The executive summary is a small, summarized version of your marketing plan. The main objective is it to briefly list and describe all relevant components. Keep in mind that most executives who’ll read your marketing plan won’t have the time to read the full document. Therefore, you need to make sure that they’re immediately getting the full picture.
Marketing plans and strategies are often used interchangeably. This is because a marketing plan should not exist without the overarching strategy as a framework. In some cases, the strategy and the plan may be incorporated into one document particularly in smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. However, the plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

If you don’t know who you are, what you’re selling or who you’re selling to, you’re going to have a pretty hard time convincing people to buy your product or service, never mind figuring out what tactical initiatives you should be working on. So, if you haven’t already, do your homework. Start with researching your competitors and audience; examine your customers’ buying habits; and do a SWOT analysis (more on that in a bit). These steps will help you lay a sturdy foundation for your tactical plans and allow you to develop reasonable expectations and goals.


In fact, once you know where you want to go you will need to capture the direction inside your pitch deck. There will be an entire slide dedicated to this in your pitch deck which potential investors expect. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash. Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
If you wanted to create a marketing agency 25+ years ago, the barrier to entry was colossal. With a primitive digital landscape, the overhead to create such an operation was daunting, and nearly impossible without initial investment. On top of the startup costs, you were limited to physical and traditional media and the headaches associated with all but fabricating something that resembled ROI for your clients. Being “in the red” for a very, very long time was inevitable.
Though each company organizes its marketing team based on its unique culture, budget, and expected outcomes, you can choose from three general approaches to take: do-it-yourself (DIY), in-house, or outsourced. Each one has pros, cons, and cost variations to consider and thoroughly evaluate before making the best choice for your company. Often, the ideal approach is a hybrid one that optimizes existing resources and areas of expertise (such as technical content development) and focuses outsourced efforts on marketing gaps.

If you haven’t received an offer from a suitable buyer yet, you can always reach out to reputable companies that acquire digital marketing agencies. Business brokers can be beneficial here because of their extensive network, but you shouldn’t be afraid to lean on your own professional network to find the right buyer. Try sending out a few emails to trusted contacts that express your interest in selling your company. Last but not least, you have the option of contacting potential buyers directly. Most growing digital marketing agencies and consultancies have an acquisitions page on their site you can use to get in touch with the right people.
If you were to explain what you do as a marketer to a 5-year-old and a grown man/woman, would you do it in the same way? Would it take the same amount of time? Would you use the exact same words? You would probably use some examples or analogies, but different ones in each case. That’s called essential intelligence and also goes by “defining your audience”.
The marketing budget is usually the most powerful tool by which one can determine the relationship between desired results and available means. Its starting point should be the marketing strategies and plans, which have already been formulated in the marketing plan itself; although, in practice, the two will run in parallel and will interact. At the very least, a thorough budget may cause a change in the more optimistic elements of a company's business plans.
Burson-Marsteller is a global public relations firm that is part of Young & Rubicam group, which is a subsidiary of WPP. Established in 1953 by Harold Burson and Bill Marsteller, the agency now has a worldwide network that consists of 77 offices and 85 affiliate offices and operates in 110 countries. Burson-Marsteller has worked with Ford, Thomson Reuters, Blueair and more. Check out Burson-Marsteller on Agency Spotter.

I could then create variations of my ad to content managers, but using different phrases, such as "blog content developer," "blogger for hire," and other similar terms. Eventually, I could use my Google Analytics to determine which keyword phrase attracted the most clicks from these specific target audiences. You could expand this to tracking your advertising campaigns across Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other networks as well.
For example, Google Trends shows you what search topics are popular right now. If you have an AdWords account, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to learn more about search volume for specific phrases, as well as to generate new keyword phrases. Google also has another tool, Correlate, which lets you look at searches that correspond to real-world events.
Today, most business purchasers looking to buy a product or service start the process by using a search engine to find vendors and product information. How can you make sure that your business is found when these people are looking for you or your competitors? You need to make sure you rank high in the search engine results, for as many search terms as possible, and hopefully for many of the terms that are searched for more frequently. The first step toward ranking high in the results for the most common terms that people search for is to have the right keywords as part of your online presence.
Preparation is key. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Whether you are chopping down a tree or executing an integrated marketing plan, the steps you take ahead of time to lay out your plan and ensure you have all of the proper (and optimized) tools, are crucial to your marketing success.
" Their level of sophistication in terms of design profile is strong, and it’s definitely a distinctive factor about Crowd, compared to other designers and agencies I’ve worked with in the past. They have a good sense for sorting through the clutter and figuring out what’s right for my project. " - Director of Marketing, San Francisco commercial development
After you have identified your buyer personas, the next step is figuring out how these personas think and ultimately make the decision to buy. According to Hubspot and adopted by all those who believe in the inbound marketing methodology, there are three steps in the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, Decision. Each of these stages are major opportunities for you as a marketer to nurture your potential customer by providing valuable content about the product and or problem they are trying to solve for. Here are three stats from a Forbes.com article that prove just how important content is in nurturing a prospect throughout the buyer’s journey:
Samsung. The Korean company has slowly and steadily grown to become a premier consumer electronics brand. It used to have annual strategy sessions where all its top executives got to spend time with the best competitive products they were up against from the likes of Sony (SNE), Nokia (NOK), Panasonic (PC), and Apple. I don't know if it still does that, but from day one, Samsung eschewed the traditional technology-driven Asian model in favor of becoming a market-driven and market-leading company.
How are client collaboration and communication handled? Expect a response like, "You'll be assigned a day-to-day point person who will report to the No. 2 person on your team. Your day-to-day contact will be responsible for all communication, but all members of your team receive all two-way communication. You'll also be communicating with the VP on your business in your monthly client meetings. Collaboration begins when you provide us with the necessary information we need to implement the program and then we work jointly on an as-needed basis. For example, if you're launching a new product at a brick-and-mortar outlet we would work with you from the inception of the marketing strategy to being present at the event." 
For instance, if you are the owner of a hair salon, you may choose to search the term “sulfate-free,” which is a trending topic in the beauty world. For those of you who are in the beginning stages of search and email marketing keyword research, the most useful pieces of information are the number of times the term has been used and who has been using it.

