What is a Marketing Plan?

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A market plan identifies (through market research) unmet needs in the marketplace and provides a strategic guideline as to how the organization intends to provide an offering (product or service) to fulfill these needs while generating a profitable rate of return. It will indicate the position, or market “niche”, for the organization and identify the necessary resources to implement the marketing strategy. And finally, the market plan becomes a useful benchmark for which to measure the success of the organization’s marketing strategies.

The marketing plan begins with a market analysis to determine –

  • what groups of customers exist (market size),
  • what their needs are (unmet needs),
  • what groups of customers you prefer to serve (target markets),
  • what products or services you might develop to meet their needs (product mix),
  • how much of the market will likely buy your product (market share),
  • how the customers use the products and services,
  • who or what influences their buying decision,
  • what your competitors are doing (competitive analysis),
  • how are you different from your competitors (differentiation),
  • what pricing you should use and
  • how you should distribute products and services to customers,
  • how will promote you product or services?

The marketing plan will also address ongoing promotions, which can include advertising, PPC and Adwords, social media branding, public relations, sales and customer service.

A Sample Marketing Plan Outline –

Executive Summary

Market Analysis

  • Market Summary
    • Market Demographics
    • Market Needs
    • Market Trends
    • Market Growth
  • SWOT Analysis
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Opportunities
    • Threats
  • Competition
  • Services
  • Keys to Success
  • Critical Issues
  • Channels

Marketing Strategies

Financials, Budgets and Forecasts

  • Break-Even Analysis
  • Sales Projections
  • Expense Projections
  • Contribution Margin
  • ROI

Controls

  • Implementation
  • Milestones
  • Sourcing/Staffing
  • Performance
  • Contingency Planning

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