Marketing Plans

Last time I talked about general Business Plans and the need to get something in writing. Today I’d like to expand that theme and talk about Marketing Plans.

So what is a Marketing Plan? A Marketing Plan details what it is you are selling, what market sectors you are selling to, whom you want to sell it to and what kind of market share can you expect.

After writing the various bits of your plan, the order that you present it should be something like what follows. Keep in mind that some people prefer different orders or flows to the data. No one way is correct for everyone, if you feel something should be presented in a different order than I have it that’s okay. Every company I have written these plans for tweaks it to their own style.

This is where you summarize all of the details that you write first. This should be the very last section that you write.

Here is where you describe, in a fair amount of detail, what exactly it is you are selling. Tell what it is, what it looks like, how it works, how it is superior to similar products/services, etc.

SWOT ANALYSIS (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
Strengths and Weaknesses are internal while Opportunities and Threats are external.

PEST ANALYSIS (Political, Economic, Social and Technical)
Political, Economic & Social are external items while Technical can be internal or external.

Here is where you talk about the overall size of the total market, not what you expect to sell into that market. If you are targeting different markets than they are all listed here.

This is the “meat” of your Marketing Plan. Describe the markets, the customers, why they would want your product, the pricing models, percent of sales in each sector, how you will find clients, the market trends, your advantages and disadvantages, barriers to entry for anyone wishing to pursue this market, sample of companies that you are targeting, etc.

Here is where you list your primary competitors and how you will address them in the marketplace. Sometimes it is more applicable to put this information under each market if you are selling into different market sectors.

Here you talk about branding, pricing strategy, product/service distribution, promotions and ad campaigns, etc.

The last section is the appendix and it is where you insert details such as where your market information came from, insert reports, white papers, government studies, etc.

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