The Next Vital Step You Need A Marketing Plan

The Next Vital Step You Need A Marketing Plan



The Next Vital Step: you​ Need a​ Marketing Plan
Many people include their marketing plan as​ a​ section in​ their business plan .​
Really,​ though,​ marketing is​ important enough that it​ deserves a​ plan of​ its own,​ separate from the​ technical details of​ the​ business .​
Here’s what your marketing plan should include.
Your Marketing Strategy.
It might sound silly,​ but it’s good to​ get the​ core of​ your marketing plan written down,​ just so people can see what the​ rest of​ your plan is​ aiming at .​
Keeping your strategy in​ mind can also be good when you​ receive offers to​ place ads here,​ there and everywhere – you​ can ask yourself whether it​ really fits in​ with your overall strategy.
Your Competitors.
You should have a​ list of​ everyone in​ your area who could be considered to​ be a​ competitor,​ followed by how you​ plan to​ differentiate yourself from them.
Advertising.
Your marketing plan should contain a​ comprehensive list of​ all the​ advertising you​ plan to​ undertake .​
This includes a​ website,​ advertising in​ newspapers,​ leaflets,​ and so on​ .​
For each method of​ advertising you​ should list an​ estimated cost,​ and the​ number of​ customers you​ expect the​ advertising to​ bring in​ .​
This allows you​ to​ work out your ‘cost of​ acquisition’,​ which is​ how much you​ need to​ spend on​ advertising to​ bring in​ a​ customer .​
The market works out so that this will be more for higher-end customers,​ and less for lower-end ones.
Pricing.
Your marketing plan should also list all of​ the​ pricing policies you​ plan to​ have,​ as​ well as​ any special offers that you​ think will be good .​
That doesn’t mean that you​ can’t make up new offers later,​ but it’s still good to​ have some on​ the​ plan for the​ long-term.
An Example.
The Catering & Cake Co.: Marketing Plan.
Strategy: Our marketing strategy will be to​ advertise sufficiently that we will be the​ first company coming to​ mind when catering is​ needed in​ the​ Anytown/Othertown area .​
Marketing will be especially targeted towards people arranging weddings and people planning corporate events,​ so we will always be looking out for new ways to​ reach these customers .​
We will not repeat any marketing effort where the​ COA proves to​ be more than 20% of​ the​ profit those customers provide.
Competitors: in​ the​ Anytown area,​ the​ established catering companies are Cathy’s Catering and Funfoods .​
Cathy’s Catering mainly cater for low-end corporate events,​ while Funfoods specialise in​ food for children’s parties .​
Our position in​ the​ middle-market means that we would be unlikely to​ provide children’s birthday cakes,​ and could provide a​ higher-quality alternative to​ Cathy’s Catering for corporate customers.
The company that we believe would be our main competitor is​ Luxury Food and Cakes,​ based in​ the​ Othertown area .​
They serve the​ same kinds of​ food we plan to,​ and to​ similar events .​
However,​ we differentiate ourselves from them by offering our food at​ far lower prices .​
While they use more expensive ingredients,​ our taste tests have shown that most consumers are unable to​ tell in​ blind taste tests which food cost more .​
Offering mostly indistinguishable quality at​ a​ lower price gives us a​ powerful way to​ move in​ on​ Luxury’s customers.
Advertising (in order of​ decreasing cost-effectiveness):
Leafleting .​
$0.01 printing per leaflet,​ 10,​000 leaflets,​ plus delivery at​ $100 = $200 .​
Projected 50 customers .​
COA $4.
Local newspaper .​
$500 per half page,​ run once monthly .​
Projected 100 customers,​ COA $5.
Corporate mailshots .​
$0.10 printing per mail,​ 100 mails,​ plus delivery at​ $20 = $30 .​
Projected 3 customers,​ COA $10 (however,​ customers are high-value).
‘Weddings’ magazine .​
$200 quarter page,​ quarterly .​
Projected 20 customers,​ COA $10.
Pricing:
Basic catering: cost + 50%.
Deluxe catering: cost + 70%.
Cake: cost + 100%.
Large cake: cost + 80%.
Personalised cake (large only): cost + 120%.
Special Offers: Business is​ slower in​ winter than in​ summer,​ so there are special winter deals .​
For example,​ we plan to​ offer ‘every third person free’ on​ basic catering to​ give extra value for corporate functions in​ the​ winter months (November,​ December,​ January,​ February) .​
There will also be a​ ‘free champagne’ offer with the​ deluxe catering in​ these months.




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