Building A Marketing Plan: What Is A Marketing Plan? (Part 1)

Many people ask what they need to start developing a marketing plan. However, we question to what degree most law firms either have a marketing plan or think they have one. For instance, as we begin discussing a marketing plan and its components, you may realize that what you have is falling considerably short. 

That’s not to say that a marketing plan is overly complex. As you read this blog series, you will learn that you can frame out a basic plan in under thirty minutes. Conversely, you could spend several days creating one, but you certainly don’t have to. 

What Constitutes a Marketing Plan?

There are four things that a marketing plan ought to state: 

  1. What your firm is doing 
  2. When you are doing it 
  3. What do you think the result will be (or what do you hope it accomplishes)
  4. What it is going to cost

If there was a fifth point, which can be viewed as a bonus, it should be that your plan is organized and written. We’ll explain more about how to organize your plan in our following blogs about marketing plans. For now, to give you a quick peek behind the curtain, your plan should be to identify when you will do something and which type of marketing you plan on doing. Regarding type, you could have digital advertisements, Google Ads, social media ads, and referral marketing. Most solo or small law firms will have 3 or 4 of these categories, and we will discuss which ones you should rely on the most. Again, this breakdown is a nice-to-have fifth element, but a complete marketing plan is the four things we listed above. 

What Sort of Strategy Is Involved In Making A Plan?

Before we go on, there’s a general concern that you need a mapped-out strategy before drafting the marketing plan as we’ve described. Would it be great to define your message and brand? Sure, but for the sake of what we are talking about here, all you need to know—in terms of strategy—is who your target market is and what it is you’re trying to sell them. As you create a marketing plan, you must decide on a strategy, but the magic is that a marketing plan forces you to do this. 

The benefit of the categories in a marketing plan is that they are not unique to a business type. In this regard, the owner of a record store and the owner of a small law firm are similar. These categories are universally applicable. The difference is how the person creating it wants to use and combine the categories. For example, there is a difference between organic social media, where you post things, and paid social media, where you buy ads. You can create a category for “Social Media” that encompasses both. Or you have a “Digital Ads” category because you want to combine your Google and Facebook advertisements. We could keep going, but the point is that there is no wrong way to do this. 

Let’s Assess Where We’re At 

Imagine yourself sitting down at a blank screen after you’ve accepted that you need to build a marketing plan. Now that you understand a plan and what you need to begin, the mountain should seem more like a speed bump. You have the four things a marketing plan should do, and we have described the fifth step, merely organizing it under various categories. We will continue down this path because we’re publishing an entire series on building a plan and why having one converts to revenue for you and your firm.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!