Marketing Planning

MARKETING PLAN FOR BUSINESS OWNERS & PROFESSIONALS IMPROVING YOUR COMPETITIVE EDGE

  • A Marketing Plan is a written strategy for selling the products/services of your business. It is a reflection of how serious a company or individual is in meeting the competition head on, with strategies and plans to increase market share and attract customers. An effective Marketing Plan is backed by carefully collected market, consumer and competitor information, sometimes utilizing professional advice.

  • Why Prepare a Marketing Plan?
  • A good Marketing Plan will help you to improve your odds of developing a profitable business, a profitable business is good for you, your employees and importantly your customers and clients. The Plan enables you to recognize and take action on any trends and consumer preferences that represent what both retail and business customers are looking for in 2016 and beyond, and to develop and expand your own select group of loyal customers now and into the future. The Plan also shows to others that you have carefully considered how to produce a product that is thoughtful, delivers value and marketable- improving your chances of stable sales and profits - reasons for customers to support you.
  • CONTENTS OF A MARKETING PLAN

  • Title Page
  • Include your name & the business or products and services name, period of time that the contents of the marketing plan covers, and completion date.
  • Use a clean and professional format with examples of the logo and service offering designs and pricing types.

  • Table of Contents
  • List all the contents of the marketing plan in the order they appear, citing relevant page numbers.
  • List tables, graphs and diagrams on a separate page so that the reader can locate these presentation tools quickly. List the appendices that will be included at the end of your document.

  • Historical Background
  • Give team members an indication of where your marketing idea originated, citing the date you began researching into the idea, the existence of any mentors or advisors, the scope of your business (the specific of what your teaching, rounds of golf offer, facility provides or business "does"), and opportunities for expansion. Indicate how the future success of the business can be attributed to the strategies found in the Marketing Plan.

  • Marketing Goals and Objectives
  • To introduce this section, include the "mission statement" of the your business; an idea of what its goals are for customers, clients, employees and the consumer, then proceed with:

  • Sales Objectives
  • Compare your prospects for future sales with either past performance, or a general industry performance report. By analyzing the industry average as well as your own performance you will demonstrate that you can look "beyond your borders" to the competition to give yourself an idea of how well you are performing, or what general difficulties the whole industry may be facing. Identify industry wide problems and create strategies to challenge them. This will also demonstrate that you have the necessary foresight to allow you to recognize problems in the future.
  • Set "benchmarks" for your sales objectives by using quarterly reports as a way of evaluating the success of your overall marketing approach. Indicate how much "market share" you intend to collect over the next 5 years, to show that you expect to advance your position against your competitors using your "individual" approach.

  • Profit Objectives
  • Include your predictions for after tax profit for each of the next five years. Relate this profit assumption based on the contents of your operating budget's costs figures found in your Business Plan.
  • Indicate how you will reinvest your profit margin in specific areas of the Marketing Plans future activities, as well as countering operating and start up costs you already have. Don't neglect the future of the Marketing Plan because you have to defer the costs you already have. A sound Marketing Plan should do more than "pay for itself" and its activities.

  • Pricing Objectives
  • Focus on the weaknesses of your competitors by offering better quality at a competitive price. Remember what your own attitudes are towards products you consume on a day to day basis. Remember how you react to high prices for poor or marginal quality or service.
  • Justifying your prices for your product or service while thinking like a customer will give you an advantage. Survey a sampling of your potential customer group and ask them directly how they feel about competitors products, services, industry prices and any areas for improvement. (please visit the Webland CAC LTV CLV section for comprehensive pricing strategies and formulas)

  • Product Objectives
  • Much like what you would be doing for your prices, focus on the wants, needs and perceptions of your consumers and the general public. Identify any problems for your industry/product.
  • Show how you will attract more customers while keeping the ones you have. Determine the determining factors of customer preference towards a product, like price, or social considerations such as environmental impact, product quality or convenience.
  • Indicate the goals you have for quality of service, level of service (speed and accuracy), customer satisfaction, and your own flexibility to support member guest and student demands and requests.

  • Market Analysis
  • Examine whether or not your industry is growing, maturing or declining.
  • it is declining, identify the problems that exist and be able to change the ones you can. Show how you can adapt to changes that you can't control.
  • Can you use a new approach to the marketplace and utilize the latest technology. Identify the older methods of generating your product/service being challenged by your business' approach.
  • Acknowledge the problems and challenges of the marketplace. Use your analysis to construct a strategy that will put you ahead of your competition.
  • In your market analysis focus is on key areas like industry wide sales performance. Acknowledge why sales (as a whole) may be declining or growing. Look to national and state averages, citing reasons for performance. Reasons can be both external to a particular businesses operations, or internal to the way the business operates.
  • Your focus should also turn to the local scene, since local markets may or may not follow the greater industry trend for various reasons. Compare the local situation to the national and state averages; the trends in sales, and the estimated total market that can be reached by your business. Recognize the position your local competitors have taken in the local market; the clientele they serve, the product they deliver, the price they expect to charge. Finally, relate your own businesses position to the position of others, reflecting on the maturity and experience of your competitors.

  • Environmental Analysis - Global Business Environment
  • Conduct an environmental analysis to look at and comment on the world in which you will be operating. Unemployment rates for the past 2 to 5 years and the impact it has had on sales and the overall customer base is an effective way of demonstrating the effect of "external" pressures. Threats due to environmental conditions (like unemployment, layoffs, recession, high interest rates) reduce consumer activity, and should be explored in your marketing plan.

