Keeping track of marketing efforts is essential for every business. Doing so produces a guided track to visualize the company’s strategies and illustrates how it plans to achieve goals and objectives. One of the most popular ways companies accomplishes this is by creating a marketing plan.
According to William M. Pride, “the Marketing Plan is a written document or blueprint governing all of a firm’s marketing activities, including the implementation and control of those activities.”
Why is a marketing plan important for small businesses?
- Management/business owner control and monitoring of implementation.
- Communicates employees or external individuals of their responsibilities.
- Details a budget that focuses on marketing activities.
- Assigns timetables and tasks.
- Helps the members prepare for problems, opportunities, and threats.
- Keep it confidential, simple, and change it year-by-year.
Some marketing experts suggest that businesses should have a marketing plan for each marketing strategy it develops. For example:
- The development of a new product or service.
- The creation of yearly campaigns.
- Strategic partnerships that are key to the company’s marketing strategy.
It is important to keep in mind two important characteristics of the marketing plan:
- The marketing plan is a cycle. Feedback and updates are important tools that allow you to coordinate and synchronize all stages of the planning cycle.
- The duration of marketing plans may vary.
What makes up a marketing plan?
I. Executive Summary
A short description of the marketing plan goes here. Write this last so that you can summarize the main points from your marketing plan.
II. Situation Analysis
In this section goes a brief description of the current internal and external conditions of the company compared to a couple of years ago. Describe in detail the products, services, partnerships, or campaigns that the company is implementing within the year.
III. Opportunities and Threats
Opportunities are current situations that help the company get a competitive advantage over their competitors. On the other hand, threats are anything that could harm the marketing strategy, including external or internal issues.
The business can go under a different situation or conditions that can risk the marketing cycle. Some examples of these are:
- Legal matters where the company is facing a demand or a massive recall in a product.
- Social aspects such as diversity, inclusion, or racism that affect the marketing activities.
- Economical crisis.
- Competitors are bringing new business models.
- Technology changes and threatens a new marketing campaign.
V. Company resources
- Budgeting: marketing activities
- Human capital: expertise personnel.
- Marketing objectives: For example, increasing market share or increasing sales by 20%.
VI. Marketing Strategies:
- Define the target market: For example, “25 to 40-year-old business owners within the education industry.”
- Marketing mix: Product, place, promotion, and price.
VII. Financial projections and budgets:
- Delineation of costs
- Estimates of sales and revenues
- Expected returns on investment (ROI).
VIII. Control and evaluation:
- Measurement of performance
- monitoring, and evaluation.
Usually, most corporations utilize a myriad of marketing plans for different situations. If you are a small business owner, you might be turned off by unfamiliar marketing concepts or the overwhelming amount of information needed.
Once you are ready to invest in a more serious marketing plan, look for marketing firms that specialize in helping small business enterprises crafting successful marketing strategies.
Marketing Plan information: “Marketing Concepts and Strategies”, William M. Pride, O.C. Ferrell. 8th Edition.
Read more: 5 Reasons Why CGI Should Be in Your Marketing Plan
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