How to Write a Marketing Plan in Just Six Easy Steps

Develop a well-defined marketing plan that will help you grow your business

A well-executed marketing plan is like a GPS. It guides your customers into your sales process. Done right, your marketing should result in more leads, higher sales and a stronger brand. Following steps in a logical progression, without going off on tangents, is one of the fastest ways to achieve your goals.

Negotiating business contracts can be complicated. Navigating regulatory issues can be complicated. Thankfully marketing your business can be simple, if you have a system in place that everyone on your team wants to use because it makes their jobs less stressful.

“That’s what I like about the Strategically Aimed Marketing process,” says marketing strategist Lonny Kocina, CEO of Media Relations Agency. “It’s called SAM 6 for short. (Even the name is uncomplicated!) It’s a six-step process that keeps marketing focused and on point.”

SAM 6 is easy to understand and logical to implement. Basic implementation tools can be found for free online. The six steps are:

1. Gain competence in marketing concepts and principles. “This ensures everyone is speaking the same language and has a working knowledge of marketing. This is an essential starting point for creating a great marketing plan,” comments Kocina.

2. Fill in code sheets. Code sheets are a means of gathering and documenting important information about your company and the products it promotes. They help ensure that your messages are consistently focused for the best possible response. These details include the offering (product), company vision and mission, the market, key messages, positioning and brand statement. Code sheets help direct and control your creative staff. They are like a framework around which all your promotional messages are built. “Use the code sheets both before a promotion is created and for evaluation before the promotion goes out,” advises Kocina.

3. Select appropriate promotional mix channels. Choose from among publicity, advertising, website, social media and personal selling. Kocina states, “The promotional mix channels you choose to employ depend on many variables including your message, the market and your resources.”

4. Schedule your promotions on a calendar. This ensures that you’re delivering a constant and maximum flow of on-point promotional messages. “Begin by determining which products will get the most attention and how often the organization in general will be promoted,” says Kocina. “Keep in mind: you are not drafting the content. You are just documenting products, value points, markets, channels and frequency.”

5. Develop a control template for your creative team. A control template provides the guidelines for your writers, designers and other creative staff to follow. It enables these imaginative professionals to create attention-getting content without losing site of the marketing necessities. Much of the Control Template information is filled in from earlier steps, such as the product and primary message themes from your Code Sheets, or the channel from your calendar. Other components help your creative team produce the most effective content. For example, identifying the sender lets your creatives incorporate a unique voice or image. Including the keywords necessary for SEO or hashtags for social media help them create searchable content. Kocina adds, “The content itself is written into the AIDA — Attention, Interest, Desire and Action — section of the Control Template. AIDA is a helpful tool for writing marketing prose.”

6. Engage your creative team. “Assemble the right people for the job, and then let these creative souls work their magic within the parameters you created,” Kocina concludes.  

Business is complicated enough. Marketing can be made simple with a straightforward process. Access free basic tools for implementing SAM 6 at SAM 6 is also explained, step-by-step, in the best-selling, award-winning book, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing.”

About Lonny Kocina, CEO, Media Relations Agency

Lonny is a visionary who is passionate about marketing. Lonny believes that to be a truly great agency, professional advice and deliverables must be based on a solid marketing foundation.

Lonny pioneered the concept of Pay Per Interview Publicity® business model which enables clients to purchase publicity by the story. “It’s a familiar concept. If you pay for a pizza, you get a pizza; if pay for a car, you get a car; and with us, if you pay for media coverage, you get media coverage,” he explains. “Clients come to us because they are tired of paying hourly retainers and getting little tangible return.”

In the 30 years since launching Media Relations Agency, Lonny’s greatest joy still comes from thinking about, talking about and writing about marketing. He currently teaches his popular Strategically Aimed Marketing (SAM 6) process, outlined in his best-selling book “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing,” to business leaders and those working within the marketing industry.