How To Create A Marketing Plan

Creating a marketing plan requires a lot of time, work, and data, but it can go a long way in helping you market and sell your business. Although the process is full of details, it helps to have an outline of the major steps you need to undertake while putting together a detailed marketing guide.

Before you get started, take note that marketing plans have to be done on a yearly basis. Each plan should cover an entire year, with subsequent smaller plans if you plan to create various campaigns within a span of a year. Also, even if your plan turns out to be only a few pages long, preparing it may sometimes take you a month or two.

When you’re ready to begin, work through the different sections of your marketing plan, which includes:

    1. Executive summary – This is a one-page overview of the plan where you will outline key goals, recommendations, and costs required. Although it is the first page of your plan, you can only complete this page if you are done with the whole plan.
    2. Marketing analysis – This is a whole section that will describe the status of the market and industry where your business participates in. This section will involve:
      • Industry study – Outlines the size of the market, different segments, significant growth and decline trends, and other unique characteristics of the industry
      • Current product/brand situation – Reviews the status of the business by measuring market share and outlining the market positioning of the brand
      • Competitive situation – Discusses the market shares and marketing efforts of the direct and indirect competitors in the market
    3. SWOT Matrix – This is a summary of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; this chart is considered as a useful tool in the business world.
    4. Goals and objectives – Highlight your specific goals and objectives for the plan. These should include short term and long term goals.
    5. Marketing strategies and programs – This is the game plan for your entire marketing efforts. It should include a list and timetable of all strategies and programs you plan to implement for the year. Each program should involve:
      • Target market
      • Product
      • Pricing
      • Sales and distribution plan
      • Marketing communication

      The most important part of this section is the last, which deals with your marketing efforts. This part should include the whole communication mix you plan on using to achieve the goals of the marketing program. You may use:

      1. Traditional advertising i.e. TV commercials, radio spots, newspaper ads
      2. Non-traditional advertising i.e. social media marketing
      3. Sales promotions i.e. point-of-purchase promos
      4. Sales promotions i.e. point-of-purchase promos
      5. Public relations i.e. press releases
    6. Investment plan – The latter part of your marketing plan should focus on the financial aspect of marketing your brand and product. This will outline all the expected expenses such as costs for research, advertising expenses, and contingency funds. All these make up your total marketing cost.
    7. Profitability plan – The second to last part of your plan should give you an idea of the results you wish to achieve through the program in a monetary aspect. Here you will compare the cost and the profits relating to the marketing program you implement.
    8. Evaluation – The final part of your plan should outline how you plan to evaluate the results of your marketing program. This should give you an idea of how to track and measure the progress of your marketing efforts.

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