Sample Marketing Plan
Star Software, Inc. Marketing Plan
1 I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Star Software, Inc., is a small, family-owned corporation in the first year of a transition from first-generation to second-generation leadership. Star Software sells custom-made calendar programs and related items to about 400 businesses, which use the software mainly for promotion. Star’s 18 employees face scheduling challenges, as Star’s business is highly seasonal, with its greatest demand during October, November, and December. In other months, the equipment and staff are sometimes idle. A major challenge facing Star Software is how to increase profits and make better use of its resources during the off-season. An evaluation of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats served as the foundation for this strategic analysis and marketing plan. The plan focuses on the company’s growth strategy, suggesting ways in which it can build on existing customer relationships, and on the development of new products and/or services targeted to specific customer niches. Since Star Software markets a product used primarily as a promotional tool by its clients, it currently is considered a business-to-business marketer.
This sample marketing plan for a hypothetical company illustrates how the marketing planning process described in Chapter 2 might be implemented. If you are asked to create a marketing plan, this model may be a helpful guide, along with the concepts in Chapter 2.
The Executive Summary, one of the most frequently read components of a marketing plan, is a synopsis of the marketing plan. Although it does not provide detailed information, it does present an overview of the plan so readers can identify key issues pertaining to their roles in the planning and implementation processes. Although this is the first section in a marketing plan, it is usually written last.
The Environmental Analysis 2 presents information regarding the organization’s current situation with respect to the marketing environment, the current target market(s), and the firm’s current marketing objectives and performance. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
2 II. ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS
Founded as a commercial printing company, Star Software, Inc., has evolved into a marketer of high-quality, custom-made calendar software and related business-tobusiness specialty items. In the mid-1960s, Bob McLemore purchased the company and, through his full-time commitment, turned it into a very successful family-run operation. In the near future, McLemore’s 37-year-old son, Jonathan, will take over as Star Software’s president and allow the elder McLemore to scale back his involvement.
This section of the environmental analysis considers relevant external environmental forces such as competitive, economic, political, legal and regulatory, technological, and sociocultural forces.
3 A. The Marketing Environment
1. Competitive forces. The competition in the specialty advertising industry is very strong on a local and regional basis but somewhat weak nationally. Sales figures for the industry as a whole are difficult to obtain since very little business is conducted on a national scale. The competition within the calendar industry is strong in the paper segment and weak in the software-based segment. Currently paper calendars hold a dominant market share of approximately 90 percent; however, the software-
Appendix C Sample Marketing Plan
based segment is growing rapidly. The 10 percent market share held by software-based calendars is divided among many different firms. Star Software, which holds 30 percent of the software-based calendar market, is the only company that markets a software-based calendar on a national basis. As softwarebased calendars become more popular, additional competition is expected to...