Company operational instructions: Your child's first bike and your new VCR came with a set of instructions, and your company is far more complicated to put together and run than either of them. Your marketing plan is a step-by-step guide for your company's success. It's more important than a vision statement. To put together a genuine marketing plan, you have to assess your company from top to bottom and make sure all the pieces are working together in the best way. What do you want to do with this enterprise you call the company in the coming year? Consider it a to-do list on a grand scale. It assigns specific tasks for the year.


This Texas-based company was founded in 1999 and has evolved to help their mostly small business clients adjust their marketing strategies to seemingly ever-changing trends. They focus on SEO, PPC, and social media marketing. The team of 6+ has experience with clients from a range of industries, including consumer products, healthcare, hospitality, and information technology.
This section could fit into your abbreviated business plan, but I personally like it kept in the marketing plan since the strategy you select will play a very significant role in how you create your marketing messages. Answer: What you will charge for your products/services? Why did you select that price point? What variations will you have on your standard pricing (coupons, discounts, etc.)?
A Houston Digital Marketing agency's job is to work with you to grow your online presence. Want to get more leads from your website? That's what we're all about! Search Engine Optimization is focused on getting your website to come up in search results higher and more often for the keywords that describe your business. Once we get more traffic to your website, we'll also work on making your website better, so that those people are more likely to become leads or customers.
Model your social ads after your best paid search ads. In the same sense that Quality Score determines AdWords placement, Relevance Score controls Facebook ad placement. It stands to reason that ad copy that performs well on Google SERPs will do well on social, too. Plus, using similar messaging across platforms improves the cohesiveness and visibility of your brand presence.

Second, you can research keywords for your industry, determine which ones would make for great content, and use those as a basis for your topic ideas. For example, let's say you wanted to create a website about dog training. If you search this on Google AdWords Keyword Planner, you can download 801 suggested keyword phrases, all with estimated search volume.
Keyword marketing can have slightly different meanings depending on whom you ask. For ad buyers, keyword marketing involves purchasing ad units, typically banners, on the search results page when a Web surfer searches for particular keywords and phrases. For search engine optimization professionals, keyword marketing involves achieving top placement in the actual search listings themselves.
For example, assume your search ad generated 5,000 impressions in one day, of which 100 visitors have come to your site, and three have converted for a total profit (not revenue!) of $300. In this case, a single visitor for that keyword is worth $3 to your business. Those 5,000 impressions in 24 hours could generate a click-through rate of between 18-36% with a #1 ranking (see the Slingshot SEO study for more on potential click-through rates), which would mean 900-1800 visits per day, at $3 each, or between 1 and 2 million dollars per year. No wonder businesses love search marketing!
Target your competitors with well placed ads. When your website is wonderful and full of search-friendly keywords and phrases, you are ready to not only capture the best organic placements in Search Engines (Houston SEO) but also placements for ads across the web to reach local customers. By targeting the perfect audience at the right times, you can spend less to find your next customer. A Thrive, our PPC experts are skilled in Houston online advertising to help you stretch your online marketing budget.
Set your pricing by examining how much it cost you to produce the product or service and adding a fair price for the benefits that the customer will enjoy. Examining what others are charging for similar products or services will guide you when you're figuring out what a fair price for such benefits would be. You may find it useful to conduct a Breakeven Analysis.
With a thorough competitive analysis from Blue Corona, we will identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities from a digital marketing perspective—including actionable insights you can take to close any gaps and get ahead of your competition. We’ll provide custom-tailored recommendations for how you can improve your online presence and performance.

This section could fit into your abbreviated business plan, but I personally like it kept in the marketing plan since the strategy you select will play a very significant role in how you create your marketing messages. Answer: What you will charge for your products/services? Why did you select that price point? What variations will you have on your standard pricing (coupons, discounts, etc.)?
Who is looking for what topics? How does it vary with geography and size of company? What are the top surging marketing keywords at smaller marketing and advertising businesses? Was there any correlation between that and the keywords used by large enterprises? These were the questions we set ourselves for the 2nd QuickTech Infographic, after the very popular debut, where we explored what companies were driving the growth of Marketing Automation.

To be clear, a ‘digital agency’ still cares very much about the quality of design and overall aesthetics of every asset associated with a brand – whether it be print or digital. However, they also take special care to ensure that each brand asset and/or application functions in a way that helps companies to reach their goals. They have the tools and skills necessary to create ideas and assets and put them to work in the most efficient ways.
I have one question for you Kristi! You talked about “Directory Listening Discovery”, point is all these sites will be business listening directories like Yelp, Tripadvisor, Foursquare etc that we mostly use for local business listing (earn new citations). It is necessary to have business physical address to list your business on these sites, so what you think about those businesses that don’t have their physical address as they are just providing online services?
There can be considerable benefit in comparing these figures with those achieved by other organizations (especially those in the same industry); using, for instance, the figures which can be obtained (in the UK) from `The Centre for Interfirm Comparison'. The most sophisticated use of this approach, however, is typically by those making use of PIMS (Profit Impact of Management Strategies), initiated by the General Electric Company and then developed by Harvard Business School, but now run by the Strategic Planning Institute.
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