Marketing without a strategy is kind of like throwing darts in a dark room. Sure, you can be doing all the right things. You’re holding the dart and aiming at the wall where the board hangs. But at the end of the day, you’re still playing in the dark.
A marketing strategy is like turning on the lights before the game starts.
You’re far more likely to hit the board and score more bullseyes if you can actually see your target.
If you’re not taking a good hard look at your marketing strategy at least once a year—I actually recommend every quarter—you’re marketing your business in the dark.
However, this begs the question… how much does a marketing plan cost?
The answer is actually two-fold.
If you’re working with a marketing team…
If you’re already working with a marketing team, in the same way that our clients work with us, then they should be working according to a strategy or plan and that cost is likely built into their services.
It may not be directly itemized, but a good marketing agency spends time developing a strategy before they even touch your account or start creating anything for you.
How in-depth or comprehensive their plan is will largely depend on the services you’ve retained them for.
This means it may or may not be exactly comparable to a full-scale marketing plan, but again, that will completely depend on your agreement with that agency.
If you’re hiring someone just to create the plan for you…
If you’re not hiring the agency itself and just hiring them to develop a marketing agency, you can expect for the cost to be slightly higher.
This is because there is not only a massive amount of time that goes into this kind of planning, but that document is innately incredibly valuable. Ideally, that marketing plan is going to be an integral piece in your overall sales goal of 100k, 250k, or even more.
A quality marketing agency puts a lot of time and research into that plan, and they should be compensated not just for the time and expertise that goes into its development but also for the value of that plan.
What to Expect from a Good Marketing Plan
A good marketing plan for your business starts with an analysis of what you’re currently doing on all marketing channels and what results you’re seeing.
This establishes a baseline and helps with creating the plan itself and any projections or targets that may be included in the marketing plan.
In addition to that, a good marketing plan should include:
- An audit of your digital assets, including your social media and your website
- A competitor’s analysis
- Content analysis
- Keyword research
- In-depth study of your ideal client and audience
- Proof of concept analysis and/or audience survey
- 3-12 months worth of strategy (I suggest either quarterly or annually)
- SWOT analysis: strengths, wins, opportunities, and threats
- Key metrics and key performance indicators (KPI’s)
- Long-term and short-term goals along with milestones for each
- Implementation plan to help your team prioritize your marketing efforts
And it’s good to note that the plan you end up with should be incredibly specific. It will include everything: branding, positioning, messaging, content strategy, channels, timeline, resources, and budget.
All of this is strategically put in place to reach your specific company goals.
Some businesses may require more and some less. For example, it might be beneficial for you to incorporate a sales projection into that plan or an allocation of responsibilities, or it might not.
When you’re hiring an agency to create a marketing plan for your business, make sure to be up front about your needs and expectations going into it.
You want to make sure that your marketing plan is comprehensive, tailored to your needs, and actionable for your company.
The Million Dollar Question: What does a marketing plan cost?
That completely depends on the agency, but according to LAIRE, a digital agency whose pricing for marketing plans starts at $15,000, the industry average is $10,000 – $40,000 and up.
Here at Nightingale Social, our marketing plans start at $10,000 for a digital marketing plan and increase based on the marketing channels needed and the length of time the plan should be for (quarterly or annually).
Think of your marketing plan like a business plan for your marketing team. It should be that comprehensive and will probably be about that long if not longer.
Creating a marketing plan for a business is much more than laying out a strategy, and it takes a lot more preparation and research.
However, done well, it should more than return your investment in both tangible and intangible benefits.