  • Political and Legal
  • The business climate of your town, village and surrounding area is an important influence on your day-to-day operations. Reflect on topics such as taxation, zoning and other factors.

  • Demographics
  • Describe the population base that exists to support your product. Identify the market size, and the people that make up your consumer group.
  • Provide information about:
  • Where they live, What products do they buy, How much they spend on similar services each year.
  • Environmental Analysis - Local Business Environment
  • Conduct an environmental analysis that looks at and comments on your local area and your network of business contacts, competitors and customers.

  • Suppliers
  • Identify your sources for direct purchasing by describing their locations, the frequency of your orders and the type and amount of supplies you will be ordering.

  • Social/Cultural
  • Explain any particular client support or other specialized consumer groups that can be identified apart from the general public. Describe the spending and product requirements of these groups and the characteristics of your company that support the product and services they are demanding. Indicate whether your product is part of the day to day activities of a specific group or the general public. Identify the influence this will have on your projected sales. Identify your networking contacts in the community, and the overall atmosphere surrounding your business. Identify the influence this will have on your projected sales. Predict the receptiveness of your product concepts, and how the community perceives your business.
  • {As you know an integral component of Webland service is networking in the community. [One of the principle reasons Webland offers to partner Business with local business like graphic designers and other supportive business to your product and or service is to develop and introduce relationships and extend awareness of both your business and products and services and facilities.] Describe the expected response to your advertising, and how this will boost sales. Indicate what overall market trends you will be following in order to stay current and "in touch" with the public. What special techniques will you be employing in order to match consumer demands. }

  • Competition
  • Identify your direct competition by naming their business, describing their products, services, facilities and operations, identifying their share of the consumer market, realizing support for their product and by reviewing the weaknesses of their approach.

  • Consumer Analysis
  • your target market, describing how you will meet the needs of the consumer better than the competition does. List the expectations consumers have. Since demands may be different, products and services will vary between competitors. Quality, price and service are just some of the areas where this difference occurs.
  • Identify the segment of the market that will benefit from your products and services and your area of expertise as well as your approach.
  • Predict the sales potential that may be realized by tapping into and holding onto your target market, and attracting others through different strategies and approaches. These different approaches can be all done at the same time or be more incremental - obtaining a core audience first, then expanding into the rest of the market. Identify the sales potential for each of these target groups.

  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis
  • Strengths
  • List the strengths of your business approach such as cost effectiveness, service quality and customer loyalty.
  • List other assets of your operations such as flexibility, innovativeness, response to external pressures, creativity and company stability. Relate your experience (professionalism, duration and diversity) and the contacts you have made in all areas of your businesses operations - from suppliers to clients, government officials to business professionals.
  • Weaknesses
  • Describe the areas of weakness in your operations and service
  • Opportunities
  • Use tools such as customer surveys to emphasize the need for product quality and after sales service.
  • Relate your focus to a segment of the present market that is being overlooked.
  • Threats
  • List the external threats to your business' success, such a existing and newly emerging competitors, performance of the overall economy, and your dependency on others for support.

  • Marketing Focus
  • Product or Service
  • your product or service by what it is, who will buy it, how much they will pay for it and how much it will cost for you to produce, provide and deliver it, why demand exists for your product, and where your product sits in comparison to similar products/services now available.the marketplace rationale for the differences between your product and a competitors. Look at quality, price, new ideas/approaches, and how your product appeals to a specific customer base - both existing customers and new customers you hope to attract to the market.
  • Be specific about how your product/service improves upon those already existing, and the scope of service you will provide

  • Location
  • Identify the location(s) of your business, why it is located there (strategic, competitive, economic objectives), your expected methods of distribution, and timing objectives.

  • Promotion
  • Describe the type of promotional methods you will use to spread the word about your product. Identify techniques such as word of mouth, participation in community and other social media solutions.
  • List accessible community events that offer you an opportunity to display banners and promotional literature and importantly links to your site.
  • Promotion through associations and other programs offer an opportunity for success stories to advertise.
  • Promotions, sidewalk sales, tours, open-houses, "point of sale" displays, agendas, brochures and calendars are other avenues for promotion. Also rewards programs and draws provide you with a mailing list for future considerations. Alliance campaigns between yourself and associated businesses (retailers, suppliers, etc.) provide you and some complementary businesses the chance to improve your market image and potential sales.

  • Price
  • The prices of your products and services (please see section on CAC and LTV) should reflect your overall strategy. Pricing should be competitive as well as a reflection of the quality, costs and profit margin.
  • List strategies you plan to use, such as providing a discount on some items you sell in order to increase the sales in other areas.

  • Financial Information
  • Show the predicted level of sales you expect to realize with and without the strategies you have outlined in the marketing plan. Show the natural level of sales as described in your business plan, and then show the expected increase in sales as they relate to specific marketing techniques you will use.
  • Show the market share you will hope to attain, based on "high", "medium", and "low" estimates for the success of your marketing strategy.
  • Forecast the "break even point" for each of the following 5 years, in the number of sales in dollars. This will demonstrate your need to realize a certain amount of sales in order to cover your expected costs for each of the next 5 years. Outline the areas of weakness in the financing and capitalization of your business; the deficiencies that may be found in areas such as "operating capital”. Provide appropriate suggestions for reducing the effect that these deficiencies will have on the successful operation of your business.