The 8 fundamental steps to a marketing plan

Frédéric Gonzalo


Frédéric Gonzalo

Strategic marketing consultant and new technologies business trainer

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In the era of the web and social media, the consumer no longer has the same expectations or the same level of patience. We want information about a product or a service right away, at our fingertips or at the click of a mouse.

If consumer habits and behaviours have evolved, we can’t always say the same about the commercial practices of certain companies. However, the basic principles for an effective marketing approach remain just as valid in 2019 as in the past. What are these principles?




The 4Ps of Marketing

If you have already taken even only a single marketing course in your life, you have heard of the 4 Ps:







Some claim these concepts are outdated, or have replaced them with the 7 Ps, the 4 Es and other concepts that are also valid. I may be old school, but I stand by the 4 Ps, although adapted to today’s digital reality.

Therefore, these 4 Ps should be found at the heart of the reflection and drafting process for your marketing plan, regardless of the industry in which you evolve, as much in B2B (business-to-business, or inter-company) as B2C (business-to-consumer).



An 8-Step Marketing Plan

Here are eight fundamental steps of a marketing plan.

1. Define the objectives.

2. Identify the target markets and publics.

3. Articulate the communication axis and the positioning (Product).

4. Define your pricing (Price).

5. Prioritize digital tools and tactics (Promotion) — (a) traditional tools, (b) digital tools.

6. Choose the distribution channels (Place).

7. Budget the actions.

8. Define and measure the key indicators.



The Large Classic Error!

Don't place too much emphasis on marketing communication actions and tactics (Step 5) without:

Properly DEFINING THE OBJECTIVES sought by the company for the next year
(Step 1)

Knowing who the IDEAL CUSTOMER is
(Step 2)

Identifying WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE and sets you apart from the competition
(Step 3)



Let Us Agree On One Thing

The marketing plan serves first and foremost to provide a direction, like the beacons and lighthouses that help ships navigate in difficult waters. It is a document that can, and must, be flexible and adjust to the reality of the market and changes in your industry.

In other words, the marketing plan should help with more reflective — and less intuitive — decision-making. And at the end, you will be equipped to take better advantage of the opportunities to grow your business!





Are You Interested in Learning More?

If you are a French-speaker, you don't want to miss this! Frédéric has been called one of the most influential bloggers for marketing and social media in Canada. He will be live at the Toronto Gift Fair on January 28th.

Read Frédéric's white paper free-of-charge.