A marketing plan is a written document that details the necessary actions to achieve one or more marketing objectives. A Marketing Plan is meant to be a structured way of dealing with marketing issues, not a random collection of incomprehensible bits and pieces. A marketing plan is a key component of a business plan and is essential to planning the overall direction that you want your business to take. A marketing plan is not something that you write and then forget. It needs to be followed, monitored and updated. You want to regularly evaluate a marketing plan to make sure you are reaching the goals you set.
Marketing plan objectives are typically on the level of sales, profit, return on investment or, for larger businesses, market share. Marketing is a function of business and has many dimensions, including market research, customer service, advertising, targeting, packaging, pricing, e-marketing, and others. Marketing plans, even those created within a small company, can vary in scope, format, length, and level of detail they do however typically include similar types of information.
Developing a good marketing plan is essential to the success of any business because you need to get everyone focused on the same issues and that’s what your plan should do. You need to customize your marketing plan to suit your business and its objectives. Your marketing plan needs to be simple and to the point. In it you want to state your marketing objectives and do so in a way that your goals are very clear for everyone that might be involved with accomplishing the plan itself. Your marketing strategy needs to be clearly defined. It’s your plan of action for achieving each of your goals.
Marketing Actions are the tactics you plan to use to give your plan a life of its own. Developing a solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan and must be carefully considered before commiting to it. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, a marketing plan without a sound strategic foundation is of little use.
The objectives in your marketing plan need to state just where the company intends to be; at some specific time in the future.
The marketing objectives must usually be based, above all, on the organization’s financial objectives. If the marketing plan is to work, every exception to it must be questioned. Before you deviate from your plan you need to ask why you should do so. During the course of the year the lessons learned need to be documented so that they can be incorporated into the next year’s plan.
A marketing plan for a small business typically includes descriptions of direct competitors, that are marketing similiar products. What the level of demand for the product or service is. A description of the product or service, including special features. What your marketing budget is, including the advertising and promotional plan. A description of the business location, to include the advantages and disadvantages of your location. And what your pricing strategy is going to be. A marketing plan is, after all, a structured way of dealing with marketing issues, not a random collection of incomprehensible bits and pieces.
This kind of balanced view in a marketing plan is important to show risks are being recognized. Like a business plan, a marketing plan is an essential guide. Some business owners don’t understand the value of a marketing plan, and still others just don’t know what a marketing plan is. Every start-up venture and existing business needs a business plan, yet many entrepreneurs don’t realize a marketing plan is equally vital to your business success. A marketing plan is required if you want your business to become a household name. Your marketing plan provides structure to the marketing efforts of your business.