Marketing plan is a plan for a product or service, a brand, or a product line. It can cover a whole year (referred to as an annual marketing plan), or it may cover up to 5 years. A marketing plan is an essential integral part of an overall business plan. In general terms, it must:
• Describe and explain the current situation
• Specify the expected results (objectives)
• Identify the resources that will be needed (finance, time and skills)
• Describe the actions that will need to be taken to achieve the objectives
• Devise a method of monitoring results and adjusting the plan where necessary
There are many formats for marketing plans and every company does it accordingly from their perspective, but the outline followed is generic, complete format. Using this format, a marketing plan is produced over 30 to 40 pages. Several companies prefer an abridged format that would yield a 10 to 20 page plan respectively.
Marketing Plan Details:
1. Title Page
Title page usually contains the details about the entire plan. That is, for which company the plan is being created for? Or if there is more than one company within a specific group, then all are mentioned. Besides; it also contains the time period and all the relevant information that enables us to identify the plan.
2. Executive Summary
The plan should open with a brief summary of the plans like goals and recommendations (most importantly). The summary can be expressed like in a brief statement, “increase sales by 10% this year” or suppose “will enter UK market this year” etc
3a. Current situation – Macro Environment
All situations regarding economy, government, legal, technology, ecological, socio-cultural, supply chain and some other macro factors much be carefully studied. Relevant data from authentic sources regarding these factors must be collected and analyzed.
3b. Current situation – Market Analysis
Indeed, market situation must be taken into account in all details and carefully studied. Market definition, market size, market segmentation, industry structure and strategic groupings, competition and market share, competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and market trends much be carefully studied and analyzed. This will give us an exact position of our product, vis-à-vis market, to enable us to plan our future course of action.
3c. Current situation – Consumer Analysis
We must be aware of the buying decision, participants, demographics, psychographics, buyer motivation and expectations, loyalty segments etc to fully aware of the consumer reactions and expectations.
3d. Current situation – Internal Environment
The next step is obviously to ascertain the company’s own resources in terms of finance, people, time and skills to set up pertinent objectives. Mission statement and vision statement, corporate objectives, financial objectives, marketing objectives, long term objectives etc. must be clearly established.
4. Summary of Situation Analysis
External threats, external opportunities, internal strengths and weaknesses, key success factors in the industry; our sustainable competitive, marketing research etc must be carefully understood and analyzed.
5a. Marketing Strategy – Product
Product mix, product strengths and weaknesses, perceptual mapping, product life cycle management and new product development etc
5b. Marketing Strategy – Pricing
Pricing objectives, pricing method, pricing strategy, discounts and allowances, price elasticity etc
5c. Marketing strategy – Promotion
Promotional goals, promotional mix, advertising research, theme, media, sales forces, management, pr etc
Personnel requirements, assigning responsibilities, giving incentives, training on selling methods, financial requirements, management information system requirements etc. are included within.
7. Financial Summary
Assumptions, monthly income statement, contribution margin analysis, breakeven analysis. This information is formally written in this section.
Pictures and specifications of the new product, results from research already completed.