A sound marketing plan will be a poignant component of your overall business plan. A good marketing plan will spout clear, measurable objectives and be easy to understand for shareholders, key employees and financiers alike.
In this article we’ll look at what components a potent marketing plan should have:
- Executive Summary. This should provide a high level summary of your entire marketing plan. This can be of more benefit for your bankers and any shareholders than for yourself or your key marketing employees. There’s no nitty gritty here, just an overall snazzy description of what your marketing plan aims to achieve.
- Identify The Challenges. In this section, include a brief description of your company products or services, the business challenges they face and what marketing goals and aims you have set for them.
- Include A Situation Analysis. This will be the real meat and potatoes of your marketing plan. A situation analysis requires you to micro analyze several segments of your company, stakeholders and the business environment, and tailor an appropriate marketing response accordingly. So, include an analysis of your client base including the actual client base compared to the potential market size, demographics, and what motivates and drives that demographic to make purchases. A competitor analysis is also vital as it demonstrates an awareness of the immediate business threat that your company faces. The competitor should delve into specific competing factions including their company size, market share, new market participants and their perceived strengths and weaknesses.
- Social, Government & Other Factors. A complete marketing analysis should take account of wider factors that could possibly trip up your business and its marketing goals. This means analyzing the political landscape and determining any legal changes that could impact your products and services. If the UK for example were to suddenly pull out of the European Union membership, how might that affect your business? Other factors to be included here will be technology advancements and what the wider economy is doing and the potential impact on your products and services.
- The 4 P’s – Otherwise known as the “Marketing Mix”, the 4 P’s are comprised of Product, Price, Place and Promotion. This is an inherently key part of your marketing plan. The product details will include details of branding, packaging and overall quality. Price, beyond the obvious should include details of potential discounts and payment terms. Place refers to your intended distribution channels – determining the minutia relating to logistics and product distribution. Finally, promotion relates to how your product will actively be marketed – how various brands will be advertised within the confines of your set budget.
- Identify Key Segments. Your products and services will try and tap into certain very specific market segments. Understanding and highlighting the evolving needs and demands of key market segments should be a crucial part of your marketing plan. Potent market research and trends can be used to help shape this part of your marketing plan. Some if the issues that should be covered within the market segmentation part of your plan will be how the core client uses the product/service, the overall profit each segment contributes to the company coffers, and the elasticity of demand to potential price movements.
A solid marketing plan will help ensure you better understand the relationship that your various products and services have with the market, and keep a harmonious balance with it.