You don't need to write a 12-page marketing plan. This can all fit on 1 - 3 pages. But you should take the time to do it or all of your marketing will be scattered and unproductive.
This process can apply to any niche you're marketing in and is based on my Amazon #1 bestseller - Make My Marketing Work: How to Win Customers & Make More Money. I've used it with my private clients and you can use it too.
1. Know Your Business - know what your goals are, what the trends & demands are for your product/service and how you'll know when you're successful.
2. Know Your Customer - know who you're selling to: their name, age, gender, where they live, how much they make, their marital status, etc. This information will give you clues about what is really important to them.
3. Know Your Competition - who else is out there trying to sell a similar product or service to the same audience? What are they doing well or poorly? How to can you beat them? How are you vulnerable to being beaten?
4. Craft Your Message - what is your ideal customer looking for? What keeps them up at night and what do they secretly hope to become or to have? Use this information to create a marketing message that will grab their attention and captivate them.
5. Deliver Your Message - where is YOUR audience looking for what you sell? Not everyone is on Twitter. Not everyone reads the same newspapers. You need to figure out where they're already looking for you and then meet them there. Do the basics... but do the specific stuff for your audience, too.
6. Measure Your Marketing - you've got to know what's working and what isn't, then dump the bad stuff and ramp up the good stuff. Track everything. If you're online, it's incredibly easy to do and skipping this step will cost you money in the long run.
7. Funnel Your Marketing - have a system and know where your customers are within that system. Introduce, inform & integrate. Upsell, downsell and cross-sell. Do everything you can to deliver the maximum amount of value and make sure you're making a profit!
I've created a 10-minute training video and downloadable "Marketing Strategy Map" pdf (opt-in required) if you want to go a bit deeper on this info.