positive contact, you need to analyze two different stats:

  1. Demographics
  2. Consumer’s buying cycle

Demographics is something that can be analyzed in Google Analytics.

In this program you can learn more about age, gender and interests of people visiting your website.

Have in mind that this tool will not work well for new websites so you won’t be able to reach your target audience instantly.

However, once you start rolling you can create the necessary adjustment in order to adapt to your readers.

This will affect both the appearance of your blog as well as the content you’re producing.

Consumer’s buying cycle is a concept that explains how a person is making a buying decision.

It is a process that goes through several points and in order to close a client you need to be persuasive during each one of them.

Buyer will visit your website in order to get more information about a product or a service. Depending on a purchase they may return several times assessing other offers on the web as they go.

Potential for profit

Have in mind that potential for profit isn’t the same as making a financial plan.

During this step you will be doing an initial assessment of the market.

This can tell you whether it is even worth it trying to create a website within this niche.

Good starting points are:

  1. Average paycheck of professional working in the industry
  2. Prices of products versus cost of production
  3. Current popularity of product or service
  4. Long-term popularity of products and industry’s perspective

Potential for profit is very important part of initial analysis.

Have in mind that this isn’t a determining factor and if you’re proficient enough you can make above average profit.

However, in order to be conservative it is definitely something worth considering.

Performing SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is the basis of any marketing plan.

It stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It shows your comparative potential in comparison to other players on the market.

Here is how to interpret them:

  1. Strengths – What are the strengths of your organization or product?
  2. Weaknesses – What are the weaknesses of your organization or product?
  3. Opportunities – What are the market opportunities?
  4. Threats – What are the market threats?

Have in mind that SWOT analysis is different from analysis of current market state.

Only when you analyze state of the market can you perform SWOT as previously you wouldn’t have had sufficient data.

Positioning of a brand

Gathered information will guide you as you decide how to position your brand on the market.

Positioning is very important as something that gives your brand an identity. It separates you from everyone else and creates a specific experience for a consumer.

Always bear in mind that even if you have a winning product you may not be able to sell it the way you would like to as consumers cannot relate to it.

Brand positioning can be closely related to a product or a service positioning but it doesn’t have to be so.

For example, the main value of your brand can be ecological solutions while your products are recognized for their durability.

When it comes to internet and websites there are three things you have to know:

  1. Mission and vision of a brand has to be clearly stated. It needs to be the first thing people see so they can easily relate to your company’s goals
  2. Site design needs to be unique and used throughout the content. Same goes for your author images, logo, etc. Whenever a person browses the web he or she needs to make a clear connection
  3. Your goals should be put into practice. By organizing events and supporting the things you preach, brand will get more credibility. Make sure to advertise and promote all activities that can strengthen brand’s positioning

No matter how much money you have or potential for growth, most of the markets nowadays are saturated.

This means you have to offer something else that doesn’t exist yet. This is one of the main reasons for positioning (besides identity).

Positioning increases your odds of overtaking a niche. It is a much better solution than trying to take the whole market on.

Financial plan

If you properly analyzed all the factors so far you are prepared to make a financial plan.

During the first marketing plan step you analyzed potential for profit.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will able to make a buck working in this niche.

You need to grind the numbers, put costs and potential revenues on paper and decide whether it is worth it create an e-shop or some other kind of commercial website.

Financial plan needs to be aligned with your business goals.

For some organizations it will be alright to lose money at the beginning of site’s life. Your flexibility and initial investment will play a major role in how you observe finances and whether you can take an initial hit.

Anyway, it is important to make a breakdown of all the costs and prices before you start anything.

This will show you whether your business model is sustainable.

Make sure to be liberal in your assessment as there are good odds that the final costs will be much higher than you expected.

Conclusion

Creating a marketing plan is crucial for every business whether it’s an online company or not.

When it comes to websites, rules are a bit different as you sell your products globally. This gives you a much wider reach but with much bigger competition.

Money you spend on marketing is differently used as you’re not promoting on billboards or TV but instead have to prioritize SEO, PPC and SMM.

The basis is still the same though – proper analysis of the market and competition is a must.

You will also have to put a lot of focus on your brand and products.

As I already mentioned, due to the fact that there is more competition in comparison to real world companies, you will have to differentiate much more.

Otherwise, there is a good chance you will never be noticed in search engines and will always be a second fiddle to top tier portals.

Have you created an internet marketing plan template before starting your online business? What was your biggest challenge during this analysis? Share it in the comment section below!

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3 Comments on "How to Create a Marketing Plan Template for 2017"

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Jarvee
Guest

Thank you Nikolay for sharing! Before we start to invest money and time in any business, if we don’t want to waste it, in depth marketing plan is mandatory. You covered most important things to be considered

David
Guest

To grow your business, you need a marketing plan. The right marketing plan identifies everything from 1) who your target customers are to 2) how you will reach them, to 3) how you will retain your customers so they repeatedly buy from you.

Done properly, your marketing plan will be the roadmap you follow to get unlimited customers and dramatically improve the success of your organization
Thanks for sharing Nikolay!

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