Create an Effective Business Marketing and Communications Plan

Much like a business plan, your marketing communications plan is basically a written outline of all the aspects of your marketing activities and goals. If it is done correctly, it can help you and your employees keep your business focused on your marketing objectives, provide a benchmark to measure the impact of all marketing activities, and ensure that there is a sustainable Return On Investment (ROI).

Elements of a Marketing and Communications Plan

1. Research. A good marketing and communications plan starts with research. You should be knowledgeable about the profile and buying habits of your target audiences in addition to the current economic climate. You should also generally be aware of the processes underlying sales, consumption, and business communication.

2. Objectives. You need to identify what your marketing goals are- ie what do you hope to gain from your marketing and communications activities.

3. A Detailed plan of action. Outline your marketing and communications process step by step. How are you going to communicate with your customers and what messages are you going to give over. Describe all of your methodology, including the customer-facing materials such as brochures, press releases, Web sites, and trade show presentations.

4. Financial costs and value measurement. A marketing and communications plan should outline how you will be spending your marketing dollars. This will help you to budget your marketing expenses, manage your cash flow, track your sales-to-marketing expense ratio, and measure the success of your marketing efforts.

Free Resources for Marketing and Communications Plans:

  • Mplans.com – Free marketing plan samples for over 70 different small businesses

  • Microsoft Office – If you have a recent version of Microsoft Office you can download this series of marketing plan samples and templates.

  • Small Business Help Center – Free help to create your marketing plan

  • BusinessTown.com – A sample marketing plan

  • Small Business Administration – Advice and information for creating and effective marketing plan.

  • Fundraisers – Just like any business fundraisers have a goal and should be planned and executed properly. Consult the experts at EZfund for your fundraising projects from begining to end!