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Smart Marketing: How to write your marketing plan

Developing a marketing plan is the most significant strategy for any budding business. Marketing strategies and activities will help make your products and services available to satisfy your target cl...

Developing a marketing plan is the most significant strategy for any budding business. Marketing strategies and activities will help make your products and services available to satisfy your target clients, as well as earn profits for your company. Simply put, a marketing plan targets your revenue goals and lists the resources you need to be able to meet those goals.

Preparing a marketing plan helps you to better understand your business. Because it requires you to assess current trends in your marketplace, as well as how your business can make an impact, a well-thought of marketing plan can provide you the means to enhance your business profit capacity. Often, simply involving yourself in the process of writing a marketing plan can guide you in developing a successful marketing strategy. With a marketing plan on hand, you would be able to evaluate your progress later.

So what do you need to plan out a great marketing plan?

Know the inside and outs of your products…You need to focus on your revenue and marketing objectives, and on how you intend to accomplish them. A thorough understanding of your products and services- from their features and benefits, to your target market's performance and potential competitors- will help make your plan more focused and well organized.

Your plan starts here… Begin your research by checking on the demographics of your target region. Information you need are age, gender, income, occupation, education and other key elements. You need to realize that your marketing plan should vary according to the industry your dealing with, the size of your company, and the stage of growth. Different plans for different folks. It is imperative that you realize that the process is very important because it makes you think about your goals in terms of revenues and what your marketing strategy would be to achieve your goals.

Your plan is divided into sections… These sections are what you usually find in a marketing plan. However, the components of your plan will vary depending on your company type, stage of growth and goals.

•Executive Summary- This part allows you to introduce your company and major points of the plan in summary. It further highlights the mission and objectives of your company to establish the framework of your marketing strategy.

•The business- It provides the general introduction which includes your business, your company's products and services, distribution process, and the marketing personnel.

•The Macro-environmental Analysis- This is an analysis of elements and factors outside your direct control that affect your day-to-day operations. The factors include economic, industry, legal, regulatory, political, social, cultural and
technological issues.

•Market Analysis- You need to define and characterize the market you are in. This analysis will describe the market itself, its opportunities, market segments, customer needs and competition.

•Issues and opportunities- This would be the SWOT analysis part of your plan. It should contain the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your business, as well as the resulting issues.

•Goals- This is where you transform your overall mission and objectives into actual financial and marketing goals. This would help in identifying the tools and means to operate your business and measure the rate of success of your efforts.

•General Marketing Strategy- The 'goals' chapter explained what you want to achieve in very specific terms. This portion indicates how you would accomplish those goals in more descriptive terms.

•Specific Marketing Strategy- It details the product, price, promotion, and place of distribution. It provides detailed direction for all four areas of your plan.

•Specific Marketing Programs- It details exactly what you will do, when you will do it, and who will do it for each of P's in the specific marketing strategy.

•Risk Analysis Planning- This chapter presents the major risks resulting with the plan and corresponding contingency measures.
•Sales Forecast- This includes the number of units you expect to sell and the resulting revenue. The projected sales forecast tells of how you quantify the results from selling your products and services.

And finally,

•The Budget- This chapter shows the planned expenditures brought about by the marketing activities.

Your marketing plan is a guide in determining where you want to go and how to execute your strategy to get to your goal. It should be clear, concise and well-thought. There are several agencies and companies available that can help you create a professional marketing plan. For a feeFeature Articles, they will be able to direct you through every step and provide you with detailed instructions and examples.

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