If there's a common complaint in the marketing world (which I, by the way, have been living with for over a decade), it's "my plan is only perfect on paper!" It's always the same: You make a beautiful marketing plan, foresee incredible integrated actions, get the budget, and when it comes time to act, a lot of things fall by the wayside.

This can have a simple solution: developing a marketing process.

From a written blog article, I can't even see you, but I'm sure a lot of people have read "marketing process" and made faces. Having worked with many, many MKT teams, I'll tell you what I witnessed, and you tell me if it's just me or if you've seen this too:

  • Briefings that arrive at the last minute, incomplete and poorly done
  • Requests that get lost because they went through the wrong channel (personal WhatsApp, one-person email, private internal messenger)
  • Too many projects going on at the same time with no way to monitor progress
  • Tasks that get overlooked due to a lack of organization and accountability
  • Deliveries that were not viewed in time, leading to a missed opportunity
  • Loads of "Can you do this right now? It's quick!" requests, made at the edge of the table, in the most informal way


So, is this inaccurate? No, right? All right, now, read it without making faces, I promise this will help. For you to put your super well-designed and well-thought-out marketing plan on the road, the way is to have a marketing process. Come with me, hang in there, and I'll tell you exactly how - it all starts with the plan itself.


What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is the map that outlines the direction of the team's actions over a period of time (it could be a year, but with constant changes, 6 months is already a very long period).

This marketing plan covers all planning, with inputs from other departments, their needs and plans - in particular, the sales team. Your plan should include:

  • The goals to be achieved
  • The campaigns and actions that will help accomplish these goals
  • The target audiences
  • The channel/platform used to connect with these audiences
  • Execution and release dates


This gives the marketing team, stakeholders, and internal team partners — what's going to happen, when will it happen, and why. It's this visibility that helps the team stay focused and work together towards a common goal.

When I give classes on this topic, I always say that the plan outlines the strategy and, in many regards, the plan acts like a map: If you're in a big city and want to go to the beach, your map will include the mountains you need to cross to get there.

By studying this map, you prepare yourself for what you'll encounter and, if necessary, make mid-course adjustments or recalculate the route. Let's suppose your map shows you passing through other big cities, with no small town on your way. But 30 minutes later, you start seeing cows and pastures - you know you did something wrong and you need to review the course.

The same theory applies to your marketing plan as your map: it's not about sticking to the plan and reviewing it only at the end. With each action, you need to have a checkpoint so you can determine whether your goals are getting closer and, if necessary, adjust your route.


How to make a marketing plan

As you may have already figured out, the marketing plan's your way of putting down on paper what you're going to do in MKT, how and why, right?

For this reason, even before starting to design your plan, it's essential to know the company's moment, the product's positioning in the market, the sector's scenario (both the company's and the competition's) and who is the target audience. This information is vital to building a good marketing plan that makes sense.

Now, speaking of the plan itself, according to Forbes, it must contain:

  • Executive summary (summary of your plan)
  • Definition of the target audience
  • Market positioning and unique selling points
  • Distribution plan, offers, and strategies per channel


Shall we review each one?

Executive summary: This is a brief overview: You need to know what is going on in the market in which you operate, before even thinking about a marketing action, so that it makes sense in the current context.

Definition of the target audience: Those who talk to everyone don't talk to anyone. It's important to know who you're talking to and keep that in mind when thinking about actions and campaigns. So, think; who do you want to reach?

Positioning strategy and USPs: Is it good to say that you're new, if everyone knows that you have been around for years? No. And speaking with a serious tone if the entire audience is young and informal? Even less so. Knowing how the brand positions itself, what sets it apart from the crowd, and complementing it with a plan gives your company cohesion and consistency.

Distribution, offers and strategies: This is where the plan REALLY happens and, at this point, we'll get into more details.

  • Establish your goals: What are the goals, both numerical and strategic (branding, conquering new markets, increasing sales...) that you want to achieve? You need to know where you want to go in order to know where to go (remember the beach example?). If you want branding, for example, it's no use offering a lower price.


  • Understand what makes sense to reach the goals for distribution and strategies: Review every previous item, with the assessment of the scenario, to understand the needs of the company and how marketing can meet this. It's also worth aligning with other areas here, to see how to include what they planned and make the plan even more complete.


