How To Come Up With A Marketing Plan

Does your organization have a marketing plan? If not, then it’s time to get one right away. A marketing plan is an all-inclusive blueprint, which broadly describes an organization’s marketing efforts. Following a marketing plan can help you successfully market your product/services, reach out to your target audience and stay a step ahead of your competitors.

Here is a simple checklist that you can use to come up with an effective marketing plan:

  • Describe your current market and clearly state the size and characteristics of each market segment that you wish to target. Ensure that you review important market trends
  • Conduct market research on what your customers value the most – like quality, after-sales services, product features, pricing etc
  • Think about the distribution channels that you will be using to reach out to your customers (retailers or direct sales) and compare them
  • Create thorough profiles of your competitors and describe what they are offering
  • Identify the key factors that influence your business environment and conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of your current position
  • Review and study the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives in the past, such as, seasonal sales or advertising campaigns
  • Asses the sales potential and profitability of different market segments and customers. Also assess the scope of different products and activities
  • Decide on the group that you wish to target among your potential and existing customers. Decide on which products need to be pushed and which products need to be updated or replaced
  • Set definite objectives for increasing order sizes, retaining customers, winning new customers or selling new product/services
  • Decide on how your business will price each service or product that you offer
  • Decide on how your company will distribute and sell your products. Come up with a plan on how you can accelerate customer satisfaction and after-sales services
  • Chart out a plan on how you will promote your services/products and how you can maintain a relationship with your customers
  • Create a timetable for your marketing activities by identifying the purchasing cycles of your customers
  • State the implications of your marketing plan and describe how it will affect the rest of your business like production, training or requirements
  • Prepare realistic budgets and sales forecasts
  • Include key indicators into your marketing plan, like average order value, conversion rates, new enquiries or the number of lost customers. Think about a system that you can use to measure these key indicators in your plan

Before you chart out a marketing plan, make sure that you firmly base your marketing plan on solid market research. Ensure that you focus on target customers and build an action plan that can help you achieve specific business objectives. Once you have implemented your marketing plan, take some time off to measure the effectiveness of your plan on a periodical basis.

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