Every company has a sales and marketing plan, but more often than not there are gaps, missing pieces, and weak spots. Here are some articles and resources that can help you deepen your understanding of sales & marketing strategy development and determine if your current plan is working to its full potential to meet your business growth objectives.
The goal of a marketing strategy is to create a plan that will get you the highest return on investment, outline the required resources to get the work done, and define a realistic budget. Once the plan laid out, you can make a more informed decision about your next steps.
- A Straightforward 10 Question Marketing Plan [Ascend Business Growth]
- Building Blocks of a Strong Marketing Foundation [Ascend Business Growth]
- Creating a Successful Marketing Strategy [Forbes]
- 7 Reasons Why a Marketing Strategy is Important for Your Business [Women Belong]
- Why Does Good Strategy Matter to The Bottom Line? [Vision Edge]
Templates and Tools
- How to Create a Marketing Plan with These Free Templates [HubSpot]
- Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What to Include [Forbes]
- 30 Marketing Plan Samples and 7 Free Templates to Build Your Strategy [CoSchedule]
- How to Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy [Positive Revolution]
- Building Inbound Marketing Campaigns & Strategies [Real Magnet]
Setting Smart Goals
Setting goals isn’t always easy. Setting SMART goals will help you define your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and achieve the results you want. SMART goals will give you the focus and motivation you need to achieve your objectives.
- 5 SMART Goal Examples That’ll Make You A Better Marketer [HubSpot]
- Setting Effective SMART Marketing Goals [Conductor]
- From SMART to SMARTER Marketing Objectives [Smart Insights]
- Why Are SMART goals Necessary in Business? [Mile IQ]
- SMART Goal Setting 101 [the Balance]
Templates and Tools
- How to Set SMART Marketing Goals [Free Template][HubSpot]
- SMART Goals Template for Strategic and Data-Driven Managers [Northpass]
- Set and Achieve SMART Goals [Free Template] [Accelity Marketing]
Creating a Marketing Budget
You want to grow your business. You know you need to do more marketing to expand your reach and attract more customers. Determining what percent of your current total revenue you should spend on marketing isn't easy.
- How Much Should You Spend on Marketing? [Ascend Business Growth]
- How Much Should You Budget for Marketing in 2020? [Web Strategies]
- How Much Does Inbound Marketing Cost [Ascend Business Growth]
- Example of a Full Digital Marketing Plan and Projected Budget [Ascend Business Growth]
- Avoid Marketing Cost Sticker Shock [Ascend Business Growth]
Templates and Tools
- Digital Marketing Budget Calculator[Web Strategies]
- How to Manage Your Entire Marketing Budget [Free Budget Tracker Templates] [HubSpot]
- How Much Should You Budget for 2020? Free Marketing Budget Template [Capterra]
- 5 Tips for Creating an Effective Marketing Budget [Nex-Tech]
- What Percentage of Revenue Should be Spend on Marketing? [3Bug Media]
Defining Your Buyer Personas
What is a buyer persona? It’s the fictionalized characterization of your best customers based on information about them and how they use your product or service. Knowing your buyer personas will allow you to personalize your marketing initiatives to attract them. Visit my Resources for Creating Buyer Personas page for more information on defining buyer personas.
Building a High-Performance Team
In order to build a successful business, you need to have the right people on your team. When it comes to choosing the best person to help lead your marketing efforts, it can be a real challenge to know what skill sets and experience to look for.
- Qualifications to Look for in a Marketing Leader [Ascend Business Growth]
- 4 Characteristics of High-Performing Marketing Teams: A CMO’s Insights [Wrike]
- How to Build a High-Performance Marketing Team [Wider Funnel]
- Top Traits of an Effective Marketing Leader [Smart Insights]
- How to Build a High-Performance Marketing Team [HubSpot]
- How to Build A Dream Marketing Team [Neil Patel]
- How to Structure Your Marketing Team [Neil Patel & Eric Siu]
Outsourcing vs. In-House
There is no magic formula to tell you when you should outsource your marketing or keep it in-house. There are some key factors to consider when making your decision. Every organization is different; it comes down to what will work best for yours.
- Know When to Outsource Marketing and When to Keep it In-House [Uhuru Network]
- #1 Reason to Outsource Marketing [Ascend Business Growth]
- 10 Benefits of Outsourcing your Digital Marketing [Entrepreneur]
- Hiring a Marketing Person vs. Outsourcing to a Marketing Agency [Ascend Business Growth]
- How to Effectively Onboard a New Marketing Hire [Ascend Business Growth]
Worksheets & Guides
- Onboarding Marketing Worksheet [Ascend Business Growth]
- The Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Inbound Agency [Ascend Business Growth]
Marketing Project Management
Now that you have your strategy in place it is important to keep it working effectively for you. If you have spent countless billable hours creating your strategy, you don’t want to find out at the end of the year that it didn’t produce the results you want.
- Turning Marketing Strategy into Action [Duct Tape Marketing]
- Marketing Strategy Implementation and How to Turn It into Action [Inflow]
- Marketing Project Management: Best Practices [Clarizen]
- Marketing Project Management 101: Creating an Intake Process [Workfront]
- 11 Easy Ways to Improve Your Marketing Project Management [Workfront]
Worksheets & Guides
- 18 Project Management Tools for Marketing Agencies [HubSpot]
- Comprehensive Guide to Picking Marketing Project Management Tools [Smartsheet]
- 3 Project Management Tool Tops for Marketing Teams [Project Management Videos]
- Project Management Simplified [Deniz Sasal]
My favorite way to learn about new topics is to watch/listen to YouTube videos. I put together this marketing strategy playlist so you can listen in the car, walking the dog, making dinner, working out, etc. There’s always time to learn!
If you have any marketing strategy development resources you think should be added to this list, please send them to us!