Having been in marketing for more than a decade, I have seen my share of marketing plans.Some are short and to the point, others are hundreds of pages thick and cost thousands of dollars to produce.A plan that ignores a fatal flaw is not a good plan. A task that doesn’t have an owner isn’t likely to be implemented.
Here are the ten basic components of a marketing plan.
If you're thinking about developing a marketing program, you need to begin with a marketing plan.
A marketing plan is the first step in creating a successful marketing program for your business.
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be complicated in order to work.
So here is the first of four: What makes a good business plan?
Key Sections Of A Business Plan
Here’s the hard part, right at the beginning: the value of a business plan is measured in money.Yesterday I got an email from an MBA student asking me four questions. I balked at first, because I think I’ve answered these questions before, on this blog, or on my other blogs, or at or Then I realized that answering these questions is blogworthy.Your plan should be the basis for your activities over the coming months. What can you do in house, what do you need to outsource. Your goals might include sales, profits, or customer's satisfaction. By establishing goals for your marketing campaign, you can better understand whether or not your efforts are generating results through ongoing review and evaluation of results.However, you should always be willing to enhance or redirect your plan based on what proves successful. What does your market need, what do they currently use, what do they need above and beyond current use? Develop your "unique selling proposition." What makes you stand apart from your competition? Write a few sentences that state: From the information you've collected, establish strategies for determining the price of your product, where your product will be positioned in the market and how you will achieve brand awareness. As mentioned earlier in this article, be sure to use your plan as a living document.You identify assumptions and keep them visible during the following planning process. It’s communicated to the people who have to run it At this point we leave the discussion of the plan itself, as if it were a stand-alone entity, and get into how the plan is managed. I know that’s kind of tough, because it means that a plan that isn’t managed isn’t a good plan. If only the team understands them it, it can still be a good plan; but it has to be communicated to that team.We’re judging the plan by the business improvements it causes; in some sense, by the implementation it causes.Regardless of the scope of your marketing plan, you must keep in mind that it is a fluid document.Every business needs to begin with a well structured plan that is based in thorough research, competitive positioning and attainable outcomes. For instance, your goals might be to gain at least 30 new clients or to sell 10 products per week, or to increase your income by 30% this year. By researching your markets, your competition, and determining your unique positioning, you are in a much better position to promote and sell your product or service.It fits the business need We simply can’t look at business plans as generic. Those are specialty uses, that apply to some business situations, while almost all businesses ought to develop management-oriented business plans that exist to help run the company, not to be presented to outsiders. The business plan used internally to manage the company doesn’t have to polish and present the company to outsiders, so it probably lives on a network, not on paper.You have to start with whether or not the plan achieved its business purpose. But the plan as part of high-end startup looking for VC or angel investment does in fact have to present the business to outsiders. Some of them have sales objectives, selling an idea, and a team, and a market, to investors.