HOW TO DEVELOP A MARKETING PLAN (3)
Components of the Marketing Plan
Every marketing plan incorporates the traditional 5 P’s of marketing: people, product, price, place, and promotion. Once these aspects of the plan have been addressed, it is time to discuss the creative aspects, such as the advertising and promotional goals, and to develop a media plan that details what media will be used, when they will be used, and how much they will cost. `
Marketing Plan Outline
The following suggestions describe sections that should be included in any marketing plan, and they apply to most types of businesses. Depending on the type of business, however, additional sections may need to be added.
One-Paragraph Overview of the Marketing Plan
The complete marketing plan begins with a one-paragraph summary that serves as a concise overview of the marketing plan.
Key Marketing Issues That Will Affect the Success of the Company
After presenting the one-paragraph plan, it is important to identify issues the company faces that will affect the way it can market its products and services to customers. For example, the company may not be located near its customers, so it will have to figure out creative ways to create those important personal relationships. In other words, this section describes the environment in which the marketing plan will be implemented.
These are the main objectives of the marketing campaign. What needs to be accomplished and how does the company intend to do it? For a start-up venture, two important objectives are to create awareness for the company and its brand and to reach target customers to produce sales.
Objectives need to be matched to a timeline for achieving them. Marking on a timeline the major milestones for advertising, promotional events, and trade shows gives some direction to the marketing plan.
Many businesses today form partnerships with other companies in compatible markets to promote each other’s products and services. It is important to identify which companies and other partners will be used in the marketing campaign.
Measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts is critical to avoid wasting precious company resources. For example, matching sales forecasts to specific marketing tactics and assigning a specific person responsible for measuring the outcome is important to assess the effectiveness of the marketing plan. Another way in which entrepreneurs measure success in a marketing effort is to ask customers how they heard about the company or the product/service.
Strategies deal with the needs of the market and what is being offered to satisfy those needs. Tactics are the media, channels, and delivery mechanisms used to reach the customer. Goals, strategies, and tactics must be in alignment. If a business’s goals are to emphasize reliability and customer satisfaction, for example, the marketing plan should spell out strategies and tactics – such as customer feedback mechanisms and training in the use of the products – for achieving that goal.