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What is a Marketing Plan & how do you create one?

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic road map for bringing a product or service to potential customers. It takes extensive research and strategic thinking to come up with an effective marketing plan. Marketing plans are a straightforward playbook that business owners use to outline advertising strategies that could generate leads and reach their target market.

Marketing Plan and Marketing Strategy

Many people use marketing plans and marketing strategies interchangeably. However, these two have different meanings. Business strategy and goals work together to implement marketing activities, having the answers to the why and what’s of marketing.

A marketing plan consists of details that assist the company in reaching as many people as possible. It entails the values, goals, financials, and methods the business should use in everyday marketing to achieve its objectives. It’s all about how to use marketing activities to achieve business goals. On the other hand, the strategy only explains the objectives and goals behind your efforts in marketing.

Before knowing how a marketing plan works, it is better to start with it. The marketing strategy outlines the skeleton of the entire process that will help you in planning.

Purpose of a Marketing Plan

There are several purposes of marketing plans. They include the following:

1. Define the marketing objectives of a business that will work in line with the corporate vision and mission of a particular organization.

2. A marketing plan helps the business increase the consumer base.

3. The marketing plan lists and reviews the marketing mix in terms of the 8 Ps which include: product, price, promotion, people, positioning, process, physical evidence, and performance.

4. Strategies increase business shares on a market and increase brand awareness to potential clients.

5. Marketing plans contain detailed budgets for funds and resources to be allocated to help in carrying out activities on the plan.

6. A marketing plan has reviews and analyses of a market environment. Reviews and analysis are in the form of marketing research, computer analysis, customer needs assessment, studying new trends, and continuous market environment scanning.

Types of Marketing Plans

Marketing Penetration Strategy

If a business is determined to sell its current products to existing clients, it is using a marketing penetration strategy. Activities that dominate this type of marketing plan samples are the increasing loyalty of the existing clients so that they won’t be lost to competitors. It also helps to increase the frequency of product use and convert non-users to users. In marketing penetration, awareness is increased through marketing communication and activities. When a company identifies new uses of a product or service application, usage frequency is increased and new customers will join.

Market Development Strategy

Market development strategies refer to efforts in place to expand by selling current products and services in a new market. Some of these efforts involve going to new geographic markets like the international markets. Product awareness and distribution development channels are key activities when it comes to marketing. Some products may be modified to match the requirements of a local market. Market development strategy comes with some risk since the business is not a well-known market and the market is not familiar with the products and services offered. Returns of marketing investment on marketing development strategy take longer compared to market penetration strategy since it takes a lot of time to build awareness, product trial, and distribution.

Product Development Strategy

For firms that can leverage their existing customers to try their new product, a product development strategy is efficient. Research and development play a major role in this type of strategy. The time required in developing and testing new products may be long, but immediately the product is developed, creating awareness and interest should be easy since the business already has a strong bond with its current customers. Product development also poses some risk compared to market penetration strategy. The risk is a result of the product not being able to be developed at an acceptable cost. Customer’s needs may not be reached by the new product.

Diversification Strategy

Taking new products to new markets is called a diversification strategy. When a new business is in play, diversification can be recommended. It is the riskiest of all strategies and it requires patience when waiting for returns on investments. For a new market and a new product, there are a lot of factors that are not yet known to the business.

Components of a Marketing Plan

Marketing Objectives

Objectives outline the anticipated outcome of the marketing plan with clear, realistic, concise, and reachable goals. Marketing objectives have specific targets and time frames.

The target market share, number of customers attainable, usage rate, penetration rate, and sales volume, should be used.

Market Research

The market analysis includes market size, definition, structure, shares, trends, and competitor analysis. Consumer analysis consists of the target market demographics and their buying decisions. A customer’s buying decision can be influenced by loyalty, motivation, and expectations.

Target Market

The target market focuses on the consumers based on their demographic profile like race, age, gender, and interests. The Demographic profile helps with a correct marketing mix for a target market segment.

SWOT Analysis

The standard of any company or marketing strategy and plan is the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis helps you define your company’s weaknesses, strengths, arising opportunities, and possible threats, enabling you to develop goals and objectives that are on point and vital to the overall business success.

The SWOT analysis assists in understanding what distinguishes you from your competitors and how to position yourself in a market. The analysis will also help you develop your messaging and unique selling proposals. Honesty is essential for any insightful SWOT. Using bullets, aim for 4–5 in each section. Limiting your lists will help you in focusing on the most vital points and help maintain your overall plan.

Completing a SWOT for your marketing plan is thoughtful when analyzing different segments of your marketing plan.

Social media, content marketing, and SEO are essential parts of an overall marketing plan, and each benefits SWOT in its way.

Marketing Strategies

The marketing strategy section covers basic strategies according to the marketing mix. The plan focuses more on the 8Ps of marketing. Firms are at liberty to use the traditional 4 Ps of marketing, including product, price, place, and promotion.

The target market determines the correct marketing mix. The most costly options are sales promotion, advertising, and PR campaign. Referrals and networking are not expensive compared to the others.

Marketers should pay attention to digital marketing strategies that use social media to reach a wider audience and maintain cost-effectiveness. Social media has become increasingly popular in recent years, and will overtake traditional methods.

Marketing Budget

The marketing team requires budgeting. It does not have to be Facebook, Google ads, or any paid campaign. As long as marketing tactics require great content and proper presentation, allocation of funds is necessary.

You can never afford to stop marketing. When you stop marketing, you stop having business objectives since there are no consumers. So if a company is still marketing its products despite their billions and market position, you should believe in it.

Investors need to know this information too. It shows that you know what you are doing. They’d typically much instead invest in helping you expand in this way than to pay for salaries or keep you afloat because your overhead is draining you.

Performance Analysis

The marketing strategy template section covers basic moves according to the marketing mix. The plan emphasizes on 8Ps in marketing. Firms can use the common 4Ps that are now considered traditional. 4Ps include the product, price, place, and promotion.

The target market influences the marketing mix. The most costly options when it comes to marketing are sales promotions, advertising, and PR campaigns. Networking and referrals techniques are less expensive.

Marketers need to focus their attention on digital marketing strategies that use technology to reach a broader market and have proven to be efficient.

Digital marketing channels have become popular, overtaking traditional marketing methods. Digital marketing encompasses trending methods, such as social media for your business.

Other strategies in line with the marketing strategy include pricing and positioning system, distribution strategy, conversion strategy, and retention strategy.

How to Make a Marketing Plan

Marketing plans depend on different factors affecting a business. Some will go for short-term goals while others will prefer long-term. The following are some methods that can help when making a marketing plan presentation…


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