Why a marketing plan is important?

Why a marketing plan is important

A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for the coming year, quarter or month. Typically, a marketing plan will include these elements: An overview of your business’s marketing and advertising goals. A description of your business’s current marketing position. A Marketing Plan should be an integral part and related to your overall Business Plan.

Types of marketing planning

There are many reasons why marketing plans are created, each has a specific purpose and is designed to achieve a specific outcome.

Overall Marketing Plan·      Outlines your marketing strategy for the coming year, quarter or month
Brand Marketing Plan·      To raise brand awareness
Digital Marketing Plan·      Review digital capabilities

·      Define digital marketing technology

·      Define resource requirements for digital

·      Define how to compete more effectively with digital marketing

Multichannel Marketing PlanA longer-term Marketing Plan that will define,

·      How you will  integrate different digital media to achieve sales targets

·      How you will engage audiences

·      How you will market content

·      How campaign activities will be integrated

Marketing Campaign PlanA shorter-term Marketing Plan integrated communications plan for using different digital media to achieve sales targets through,

·      Engaging audiences

·      Content marketing

·      An integrated media schedule

Within these Plans there can be specific Plan subjects that include,

Advertising Plan·      How you will employ print, visual and other media e.g. TV
A Social Media Marketing plan·      How you will use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter etc, to reinforce your brand image
Conversion Optimisation plan·      This is the plan you have to convert traffic into sales
Customer Acquisition Plan·      The plan that outlines how to gain new customers
Email Marketing Plan·      Details of email marketing strategy, broadcasts, mail chimp and other programmes
A Customer Retention Plan·      The plan that is put not action to retain customer engagement

 

Elements of a Full Marketing Plan

Elements of a Full Marketing Plan

As with a Business Plan your Marketing Plan is a flexible document that requires updating and amendment to adapt to changing market conditions as well as monitoring your company’s performance against the Marketing Plan goals you have established.

A marketing plan can be adjusted at any point based on the results from the metrics. If digital ads are performing better than expected, for example, the budget for a campaign can be adjusted to fund a higher performing platform or the company can initiate a new budget. The challenge for marketing leaders is to ensure that every platform has enough time to show results.

Bear in mind that your Marketing Plan will be viewed by potential investors if you are raising funds to expand your business. The following plan contains some details that investors will require.

Marketing Plans should include the following elements:

SECTIONDescription
Executive Summary – (Generally included if raising money)
Business DetailsName, address etc.
Relevant Owner ExperienceWhat experience do the business owner(s) have? How many years have you owned or run a business?
The MarketWho are you selling to? Why would they buy your products/services over others? How do you plan to enter the market? How do you intend to attract customers? How and why will this work?
The FutureA statement of your vision, goals and objectives
The Financeshow much profit you intend on making in a particular time frame. How much money will you need up-front? Where will you obtain these funds? What portion will you be seeking from other sources? How much of your own money are you contributing towards the business?
AwardsAny relevant Awards or recognition

 

SECTIONDescription
Information contained in a Marketing Plan for both internal and fun-raising purposes
S.W.O.T. AnalysisA critical overview of your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and how you will use them to grow your business.
Products and ServicesA list of products, services, descriptions and pricing
Market PositionWhere do your products/services fit in the market? Are they high-end, competitive or budget? How does this compare to your competitors?
Unique Selling positionHow will your products/services succeed in the market where others may have failed? What gives your products/services the edge?
Anticipated DemandWhat is the anticipated quantity of products/services your customers are likely to purchase? For example, how much will an individual customer buy in 6 months or 12 months?
Pricing StrategyDo you have a particular pricing strategy? Why have you chosen this strategy? How do your customers view your products/services? Are they a necessity, luxury or something in between?
Growth PotentialWhat is the anticipated percentage growth of the product in the future? What will drive this growth?
Sales/Marketing PersonnelJob title, name, responsibilities.
Customer DemographicsDefine who your target customers are and how they behave. You can include age, gender, social status, education and attitudes.
Key CustomersIdentify your key customers. (These can be large consumers of your products or individuals whose satisfaction is key to the success of your business.) How will you target your products/service to them?
Customer ManagementHow will you maintain a good relationship with your customers? What techniques will you use? How will you keep your customers coming back? Have you introduced customer service standards? Do you follow any particular code of practice?
Market Position and CompetitorsWhere do your products/services fit in the market? Are they high-end, competitive or budget? How does this compare to your competitors?
Value to CustomerHow do your customers view your products/services? Are they a necessity, luxury or something in between?
Revenue Streams and Opportunities[Describe how you will derive revenue.
Road to Market[How will you take your product/services to market?]
Competitor AnalysisHow do you rate against your competitors? How can your business improve on what they offer?

·           Competitor name

·           Established date

·           Size

·           Market share %

·           Value to customers

·           Strengths

·           Weaknesses

Market ResearchWhat statistical research have you completed to help you analyse your market? Did you use a survey/questionnaire? If so, you may like to attach a copy of your survey/questionnaire to the back of this plan.
Market TargetsOutline your planned sales targets. What quantity of your products/services do you plan to sell in a planned time frame? Are they monthly or yearly targets?
Environmental/Industry AnalysisDetail the results of the market research you have performed. Is the area experiencing population growth? Are there long-term employers in the area? Is the region’s economy stable? Are there seasonal variations?
Marketing StrategyWhat is your overall marketing strategy? What steps or activities will you undertake to achieve your goals/objectives?

·           Marketing activity milestones

·           Person responsible

·           Date of expected completion

·           Cost

·           Success indicator

·           Weaknesses

Advertising and Sales StrategyWhat strategies do you have for promoting and advertising your products/services in the next 12 months?

·           Planned promotion/advertising type

·           Expected outcome

·           Cost

·           Target date

Social Media StrategyWhat do you want to achieve/communicate (brand awareness, online sales etc.)? What social media tools do your customers use (e.g. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc.)? What strategies can you use to network and communicate effectively with these customers? Who will upkeep your social media presence – do you have the internal staff, or would you need to engage an external organisation?
Sales StrategyWhat sales techniques do you use? What are your strategies behind these techniques? How is this different/better than your competitors?
Sales & Distribution Channels·           Channel type

·           Products/services

·           Percentage of sales

·           Advantages

·           Disadvantages

12 Moth Marketing BudgetA table of all anticipated costs by month.
Monitoring/Measurement ActivitiesReviewing the impact of your marketing should be a periodic activity. List the details of each review in the table below.

·           Marketing activity

·           Date of review

·           Monitoring methods

·           Review outcomes

 

In conclusion

conclusion

A Marketing Plan details the strategy that a company will use to market its products to customers.

The plan identifies the target market, the value proposition of the brand or the product, the campaigns to be initiated, and the metrics to be used to assess the effectiveness of marketing initiatives.

The marketing plan should be adjusted on an ongoing basis based on the findings from the metrics that show which efforts are having an impact and which are not.

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