There are two main reasons you would want to develop a marketing plan for your business. One is for the marketing portion of a complete business plan to receive financing from a bank. The other is to develop your brand and implement a marketing strategy for success. For this blog post I will be focusing primarily on the second reason for creating a marketing plan.
If you’re starting a business or trying to grow an established business, a marketing plan is essential for preventing excess loss in time and money. Through a marketing plan you or a professional my be able to determine strengths and weaknesses you may otherwise overlook. Developing a marketing plan forces you to look at all aspects of your business objectively and clearly.
The plan should be clear, focused, realistic, and measurable. This will be a tool for you to use in the coming months and years. It will help you make decisions and meet goals.
#1. Situational Analysis
An explanation of the economic, legal, social, and government issues that might affect your business.
#2. Market Analysis
This will include information about your competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. You want to know your competitors extremely well so you are able to compare with them and ultimately compete with them more aggressively.
#3. Consumer Analysis
The consumer analysis looks to explain all the needs, wants and desires of your potential customers. You should also define their demographics, income, and social status.
#4. Opportunities / Issue Analysis – SWOT Analysis
This section should be an in depth explanation of your internal and external strengths and weaknesses. You will also define your critical success factors along with any negative aspects of your current situation.
Clearly define your desired results or outcome over the next couple months, year, and even long term.
You will include things like your brand image, price, promotions, placement, and location. These are the aspects of your business that will make you a success.
#7. Action Program
Based on your strategy, you will start to define who is going to do what, when it will be done by, and tracking the results. If you need a new website, chose a person to do the task and give it a deadline.
#8. Financial Forecast
This could be complete financial statements for your business, but could also just be a basic explanation of the resources you will assign to tasks, and what you expect the return on that investment to be over the coming months or years.
The marketing plan should be written and planned out over a period of time. Good marketing plans often require input from a professional marketing consultant. For a small business, following the above plan is probably more than enough to determine your place in the market and implement an effective action plan.
If additional assistance is needed, we have complete plans that are available for purchase. We can also assist in writing of your plan or help in the project management portion of the action plan.
Looking to improve your online marketing? Join our mailing list by entering your email in the sidebar!
Blog Written by Michelle LeClair of MC Multimedia