My last blog post was about the 4 P’s or the basic ingredients to the so called, Marketing Mix. I stated that the 4 P’s are the foundation of a proper marketing plan. Don’t have a marketing plan? Now is as good a time as any to get started.
Here is a list of topics that should be included in your formal marketing plan and some examples of the specifics:
- Executive Summary – this is at the front, but usually written last
- Current Situation Analysis – covers areas like resources, offering, KSFs, economic environment, socio-cultural, technology trends, etc. Should include macro and micro analysis
- Market Summary – size, growth trend, regional differences, market needs, market trends, market position of the firm
- S.W.O.T. – remember that ‘strengths’ & ‘weaknesses’ are internal to the firm; ‘opportunities’ & ‘threats’ are external and reflect the target market
- Competitive Analysis – market share, market positions of competitors, strengths and weaknesses of competitors; don’t forget your customer’s options ‘not to use’ as a competitor
- Critical Issues – these are make-or-break issues like the need for a marketing automation platform or content development strategy
- Marketing Strategy – how will the marketing strategy support the business strategy and/or corporate strategy? objectives, target market definition, positioning, value proposition? Will you use inbound, outbound, content, or combination?
- The Offering – describe the product or service
- Price – describe the pricing strategy
- Promotion – budget, tactics, messaging, regional differences
- Sales Channel – how will you move your product or service to the market so it can be purchased; direct, distribution, resellers, agents, licensing, other
- Financials – describe the important financial data, net sales growth, EBIT, targets, regional breakdown if applicable
- Controls & Measurement – how will you measure the marketing ROI and marketing spend, KPIs, planning milestones
This is not the only way to construct a formal Marketing Plan, however, it is a fairly comprehensive outline of a standard plan. There are many, many textbooks, references and templates available and most of them are pretty good. This Amazon page shows a few good references to get you started just in case you don’t already have a marketing plan in place. Today is a great day to get started on a plan or to update your existing plan. These documents are not meant to be written and then ignored. A good marketing plan is a dynamic document meant to be referred to and updated as your business environment lives and develops.