How To Create A Marketing Plan For B2B Businesses In 2019

Let’s start with a definition: What exactly is a marketing plan? It’s the detailed sequence of tactics and activity that achieves your marketing strategy. It’s how you go from strategy to action. It’s what tells your team what to do and in what sequence, when they arrive at work each day. So it’s important!

And it’s part of a sequence. Business objectives inform your go-to-market strategy, which informs your marketing tactics, which inform your marketing plan.

We think of these four stages as links in a chain, break one link, and you break the chain, and you lose the relationship.

This is very important in our view. At g2m we are known by our clients for our mantra; “No more random acts of marketing!” Random campaigns that are not linked to the overarching go-to-market strategy and the business’s revenue objectives, waste money, fail to achieve the best results and destroy the credibility of the marketing function with the corner office.

Digital Marketing Planning

“No more random acts of marketing!”


If we start at the end of the chain and work our way backwards, the marketing plan is the sequence of activity, that uses the agreed tactics, that are driven by the go-to-market-strategy which is informed by the business’ objectives. Keep these relationships intact, and you will ensure alignment between your daily activity and your firm’s business goals.

Building a marketing plan

If the concept of the links in a chain holds true, it has implications for the structure of your marketing plan. To build a marketing plan, you need to know the following:

Business objectives

What is your revenue goal for the next year and ideally the next 3-years? What is the rate of growth your firm expects? From where is the revenue expected to come? Existing customers or new business? From markets you already play in, or from new markets?

Go-to-market strategy

There are four key questions you must answer:

To whom?

Who is your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). What segments are in and out? Within those ICPs, to whom do you sell, who are your buyer personas? What are their goals and challenges that you service better than anyone else?

With what?

What products or services solve the target customer’s pain points or will enable them to reach their goals?

Through whom?

Will you be going direct, or using a channel, or both?

Against whom?

Who else solves your chosen persona’s pain points or can help them succeed? What is your unique point of difference?

b2b Digital Marketing Tactics

Will you be going direct, or using a channel, or both?

Your funnel velocity

With the revenue targets clear, you need to work out how fast you need to run your funnel.

  • How many new targets need to enter the top of the funnel?
  • How many leads are required from those new targets?
  • How many qualified leads are needed?
  • How many proposals must be submitted?
  • How many deals need to be closed?
  • What is the average size of a deal?

In addition to these core numbers, you need to work out which channels will generate the leads:

  • What is the split of leads coming from sales, events and marketing?
  • What is the division between analogue and digital channels?
  • What volume of leads are coming from paid vs organic digital channels?

You should end up with a funnel velocity “map” that looks something like this.

Funnel Results Computer
With the target set your monthly reporting should compare your actual results vs the funnel velocity plan.

If this sounds daunting, fear not! You can use our online funnel calculator to help you figure this out.

Campaign design

Now you are clear on the business’s revenue goals, the target audiences who will deliver this revenue, and the volume of activity you will need to generate, you can design the right type and amount of campaigns to hit your goals.

Keeping your plan alive and relevant

Every campaign you design should start by outlining:

  • The target market/segment you are addressing
  • The persona at which it’s targeted
  • The pain point or goal you are helping to resolve/achieve
  • The benefit that solving the pain point or achieving the goal will bring to the buyer persona
  • The unique way in which your offer will achieve it
  • The number of new contacts, leads, MQLs, SQLs and customers the campaign should deliver

Business is busy, fast-paced and is continually evolving. It is highly likely your beautiful, elegant and carefully crafted campaigns will become irrelevant, or need to develop throughout during the year. That sucks, but it’s the life of the modern marketer!

When we work with clients, we plan out the year with them, but break the activity into 90-day sprints. Each quarter we check back in to find out if the fundamentals changed? If so, we may need to adjust course or run a faster funnel. By keeping the marketing plan relevant, fresh and aligned with the business, it remains a living breathing document - and the spine of your marketing department’s activity.

Break out

Use the g2m Funnel Calculator for your marketing plan. This online funnel calculator tool will help you work out your funnel velocity for your marketing plan; feel free to give it a whirl!


Topics: b2b marketing b2b marketing plan b2b digital marketing plan