  • Finally decide on actions and campaigns accordingly: With a full scenario (where we are) and objectives (where we want to be), we can trace the path, right?What are the actions and campaigns that the team will carry out to achieve the goal, who will participate, how will it happen, which other areas should be involved, how one campaign links to the other and how they unfold, and in which channels each action it will unfold. The more details, the better!


  • Put together a calendar for execution and checkpoints: That's it! We have all the data and now it's time to put it on a calendar, giving dates and sequences to what we've planned, sharing it with the team and with whoever else needs to know. Remember to contemplate checkpoints on the calendar - a moment to look at the data and understand if the actions are really taking you where you want to go.


Marketing Process: How it helps your planning 

Your marketing plan's ready, beautiful, amazing, approved by the board and everything. It was the point where we started this article, right? The pain is still how to put the marketing plan into action and get it off the paper.

This is where we tell you about processes - more specifically, the marketing process.

By the time you make the plan, you're already halfway there: You know who, what, and when. What remains from then on is to turn it into a process. A process is nothing more than a sequence of tasks that are repeated regularly. Want to see a model of marketing process steps to understand?

  • 1. Do the briefing
  • 2. Develop the campaign or action
  • 3. Submit it for approval
  • 4. Apply improvements or corrections
  • 5. Ask for the final approval
  • 6. Launch the campaign or action


This is a process: a step-by-step that puts order in what must happen for your marketing action to come out. If you turn each of the listed actions into a process, like the one above, you can track each one of them.

As a rule, with more or less steps, a marketing process encompasses the 6 steps listed above. What will change is how to fill each one of them according to the action, right?


How to get started with marketing processes

The first step for you to start implementing a marketing process on your team is to understand that, as in the example of the previous item, it will be a general step-by-step process.

There's something in common in all the projects and actions that you do, right? If it's not the walkthrough above, create your own, but design the workflow with the marketing team.

With a workflow in hand, you can train the team and internal customers to always follow these steps - which turns it into a process. And with a clear process, everyone will know where to start, who has what responsibility, who to ask, and what to do next.

To make it even more practical, you can digitalize this process - putting all the steps in a virtual workflow so that everyone can access it from wherever and whenever they want. This means that when you create an overall process like the example, you can then put each of the standard steps into a workflow management tool like Qntrl.

That way, everything's centralized. In fact, it's more than centralized; everything's visible, easy to follow and, therefore, more likely to be completed. Are you already feeling closer to finally getting your plan off the ground?


Benefits of a well-designed marketing process 

Your well-designed marketing process, especially if set up so that everyone has access to it and can follow it, has several benefits - all of which point to the plan actually being carried out as desired.

1. Visibility

A defined marketing process, with an established, digitized workflow, is visible to everyone. And not only the process, but the status of each of the actions in the marketing plan within it.

Is it in the briefing phase? Or under review? And is it on time? A visit to the process management tool answers that question for those who want to know!

2. Centralization

The digital workflow centralizes the demands that the team receives and keeps all projects in the same place.

You don't have to memorize the way to a thousand platforms, or keep sending messages to see who's taking care of a task. It's a click away (you're in marketing, you'll forgive me if I stop here to suggest you check out how it works with Qntrl, right?)

3. Control

Well, here's a good consequence: everything centralized and visible means that the team is in control of what's going on, and can understand what to do more easily.

Control over your own tasks and workflow goes a long way in helping you stay on schedule. Nobody needs to wait for the announcement, everything's on the platform. Not to mention that it's still possible to automate reminders of dates and delivery notices.

4. Standardization

There's comfort in the standards: everything mapped and made official on a workflow platform means, for example, that every job begins with a briefing, with no exception. And this briefing will also be standard. Can you picture that?

5. Communication

With the visibility of tasks and a digital space for centralized access, communication among the team and even with stakeholders or internal clients is much easier. And it's even registered for checking, ensuring that no information is enclosed in personal messages.


Let's set up your marketing process

I really doubt you've read this far and not seen the value in having your marketing process assembled, "workflowed" and digitized for the benefit of both leadership and the team. So let's put this process together right now.

Need help? We have two suggestions: you can "copy" one of our workflows from the orchestrations gallery, or reach out to our team for a free demo, to build your own with them. Then tell us here in the comments how it went.

Now, you'll really see your marketing plan come to life!



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