Part 3 in our marketing planning series details a marketing planning checklist, a useful tool to identify a broad range of marketing strategies and tactics used in typical marketing plans.

Our Marketing Planning Series includes:  1) Marketing Planning Best Practices, 2)  Marketing Budgeting Best Practices, and 3) the following Marketing Planning Checklist.

Of course, marketing plans come in a number of “shapes and sizes”, from the annual tactical plan, to project or functional plans, to the detailed strategic marketing plan. A given marketing program may range in complexity, budget and requirements. Different markets and products likely require vastly different marketing strategies and tactics. So a Marketing Planning Checklist should allow for a range of marketing scenarios. This checklist is based on a typical business-to-business marketing scenario.

Marketing Planning Checklist for the Modern Marketer

  1. BACKGROUND
    • Company or brand
      1. Historical sales, margins, volume
      2. Economic drivers (macro)
      3. SWOT analysis
    • Market Analysis targets
      1. Market sizing
      2. Market segmentation
      3. Customer identification (incl. demographics)
      4. Channels of distribution
      5. Sales process (incl. cycle)
    • Market Research
      1. Secondary research (internet, associations, publications)
      2. Syndicated research (analyst reports, research/consulting
      3. firms, other)
      4. Primary research (surveys, interviews, focus groups)
    • Competitors
      1. Market share
      2. Branding/positioning
      3. Key marketing initiatives
      4. Intelligence
    • Prior Marketing Programs and Results
      1. Sales
      2. Inquiries/sales leads/new customers
      3. Website traffic statistics (Google analytics, host stats)
      4. Other Measures
  2. OBJECTIVES (QUANTIFY)
    • Sales (Revenue, Volume, Margin)
    • Market share
    • Other measures (ROI, payback, breakeven)
  3. STRATEGIES
    • How to achieve objectives, not specific tactics
      1. New products
      2. New markets
      3. Promotions
      4. New Programs
      5. Customer initiatives
  4. TACTICS
    • Branding
      1. Re-branding
      2. Naming
      3. Identity
      4. Sub-branding, trademark registration, identity standards
    • Internet
      1. Website development, re-development, microsites, landing pages
      2. Search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM)
      3. Social media (profiles, content, blog and forum posts)
      4. Email campaigns (landing pages, registration forms)
      5. Webcasts, webinars, web conferences
    • Advertising
      1. Media (research, planning, placement, traffic)
      2. Print (trade publications)
      3. Online (banners, directories, Google AdWords)
      4. Broadcast (TV, radio)
    • Publicity
      1. News releases
      2. Press list
      3. Press kit
      4. Press events
      5. Article (writing and placement)
      6. Media relations
      7. Distribution (internet, wire service)
    • Sales Promotion
      1. Programs
      2. Training
      3. Contests, coupons, sweepstakes
    • Collateral
      1. Brochures, product sheets, flyers
      2. Catalogs, manuals, instructions, installation
      3. Educational pieces (white papers, guides, how-tos)
    • Trade Shows and Events
      1. Exhibit design
      2. Booth graphics
      3. Pre-show promotion
      4. Webcasts
    • Channel Marketing
      1. Dealer or distributor programs
      2. Promotions
      3. Merchandising support, POP, packaging
      4. Training programs
      5. Launch kits
      6. MDF and Co-Op programs
    • Direct marketing
      1. Direct Mail
      2. Email
      3. List Procurement
      4. Telemarketing
    • Photography and Video (supports all tactics above)

What would you add to the above marketing planning checklist? What items are essential in your company’s marketing plan development? How often does your firm revisit this plan and do you stick to it through and through or alter it from time to time?

Share your thoughts and experience in the box below. And be sure to check out our other marketing planning resources below:

Marketing Planning Resources

Marketing Budgeting Best Practices

How to Select the Right Marketing Agency

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