Any business, no matter how large or small, can succeed by having a plan for business. One of the most essential elements of business plans includes a marketing strategy. A solid marketing plan will outline the who and who, what, where, when and the amount of sales and marketing actions for the coming year:
- What are our ideal customers?
- Which sources of distinctiveness or market positioning can we count on?
- Where can we put in place our marketing budget plans?
- When will the marketing budget plans be implemented?
- What sales, spending and profit will we be able to achieve?
The financial projections that are part of your business plan are based heavily on the assumptions that are contained within your plan for marketing. The marketing plan is the one that outlines the time when expenditures will be made, the levels of sales are expected to be reached and the method by which the expenditures for advertising and promotion are to be conducted.
Here are the most important elements of a plan for marketing:
- The situation analysis outlines the entire market environment which the company competes , as well as the state of its the products as well as distribution channels.
- The analysis of opportunities and issues provides the most significant threats and opportunities external to the business, as well as the strength and weakness of the firm as well as a discussion of the most pressing issues facing the business.
- The section on goals and objectives describes the major goals of the company and the financial and marketing objectives.
- The marketing strategy section outlines the marketing strategy statement of the business that outlines the primary buyer’s profile, the segments that the company is expected to take on, the unique position of the company and its products in comparison to market, the reason why it’s unique or attractive to consumers, the price strategy in comparison to the market, marketing spending strategy that incorporates advertising and promotion as well as possible R&D and market research strategies.
- The plan for sales and marketing describes each particular marketing activity or action strategy to increase sales. It could, for instance, contain a report of the promotional and advertising plans for each quarter including spending, timing, as well as the goals of share or shipment for each plan.
Effective planning demands an accurate assessment of the current situation
The section on situation analysis of a marketing plan explains what’s happening in the market in which the business competesand also examines the company’s distribution and product patterns. The information in this section gives reasons and support for marketing goals, plans and strategies.
Make use of a straightforward, common sense method to arrange and present only pertinent details. Since the analysis of situation is a vast array of subjects, it must be split into sections. The subsections should begin with beginning with the “big picture” of macroenvironment impacts on your business, and then move down to the market’s total descriptions, competition and the target customers/end users and then, lastly, the latest business trends and distributor channels descriptions. The most important subsections are:
- Macroenvironment conditions. The macroenvironment section provides information about trends that will affect your business across the following categories:
- Materials supply
- market conditions, including the size, growth trends of the market as a whole, as well as crucial segments
- competitive environment, which includes the details of important competitors along with their dimensions objectives and market share, product quality , comparisons of advertising strategies, expenditure and more.
- End user or target buyer scenario, that analyzes the behaviour and identity of the target buyer/end user as well as consumer needs and wants
- Product situation, which includes prices, sales and contribution margins. Net profits for each product line are displayed.
- distribution conditions, providing details on the dimensions, patterns, and importance for each channel of distribution the company’s goods
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Drive your business
to its true potential
MARKETING PLAN BUILDER
A practical guide for Small to Medium Enterprises
This template based system guides you through the steps to developing a dynamic marketing plan that will give your business the focus and structure to realise its full potential
Absence of planning means opportunities are lost as operators spin around in ever diminishing circles working in their businesses instead of on them. This book is intended to go some way towards remedying that situation.
Readers are encouraged to step back from from day-to-day issues to build a plan from the ground up so that their businesses can grow with a more tighly focused sense of direction. Elementary marketing principles and practices are explained and the tools, structure and framework needed to devise a professional plan are provided. This book is rich in content and packed with practical tips, ideas and helpful suggestions.
Identify opportunities in the marketplace that your business can profitably
Increase your productivity through reducing wasted time and effort.
Help you concentrate on the things you do best.
Improve utilization of your finite resources.
Give you a ‘blueprint’ to enable you to build your business systematically.
Coordinate every function in your business so that each part is reaching toward the same goals.
Provide you with a practical day-to-day decision reference points.
Give your business a sharper focus for your customers and employees.
Give you an edge on your nearest competitors.
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What is Marketing Plan Builder?
Marketing Plan Builder is a self completion template based system, rich in content, that gives users the knowledge, tools, structure and framework to write a comprehensive professional plan. The templates focus on the succinct content you should consider in the plan, avoiding the need to laboriously write endless paragraphs of verbose text.
The system is based on a lifetime of practical experience in which countless plans have been developed by the author for a diverse range of product and service categories and from large businesses to small.
Marketing Plan Builder is designed for:
Product based business to business enterprises (B2B products)
Service based business to business enterprises (B2B services)
Product based business to consumer enterprises (B2C products)
Service based business to consumer enterprises (B2C services)
Step 1 – Purchase and gain a sound working knowledge of the eBook or paperback (187 pages)
The book guides you through the essential components of a marketing plan and explains elementary marketing principles and practices. It includes tips and suggestions to help you develop a plan that matches the specific needs of your business. A series of completed template examples culminate in a consolidated sample marketing plan. Because no two businesses are the same, the book includes reference keys at each section of the plan to indicate the suitability of each step for your business depending on whether you market products or services from business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B). The reference keys also indicate the applicability of each step according to your plan level preferences from ‘Basic’ through to ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’.
