All businesses need a marketing plan. But few of them know exactly what the marketing plan is. If you want to be successful in your business, you can use a detailed marketing plan as a step. If you are going to prepare a marketing plan for your small business, you should do more than spend a few hours for your plan. Small businesses need to devote more than a few days to investigating factors such as the size of the market and the uniqueness of the product line. The article below will help you prepare your marketing plan.
Steps to prepare a marketing plan
1 – Executive summary: the summary of the marketing plan as a whole is made here. The last part you should write should be the administrative summary but it should be put in the first part of the plan. Keep the summary as short and pleasant as possible. Sum it all up in just a few words. While writing the summary, imagine it as if you were giving an elevator speech. Read aloud after you have finished the summary. If it takes more than ten seconds to read it all, reconsider it to simplify it a bit.
2 – Tasks: This section should include brief descriptions of the product and / or product line your company offers. Each description should include the objectives of each product and product line. (sales figures, strategic goals and company goals, etc.) Make sure it is short, measurable and partially simple.
3 – Situation analysis : This section should show a snapshot of your company, your customer base and your market size. It should be divided into 6 subsections:
A – Company analysis
- Long and short term firm goals
- Company focus (mission and vision)
- Analyzing company culture (is there a lively or comfortable environment in your company?)
- Firm strengths
- Weaknesses of the firm
- Firm’s estimated market share
B – Customer analysis
- Estimate the size of your customer base. (e.g. how many people buy one of your products, no one is an answer)
- Demographics of your customer base (age, social, gender).
- Value drivers (what kind of value do products and / or services provide to the customer base?)
C – Competitor analysis
- Market position (are competitors fully investing in the market or playing a role in certain market segments? Are your competitors big or small?)
- Competitors’ strengths
- Competitors’ weaknesses
- Market shares
D – Partners: people and companies play an important role in the continuation of business.
- Affiliates, business partnerships, suppliers, distributors, etc.
E – Firm climate: PEST analysis
- Political and legal environment (are there certain product restrictions?)
- Economic environment
- Social and cultural environment
- Technological environment (are your products integrated with modern technology? Are there any updates foreseen?)
F – SWOT analysis
- Strengths of the firm (what makes you the best? Is it a unique team and / or unique structure?).
- Weaknesses of the firm (what are your traits holding you back?).
- Opportunities (what improvements you can take advantage of?).
- Threats (what are the situations that could potentially destroy your company if you are not careful?)
4 – Market segmentation:
- Each market has different segments according to maneger help for sales company. It is very important that you understand the parts related to your product or products because this way you determine the marketing mix (4P) and you can adapt more easily to the different needs of each department.
- Sections should be measurable, accessible, differentiated from other departments, durable, profitable and homogeneous.
- The section lists you will put in the marketing plan should be easy to follow as follows:
Name of the market segment:
- The place of this division in all sales?
- What exactly wants and needs does this section meet?
- How does this section use your product?
- What kind of support does this department need?
- What are the best advertising and communication ways of this episode?
- The department’s price sensitivity (are prices flexible or firm?)?
- Continue this table until you have described all sections.
5 – Alternative marketing strategies : Before reaching the current strategy, identify alternatives with your team and write them down in detail. This could include eliminating a particular product or product line, or changing the price point of the product or product line.
6 – Chosen marketing strategy: Describe the strategy you have developed and agreed with your team. Why did you choose this strategy? Why is your chosen strategy the best possible strategy for the near future? Each of your products should have its own 4P. You can follow the format below:
- Marking / brand name
- The intended quality level for the product (a 1TL plastic toy fire truck or a 30TL metal fire truck with flashing lights and siren?)
- Scope of the product line
- List price
- Package sale
- Terms of payment
- Leasing options
- Distribution channels (will you sell products yourself or ship them to retailers or warehouses)
- Channel motivations (how much margin do distributors expect?)
- Criteria for evaluating distributors
- Logistics and supply chain
- Advertising (what kind of advertisements will you do? What kind of advertising channels will you use? –Television, written, internet etc.)
- public relations
- Promotion programs
- Anticipated results of promotional programs (impact on customer loyalty, gaining new customers, etc.)
7 – Short and long term forecasts : This section should cover income and expense estimates, break-even analysis, and any changes or adjustments you think you should make in the future.
8 – Conclusion: This section is the extended version of the executive summary. It should cover all certain figures (estimated costs, revenues, profits, etc.)
Remember that your marketing plan should integrate the needs and ideas of each part of the firm. Make sure this plan is integrated and intertwined with your business plan and your mission, vision and values.
All the diagrams, graphs, etc. you use to prepare your marketing plan. Don’t forget to add.