Planning is the key to successful business. It's therefore important for any business owner to make sure they have a marketing plan if they want to make their business successful. A marketing plan is a blueprint for your marketing activities over a given period of time, like a month or quarter, and includes actionable steps you can take to drive growth in your business. With this marketing plan example, you are equipped with an actionable example that will help you define your own plan for success.
Determining the audience to build a marketing plan around
Think of the audience as a pyramid. At the bottom are the largest number of people, and they need to hear about your business in the most basic terms. At the top are a tiny number of super-influencers -- who can invite many people in your community to your store. The basic steps of writing a marketing plan are: -- Identify your audience. -- Make three lists: buyers, influencers, and everyone else. -- For each group, identify the best person to reach out to, and list that person's contact information. If you're just starting out, these lists will be pretty simple. But as time goes on and you gain more experience, the lists will get deeper and more nuanced.
Divide your target market into segments
The marketing plan should be a simple document that outlines your entire plan for selling your product. The plan should include a description of the product, customer insight, market analysis, sales, and key partners. In your description of the product, you should include how it will be produced, marketed, and sold. Also include information about the target customer who will buy the product. The target customer is the person or business that will buy your product or service. The target customer will be further broken down into segments, which are groups of customers with similar needs. The target customer can be identified by using consumer behavior surveys. A consumer behavior survey is used to identify what type of individuals are most likely to purchase your product or service. You can also use secondary research to gather market data. Market data is statistical information on current trends in your industry. Using both primary and secondary research will give you an understanding of what consumers want and how they behave in relation to your product or service. Once you've determined the segments of customers that are most likely to buy your product or service you can then develop marketing strategies for each segment required to reach your desired goal (revenue, profit, etc.). When marketing strategies are developed they must be included in the marketing plan along with methods.
A great marketing plan is a vital part of any business. It'll help you to know how to approach your market, taking into account all the opportunities and threats. The key elements of a marketing plan are: A description of the business, its objectives and its history An overview of the marketplace in which you operate A description of your potential customers An overview of competitors Marketing objectives for the short term (and long term if possible) Marketing strategy, which will include overall marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) Activity program (what you're going to do to implement your marketing strategy) Measurement and evaluation (how you're going to monitor your progress and performance).
Figure out your competitive advantage vs your competitors
A marketing plan is a document that describes how you will create and sustain a competitive advantage. It has two parts:
- Marketing strategy: A description of your product or service and your customers.
- Marketing program: The actions needed to deliver on the strategy, including sales, pricing, advertising, distribution, customer service, and so on. The marketing plan will help you determine whether you have a competitive advantage and how to develop it further. It will also help you identify and respond to your competitors' strategies and choose the best way to compete with them. Marketing isn't just about the 4 Ps: price, product, promotion and place. It is above all about competitive advantage and differentiation: who you are and what you do that makes you better than the competition. Not better in any absolute sense, but better than the other guy. Better enough to justify charging a premium price, or to get people to switch from one product to another. If you don't have such a competitive advantage, you will find it hard to get attention and loyalty from customers. But if you do have such an advantage, that doesn't mean that marketing is easy. That advantage won't guarantee success; it will make success more likely, but still not inevitable. People don't like change and they like to feel secure; they will resist giving up what they already have for something new and different unless they can be persuaded that the new thing is much better.
Focus on only two or three of your top segments
Marketing is a very broad subject. There are hundreds or even thousands of small segments that you could focus on, from the market for miniature pink sweaters for pet hamsters to the market for a new kind of fireproof underwater hockey helmet. Even if you could make a persuasive case that a particular segment was a good bet, it would be hard to keep your eye on the ball as your company grew. If you tried to do everything, you'd end up doing nothing well. What is more, it is hard to stay focused without a plan. In theory, you could just try out different ideas and see what worked. In practice, that never works as well as having a clear goal and working toward it. The best way to have a clear goal is to focus on only two or three big segments at a time. Make sure each one is so big that you can't possibly cover it completely. Then work out a simple plan for how you will decide which of the many ideas you try in each segment will actually become your products. This kind of planning can be surprisingly hard, but it's worth spending some time on because without it marketing becomes an unthinking series of random choices.
You must have a marketing plan, but your focus should be on only two or three of your top segments. You can't pay attention to each one equally. You have limited time and energy, so you have to focus on the segments where you have the greatest chance of success.
A marketing plan is a tool for putting together a marketing strategy by defining the product, setting objectives for it and evaluating how well you expect to achieve them. In a marketing plan, a product can be a physical object or a service. It can also be a concept, such as an idea or an ideology. We do not have to restrict ourselves to tangible goods. Writing a book is a product just as much as manufacturing a machine. Marketing plans are not just for big organizations with big budgets. Small companies can benefit from writing marketing plans as well as large ones. Marketing plans help us see our businesses from the customer's viewpoint and they help us think through our business issues in an organized way. In most cases, we will have more than one product so we will need more than one section of the marketing plan and each product will need its own objectives and evaluation sections.