A Marketing Plan allows your business to put its goals and the objectives for accomplishing those goals on paper. A Marketing Plan acts as the game plan for how you will communicate the value of your company’s product or service to your target market.
This document is often confused with a business plan, although a Marketing Plan may be developed as part of an overall business plan. Marketing Plans are executed over a specified period of time, typically between one and three years.
Marketing Plan: Focus Your Marketing Efforts and Boost Sales
Even if your company produces an outstanding product or service, this fact in itself does not generate sales. Marketing is the art of letting the right people know just what it is you have to offer, and effectively persuading them to get out their wallets. Once the sale is made, you then have to keep them coming back for more. All of these goals can be met by following the guidelines of a savvy Marketing Plan.
Within your business plan, a Marketing Plan explains how you will persuade your prospects to buy your product or service. Here are some topics which your marketing plan should address.
- Product or service description. Here you describe the advantages of a product or service and how your company can benefit its customers. Explain how your offering differs from those of your competitors. Here you can use your unique value proposition to outline why other companies should buy from you.
- Pricing and positioning. Using market research, establish the price you will charge companies for your product or service. This will be determined by taking the total cost of production and adding to this number a reasonable profit. Explain how the final price compares to the pricing of your competitors. If it is less, how did you accomplish this? If is more, why should a business choose your company over the competition?
- Sales and distribution. Detail the methods your company will use to sell its product to other companies. How will you get it to the customer?
- Marketing strategies. Outline the strategies you will use to market and promote your company’s product. What methods will you employ to deliver your unique value proposition to your prospects? The most popular marketing strategies for small businesses include websites, social media, advertising, networking, publicity and direct marketing materials.