Steps and Tips on How to Write a Marketing Plan
Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero once said; “before beginning, plan carefully”. Technically, planning is the precise goal of a marketing plan. The whole idea behind crafting a good marketing plan is so that a business can focus its energy towards the right areas. It serves to try and understand the consumers better so that you can better understand what to do and how to do it. The problem however is that people often overthink when it comes to writing a marketing plan.
What to Include in a Marketing Plan
A good marketing plan should be well researched, highly detailed and mostly encompass both internal and external factors in marketing. Technically, a marketing plan justifies past events and projects and how such events can influence the future of the company. Both small and large corporations use a marketing plan for different reasons. Small organizations use the plan to seek funding while large corporations use the document to project the future of the company. A good marketing plan should have;
A Background Analysis
Provide some background information about your organization and in particular providing some details about past events that might have had a direct impact to your business. A background analysis helps define the capabilities of your business as well as potential opportunities that may present themselves in future.
Ask yourself, what you want your marketing plan to achieve. Different plans are written for various reasons. There are those which are written to source for funds while others are supposed to detail future opportunities for the organization. The best way of defining your marketing objectives is to follow the SMART strategy.
- Specific: Your objectives must be clearly outlined.
- Measurable: You must have a timeline that you will use to measure success.
- Achievable: You must ask yourself how attainable your objectives are.
- Realistic: You must have the resources in place to achieve the business objectives.
- Timely: You must be clear on the time you intend to take in order to achieve the objectives.
A Marketing Strategy and Marketing Mix
Remember, an effective marketing strategy defines the overall goal of the entire plan. A marketing strategy provides details on how you plan to bring new products or services into the market and how you plan to ensure customer satisfaction. Each marketing strategy has several elements that are referred to as the marketing mix. A good marketing mix is made of the 7P’s namely; pricing, product, people, position, process, position and physical environment.
Action Plan and Organizational Implications
Remember, your plan cannot be implemented without a budget. For example, if you want to increase sales, you must put into account how much will go into advertising for this to happen. Lastly, provide details on the direct impact of each action to the organization as well as the overall impact of the entire marketing plan.
Summary of the Plan
In order to effectively summarize your plan, you need to highlight the key components of the plan. Ensure that you attach all the references as well as any other supporting documents used in the plan. References are meant to back up claims and assumptions made in the marketing plan.