Business plans are important for any business. The primary ingredient of a business plan is the marketing plan. So what comprises an ideal marketing plan? The questions of who, what, where, when and how is what constitutes a businesses’ marketing and sales activities for the planning of the year.
- Who are our target buyers?
- What sources of uniqueness or positioning in the market do we have?
- Where will we implement our marketing spending plans?
- When will marketing spending plans occur?
- How many sales, spending, and profits will we achieve?
The financial projections charted in your business plan rests in large measure upon the assumption contained in your marketing plan. Any marketing plan details expenditures that will be made, level of sales to achieve, the conducive time of how and when advertising and promotional expenditures will be made.
Major elements of a Marketing Plan:
- The total marketing environment in which the business competes and the status of the firm’s products and distribution channels.
- Opportunity and issue analysis details the external opportunities and threats to the business and the internal strengths and weaknesses of the firm, along with a discussion of key issues facing the company.
- The goals outlines company’s goals and the marketing and financial objectives.
- The marketing strategy provides the company’s marketing strategy statement, summarizing the key target buyer description, markets where the company competes in, USP of the company products, price strategy, marketing spending along with promotion and advertising, possible R&D, etc.
- The last point comprises the marketing plan where each specific marketing event or action plan to increase sales.
Accurate situation analysis for Effective planning:
This part of the marketing plan speaks of the happenings in the markets in which the company competes, and analyzes the company’s product and distribution trends. The information compiled here provides the rationale and support for the marketing objectives, plans, and strategies. Organizing and provide only relevant information using a simple and common-sense approach.
Situation Analysis starts from Macroenvironment:
Macroenvironment sets the stage for a detailed analysis that follows. Some of the aspects of key macro-environmental forces are Demographic, economic, technological, political, socio-economical, cultural, material supply and market situation, competitive situation, target user situation, product situation, and distribution situation.
Every situation mentioned in the para above dictates an effective marketing plan. Apart from these, marketing plans should define issues, opportunities (External and Internal), and goals.
Marketing Goals & Objectives at the heart of the PLAN:
This section of your marketing plan outlines major company goals, marketing, and financial objectives. Objectives should be quantified in terms of achievable time and date. Make sure these objectives are reasonable and doable. Speaking of goals, including both short term and long term goals helps the company very much.
Businesses considering outside funding and capital should provide projected income statements of a minimum of five years.
Sales & Marketing Action Plan:
The last part of a well-executed marketing plan features sales and marketing action plans. Here each marketing event and action is planned to increase sales. The plan charted out for a whole financial year is broken down into quarters or month wise. It covers a summary of quarterly promotion and advertising plans, with spending, timing, etc.
Sales and marketing plans are recommended to be a logical outgrowth of short-and-long-term company objectives and your marketing strategy.