Step 2 – Build your plan in the FREE pre-formatted Microsoft ® Word™ templates (64 pages) downloaded from the link below.
After reading the eBook or paperback, you will be ready to start writing your plan by ‘filling in the blanks’ in the templates supplied. At each template there are prompts to enable you to write the appropriate content.
Download FREE marketing plan templates here
(You will need Microsoft ® Word™ on your system. When downloaded go to View >Edit Document)
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Situation analysis starts by looking at the macroenvironment
The first section of the analysis of situation macroenvironment will set the stage for the more detailed analysis to follow. Be sure to capture only the relevant information about macroenvironmental changes that could affect your business. Here are a few aspects of important macroenvironmental forces you must take into consideration.
- Demographics. How will the demographics of your geographical location or the market you are targeting impact the demand for your product and services into the coming years? For instance, as baby boomers get older the fastest-growing population in the US is the older age group. What impact does this have on your company? For instance, a building contractor for homes should be more attentive to the needs of people who are over 65. In other areas , the proportion of immigrants who are recent from countries that are not English-speaking is substantial. Are there new products that you can add to your range to draw in these customers? Do you think having bilingual employees will assist in growing your business?
- Economic/business circumstances. No matter how downbeat the economic news could be, a smart business owner cannot ignore it. Get a sense about the economy–not just of the country but also of your local area or city. What’s important to your company? What is the impact of the economy on what you have to do to promote your business and increase income”
- Technologies. Innovation can create or destroy businesses and industries within a matter of an entire year. The popularity and ease of use of CD players almost removed the need for record players, and severely impacted the manufacturing and distribution of record albums. Are there other disruptive forces that could affect your company? Customer expectations –social media, 24/7 online ordering — going to impact the way you run your business?
- Legal and political. Health care and handicapped legislation affects all companies regardless of size. Costs are rising and the requirement for walkways, buildings, elevators,. will significantly affect the expenses of small-scale businesses. For instance, a newly opened restaurant with basement space may need an elevator (e.g. at least $20k or more) to accommodate handicapped employees even though it is highly unlikely that employees with physical disabilities will require a trip into a storage facility.
- Cultural and social. Especially if you are working in the field of consumer goods it is essential to be aware of the cultural or social changes that impact those who purchase from you (and prospective customers.) For instance, there is an increasing trend among Americans (and around the globe) to wear more casual attire with comfort and function being the main drivers behind new clothes and shoe styles. The people who cook less are more focused on the quality of their food and the fat content on their plates. Today, American business people are less inclined to sacrifice their time with their families to pursue business opportunities. What do these mean for your small-scale business?
Sections on situation analysis examine particular areas
“Market Situation” or the “Market Situation” section of the analysis gives information about the size, size, and patterns of the global market, as well as any segments of the market or. A rationale must be given to estimate the direction for the industry, such as important industry developments, the introduction of new technologies or products, increase in marketing budgets of key competitors, etc. For instance small-scale businesses could include local sales or volume of the industry over the past five years, and the estimates of the total market for the current year and for the next year, including company sales and market share.
Define your landscape of competition and your challenges
The “Competitive Situation” subsection of the section on analysis of situations, you will provide concise and pertinent details about your key competitors:
- the key competitors’ names and their market position
- Size of the key competitors in terms of units/dollars
- market share of major competitors
- Sales trends of the top competitors
- Strengths and weakness of your key competitors in comparison to your products or service
- The perceived marketing strategies of the major competitors and their potential impact on your business
Define your buyer or final user
You will provide concrete information about your prospective buyers in addition to details about the final users, if required in your “Target Buyer” subsection of your analysis of the situation. Important questions that are addressed in this section include:
- description of potential buyers or users in terms of psychographic, demographic and lifestyle terminology
- End-users and buyers’ desires, needs, beliefs and opinions of the specific products and services.
- the location where end users/target buyers are and how to get them
- Which segments of the overall market or of a particular category are growing or decreasing and why?
Capture key metrics on your products and business
“Product Situation” section of the “Product Situation” subsection of your analysis section gives details about the company’s product:
- product trends
- Cost-of-goods-history (five years)
- History of marketing spending (five years of advertising, promotionand spending on PR)
- Distribution trends and changes
- description of the organization that sells (for instance, a company or brokers)
Distribution channels in detail and the associated costs
“Distribution” section of the “Distribution” subsection of the analysis section discusses every distributor channel and their relative importance to the business in regards to:
- percentage of company sales
- company volume
- costs associated with distribution of the products and the distribution of services and products.
- Potential for growth
- Competitive status
Marketing plans must define the issues, opportunities, and goals
Its “Opportunity and Issue Analysis” section of your marketing strategy examines the most significant external threats and opportunities for the company, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the organization as well as a discussion of the most pressing issues facing the business.
