How To Develop A Marketing Plan

How To Develop A Marketing Plan

How to​ Develop a​ Marketing Plan
If you’re thinking about developing a​ marketing program,​ you​ need to​ begin with a​ marketing plan.Having been in​ marketing for more than a​ decade,​ I​ have seen my share of​ marketing plans.Some are short and to​ the​ point,​ others are hundreds of​ pages thick and cost thousands of​ dollars to​ produce.
The irony is​ that many of​ the​ expensive marketing plans end up on​ a​ shelf and rarely get implemented.The simple plans,​ if​ researched and implemented effectively,​ have the​ greatest impact.
Regardless of​ the​ scope of​ your marketing plan,​ you​ must keep in​ mind that it​ is​ a​ fluid document.Every business needs to​ begin with a​ well structured plan that is​ based in​ thorough research,​ competitive positioning and attainable outcomes.Your plan should be the​ basis for your activities over the​ coming months.However,​ you​ should always be willing to​ enhance or​ redirect your plan based on​ what proves successful.
Marketing Plan Basics
1 .​
Market Research
Collect,​ organize,​ and write down data about the​ market that is​ currently buying the​ product(s) or​ service(s) you​ will sell .​
Some areas to​ consider:
•Market dynamics,​ patterns including seasonality
•Customers - demographics,​ market segment,​ target markets,​ needs,​ buying decisions
•Product - what's out there now,​ what's the​ competition offering
•Current sales in​ the​ industry
•Benchmarks in​ the​ industry
•Suppliers - vendors that you​ will need to​ rely on​
2 .​
Target Market
Find niche or​ target markets for your product and describe them .​
3 .​
Describe your product .​
How does your product relate to​ the​ market? What does your market need,​ what do they currently use,​ what do they need above and beyond current use?
4 .​
Describe your competition .​
Develop your unique selling proposition .​
What makes you​ stand apart from your competition? What is​ your competition doing about branding?
5 .​
Mission Statement
Write a​ few sentences that state:
•Key market - who you're selling to​
•Contribution - what you're selling
•Distinction - your unique selling proposition
6 .​
Market Strategies
Write down the​ marketing and promotion strategies that you​ want to​ use or​ at​ least consider using .​
Strategies to​ consider:
•Networking - go where your market is​
•Direct marketing - sales letters,​ brochures,​ flyers
•Advertising - print media,​ directories
•Training programs - to​ increase awareness
•Write articles,​ give advice,​ become known as​ an​ expert
•Direct/personal selling
•Publicity/press releases
•Trade shows
•Web site
7 .​
Pricing,​ Positioning and Branding
From the​ information you've collected,​ establish strategies for determining the​ price of​ your product,​ where your product will be positioned in​ the​ market and how you​ will achieve brand awareness .​
8 .​
Budget your dollars .​
What strategies can you​ afford? What can you​ do in​ house,​ what do you​ need to​ outsource .​
9 .​
Marketing Goals
Establish quantifiable marketing goals .​
This means goals that you​ can turn into numbers .​
For instance,​ your goals might be to​ gain at​ least 30 new clients or​ to​ sell 10 products per week,​ or​ to​ increase your income by 30% this year .​
Your goals might include sales,​ profits,​ or​ customer's satisfaction .​
10 .​
Monitor Your Results
Test and analyze .​
Identify the​ strategies that are working .​
•Survey customers
•Track sales,​ leads,​ visitors to​ your web site,​ percent of​ sales to​ impressions
By researching your markets,​ your competition,​ and determining your unique positioning,​ you​ are in​ a​ much better position to​ promote and sell your product or​ service.By establishing goals for your marketing campaign,​ you​ can better understand whether or​ not your efforts are generating results through ongoing review and evaluation of​ results.
As mentioned earlier in​ this article,​ be sure to​ use your plan as​ a​ living document.Successful marketers continually review the​ status of​ their campaigns against their set objectives.This ensures ongoing improvements to​ your marketing initiatives and helps with future planning.

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