The E-commerce industry is becoming more and more like a complicated maze with high walls. How can you expect to reach the final point without having a plan? After all, even Harry Potter had some help to reach the end of the maze.
A marketing plan is your map in the mind-blowing maze of Ecommerce. Whether you’re a new e-commerce entrepreneur or an established online retailer looking to boost sales, a comprehensive plan can help you navigate the digital landscape strategically.
In this article, we are providing you with a marketing plan tailored for Ecommerce businesses. So if you ever feel lost when trying to find clear instructions to create one, we solved your problem in this article.
Marketing Plan Definition
A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines the strategies and tactics an e-commerce business will employ to promote its products or services to the target audience.
In more simple words, it is a general guideline for your business’s marketing activities that shows you what you need to do, where you should focus, how you will control and refine your performance, and who is responsible for this process. It is usually used for a season or a year.
A well-structured Eommerce plan not only helps in increasing sales and brand visibility but also aids in converting potential customers into loyal buyers.
What is the Purpose of a Marketing Plan?
The primary purpose of a marketing plan is to provide a clear direction and focus for your e-commerce business’s marketing efforts.
It serves as a blueprint that aligns your team’s actions toward common goals and ensures that you make the most of your marketing resources. Additionally, it enables you to identify opportunities and adapt to changes in the market environment.
Types of Marketing Plans
When it comes to e-commerce, various marketing plans can be tailored to suit different business goals with various focus points. Generally, you can create one primary Ecommerce plan for your business and then you can go into more detail about the different types of marketing strategies you want to implement.
Here are some of the most used types by e-commerce businesses:
Digital Marketing Plan
A digital marketing plan revolves around online channels such as search engines, social media platforms, email marketing, and display advertising. It focuses on leveraging digital tools and technologies to drive traffic, boost sales, and enhance brand awareness.
Content Marketing Plan
Content marketing focuses on creating valuable and relevant content to attract, engage, and retain the target audience. From blog posts and infographics to videos and eBooks, content marketing helps establish the e-commerce business as an authoritative and trustworthy source within the industry.
You can read more about this robust strategy in the “Content Marketing Strategy Framework” article.
Social Media Marketing Plan
In this plan, social media platforms are utilized to connect with the audience, build a community, and promote products or services. It involves crafting engaging content, running social media campaigns, and fostering meaningful interactions with followers.
Interested in using social media for your ecommerce store? You need to read the “Social media: complete guide for your E-commerce store” article.
Affiliate Marketing Plan
In affiliate marketing, the e-commerce business collaborates with affiliates or influencers who promote its products or services in exchange for a commission on each sale generated through their referral links.
One Page Marketing Plan
A one-page marketing plan is a concise and simplified version of the comprehensive one. It condenses the essential elements onto a single page, making it easy to refer to and share with team members.
The most famous framework for the one-page marketing plan was introduced by Allan Dib in the “1-page marketing plan” Book.
Cross-selling Marketing Plan
Do you want french fries or a drink?
This is maybe the most common type of cross-selling that you’ve encountered.
The cross-selling focuses on increasing the average order value by encouraging customers to purchase related or complementary products along with their main purchase.
Although it seems easy, It is not! You need to have a proper plan to use this strategy effectively.
First, read the “What is Cross Selling: an Ultimatimate Guide” article if you are interested to increase your Ecommerce store very fast.
What are the 9 Elements of a Marketing Plan?
Creating a marketing plan for your online store doesn’t have to be complicated and confusing. With these 9 essential elements, you can easily craft a comprehensive plan for your Ecommerce store:
Clearly define your marketing objectives, whether it’s increasing sales, expanding market share, or improving brand awareness. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Do not think for the short term. Think about what you want to achieve after the whole year.
Identify the key metrics that will help you measure the success of your marketing efforts. Depending on your main goals, KPIs can include website traffic, conversion rates, customer retention, and social media engagement, among others.
When you are choosing a KPI, make sure you are able to gather all the relevant data needed for measuring selected KPIs. Read more about it in the “OKR vs KPI: What Are the Differences” article.
Allocate a budget for your marketing activities, taking into account the costs of advertising, promotions, content creation, and any other relevant expenses.
Consider the current financial situation of your business and the effects of your marketing plan in different scenarios. Then decide how much money you want to spend on your marketing activities.
Protip: Do not think of advertising as costs.
Understand your target audience by creating detailed buyer personas. These are fictional representations of your ideal customers, including their demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences.
Buyer persona is a powerful tool that can shake up your marketing performance. Read more about this magnificent tool in the “Solving the Mystery of Create Buyer Persona” article.
Brand and Positioning
When you are trying to plan your marketing, one of the major factors that you need to keep in mind is your brand positioning. You need to make sure that your marketing activities are resonating with your desired Brand image.
