Marketing Plan – Step 8 ‘Executive Summary’

These are the steps for creating a proper marketing plan:

Step 8 – Executive Summary.  So that’s it, you’re done with the heavy lifting.  There are two reasons you write a marketing plan:
  1. To define, clarify and agree on your marketing strategy and tactics
  2. To convey information to stakeholders
Number 2, to convey information to stakeholders, requires a concise, less than one page summary.  Unfortunately, if you are presenting your hard work to an investor or senior executive to whom you desire buy-in, they will likely only read the Executive Summary and a few pages of the document.  You may be thinking to yourself, “why, Bruce, did you tell me to do all this work if all I needed to do was write a one page summary?”  See number 1 above.
Do not try to write the Executive Summary first before you put the work in on the entire document.  It always amazes me when senior executives make a statement like, “I don’t need a written business plan (marketing plan).  I have it all in my head.”  I’m sure they believe it, but if you were to start digging into details like positioning statements, value propositions, messages, segmentation, etc., the answers would be broad and poorly defined.
The Executive Summary should outline a compelling argument that is supported by the data in your marketing plan.  Tell the reader why your plan will support achievement of the business goals.  Tell it straight, no spin.  If you did your job with each of the 7 steps, it should be easy.
If you consider yourself a professional marketer, you must write your marketing plan.  If you think you are a professional marketer and you don’t have a written marketing plan, then, Sir or Madame, you are no professional marketer.  It’s well worth the time to invest.  It’s good for your business, your career and your reputation.
Good luck!

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