A Marketing Plan is a document that presents recommendations to fulfill a company’s marketing strategy. It should describe what you want to accomplish overall and what precisely needs to be done to get there: your objectives, strategies and tactics.
Though your marketing plan is mainly written by your marketing department, the best marketing plans are developed using cross- functional teams – this way one might be sure that no critical factors will get overlooked.
The time scope of the plan is usually for a year (however, if market conditions change rapidly, a company might need a series of marketing plans to react to changes).
A good marketing plan is simple, clear and convincing. It’s not how much information you put in there, but rather how that information supports the recommendations provided in the plans. Remember the ultimate goal for marketing plans is to deliver strong results, and a clear path outlined in the plan helps achieve that.
Marketing Plan Outline
1. Executive Summary
2. Situation Analysis 1. Mission 2. Product or Service Description 3. Value Proposition 4. SWOT 5. Critical Issues
3. Market Analysis 1. Macro Environment 2. Market Size and Growth 3. Market Trends 4. Target Market Segments 5. Customer Analysis 6. Need Analysis 7. Competitive Analysis 1. Direct Competition 2. Indirect Competition
4. Strategy 1. Marketing Objectives 2. Financial Objectives 3. Positioning Strategy 4. Product Strategy 5. Price Strategy 6. Distribution Strategy (Direct and Indirect) 7. Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy 8. Branding 9. Marketing Research
5. Financial Analysis 1. Break-Even Analysis 2. Sales Forecast 3. Expense Forecast
6. Implementation and Control 1. Implementation: 2. Controls: 3. Marketing Organization 4. Contingency Planning
1. Executive Summary
An Executive Summary analyses and summarizes the main points of a marketing plan. Read the executive summary document posted in Course Content area. Keep it short and simple, but make sure you cover the important points – establish the need for the product/service, recommend the solution that your product/service will provide and explain the value of it.
2. Situation Analysis
The Situation Analysis section of a marketing plan covers all the pertinent information about the business itself. This will include the company’s mission, a description of the product or service being marketed, along with the value proposition being made. This section should also have a SWOT analysis, as well as a discussion of the relevant critical issues.
A mission statement is meant to be a concise statement of why the organization exists – it’s raison d’etre. It is meant to be communicated to both customers and employees, so you should be careful to use plain and simple language that captures the essence of what the organization wants to do.
While it is important for the mission statement to specifically define what business you are in, it is also crucial to keep in mind that this statement should not be something that is subject to frequent change. So, even while being specific, you should leave room for the company to grow (for example, a phone company should define its mission in terms of communication, not just telephones).
Consult the mission writing resource in your Webliography.
2. Product or Service Description
The product or service is the central piece of your marketing plan, especially when your marketing plan is proposing a new product/service. This section should contain a detailed description of what is being offered - size, shape, design, structure, etc. Provide sketches or photos if possible (you can be put in an Appendix). Flesh out the product’s features…