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A good number of Microsoft partners operate with limited marketing resources. Employees are often asked to wear many hats, of which marketing might be just one. But businesses, in part, grow based on the success of their marketing campaigns. With this in mind, we designed our new Smart Partner Marketing Planning Tool to easily build an effective and actionable marketing plan that will take your business to the next level.

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The Benefits of a Well Thought Out Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a critical tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It helps to define clear strategies that in turn help drive action. A marketing plan not only outlines how you propose to reach out to your customers, but also sets the groundwork for creating measurable results. And as we all know, that which gets measured gets done. Taking the time to dive into your marketing strategy for a set period of time, say a year, allows executives to align business objectives throughout the company and ensure that all departments are moving in the same direction. This in turn helps to generate quality leads.

The Tool in Brief

The Marketing Planning Tool is a simple, user-friendly way to organize your marketing efforts. To use the online tool, answer some key questions about your business and your clients. We then start building your marketing plan from the ground up, and can provide you with valuable recommendations based on your inputs.

The tool is helpful because it asks targeted questions to help you strategize around your unique values, your target audience, your goals and what resources you have available. You can use the tool to identify key pieces of information to create specific marketing campaigns, or to help draft an overall roadmap for where you want to take your company this year. The online platform is quick and easy to use, and best of all, it’s fully customizable so your marketing plan is unique and relevant to your business.

At the end of the process, you walk away with an in-depth report about your marketing goals and a list of recommendations to consider and tools to get you started.

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Step by Step Guide to Writing Your Own Marketing Plan

The marketing planning tool is designed in a simple-to-use format. It focuses on four key elements: your company; your customers and market; your strategy and your go-to-market approach; and your budget and timeline. The tool is most helpful if you can sit down, perhaps with other BDMs in your company, and respond to the questions thoughtfully with the end goal in mind. Then, simply follow these four steps and your marketing plan is complete.

Step 1: Fill out the assessment

Prepare to answer questions about your business, your projected annual revenue, and your business model. When thinking about how to target your specific customers and market, remember to consider your target verticals, your service or solution, whether you are marketing to new or existing customers, or both. Make a note of the pain points you are trying to solve for your customers, and what the top three benefits of your solution are for your customers.

Step 2: Review your results

Once you complete the survey, look over your customized checklist of recommendations. Take some time to access the Smart Partner Marketing aligned resources (like videos and blog links) to help get a better idea of how the recommendation can influence your marketing strategy.

Step 3: Save and print

Be sure to save and print out a copy of your report before leaving the page. You’ll want to return to your customized marketing plan again and again.

Step 4: Share with coworkers and decision makers

The last step is to share your new marketing plan with your agency to kick-start your marketing efforts and strategize campaign planning.

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If you haven’t already, take a minute to check out the planner for yourself! See how it can get your marketing efforts on the right track.

Have you given the new marketing plan tool a try? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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