A marketing plan is a blueprint that maps out the advertising efforts that a company will perform during the year. This plan indicates the business processes that are going to be performed so as to achieve set marketing targets within a specific time period. A marketing plan can be short, brief and straight to the point. On the other hand, it can be long and require hundreds of pages when printed. Some marketing plans are very affordable to produce while others are a bit pricey.
The scope of your marketing plan determines how big and exhaustive it will be. One of the main characteristics of this plan is that it is fluid. This means that it can be adjusted so as to accommodate emerging changes in the market or the business environment.
The marketing plan should be created after conducting research, identifying the attainable results as well as performing strategic positioning. The marketing plan guides the activities of the department and all involved stakeholders for a number of months or years. As such, the parties involved should understand that this plan can be changed so as to accommodate the business environment. Every marketing plan should have some specific parts in it. Read on to learn about them.
The Point of it ALL
Every business effort has some goals. They should always be quantifiable. This means that you should be able to convert these goals into numbers. An example of a goal is that you want to sell 100 products in the first week of release. These goals can be described as sales, profit margin or satisfaction of your customers.
Well Defined Marketing Budget
Marketing can get expensive if you do not budget correctly. From print ads, online, and PR, it small marketing budget can balloon due to that numerous ways to market your business. You should indicate the cost of marketing your product or service. Also, indicate if you will perform in-house marketing or you will outsource it.
Market research Data
This part has information about the target market of the product or the service. This information should contain details such as the dynamics of the target market, their purchasing patterns, any seasonality involved as well as any demographic data. In addition to that, this segment of the marketing plan should have an outline indicating the segment of the market that you want to target, their needs, their purchasing decision-making process as well as the competitor products already in the market.
The market research segment of this plan should have the current sales of the competition, their prices as well as any and all benchmarks that are involved. It should also contain the suppliers that you intend to work with. The data that is included in this segment should be detailed, exhaustive and current. This is because it will guide the efforts of the marketing department.
A Description of the Target Market
Find niche or target markets for your product and describe them. The niche market that you are targeting should also be described in the marketing plan. Research about the target market should be conducted and the data found must be included in the plan. Identify and describe the target market as well as you can. After that, include this information in the marketing plan.
Details about your Product
Give a detailed description of your product or service. Also, give information about how it can benefit the market. Does it fill a gap in the market? Does it create a new need? Are there are any other products or services currently servicing the same need? These questions should be answered in this part of the marketing plan. In addition to that, you can look to see if your product offers something special over and above similar ones in the market.
Information About Your Competition
Every sector of business that has more than one player has some competition in it. There are always high chances that the sector that you are entering has competition for your product. Thus, your marketing plan should details such as the unique selling position that you want to take. In this plan, indicate the factors of your product that will make you stand out uniquely among your competition. In addition to that, observe and see how your competition has conducted branding. Are you doing the same or taking a different, more successful direction? This information should be in this section of the plan.
The Marketing Strategy that you are Employing
Every marketing effort follows a specific marketing strategy. This is a plan of execution. In this section of the plan, you should indicate the marketing strategy that you want to use for your product or service. This section should also indicate the promotion methods that you intend to use. There are many unique marketing strategies that you can utilize today. Examples of these are:
· Online Presence; today, this is a strategy that you must apply. In this digital age, consumers are heading to the Internet to search for products or services. Create a website for your item or service. In addition to that, it will be very beneficial if you market and promote the website online too.
· Forming networks; this is where you physically go to the areas where your market is located, meet them and form profitable relationships
· Marketing directly; this is where you use media such as flyers, brochures and sales letters to convey information about your product
· Content Marketing; in this strategy, you can begin by writing information about your product or service, the market environment of your product as well as any new information about it. This will get you identified as an expert on the product or service. This reputation drives sales when your product hits the shelves. This strategy should be conducted long before you hit the market with your product.
· Personal selling; in this strategy, you go directly to your market and sell them the product or service first hand.
· General advertising; in this strategy, you conduct marketing in print media and other directories to inform your target market of the product.