Marketing Plan Basics

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The Marketing Plan is a highly detailed, heavily researched and, hopefully, well written report that many inside and possibly outside the organization will evaluate. It is an essential document for both large corporate marketing departments and for startup companies. Essentially the Marketing Plan: •forces the marketing personnel to look internally in order to fully understand the results of past marketing decisions. •forces the marketing personnel to look externally in order to fully understand the market in which they operate. •sets future goals and provides direction for future marketing efforts that everyone within the organization should understand and support. •is a key component in obtaining funding to pursue new initiatives. The Marketing Plan is generally undertaken for one of the following reasons: 1.Needed as part of the yearly planning process within the marketing functional area. 2.Needed for a specialized strategy to introduce something new, such as new product planning, entering new markets, or trying a new strategy to fix an existing problem. 3.Is a component within an overall business plan, such as a new business proposal to the financial community. There are many ways to develop and format a marketing plan (you can find more ideas in the KnowThis Marketing Plan topic area). The approach taken here is to present a 6-Part plan that includes: 1.Part 1: Purpose and Mission

2.Part 2: Situational Analysis
oProduct, Market Analysis
oDistribution Analysis
oCompetitor Analysis
oFinancial Analysis
oOther Analysis
3.Part 3: Strategy and Objectives
oMarketing Strategy
oMarketing Objectives
4.Part 4: Tactical Programs
oMarkets
oProduct
oPromotion
oDistribution
oPricing
oOthers
5.Part 5: Budgets,Performance Analysis, Implementation
oBudgeting and Analysis
oImplementation
6.Part 6: Additional Considerations
This plan is aimed at individual products and product lines, however, it can be adapted fairly easily for use in planning one or more strategic business units (SBU). The page length suggested for each section represents a single-spaced typed format for a plan focused on a single product. Obviously for multi-product plans lengths will be somewhat longer. Note, throughout the plan the word "product" is used. However, the information presented in the Marketing Plan tutorials applies to products and services. It is assumed that anyone developing a Marketing Plan possesses a working understanding of marketing principles. If you do not, it is suggested you spend considerable time learning about basic marketing through the resources listed in the KnowThis Marketing Basics topic area. Finally, this tutorial is continually being revised so you may want to check back on a regular basis for any updates. Part 1: Purpose and Mission

Part 1 of the plan is designed to provide the reader with the necessary information to fully understand the purpose of the marketing plan. This part also includes organizational background information, which may be particularly important if the audience for the plan is not familiar with the company, such as potential financial backers. Some of the information, in particular the mission statement, may require the input of upper-management. The information in this part will prove useful later in the plan as a point of reference for material that will be introduced (e.g., may help explain pricing decisions). In cases in which there are separately operated divisions or SBU, there may also be mission statements for each. (Length: one page or less) 1. Purpose of the Marketing Plan

•Offer brief explanation for why this plan was produced
oe.g., introduce new product, enter new markets, continue growth of existing product, yearly review and planning document, etc. •Suggest what may be done with the information contained in the plan oe.g., set targets to be achieved in the next year, represents a departmental report to be...
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