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5 Steps to Create Your 2021 Digital Marketing Plan

Published on

March 10, 2021

15 Min Read

If you are an ambitious business looking for growth in 2021, you will need a robust marketing plan. Your marketing plan gives you and your team clarity on what you will focus on to generate that growth. 


We often see startups without a plan in place lurch from one opportunity to the next without real focus. This is inefficient and invariably will lead to reduced momentum and growth.


A good marketing plan will have the following key components:


Traktion Marketing Plan Template Guide

Traktion has developed a template for you to build your own digital marketing plan for 2021. The template consists of 5 steps, each with its own dedicated worksheet. 


This template is free-to-download.


You can download Traktion's bespoke 5-step framework to craft your 2021 digital marketing plan here


Download the 2021 Digital Marketing Plan template here.

1. Clarifying Your Strategy 🖊️

The strategy sheet is the first step to building your marketing plan. 


There are 5 key questions to answer to help you define your overall strategy and strategic priorities for 2021. We have filled in some examples to help you get started.


What is our purpose?

Articulate your vision as concisely as possible. For example, at Traktion, our vision is for a new marketing model that delivers better results for businesses, founders, talent, and the economy. We believe that there is a better way to do marketing and our vision is a world where this new model is the standard.


⚡️ Traktion Tip: Keep your purpose short and straightforward (or else no one will remember it).


Who are our customers? (customer personas)

Who does your product or service appeal to? Why should people care that your business exist? Note down your customers' gender, age, interests, pain points and usual behaviours.


⚡️ Traktion Tip: Have no more than 3 differentiated personas that you can clearly describe.


What are our value props? (i.e. value proposition, or unique selling points (USPs)) 

Here, you will describe what value your business delivers to your personas. These are the key reasons why customers should care about you, your product and service.


For example, at Traktion, our key value props are:

  1. On-demand access to verified marketers.
  2. Top talent at lower, efficient costs.
  3. Using data to improve the way businesses and marketers collaborate. 


⚡️Traktion Tip: Your value proposition(s) needs to be relevant to your specific personas. Focus on your differentiating USPs that incumbents do not have.


How do we deliver it?

What resources, talent, innovation and intellectual property do you have to provide your aforementioned value props. This will be at the core of your service offering. 


At Traktion, for example, we do 3 things really well: 

  1. Our diagnostic tools identify headroom for growth, 
  2. Our platform matches businesses to the best talent to unlock that growth, and
  3. Our data-driven approach optimises both business and talent performance.


What are your top strategic priorities for 2021? 

Each year you will need a small collection of strategic priorities to ensure focus. These are the areas you need to double down on to achieve your growth. For example, if you want to grow topline revenue, your strategic priority may be to raise your business awareness. If your growth requires you to focus on non-UK revenue, then your strategic priority may be international expansion, and so on.


⚡️Traktion Tip: Have no more than 5 strategic priorities which clearly contribute to your growth ambitions.


Download the 2021 Digital Marketing Plan template here.

2. Define Your Goals and KPIs 🎯

Goals are where you get specific about your marketing-led growth. Your goals should very clear and link directly back to your strategic priorities. 


The key to goal setting is to make them "S.M.A.R.T.", that is, Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound. 


Ensure all of your goals meet those criteria. 


An example of a good goal: Grow traffic by 50% in 2021. 


A bad goal: Grow traffic significantly.


Once you have defined your growth goals, select their corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are the metrics which you will use to assess the progress of your goals. So if your goal is to increase traffic by 50% in 2021, your key performance indicator might be to hit 100k unique users across 2021. 


⚡️Traktion Tip: Make sure your goals and KPIs clearly link to your strategic priorities.


Download the template here and fill it in accordingly on sheet 3.

3. Prioritise and Select Your Growth Channels 🌱

Once you have set your goals and KPIs, you can select what channels and disciplines are best to achieve them. Different channels are good at doing different things, so you will need to consider the most appropriate channels for your goals. 


The best approach is to list out the tactics you might employ in each channel to see if that fits your strategic priorities and goals.


You will then need to prioritise each channel based on 3 criteria.


🤓 Audience Fit: 

Consider if this growth channel has your target audience in it. Does your target audience use this channel, and if your product/service appropriate to be advertised on this channel?


Consider factors such as:


💰 Profitability: 

How much are you able to afford to spend per customer, after your costs? Understand the margins you have per sale. Profitability depends on your product, your customer lifetime value (CLTV), and the costs of using that growth channel.


For example, LinkedIn is a costly channel as B2B companies with high CLTV dominate it.


Considering business models, this is also why subscriptions are more viable and deemed attractive to investment. If you sell an item just once, you will have to continually reinvest into paying for the customer to return for repeated purchases.


However, with a subscription business model, your customer CLTV is naturally higher, and you can afford to invest more in improving your product to reduce churn.


📈 Scaleability: 

Once I have found a growth channel that is profitable for me, and relevant to my audience, how can I scale it?


On paid media platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, all paid channels can be easily scaled to a certain extent. Unpaid media channels such as TV ads or out-of-home media can be a lot tougher to scale due to the limited, invariable supply.


Build your channel acquisition model with our digital marketing plan template here.

4. Build Your Acquisition Model 🏗️

Building an acquisition model is a crucial step that is often missed when putting a marketing plan together. It is the reason many marketing plans fail. Your acquisition model shows you how each channel is likely to perform. You can use your own data from prior activity or Traktion benchmarks (get in touch for these).


The principle of any acquisition model is to forecast how your investment converts to revenue for each channel. It will enable you to validate your assumptions for each channel and give you and your stakeholders/investors more confidence in your plan.


In this example, we have used a few of the priority channels from step 3. 


Taking each step from left to right:


5. Put Your 2021 Marketing Plan Together 🎨

Your final marketing plan is a way of consolidating all the work on the previous sheets into something you can use to track success every month.


For each channel, you should input the anticipated cost and the relevant outcomes by month. In this case, we have pre-populated the sheet with clicks sales and revenue, but yours may be different.


For each month we have set a goal, and then a column for delivered results (which you can fill in at the end of each month) and a difference column. This column enables you to see how your marketing plan is delivering against your specific goals.


If you need any help setting up your marketing plan for 2021, get in touch with Traktion's Chief Growth Officer Stefan at stefan@traktion.ai

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