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The essential 4 steps needed for a killer commercial marketing plan

If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.

A much repeated phrase, but one grounded in truth. And in no instance is it truer than with commercial marketing plans.

Though a brief look at some examples of commercial marketing plans may give you cause to think otherwise, you don’t need to be a member of Mensa, have a background in accounting or possess a degree in mathematics to create a plan that does exactly what you need it to.

All that is required is a thorough understanding of your business objectives (Kuriosity and Kritical Thinking) and an ability to both align them with your marketing strategy (Kommunication).

With this in place, it’s about aligning activity, implementing and analysing the success measures across whichever metrics you’ve put in place.

It’s a process that is also a whole lot easier if your marketing team is strongly allied to your finance and business insight teams. This Holy Trinity should be your best buddies and they should be best buddies with each other.

Our four K approach (Kommercial Acumen) is centred around this methodology. This is how we achieve it:

  1. Create one aligned plan

Imagine you’re running a marketing campaign for a particular product or service across various digital platforms. Content marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, and social media are all being used to direct leads to a designated landing page on your website. The landing page is well-designed and contains a straightforward lead capture form that is as good as guaranteed to boost conversions. However, you know conversion is only half the battle.

You need to know how effective your marketing campaign will be. This is calculated by measuring both short and long-term revenue increase against the cost of customer acquisition.

To make this calculation easy, ask yourself; is the approach joined up? Does it support the designated business objectives? How straightforward is it to measure success?

2. Define clear outcomes

You’re always going to have a problem if you don’t have a clear idea of what success actually looks like. Though it might seem like a premature, fate-tempting exercise, describe the best-case scenario following the full lifespan of your plan.

With your revenue-boosting results noted down, work backwards and identify all the steps that contributed to them. What were the KPIs? How were they measured? What did each step contribute and why was it successful?

3. Nail down your metrics

Nailing down your metrics is crucial for judging a marketing plan’s performance.

A good commercial plan will incorporate various marketing channels and you need to make sure you track spending by channel to determine customer acquisition costs.

This is where KPIs play an essential role. For example, by defining an acceptable CTR for each marketing channel based on how they have historically performed.

KPIs can be broken down by week, month, quarter, and eventually by year. Each time they are interrogated, you enrich your data by cross-referencing it against past performance and are able to monitor traffic generated by channel, volume of conversions, and time taken in turning those conversions into paying customers.

4. Test, track, learn, iterate

The first two of these – test and track – will happen organically with your first plan. It might be that this plan falls flat on its face but don’t let that deter you – you won’t be the first business that has happened to and you certainly won’t be the last. Providing you’ve tracked progress (or lack thereof), you can identify what has and hasn’t worked and endeavour to find out why. This is where ‘learn’ comes in.

The success or failure of a plan should have zero bearing on how much you learn from it. If you document the performance of each element of your plan, you can begin to create an inventory of the tactics to re-use and the ones to avoid, then it’s time to ‘iterate’.

As your inventory grows, and you act on what you have learnt, your plans will become more failure-proof and you will be on your way to becoming a commercial marketing plan luminary.

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