There are many books and theories describing the process of developing a marketing plan.

In my view, the key is to keep it simple and easy to implement.

 

As it forms an intrinsic part of a business plan, your marketing plan must be detailed enough to provide a clear road map of strategies and actions to implement, thereby achieving your overall business goals.

There are several approaches you can take to writing a marketing plan. I’m going to cover a few different ways to writing one over  a series of different posts. Each is a slight variation on the overall theme, but maintains the fundamentals of a marketing plan

 

The superhero format

There are times when you need a super quick, super-actionable marketing plan that is heavy on making-it-happen.

I’ve already mentioned how my blog plan was a similarly ‘superhero’ style plan. Being of that style, my plan is an organic document that lives, breathes, grows and changes as my business and needs direct. But most of all, it was short, easy to do, very practically oriented and BIG on implementation. This works for me, but may not suit all needs or business situations.

 

What works best?

The most important thing is to find a plan style that suits you, your purpose and needs at the time. These variables will change over time and therefore so should the style of marketing plan that you create for your business, product or service.

The critical thing to keep in mind is your customers.

They are how you achieve your goals, without them you have nothing.

 

A quick and dirty summary marketing plan

This format contains the most basic fundamentals of a more comprehensive plan.

The basics of a good marketing plan are covered by four broad areas, summarised as:

  1. Purpose
  2. Goals
  3. Objectives
  4. Strategies

What is a marketing strategy?

They are the means by which your marketing objectives will be achieved.

The strategies are broken down into each of the ‘Four P’s’ of the marketing mix and relate to general policies or directions for –

1. Product strategy – e.g

  • changing product portfolio/mix
  • dropping, adding or modifying products
  • changing design, quality or performance
  • consolidating/standardising

2. Price strategy – e.g

  • changing price, terms or conditions for particular product groups in particular market segments
  • skimming
  • penetration
  • discount
  • value-add

3. Place (distribution) strategy – e.g

  • changing channels
  • improving service

4. Promotion strategy – e.g

  • changing selling/salesforce organisation
  • changing advertising or sales promotion
  • changing public relations activity
  • increasing/decreasing exhibition coverage
  • changing digital activity
  • changing/adding social media activity

Each of these four areas need to be fleshed out (to whatever degree your needs and time dictate) so that you have a plan to work with and implement.

 

Photo via stock.xchng user juloostock

 

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