The Key Points of a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is a specific program developed for one singular purpose: It could be to market a new product, or it could be to introduce your company to a new target audience. Although the purpose of a marketing plan can vary, you should consistently follow several key points to create a comprehensive and successful marketing plan.
The marketing plan is based on reaching your target audience. The target audience is the one that was designated through market research. Your target audience could change in different marketing plans. You may have one line of products targeted at male children, and another product could be made for women ages 18 to 45. Use demographic information to determine where your target audience is located and what advertising mediums would be most effective in reaching that audience.
The competition affects several parts of your marketing plan. If your company is the market leader for a particular product, then you would use that in your advertising. But if you are not the market leader, then part of your marketing plan would address how to become the top producer in that industry. A competitive analysis will also show how well the competition’s products fare in your marketplace and what measures you should take to try and gain more market share.
Forecasts and Measures
A marketing plan includes revenue forecasts, production forecasts, pricing suggestions to reach certain profit margins, manufacturing cost estimates and operational cost estimates. The marketing plan will also outline ways of measuring the actual progress of the plan versus the projections. For example, the marketing plan may have projected that there would be $7 million in revenue generated in the first three months. But if the actual number was $6 million, then it would be necessary to analyze the way the company is executing the plan to see where the shortcomings are. The end goal is to achieve the final revenue and profit numbers that are outlined in the marketing plan. The measures are used to map progress against reaching those numbers and determining the best ways to alter operations if progress is not sufficient.
A marketing plan always has a predetermined ending. When you develop your marketing plan, you give it a timeline that is used to mark progress toward the final goal. Marketing ideas need to constantly change to keep up with the marketplace. Once this marketing plan has run its course, you use what you learned from executing it to create a better one for the next project.
by George N.