It is clear that if you are starting a business or launching a new product, you need to develop a polished and straightforward marketing plan which aligns well with your business plan, explaining the vision and goals to be attained through your marketing activities. The what, why, and how of a marketing plan for your business are all interlinked.
META: What does a marketing plan include? Discover how to produce the perfect marketing plan outline in just a few steps and leave nothing to chance.
To produce a marketing plan outline, you need to know exactly what you want to include in your plan. Take a look at the information below to get a framework for your plan that is focused and consists of all the requisite sections.
Marketing Plan Checklist
A flawless marketing plan not only sets out to demonstrate the actions regarding promoting your product or service but also includes a range of other elements that should be considered by a marketing team. The plan must assess consumer needs and demonstrate how the product or service offered is meeting those needs, as well as display how the unique aspects of the product or service will be communicated to the consumer, through which media, and, finally, how the product or service will be distributed.
1. Executive Summary
This overview is usually written last but added at the beginning as an introduction to the marketing plan. It must be engaging but brief and demonstrate the key points which will be discussed in the plan. This is the sales pitch to upper-level management and must answer their most fundamental questions of what it is, how it helps, why is it necessary, and why now?
2. Product/Service Description
Within this section, you can enter into the description of what product or service you are offering as well as how is it different and better than competitors. This section should begin to bring in the facts and figures that will help to convince people of the importance and level of success that your product or service will have.
Some marketing plans will do well to introduce here a section that defines how the product or service combines well with the business’ mission statement or values.
3. Target Audience Profile
This part of a marketing plan is extremely vital for any business, no matter what the service or product that is being offered, because without a target audience, there are no customers, and without customers, there are no sales.
Describe the target audience and explain how the product or service will satisfy their specific needs. The best method here is to create a customer profile. This can and should only be done after extensive research using various means to investigate the type of person who will become the client. This profile will define the traits and preferences of prospective customers including aspects like age, gender, location, family size, income, interests, occupation, ethnicity, cultural background, spending habits, etc.
In addition to market research and the use of questionnaires and surveys, marketing plans should include a section dedicated to a thorough investigation of any and all potential competitors. Businesses can learn a lot from competitors in their field, including possible challenges that will arise, problems and how to deal with them, things to avoid within the market, etc. This information is often vitally important to a business developing a new product or service.
5. Delivery Means
Another principal section of a clearly defined marketing plan includes a part dedicated to presenting the ways in which the product or service will be advertised, the methods of communication regarding the sale or availability of the latter, and also the physical means of delivery. It must offer all the necessary information regarding the means of supplying the client with the product or service, in addition to the promotion and conceptual notice of sale.
Finally, although not the last of the sections that could be included in a well-developed marketing plan, it is one of the most essential and usually of utmost importance to any stakeholders, comes the budget. It is crucial to explain and indicate exactly how much of a budget is needed and where it will be spent. Illustrate the areas of activity through tables and charts because visual cues are favorable when it comes to numerical values.
What Makes a Good Marketing Plan?
There are various elements that can be specific in your marketing plan, and when you draft your plan, it is essential to decide which aspects are ideal for your particular needs. There are many marketing plan templates available online and through consultancy firms but plans should be tailored to your business, your audience, and your product or service.
A great marketing plan will convince investors and executives to spend time and money on your project because it answers all of their queries and demonstrates an understanding of the market, the customer, the business. As well as being extraordinarily well-researched and expertly presented, a good marketing plan should also allow room for predictions about the market, the product or service, and the business’ role in the future.