Businesses need a business plan! You have to know where you are going if you plan to get there in any reasonable amount of time. A business plan covers your competitive analysis, design and development plan, marketing plan, operations and management plan, as well as other key variables when operating a business.
A marketing plan is just as important, since it lays out the marketing strategy in your business plan. The marketing plan is your key to obtaining and retaining customers.
A marketing plan will include 8 key contents to create a well-rounded plan:
- Executive Summary
- Situational Analysis
- Opportunities/Issue Analysis
- Marketing Strategy
- Action Plan
- Financial Forecast
When breaking these components of a marketing plan down, carefully examine your current marketing strategies and review an accurate analysis of your business’s current plans and finances. Make sure you understand what currently works and what needs improvement so the new plan can bridge the gaps.
Executive Summary: Your executive summary is a simple, 1-page outline of your current standing, goals, and plan to reach those goals.
Situational Analysis: The situational analysis is a key part of the marketing plan. It first explains the macro environment of the business such as legality, supply chain, sociocultural norms, and economy. The situational analysis then explains the market which the business is within, providing information like the size of the market and segmentation. The situational analysis for the marketing plan analyzes the current situation of consumers such as demographics, participants, nature of buying decisions, and loyalty segments. This helps tie into the internal aspects of the situation like the company resources, objectives, and culture. This will all tie back together to explain the external and internal threats and opportunities which transitions to the next part of the plan.
Opportunities/Issue Analysis: This section highlights the threats internally and externally in the company and marketing plan. It also reviews the market research as well. The market research will explain the information requirements needed to complete the objectives. It also explains the research results from the market to see what types of marketing strategies have worked best.
Objectives: The objectives are also an important part of the marketing plan as they define the mission statement and vision statement. They also go into depth about the corporate objectives, financial objectives, marketing objectives, long term objectives, and the business philosophy. These objectives help set the marketing strategy for the business. After all, you won’t know whether or not your business is succeeding unless you define what success is!
Marketing Strategy: The marketing strategy reflects on the product, market shares, price, promotion, distribution, and other aspects. The product strategy reflects the product mix while the market shares strategy explains the geographical market and customer segment. The price strategy focuses on price zoning, strategy of pricing, and pricing objectives. The promotion explains the goals, public relations, traditional marketing and digital marketing. Lastly, the distribution marketing focuses on geographical coverage and electronic distribution.
Action Plan: The action plan of a marketing plan explains how the finances and objectives will be set into play with the strategies chosen. It is also used to assign responsibility and create a timeline of actions.
Financial Forecast: This forecast is used to determine the budget for marketing, reviewing the previous budget, and breaking down the cost. The Rate of Investment (ROI) is also key here as it establishes the profitability from the marketing.
Controls: The controls segment highlights the importance of performance reviews and tracking the progress of the marketing plan. It is also key in the controls to establish a way for feedback to be received to help adjust the marketing plan for the next fiscal year. Lastly the controls are a great way to help track your profitability due to marketing.
These 8 steps will help create an organized marketing plan to help a business grow and also track its progress and setbacks.