We’re here to answer these questions and clear up any confusion, so that you – and everyone within your team – can focus on what matters most: executing on your plans.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a robust and comprehensive roadmap outlining a corporate strategy for all marketing and advertising efforts over a given period of time (say, a year). It takes into account business objectives, target demographics, budget, expected return on investment (ROI), and previous strategies. It will leverage existing knowledge to refine an approach for maximum chances of success. In larger organizations, a marketing plan will be the responsibility of the Chief Marketing Officer; in smaller companies, it may be the purview of the CEO, Marketing Director, Vice President, or someone else in executive leadership.
Part of any marketing plan will be a breakdown of specific marketing campaigns that will be employed to achieve the objectives laid out. This brings us to our next question.
What is a Marketing Campaign?
A marketing campaign is a targeted and focused outreach program in pursuit of specific and definable goals (say, increasing sales of X by Y, or promoting awareness of a new product or service). It will consist of multiple initiatives or activities, all working in conjunction with each other, and will often leverage various tracking measures as well. Through tracking, a company can objectively judge the success (or lack thereof) of its marketing campaign by measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) – indicators of success agreed upon prior to the campaign being undertaken. All initiatives (including tracking initiatives) will be built around these performance measurements.
Part of any marketing campaign will be a breakdown of specific marketing initiatives and activities to be undertaken in pursuit of the Campaign goals. This brings us to our next topic of discussion.
What is a Marketing Initiative?
A marketing initiative is a specific activity or effort taken in pursuit of a larger campaign. Marketing initiatives may occur on a recurring or one-time basis, and can vary widely in shape and form. Examples include radio and television commercials, email blasts, monthly pay-per-click (PPC) advertising efforts, social media promotions, trade shows and conferences, and a number of other efforts. If a marketing plan represents an overall strategy for customer engagement, then marketing initiatives represent specific tactics.
Individual marketing initiatives will make up the bulk of your wider marketing efforts (and budget). Whether you’re sending out mailers or producing radio commercials, it is through these individual efforts that you will reach (and engage) your audience.