Successful Marketing for any business should include a marketing plan. To achieve the business’ goals, marketing plans may vary significantly from business to business based on several factors such as business size, marketing budget, market complexity, market size, demographics, etc. There is no single “correct” way to develop the plan’s outline. There are, however, some generally accepted topics that need to be covered in the plan:
- Executive summary
- Industry Analysis – SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – Porter 5 forces analysis: customers; your own company; current and future competitors; suppliers; and the regulatory environment.
- The target market – Target market demographics: income levels; interests; activities; living environment; other geographic descriptions; psychological mindsets; political affiliations; family situations; age ranges; tastes; etc. – Industry or societal trends that affect your customers. – Your target customers’ needs and wants, and corresponding product benefits.
- Marketing strategy – Overall objectives and mission statement – Positioning relative to competitors and in eyes of customers – General strategies to reach objectives and fulfill mission – Marketing mix, including specific marketing programs – Products – Pricing strategies – Distribution channels – Promotions, advertising and other marketing programs
- Forecasts – Size of target market and growth projections. – Sales growth projections.
- Financial analysis – Pro forma profit and loss (P&L) for each product and in total: sales forecasts, cost of goods, marketing budgets, fixed overhead and variable expense projections, profit margins – Breakeven analysis – “What-if” scenarios (sensitivity analysis)
- Measurements – Measurable goals and success metrics for each program – Intermediate measurements for monitoring progress.
The bottom line is that most small businesses don’t require an exhaustive marketing plan, but all small businesses should have one. Contact Longmont Business Marketing for a consultation.