The marketing plan is an integral part of the future success of any marketing department. Whether it is a large corporation or a small business just starting out, the marketing plan is a detailed analysis of: the internal components of the business, the external forces exerted on the business to understand the market in which it operates, and set goals that provide direction for future marketing incentives. Marketing plans are usually conceived to offer a specific strategy of how to introduce a new product, enter new markets or to fix a current problem. The following assertion discusses how to draft a five part marketing plan. The five parts include, but are not limited to:
- Purpose + Mission
- SWOT analysis
- Marketing strategy objectives
- Strategical marketing objectives
- Budget analysis + implementation
Purpose + Mission Statement – The purpose of the marketing plan, while seemingly somewhat self explanatory, should be a concise statement of why this plan was drafted and allude to how the information in the plan could, or should, be used. Mission- If a new business is creating a marketing plan a mission statement may not exist and thus need to be devised. The mission statement needs to be a specific and clearly worded paragraph that embodies a stable and lucent long-term vision of the organization. A good mission statement should be able to answer such questions as: What is the business’s creed, or standard for doing business? What services does it provide? Why is the company in business? It is a strict guideline of what the business stands for, and what the business offers to its customers.
SWOT Analysis – This section of the plan analyzes is great detail the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of, and to, the company. Strength- ex: Current Products (features, benefits, pricing, incentives) Weaknesses- ex: Current financial condition (could potentially be strength) Opportunities- ex: Target markets (mass market? Segmentation, demographics, psychographics, needs of market) Threats- ex: Competitors
Marketing Strategy and Objectives – This section is crucial to the development of the proposed services or products future. This part consists of: identifying the marketing strategy, financial objectives, and overall marketing objectives. This gives a specific direction the product will take and creates accountability in the plan so efforts and results can be measured in relation to these starting objectives.
Strategical Marketing Programs – This is typically the longest part of the plan and is deeply detailed in respect to the strategy to achieve the designated marketing objectives in part three. These programs include descriptions of: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Ex: Define current market, and the planned changes. Define how these changes will be accomplished, and explain why these changes must take place (use evidence of research or due to competitors).
Budget Analysis + Implementation – This final section scrutinizes the business’s financial ability to carry out its marketing plan. Defining the extent of the marketing budget will help determine the financial impact and capabilities of the projected plan. As a precursor to the actual implementation of the products or services a performance analysis presents the expected results of the plan. It is an educated estimate of the potential overall success of the plan and helps to prepare for the future. The last step in the marketing plan is to organize an implementation schedule that shows timelines and identifies those responsible for certain tasks. This keeps the marketing team involved and held responsible for timely work and effort.