5 Simple Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

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Everyone knows when having a company (whether small or large) requires a business plan, but many entrepreneurs do not realize that a marketing plan is just as important.

Unlike a business plan, a marketing plan focuses on success and keeps customers comfortable; including numbers, facts and goals. A good marketing plan details all the tools and tactics that will be used to achieve sales goals.

Here are some points you should have in creating a stand-alone marketing plan!

Start with a snapshot of your company’s current situation, called “situation analysis”

This first section defines your company and its products or services, then shows how the benefits you provide differentiate you from competitors.

Target buyers have become very specialized and segmented. Regardless of your industry, whether a restaurant for professional services to a retail clothing store, competitive product position or service requires an understanding of the market segment. Not only must you be able to explain what is marketed, but you should also have a clear understanding of what competitors are offering and can show how your product or service is delivering better value.

Creating situation analysis, is actually a brief overview of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses refer to the characteristics that exist in the business, while opportunities and threats refer to external factors. To determine the strength of a company, consider ways that its product is superior to others, or if your service is more comprehensive, for example. What do you offer that gives your business a competitive edge? Weakness, on the other hand, can be anything from the already existing in the market (so it becomes saturated), lack of experienced staff members.

Next situation analysis, describes any external opportunities that can be exploited, such as expanding the market for your product. Do not forget to include external threats with your company’s ability to gain greater market share. With the detailed analysis is expected all possibilities will be overcome.

Product position analysis involves two steps. First, you need to analyze your product features and decide how consumers differentiate your product from competitors. Second, determine the type of buyers most likely to buy your product. What are you selling? Is it convenient for customers? Qualified? Competitive price? You can not offer it all. Knowing what the customer wants helps you decide what to offer, certainly also influences the next step in planning the business.

Clarify the target audience

Choosing a target market is important. Can start in terms of demographics age, gender, family composition, income and location-as geographic and lifestyle. As a comparison, ask yourself the following questions: Is my customer old-fashioned or innovative? Leader or follower? Shy or aggressive? Traditional or modern? Introvert or extrovert? How often do they buy what I offer? How many? It seems complicated but very influential on the future of products and companies.

If you are a business-to-business marketer, you can determine your target audience by type of business, job title, business size, geographic location or other characteristics that make them possible prospects. No matter who your target audience is, pursue up to be the right choice, as it will guide you when planning your media and advertising to your target audience

List of marketing objectives

What targets do you want in your marketing plan? For example, do you expect a 20 percent increase in quarterly product sales?

Develop marketing communication strategies and tactics that you will use

This section is the heart and soul of your marketing plan. In the previous section, you’ve outlined what marketing should accomplish and identify the best prospects.

A good marketing program targets prospects at all stages of your sales cycle. Some marketing tactics, such as advertising, public relations and direct marketing, are great for achieving targets. In addition, personal communication with certain people would be very influential on achieving the target.

To identify the ideal marketing mix, find out which media your audience likes. It could be by placing in the media sales will skyrocket.

Set a marketing budget

All marketing activities require a budget. Make sure if you have done the analysis, determine the target, and 2 things above immediately create a budget. No need as fancy as possible but make it as much as possible with affordable budget.