- External potential threats and opportunities for the company must be highlighted with potential strategies to take advantage of the opportunities, as well as possible ways to deal with threats to the business.
- The internal strength and weak points of the business must be described in a context of competition.
- Essential issues is a guideline for the decisions to be taken by the business in light of the evaluation of these opportunities and threats , as well as internal weaknesses and strengths of the company and assists in determining the goals strategy, strategies, and tactics.
External opportunities can be identified when analyzing the macro-environment that the business operates within. Other influences on your business could be a result of the current market conditions or competitive environment that your business has to face.
Goals and goals for marketing form at the center of your marketing strategy
It is important to note that the “Marketing Goals and Objectives” section of your marketing plan will outline the major goals of your business, as well as financial, and marketing goals. Each objective should be meticulously defined, when possible, in particular in relation to an achievable date or time. They should be reasonable and achievable.
Corporate goals that are important to the company may include both long- and short-term goals. For instance:
- corporate Definition (e.g., “to be a manufacturer of 100 percent all-natural snack food products”)
- Market definition (e.g., “to attain leadership in dollar market share and volume for the healthy, all-natural snacks segment of the salty snacks category”)
- technology (e.g., “to become known in the industry as the leading developer of new vegetable protein products”)
Financial goals are usually presented in quantitative terms and are with a minimum of three years into the near future:
- Gross sales (increase)
- cost-of-goods (decrease)
- Gross Margin (increase)
- gross income (increase)
- Return on investment
- Refund on income
Companies seeking funding from outside sources and capital need to provide minimal of 5 years’ worth of projected income statements, though they are typically located in the section on finances in the plan for business and not the marketing section.
Objectives for marketing are the quantitative representations of the firm’s financial objectives in terms of marketing. Examples include:
- sales dollars
- sales units
- market share
- distribution levels/channel
- public awareness
- key account distribution
A well-defined marketing strategy helps you focus your on the right time, resources
Each business owner should create an outline of the guidelines which outlines the company’s marketing strategy. This document should be used to evaluate the efficacy of every action the company takes. If a company is forced to perform an action that is not in line with its strategy It could indicate an emergency that has been triggered by competition or other circumstances outside the control of normal management. This could signal the need to modify or review the marketing strategy of the company.
A well-designed marketing strategy has specific goals , and may include:
- A description of the primary buyers/end users of the target
- markets that companies will be competing with its competitors
- Distribution channels
- The unique position of the business and its products against the competitors
- the reasons that make it distinctive or appealing to buyers.
- price strategy versus competition
- Marketing spending strategy that includes advertising and promotion
- Potentially, research and development
- Strategies for market research and expenditure.
A comprehensive marketing strategy for the company must also include:
- delineate the business
- establish the company as a challenger, leader or follower player in the market
- define the business or brand’s persona or image that is wanted by customers and consumers.
- Define life cycle influences determine the life cycle influences, if applicable.
Utilize the following checklist to design your own strategy for marketing.
Marketing strategy checklist
- Determine what your company’s purpose is.
- identify the products or services your business offers
- Find out who your buyers are and the end users you want to reach.
- define the category of marketing (e.g. fast food chain, premium audio equipment sales, etc.)
- decide if your business will be a market leader or follower, competitor, or a niche-based player
- identify the distinctive features of your product or service that differentiate them from your competitors. Describe the unique characteristics of your products or services that distinguish them from the.
- determine whether your prices will be different from, above or equal to your competitors. You must also determine if you will follow, lead or ignore any the price of your competitors.
- determine the channels of distribution through the channels through which your product or service will be accessible to your target market/end users. Identify the distribution channels through which your products/services will be made available to
- explain how your advertising and marketing will highlight the distinctive qualities of your products or services.
- identify the research and development projects or market research plans specific to your company
- identify the image or the persona of your business and the products or services it offers.
Test drive your strategy statements
If the goals of your plan are measured and actionable, and help distinguish your business and its products against the rest Congratulations! If they’re not quantifiable and actionable, and don’t distinguish your business from your competitors, you should make them more measurable and actionable until they do.
A solid marketing strategy shouldn’t be altered each year. It should not be modified until the company’s objectives (financial marketing, financial and general goals of the company) are achieved or the situation in the market has changed dramatically, e.g., a new competitor enters the same category, or radically different or innovative products emerge from the existing competition.
Conclude the plan using an action plan for marketing and sales
The marketing plan describes each plan or event that is planned to boost sales. The plan is typically based on an entire calendar year and break it into months or by quarter. It could, for instance, contain a report of the quarterly advertising and promotion plans, including the timing, spending and share/shipment objectives for every program.
Marketing and sales plans must be a natural extension of long- and short-term business goals along with your strategy for marketing. The business plan the marketing and sales plans include a description of each marketing event throughout the entire year, including the following points:
- Description of the event vehicle (for instance, for example media, promotion sales, trade)
- The timing of each event’s timing
- Event goals and objectives (for instance volume, share gains)
- Cost of the cost of each