“According to a ‘Managing Digital Marketing’ study by Smart Insights, 46% of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy, while 16% do have a strategy but haven’t yet integrated it into their marketing activity.”  If you are among the above 46% or 16%, do not worry! Follow the steps below to make a marketing plan and Ad budget calculation by yourself.
#1- Know what is your Vision, Objective, and Benchmark to success
This step is an essential part of a marketing strategy plan. Your digital marketing campaign should be going through this path as a guiding structure. If not then there is a severe problem. If you don’t know where you’re going, where will you end up? Then feel free to contact me.
To build vision, mission, and objective you must know what the metrics which you want to consider are. Follow the steps below.
- Industry Segmentation: Define your type of business example- Wholesale/ Service/ Retail, etc.
- Customer Segmentation: Know your customers learn in step 4 of the article
- Tag Problems: Find out some problems in your industry faced by Customers and explain how your enterprise will solve some of them.
- Explain how you will solve that problem: As mentioned in above point, Show how will you solve the problem.
Vision: “Our initial goal is to become the premier provider of Car rentals. We will then leverage our customer base and position in the market to offer new equipment sales as well as comprehensive maintenance and service, custom equipment fittings, and expert trail advice.” 
Objective: Become the largest shareholder in Car Rental in California. Generate $100000 as net income at the 2nd quarter of 2018.
Keys to success: Provide a standard and quality Car with a 24-hour support online. Extra discount through a loyalty program.
# 2 – Decide and finalize the budget for your marketing campaign.
Ad Budget Calculation
- “Take 10 percent and 12 percent of your projected annual, gross sales and multiply each by the markup made on your average transaction. “ 
- “Deduct your annual cost of occupancy (rent) from the adjusted 10 percent of sales number and the adjusted 12 percent number.” 
- “The remaining balances represent your minimum and maximum allowable ad budgets for the year.” 
Example- You sell a Mobile Phone for $150, and the cost price is $100. So markup is 50%, and the margin is 33.33%.
Assume your business is predicted to make $1 million this year 2017. Profit Margin is 48%, and Annual rent is $52000. So let’s calculate the percent of sales and 12 percent of sales (4100,000 and $120,000).
Now let’s convert profit margin to mark up so divide gross profit by cost (48%, i.e., $480,000 hard cost). Hence 480,000/520,000= 92.3 %
So Profit Margin= 92.3 %
Ok so now multiply 92.3% * $100,0000(10%)=$ 92,300
Multiply 92.3% * $120,000(12%)= $111,760
Now subtract the rent from both ranges.
Hence Lower ad range= $92,300-50,000= $42,300 (4.2 % of gross sales)
Higher ad range= $110,000- 50,000= $60,000 (6% of gross sales)
# 3- Develop Personas and create campaigns or blog posts accordingly
To develop a persona follow the below steps
- Know your target consumer
- Write all demographic data for your target consumer- age, gender, geographic area
- Find out problems faced by this consumer category
- Get some more information about emotional desires, fear, etc. about the persona
- You can go through the Audience Report on Google Analytics for knowing the characteristics of your persona.
- Find the list of people who will be influencers to your persona/target audience. Ask them for help or use their influencing information along with your campaign.
You can also use the given tool for automatic persona creation. Makemypersona is one of the best persona creation platform so use it for free.
# 4- Designing your campaign
- Find popular topics to your audience: When you are running a campaign or posting an article, remember one important thing “What are you posting” . Find out the most shared and liked topics with your segmented audience using the following tools Buzzsumo, Scoopit etc.
- Use a marketing calendar: Use a marketing calendar to set up a plan when to give special offers or posts according to an event. You can get a free marketing calendar here. Click to download.
- Use right Keywords: Keywords are important factors to attract your audience when searching for something or seeing an ad on social media. Some of the helpful tools for keyword research are Google keyword planner and SERP.
- Design your social media poster:
Graphics is one of the essential parts of a marketing campaign.I would call it the Hero shot . Canva and Adobe Indesign are some of my favorite tools for designing posters. Everyone likes a story – If you have a vision, then a company video is a great tool to connect with your audience. Have a personal message recorded by your founder and experience of your users. Have some animation integrated into your video to tell the story. Adobe Animate CC is one of the critical video animation tools. Remember to add a call to action button. There are several tools for a call to action and landing page templates; I like the tool Unbounce.
# 5- Communication | Email Marketing |
Check whether you have used right keywords in your marketing campaign. If it’s an email campaign, then make sure you have used proper tools for monitoring and segmenting leads and future leads while Title/Subject of the email is the most critical part of the email. If you are using Wix, then do not forget to use the email marketing server of Wix because you can track your emails and download the list of emails that opened your email and those who do not open. Hence you can retarget the audience according to behavior and demographics.
There many other email marketing tools like MailChimp, Drip, etc. While Email Subject is an essential part of an email campaign, the second most important reason is timing. Use SeventhSense for sending an email campaign according to time. Seventh Sense is a terrific tool that delivers your sales and marketing emails to your recipients at the ideal time—when they’re in front of their email. Apart from email set up, content is significant so our chances of getting spammed. This tool “EmailCopyChecker” checks the words in the content of your email and tells you which part of the email is leading towards spam.
For Social Media Approach and tools, read the upcoming advanced version of this article in March.
# 6 – Do you have an advanced mobile friendly website?
There are approximately 4.6 billion mobile users  in the world so if you have an old website which is either not advanced/ user-friendly or mobile friendly then you need serious help right now. If you are a small startup and need website only for content, then I would suggest going to Wix or Weebly where you can edit the site using website builder without coding. While if you need a website for an advanced level of work example- LMS or Search Database then you use WordPress.
#7- Best time to post on social media
Choose the channels for a campaign- Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. HootSuite is one of my favorite automation software for social media campaigns.
- “The best time to post on Twitter is at 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.” 
- “The best time to post on Facebook is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. And on Saturday and Sunday between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.” 
- “The best time to post on Instagram is from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday.” 
*Time may be different for a different customer based on location.
# 8 – Set the plan as Agile (Think “Outline”, not “Campaign”)
“As research on disruption and market transitions suggests, you’re better off these days if you can quickly identify and adapt to changes in your environment.” Follow the below 4 phases for applying agile strategy in your marketing plan
- Announcements and Initial Advertisement
- Customer engagement and Ad set up
- Promote new product sales
- Analyze and regroup 
# 9- Analytics | Google Analytics |
After running a marketing campaign, the first thing you should do is track the activities and result. Mark the key performance indicators and measure the return on investment. Set the benchmarking tool and compare your campaign or website analytics with your industry average. Find the audience according to a region, technology, browser, age, gender, etc. Segment the audience according to your target market.
1.https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/5-steps-powerful-digital-marketing-strategy2.https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/ 3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/274774/forecast-of-mobile-phone-users-worldwide/4.https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-write-a-killer-business-plan-overview-and-objectives.html 5. https://unbounce.com/online-marketing/successful-marketing-campaigns-step-by-step/ 6. https://unbounce.com/landing-pages/7-elements-of-a-winning-landing-page/ 7.https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/54436 8. https://hbr.org/2015/01/how-to-craft-an-agile-marketing-campaign 9. https://www.wix.com/blog/2016/10/ppc-for-beginners-basic-guide-for-pay-per-click-advertising-2/?utm_source=Wix+Blog&utm_campaign=04bbd7868e-UA-2117194-5&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_324de5e2c6-04bbd7868e-157853733 10. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/20/15-google-analytics-tricks-to-maximize-your-marketing-campaign/#4a2d82db2736