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How to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan

How to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan

growth Inc presents how to write the marketing plan section of your business plan the marketing plan demonstrates how a company will penetrate the market with its products and services the marketing plan should include the 4 PS product promotions price and place the first P stands for product but includes all products and services that the company offers this section of the business plan should detail all the features of the products and services how they work their unique or proprietary attributes etc for products that are patented and/or technical in nature drawings and backup materials should be presented in the appendix most growing companies offer certain products and services today but expect to offer more in the future it is important to mention both current and future products or services here but to focus primarily on the short to intermediate term horizon promotions include each of the activities that induce a customer to buy the company's products or services promotional activities could include advertising public relations free samples discounts Direct Mail telemarketing partnerships etc this section of the business plan discusses which promotions will be used and how they will be used for instance if partnerships will be used to secure new customers the plan must explain which companies are partners how they will be able to provide new customers and how the partnerships will work from an operational and financial standpoint this section must be as specific as possible particularly as it relates to discussing future promotions to say that a company is going to generate PR and trade magazines is simply too vague rather the plan must explain the type of article or feature that may be written about the firm and why which specific trade journals that will be targeted and/or the projected publication dates in discussing how the company will promote itself it is important to discuss how the company will position itself this positioning statement details the attributes that customers will assign to the company its products and services the choice of promotional activities must support this positioning for example discounts might not be consistent with desire to be considered an upscale brand this section of the business plan should detail the price points at which the company's products and services will be sold if the products or services are sold as bundles these should be detailed in this section rationale for the pricing should be giving when applicable for example why the companies chosen an initiation fee plus monthly membership fees versus a one-time lifetime membership fee the final P refers to place or distribution and explains how a company's products and/or services will be delivered to customers this section is crucial because if customers cannot access products and services they cannot purchase them this section is especially critical for high growth capital constrained companies attaining profit effective distribution channels is often the most vexing challenge for these businesses examples of distribution methods include retail location website another website host for example products and services sold through or hosted by another website an application service provider or private label model another retail location for example products and services sold through a third party's retail location another website location for example products and services sold through another website or Direct Mail catalogs many companies have multiple distribution methods to deliver their products and services to customers and each should be detailed here the four p's mostly discuss attracting customers marketing departments of us also develop long term revenue generating relationships with customers the methods through which the marketing department plans to retain customers should also be detailed in the marketing plan such methods could include implementing customer relationship management or CRM tools building network externalities for example the more people that use the product or service the harder it is for a competitor to penetrate the market ongoing value-added services etc forging partnerships to improve market penetration has become commonplace the fact is that regardless of whom the partnership is with partnerships by themselves are meaningless what are meaningful are the terms of the partnership for instance while it sounds great to have a partnership with a major search engine the details of the partnership are what investors find important for instance investors will look poorly upon a partnership in which the search engine earns 40% commissions and customers it refers on the other hand investors would look favorably upon a more equitable partnership as such if partnerships are a key part of the marketing plan be sure to detail the specifics of the partnerships this includes how the partnership will work the type of customer leads expected from each partner etc if you follow this advice your marketing plan will be more effective for your company's operations and more credible for prospective investors for assistance with your marketing plan or business plan please visit us at WWE

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