In general terms, a Marketing Plan should cover what you want to achieve and what things you need to consider particularly with regards your products/services and target markets. It should be a working document, being regularly referred to and updated. A Marketing Plan may also be useful to secure support from investors, like banks or government development agencies. There are numerous variations of Marketing Plan structures and the following outline is one suggestion you could follow to help get you started:
- Executive Summary
Provide a summary of the plan so it is easy for anyone reading it to get an instant idea of what the business plans to do. This should be written last after you have completed the rest of the plan.
- Business Summary
Provide a summary of your company and what you want to do, also highlighting any relevant skills and experience of team members.
- Market Overview
Consider the industry in which you wish to work and think about what is happening in other geographical areas as well as your own. Include any facts, figures and market research you are aware of.
- SWOT Analysis
Make a list of:
Strengths and Weaknesses (within your company)
Opportunities and Threats (within the industry and external environment)
As a starting point, you may wish to consider such things as skills, funding, location, facilities, technology, weather, market trends and competition.
List all the things you want to achieve focusing on your products/services and target markets. When listing each objective, consider the acronym, SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound).
The marketing strategy is basically a company’s proposals about:
- which products it will offer in what size and package
- to which market sectors
- at what price/prices
- what means of promotion will be used (and why) to inform (potential) customers and encourage them to buy your product
- the distribution methods you will use to supply customers
- Resource Requirements
What do you need to put your plans into action, such as money and skills? Consider adding financial data such as Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash flow, and any private investment from your own company.
- Activity Plan
A list, perhaps in calendar format, of all the things you plan to do to implement your strategy.
- Projected Benefits
Outline what you hope to achieve by implementing this plan.