Failure to plan is planning to fail as the saying goes. In this day and age, the usefulness of a marketing plan is still undeniable and most successful companies have one in place. Most marketing plans are detailed and success-oriented. Companies with the necessary budget can afford to put their best people into making a plan, sometimes even dedicating an entire division for this purpose alone. This article serves to highlight how important a marketing plan is, and what are the different marketing planning platforms in the market.
What is the best marketing platform? Marketing plans aren’t just for the large players in the game. Even up-and-coming companies and startups will benefit greatly from having a marketing plan. If you’re planning on courting investors, one of the first things they’ll ask is about your plan. It won’t look impressive to a potential shareholder if you don’t have a marketing plan. It makes you look disorganized and unprepared—two words that you never want to be associated with you and your company.
That being said, having a marketing plan by itself isn’t going to cut it. Sure, you may have a plan, but how good and realistic is it? It can’t just be a mere scrap of paper that you file with the rest of your documents. Your marketing plan has to be an integral part of your operations and you should follow through with it. Right from the start, the creation of a marketing plan alone is a big undertaking, which is why some companies find it helpful to use a marketing planning platform.
What is a Marketing Plan?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s have a short recap of what marketing plans are and why they’re important to a business. Refreshing on this topic will hopefully help ground the discussion on the best marketing planning platforms and help you circle back to the topic of marketing planning.
A marketing plan refers to your overall strategy to promote your business. It’s like a marketing outline that aims to get an edge over your competitors, especially with the more established ones. With the ever-changing world of the Internet, it can be difficult to maintain a cohesive marketing plan that satisfies your company’s needs. Old school strategies may be tried and tested, but there’s no harm in checking out recent innovations in the marketing world, such as using marketing planning platforms.
What are the 5 Elements of a Marketing Plan?
The 5 P’s of marketing are product, price, people, place, and promotion. Hence, your marketing plan should revolve around these elements. To establish a successful marketing plan, follow these steps:
Step 1: Outline your marketing goals.
Know your campaign’s purpose and why you’re doing it in the first place. List down your intuitions and expected outcomes but remember to set SMART goals. When you outline your objectives, make sure you have a comprehensive marketing plan template for easy tracking.
Step 2: Curate a good message and call-to-action.
After outlining your goals, create your campaign story. How do you want consumers to receive your brand? How will you deliver the right message to your audience? To do it right, make sure that your message is aligned with your goals.
Step 3: Know your target audience.
Your campaign won’t convert if you’re not hitting the right people. Knowing your target audience means considering their location, interest, behavior, age, gender, and other demographics.
Step 4: Identify your advertising channels.
Your website may be the primary channel where you’ll deliver your campaign, but you may also promote on social media and through Google Ads. Whether you’ll promote on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, always choose the channels where you have a large reach and active engagement. You may also collaborate with influencers to gain more potential customers. Read our Matchmaker review to get started.
Step 5: Determine your campaign, total time, and budget costs.
This is the most important element of a marketing plan. Determine whether your campaign is short-term, long-term, or just for the summer. Include all the possible costs, including the budget you’ll spend for marketing planning platforms.
What is a Marketing Planning Program?
You may ask: what are content marketing platforms? Think of a marketing platform as a good marketing assistant that helps you to reach your goals. It’s easy to lose track of some stuff when you’re making your marketing plan, especially if you’re managing an expanding industry. A marketing planning platform will help assist and ensure that you’re achieving all your goals uniformly among different platforms.
Achieving a unified goal speaks highly of a company’s ability to improve and expand. Investors will be attracted to companies that look like they’ve figured it out. Most importantly, customers will be drawn to your business if you project a professional and confident public persona. They’ll be induced to remain loyal to your brand and you can draw in more potential customers.
What are the Different Marketing Planning Platforms?
Having the assistance of a good marketing planning platform will help you strategize on what you should do, identify your weak spots, and play to your strengths. Ideally, these are the criteria that you should look for when choosing the best marketing planning platform for your company. After all, everyone’s “best” is different. What may work well for others may not work for you and vice versa.
To help you find the marketing planning tool that best suits your business, check out our top 14 picks below.
If your marketing needs are large, you’ll need a marketing planning platform that can handle all your needs. Luckily, Asana is one available platform and you can use it easily. This organizing tool boasts millions of users in around 190 countries.
Asana allows you to plan and coordinate everything that needs to be done regarding your marketing planning. And by everything, we really mean everything—from daily tasks up to long-term projects. If you’re intrigued but not ready to commit yet, Asana also offers a free trial version. The paid version starts at around $10.99 per month.
If flexibility is one thing that you’re looking for, look no further than Trello. This software is user-friendly with little to no learning curve needed. It offers many designs and options for its users. Trello can also be integrated with other essential documents like Google Docs, which is helpful for multiple people working on a single project. There’s a free trial version while the paid version rate is at $9.99 per month.
Maybe you’re concerned about security–after all, you might be dealing with sensitive company information while working on your campaign. Wrike is the answer to your woes. One of its offers is the advanced security feature. But it doesn’t slack with the customization options either. The best part? If you integrate it with Wrike for Marketer’s Performance, you can get real-time digital performance insights.
