Andy Dufrein couldn’t have escaped the toughest Shawshank prison for life in prison without a plan.
Since a plan is a process of achieving a goal, then your business cannot do without it, in particular, without a marketing one.
Therefore, we will analyze what a marketing plan is, who is suitable for and how to develop it on our own in this article.
The marketing plan is the future steps of marketing activities and communications aimed at achieving the long-term goals of the company, with the calculation of all costs, risks and strategies.
Often, business owners underestimate the effectiveness of such a plan, considering it a waste of money and time.
After all, the product is on sale, there are customers, and everything is fine. But it was not there. You yourself know that the market is still that uncertain. Tomorrow a giant will come in, and only your heels will sparkle from your clients.
Therefore, in order to prevent such a situation, and in addition to analyze the current state of your company, its capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, you need a marketing plan.
And in the picture below you can see an example of a marketing plan (looking ahead).
We now turn to the most basic questions. The article will not be a boring classification of marketing plans, only practice and examples.
And I also prepared templates for development, which you can download for the convenience of drawing up your own marketing plan.
Who needs a marketing plan
Strange as it may seem, it is very simple to determine whether your company needs a marketing plan or not.
If you want to go with the flow of business, and it does not matter that you are bitten by competing sharks, you are satisfied with everything, then a marketing plan is not needed. But I want to warn you, you won’t last long with such settings.
Therefore, if your business has goals, if you are dissatisfied with the development of your company, you are not satisfied with the sales results . If you want growth and development, you want to control the situation, move in the right direction, then draw up a marketing plan ahead.
As with any business, the marketing plan has its pros and cons. After all, in our life everything does not happen just like that.
And now let’s take a closer look at the positive and negative aspects of the instrument.
A marketing plan is the guide you use to make money.
Therefore, by understanding what your business is and how it will work, you can see how each result affects your bottom line.
This, of course, is to say in one phrase. And if we speak to several, it will turn out like this:
- See the picture of the future;
- Know how to allocate resources;
- Improve your business;
- Identify problems;
- Predict the results;
- Eliminate the bugs.
It takes time to create a good plan, and it also takes investment. These are actually short-term losses, but for businesses on a tight budget, this may be enough to close their doors.
In general, there are downsides. And they are closely related to the risks that may await you. And here are some more unpleasant cons:
- Inaccurate results;
- No guarantees;
- Data obsolescence;
- Additional expenses.
The most important thing is to realize that in addition to the pluses, there are minuses, which means you need to be ready for them. As the saying goes, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
Who will make the plan
Well … The battle plan is developed by the commander, together with his commanders. Therefore, without you, the owner of the business, it will be ineffective.
You know absolutely all the pitfalls of business, and you are most willing to strive to reach heights.
A good option would be to involve a full-time marketer or even an outside specialist, for example, a marketing agency , in such a difficult task . Just make sure in advance of the competence of the specialists.
And I want to draw your attention, if you are not engaged in the development itself, you will still have to approve.
So do not rush to close the article. You need to know what elements the plan consists of and how to create it.
Content of the plan
I will say right away that there is no one-size-fits-all marketing plan structure that will suit everyone, as well as the plan itself.
It all depends on the specific situation, because every little thing affects the drawing up of the plan. For example: market trends, audience, geolocation.
And even for the same companies with an equal market position, the same plan will not work if they are located in different cities.
But still, I offer you a template from which you can start. Depending on the size of the business and goals, you can add or remove items. So please welcome our version of the content:
- Determining the overall goal of the plan;
- Selection of persons responsible for drawing up and maintaining the plan;
- Analysis of the previous and current position of the company in the market;
- Determination of goals and timing of planning;
- Detailed development of actions to achieve goals;
- Detailed budgeting for each item of expenditure;
- Accounting for risks and actions in case of unplanned situations;
- Maintaining and adjusting the plan.
Beautiful, is not it?! This can be called the core of the plan; these are its main sections. Naturally, there are many more points, and naturally, we will analyze each one in detail. But it will be further.
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Now we come to the most interesting thing – templates. I have prepared a marketing plan for you using the example of different businesses, and I warn you right away that these are not precise and detailed plans.
If you want to use them for yourself, then they will definitely require adjustments.
So, download any template and in the next chapter we will develop a plan together, and they are all presented in the form of a table, because this is the most convenient implementation option.
1. Dairy plant
The goal of the marketing plan is to bring a new product to the Moscow market by January 2019. And our plan for such a goal will look like this.
2. Children’s clothing store
The goal of the marketing plan is to increase the customer base by 20% and increase the frequency of visiting the clothing store by 50% by February 2018. A sample of this version of the plan, see the picture below.
3. Beauty salon
The goal of the marketing plan is to double sales in December 2018. And again, below you can see what the plan will look like for this goal.
Now we will figure out how to independently write a marketing plan using detailed examples.
I repeat once again that each plan is individual and has its own steps and tasks. Therefore, turn on your head and think about which steps to remove and which to add. However, you will understand this further in the course of reading the article.
As you already know, goals are our everything. Therefore, before writing a marketing plan, you must define its purpose.
For example, there will be one marketing plan for an enterprise to launch a product on the market, and a completely different one for opening a new store.
And even for the campaign, you can draw up a marketing plan. And here’s an example of possible targets:
- New store opening;
- Increase in site conversion ;
- Increase in revenue;
- Launching a new product on the market;
- Entering a new market segment;
- Capturing market share;
- Take a leading position in the market;
- Attract new buyers;
- Increase in the average check ;
- Organization of the event .
And do you remember the SMART rule? That is, the goal of the plan should be specific, measurable, achievable, real and time-limited.
By the way, this is mandatory, since the plan can be drawn up for a month, for a year, or even for several years.
For example: “Increasing profits by 37% using sales scripts in 1 year” or “Increasing the conversion of an online store up to 8% using usability within 5 months”.