OK, so you are ready to put pen to paper and begin writing your formal marketing plan. Now is not the time to get “wishy-washy” and skip a step. They are all important. After you finish writing your plan you will have a better understanding of your products, you company and where it fits within your industry. This understanding will help you to plan and execute successful marketing strategies and campaigns.
On August 3 I talked about approaches to writing a marketing plan. When I was first writing them I preferred a more structured approach created by someone else. I was afraid I would leave out an important section of my plan. Today, I definitely use the freestyle approach when writing my own plans or plans for someone else. However, this statement could be a little misleading because I still have a structure. I have a base outline that I usually start with and then customize it to fit the situation.
The key elements I use when writing a formal marketing plan are listed below. Many of us have a natural inclination to move right into planning the marketing strategies or campaigns. However, skipping other sections of the plan can lead to poorly planned strategies because you are not looking at the whole picture.
- Executive Summary
- Situation Analysis
- Company Analysis
- Customer Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Product Mix
- Description of your products
- Target Market / Market Segmentation
- Detailed description of target market and market segmenttion for each product
- Marketing Strategy / Marketing Mix
- Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion)
- Campaign Strategy (Promotion)
- Here is where I detail advertsing, PR, promotions, etc.
- Success Metrics
- How will you measure success of this plan? Review and revise, review and revise!
- Forecasts / Financial Analysis
- Sales Forecast
- Budget Forecast
- Breakeven Analysis
There are many different resources, both offline and online, that can provide you with a marketing plan outline (two are listed below). I encourage to you to look at several and take the best elements from each.
Don’t forget, even if you are writing the plan yourself investing a couple hours in a coach who can review the plan and point out key elements that may be missing could be an invaluable investment.
Sources: QuickMBA | WebSite Marketing Plan