For example, if you want to place yourself as a high-quality luxury brand, you need to be careful about using discounts, selling offers and etc.
Try to at least write a brand positioning statement for your online store.
Channels & Types
Choose the most suitable marketing channels and types of marketing based on your target audience’s preferences and behavior. If you don’t have much experience in creating a marketing plan, try to choose between the types of digital marketing plans provided in the previous section.
Based on your goals, budget, and the chosen types of marketing, you need to clarify your activities. Outline the specific actions and tasks required to implement each marketing strategy. This could include content creation, ad campaign setup, social media posting, email marketing sequences, and other promotional efforts. Having a detailed list of activities helps ensure that your marketing plan translates into actionable steps, keeping your team on track and focused on achieving the defined goals.
Create a timeline and schedule for your marketing activities, ensuring that each campaign or promotion is well-timed and aligned with your goals.
You can use different formats to schedule your marketing campaigns, however, the roadmap approach is recommended.
One of the most important parts of your marketing plan is to specify the person in charge and responsible for the whole process. If you have a marketing team, the marketing manager will be responsible for it of course.
You can make a further step and assign responsibilities to team members for each aspect of the plan. Clearly define roles to ensure smooth execution and accountability.
By considering these nine essential elements, your plan will not only be well-organized but also tailored to the unique needs and opportunities of your online store. Remember to continuously analyze and adapt your plan based on real-time data and feedback to stay ahead in the competitive e-commerce landscape.
Do not forget to include the “executive summary” of your marketing plan which is a concise overview of the entire marketing plan, summarized into a few pages. You can learn how to write an executive summary in the “How to Write an Executive Summary for a Marketing Plan“ article.
Pro tip: You need to remember that your marketing plan should align with your pricing strategy. If you are not sure how to choose the best pricing strategy, you need to read the “Best Ecommerce Pricing Strategy” article.
What are the 4 Stages of the Marketing Planning Process?
An effective marketing plan is a result of a well-structured planning process. The marketing planning process generally consists of four stages:
Planning and Designing
In this initial phase, gather market research, analyze data, and assess the current market situation. Identify opportunities and challenges, set marketing objectives, and develop strategies to achieve them.
Once the plan is in place, it’s time to execute the marketing strategies and tactics. Allocate resources, launch campaigns, and put the plan into action.
During the implementation phase, regularly monitor and measure the performance of your marketing initiatives against the predefined KPIs. This allows you to identify what’s working well and what needs improvement.
This is where business intelligence systems can really come in handy. Read more about BI benefits in the “Uncover the Business Intelligence Implementation” article.
Based on the data and feedback obtained from monitoring and controlling, make necessary adjustments to optimize your marketing efforts. Continuously learn from the results and refine your marketing strategies accordingly.
This is a crucial step, especially for an Ecommerce store to optimize your marketing costs and gain better results.
After creating a marketing plan, every E-commerce business has to run multiple marketing campaigns. However, conducting a successful campaign needs a clear plan. Using AIDA model can help you with this matter. Read the “Proven Steps for Using AIDA Model in Your E-commerce” article to understand how you can boost your online sales.
2 Examples of Marketing Plans and Templates
Other than the provided framework with 9 elements for your marketing plan, you can also check other templates and examples. Here you can find 2 more templates.
HubSpot’s Marketing Plan
HubSpot’s marketing plan template is a comprehensive and well-structured resource that covers all the essential aspects of creating a successful marketing strategy. The template includes sections for a business summary, business initiatives, target market, market strategy, budget, marketing channels, and every other important element of it.
If you prefer to work within a project management tool, Monday.com offers a convenient marketing plan template that can come in handy. This template allows you to track all of your marketing initiatives, strategies, business goals, budgets, and marketing campaigns in one centralized platform. The best part is that you can transform data using a variety of data visualizations, including Kanban, calendar, timeline, Gantt chart, map, and more. Monday.com’s template provides a visually engaging and user-friendly way to organize and manage your plan, making it easier to collaborate with your team and stay on top of your marketing activities.
- A well-crafted marketing plan is crucial for e-commerce businesses to succeed in the highly competitive digital landscape.
- The marketing plan serves as a detailed roadmap outlining strategies and tactics to promote products or services to the target audience.
- The purpose of a marketing plan is to provide clear direction, align team efforts, and optimize marketing resources.
- Various types of marketing plans, including digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and affiliate marketing, can be tailored to suit different business goals.
- The 9 essential elements of a marketing plan include goals, KPIs, budget, buyer persona, brand and positioning, channels & types, activities, schedule, and responsible parties.
- Creating buyer personas helps tailor marketing efforts to resonate with the target audience.
- Brand positioning is essential to ensure marketing activities align with the desired brand image.
- The activities element outlines specific actions and tasks to implement marketing strategies effectively.
- The marketing planning process consists of four stages: planning and designing, implementing, controlling, and refining.