If versatility is a plus for you (and it is for most people), GoodDay is a good option. It runs the gamut of management from project, work, product, team management, and task management. It’s also considerably cheaper compared to the other platforms that we’ve mentioned in this list. The cheapest version starts at $5 per month, with a free trial option.
What about a platform that helpfully integrates with other marketing planning platforms? Look no further than Miro. It boasts around 13 million users and if that’s not enough to convince you, here’s more.
Miro is one of the best collaborative whiteboard platforms around. It accommodates small to large teams. The platform can also integrate with Trello, Asana, Monday, and other marketing plan generator tools. The main purpose of Miro is to centralize communication. Pricing starts at $10.00 per month and it also offers a free trial version of the platform.
If your biggest concern is cash flow and spending, Dreamdata is a good option for you. The primary focus of this tool is to serve as a B2B Revenue Attribution Platform. It helps you repeat and replicate earlier success while preventing financial wastage. However, Dreamdata doesn’t have media planning or collaboration. It concentrates more on campaign result analysis.
Bitrix24’s main fixation is on marketing and lead generation. If you’re looking for a platform for your email marketing, Bitrix could be a good solution. Aside from lead nurturing, the software also offers other services, including Google marketing, telemarketing, and Facebook marketing.
Bitrix has budget spending features but it focuses more on collaboration. Its price is a bit steep at $24 per month, but you can always enjoy the free version and a free trial for the paid version.
Ease of use is the keyword for monday.com. It boasts the most features on our list, including collaboration, budget spending, forecasting, goal setting, tracking, presentation tools, calendar, and spend management. The platform is also flexible enough that you can manage it your way, something many of its users appreciate. Like Trello, monday.com has plenty of useful third-party app integrations. There’s a free trial and the paid version is pegged at $7.80 per month per user.
IBM Marketing Cloud
You’ve already discovered tools that focus on organizing tasks, email marketing, team collaboration, and budget spending. Looking for a solution that offers marketing automation services? IBM Marketing Cloud is our top pick.
The software focuses on advanced email marketing and other automated marketing solutions. It helps you increase revenue and sales, making it a priority above others. Despite its age, IBM Marketing Cloud remains one of the most visible marketing planning platforms around. Plus, it comes with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. As they say, a classic never goes out of style.
Wondering if there’s a platform that will help you deliver personalized ads to your customers? Yes, there is, and our favorite is Outbrain Amplify. It’s a premium content discovery platform. Data gathering and analytics are among the platform’s strengths, which help you understand and analyze your audience better. As we’ve said, you want your message to get through to the right target audience—and Outbrain Amplify fulfills this need.
If you want to try another tool that has the same scope as Amplify, read our MagicLinks review.
If your main concern is growth, you might be interested in using SendX. The platform’s focus is on growth, such as engaging and acquiring customers at the scale you want. One problem that SendX might solve is growing your email list and nurturing your leads. However, B2B companies and bloggers appreciate SendX’s services the most. The tool even offers customized messages if you need them. There’s a free trial available and the paid version starts at $19.99 per month.
One of the most useful tools in marketing today is the media, ranging from traditional media to social media. Mediatool is a great marketing planning program if your needs are focused on media. It provides services, such as yearly summaries and the ability to centralize and see an overview of your media marketing plans. The platform also offers goal setting, budgeting, and project tracking services. For those who are intrigued by the idea, there’s a free trial version of Mediatool available.
Insights are among the most valuable ammunition you can have if you’re waging a marketing campaign. They tell you what works and what doesn’t. And if you have a great tool at your disposal, you can easily tell why your campaign isn’t working.
Rilo Insights is an excellent tool that you can use to get automated marketing insights into your campaign. It offers analytics, real-time insights, statistics regarding performance, and other marketing services.
Like most marketing planning platforms on our list, Rilo’s price is a bit steep at $30.00 per month. But if you just want to see if it’s a good fit for you, you can always avail of the trial version before making the final plunge.
What if you’re just looking for something easy—something that will fulfill your needs without the pressure of learning all the new things? If that’s the case, you might appreciate having ready-made marketing templates.
MyMarketingMate’s main draw is providing ready-made marketing templates. It also provides a ‘guiding wizard’ for creating a marketing plan—something that beginners might appreciate as a great deal. There’s a free 14-day trial and the pro version starts at around $29 per month with access to three user accounts.
Choose the best marketing platform
So, what is the best marketing platform for your business? There are different marketing planning platforms and the best software differs for everyone. No two companies are alike, so it’s perfectly okay to look for something until you find the one that best suits your business.
A good marketing plan should have all the necessary elements to make your campaign successful. On the other hand, your marketing planning tool should be able to fulfill all your goals and needs. There are easy marketing tools that just generate plans if you aren’t still well-versed and there are highly advanced ones. The point is, find something that works for you and your job will be much easier.
Does your brand focus on email marketing to grow your audience and generate sales? Read our post about “Email Marketing Costs: Factors to Consider for your Campaign Budget” to get the best tips.