A marketing plan is a road map that helps to introduce and deliver your products and services to potential customers. It doesn’t need to be long and complicated and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to complete. However, it takes quite some time in terms of research to have it developed. Putting in the right amount of time and resources to develop a marketing plan can be key to ensuring a company or business succeeds.
A marketing plan contains an outline of a business’s specific marketing strategy and includes concrete actions to be taken, as well as an explanation of anticipated results. The marketing plan serves as a road map for companies to execute and measure their marketing efforts over a specific time. A company can develop different types of marketing plans including;
– Paid marketing – Which involves advertising and pay per click
– Social media marketing – This involves the use of different social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and others.
– Period marketing – Which entails campaigns used over a designated period.
– Content marketing – Which entails the use of original content to showcase products and services
– New product or service marketing – Where you plan to showcase a product launch.
How Marketing Works
An effective marketing plan will help a company understand its target market and competition, as well as the impact and results of marketing decisions. It also provides a roadmap and direction for future initiatives. You will not be able to develop a marketing plan without performing proper market research. Market research is needed to guide the direction of all your marketing efforts and gives you vital information on your target market (potential customers) and the feasibility of your products and services.
Proper market research will entail the following;
– Monitoring industry and economic trends
– Scouting the competition to figure out how to gain a competitive edge overpricing and customer service
– Determining the best ways to reach your target market through means such as traditional advertising, social media as well as other channels.
Marketing plans will vary depending on the industry it is developed, the type of products and services involved, the goals you want to achieve among others. However, certain elements will always form part of any marketing plan. These include;
– Executive summary and business description
– Situation analysis
– Marketing goals and business objectives
– Target market and delivery plan
– Unique selling proposition and tactics
The executive summary contains a high-level overview of the marketing plan. It is a section that provides a summary of the plan, for those who may not be interested to read the entire document. The business description part talks about what the business is all about. It includes aspects such as location, business owners, company statements, core values, position in the market, external factors currently impacting or likely to affect the business, among others. It is important to put in place proper resources and time to ensure you come up with a comprehensive business plan.