August 28, 2011
A marketing plan is generally a written document created specifically for certain businesses with the aim of formulating a step-by-step marketing strategy for achieving a set of goals identified by the company, in a specific period of time. Most of the marketing plans can cover only a single year of planning but may also include long term plans and strategies as well. As a business owner, having this kind of plan is very important for achieving the goals that you have set up for your business. Without an actual plan, it can be very difficult to achieve your long term goals or to even get started.
Before you actually write down your plan in paper, it is very important that you understand basic marketing principles and strategies. A good marketing plan should be able to outline specific actions and steps that are needed to be done to achieve the goals and objectives set by the company. The plan should be doable and it should be specific. The marketing plan in general, is a part of a larger scheme called the company business plan.
Here are the most basic components of a marketing plan:
- A description of the entire company, the products and services that they offer and the its strengths and weaknesses
- A good pricing strategy
- Marketing budget details which should include advertising and campaign costs
- Details on your business location and the pros and cons of such a location
- Market segmentation and how it can be factored into the marketing plan
Small to medium sides marketing plans will usually include information about the company’s competitors and the products and services that they are offering that you are not. Apart from that, a marketing plan should also point out the strengths and the weaknesses of the competing company.
Overall, a marketing plan should give you answers on “how” you need to play out your marketing strategy and “why” you have chosen those moves. To make the plan effective, you need to be as specific as you possibly can on how you can achieve your business goals and plans. This process is often very time consuming and tedious so you need to invest time, effort and sometimes, even money to be able to make it work. Marketing plans will also take a good amount of time before its benefits can be seen and manifested.
One very important thing that you need to keep in mind is that most businesses will not know where to start and how to do about all these. It is very difficult to predict what strategies work and what not. But then again, this is a challenge what every business – big or small, need to rise up to. With the right marketing plan, you can accomplish your business goals at the set time and may be even do more than what you dreamed of achieving. Remember, organization is the key to good planning.
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