Marketing Plan: Introduction and Essential Elements
What is marketing?
Marketing is a business related term that can be defined in a number of ways. Marketing is a management process through which a business can promote and advertise the products and services it offers to the customers. This business process helps in creating strong relationships with potential customers.
Marketing includes coordination of four major components, known as the 4P’s of marketing:
- Identification, selection, and development of the product
- Price regulation
- Selection of an appropriate method to reach out to the customers
- Expansion and execution of the advertising approach
What is a Marketing Plan?
A Marketing Plan refers to a complete document that summarizes the marketing efforts of the company. It is a comprehensive design that helps in outlining the way a company will implement its marketing approaches and make use of the resources to accomplish business goals.
A productive marketing plan will surely help the company to know the market that it is targeting and the competitors. Marketing plans totally depend upon the type of industry, the type of products and services and the objectives that are to be achieved.
Following are some of the essential elements of a successful business marketing plan:
Step 1: Know Your Business
This is the first important step that you must do at the time of creating a business plan as you are the only one who knows about the business. In this section, you get a chance to give a general overview of the present business operations and that of the internal and external environment.
The questions that you should answer are; What is your business structure? Is your business an LLC or a partnership? Does your business has an online presence or a storefront? What are the type of products or services offered by your business?
There are some companies that try to conduct SWOT Analysis- that describes the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and opportunities for growth and the threats that may occur as hindrances.
Step 2: Determine Target Market
It is very important to know the target market of your business. Knowing your target audience rightly contributes in effective and successful marketing strategies. In this part of the marketing plan, you can give all the details of an ideal customer.
Think about the following questions: Why do they buy the products from you? What are the channels through which they will gather information? Understanding the needs of the customers will be helpful while identifying the marketing approaches.
Step 3: Analyze Competitors
Every business has its competitors and there are chances that the customers may get confused as to which is the best. Thus, it is very important to know the customers rightly and then proceed to find ways to differentiate your business from that of others.
You may begin by explaining in detail the product or service that you are offering to the customers. the basic summarization that you provided in the first section needs to be elaborated in this section of the marketing plan. Try to think of the points that will make you stand different from others. In this way, you get a chance to know each and every information you need.
Set 4: Set Goals
The business needs to set specific objectives that are to be achieved and accomplished in a particular time period. According to the present situation, the goals may vary from lofty and grandiose to smaller sized ambitions.
Step 5: Outline Strategies
This is the section in which you have to outline what exactly you want to accomplish. You have to give the details related to the strategies and approaches that you will be using to reach the targets. Try to make your goals motivating and encouraging but not difficult to reach out.
Step 6: Set a Budget
In a completely developed business plan, you need to mention the entire financial side of the business. But, in your marketing plan, you have to completely focus on the activities related to marketing. How much you need to spend on advertising and promotion? How much will the business elements cost you? And without forgetting, where will the money come from?
Step 7: Get to Work
After you have created a marketing plan for your business, you need to combine them together. The marketing plans may vary from a basic and simpler one to inclusive and complex. Now, is the time to work on the plan effectively to yield better results.
The above-mentioned steps will definitely help you in creating a successful marketing plan for your business to accomplish the goals and objectives.