What to Include in a Marketing Plan to Generate Leads

Author: Kendra Lee, KLA Group CEO

Business owners are quick to set their lead generation goals, but what to include in a marketing plan to achieve them is a bit of a mystery. They know that a marketing plan is the foundation for generating leads. New prospects generate new opportunities. New opportunities turn into sales. Enough closed sales equals growth. It sounds simple. But without a marketing plan, your vision never takes off.

Questions you want answered

You expect your CMO to know what to include in their marketing plan. But how do you know if they describe the right elements of an effective plan?

Recently, two business owners asked this exact question during their sales manager coaching sessions. They wanted a way to validate the work of their sales and marketing managers and then hold them accountable. They knew what to include in a sales plan, but they didn’t know what to expect from their marketing manager’s plan.

The best place to start is with the questions you want answered. Here are a few that might concern you:

  • How many leads do we need to reach our revenue goals?
  • Which target markets should we focus our marketing on?
  • What are our competitors’ marketing activities?
  • Do all of our staff know how to describe what we do?
  • Should we market to our customers?
  • What percentage of our leads convert into sales opportunities?

Key Sections of a Marketing Plan

Whether you’ve been asked to create a marketing plan that answers these questions or you’re the business owner asking them, here are some tips on creating a plan that will generate leads.

The purpose of a marketing plan

Your marketing plan outlines how you will generate leads to achieve your sales goals and support the sales team in their sales process to close more opportunities. While one of your goals may be to increase brand awareness or create more visibility, the primary goal of your marketing plan is to generate leads and facilitate sales.

3 things to keep in mind when developing your marketing plan:

1. It’s not necessary to focus only on lead generation.

2. It should include refueling tactics customer buying cycle to support your sales process.

3. Part of your marketing plan should be dedicated to existing customers to identify new opportunities and ensure customer retention.

What to include in your marketing plan

When preparing your marketing plan, include the following 9 sections:

1. Overall marketing objectives. Set quantifiable marketing goals. For example, generate 40 new leads per month for sales. Increase leads in a new market by 20% this year. Reduce customer churn to less than 5% within two years.

2. Historical overview. Look back and note what worked and what didn’t in past marketing. Identify where you got the best results.

3. WORK. Perform an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your own business. Include your observations at the end.

4. Key messaging. In a few sentences, describe your company’s differentiation and value proposition.

5. Competition analysis. Write down how each competitor differentiates itself, how you compare to them, and your key message for being competitive.

6. Target markets. List the target markets you will focus on This year. Include demographics and the needs they have that your solutions will address.

seven. Key products. Describe your main solutions. Note their connection to the markets you are targeting. Write down which solutions work best for prospects versus customers.

8. MarketingMix. Identify all lead generation strategies that you want to use, or plan to use, to achieve your sales goals. Include timelines for different activities. For example, manage SEO and host webinars.

9. Budget. Include the budget you’ll need to execute your marketing plan and a list of additional resources you need.

Your marketing plan provides the guidelines for your implementation plan. Use it and you’ll be well on your way to generating the leads you need.

Blog contributed courtesy of KLA Group and authored by Kendra Lee, CEO of KLA Group. Read more of Kendra Lee’s contributed blogs here.

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