Every business, no matter what product or service it offers, needs a well thought-out marketing plan to be successful.
A marketing plan should be looked upon as a route map which will help you achieve your business objectives. We all may know where we want to go but we need a plan to ensure that we get there and we also need a few reminders along the way.
There are a number of components that make up a marketing plan and, just like with your business plan, you will need careful planning and research in order to get it right.
Here are a few points to consider, questions to ask or subjects to include:
Market Identification – It is important to identify who and where the market is for your products and services, as well as explain your Remarkable Selling Proposition.
A Market Analysis – what is your market? What is your position within that market? Is it a niche market?
Potential for Sector growth – Is your market growing, declining or has it reached a plateau? Is it becoming more specialised? Do you need to adjust your offering?
What are your customer demographics (i.e. age, sex, income, location)?
Which customers offer the best prospects for you?
Where is the easy profit?
What evidence do you have that they need or desire your product or service?
Identify your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
Your marketing plan should state the annual marketing budget, as well as an itemised list of expected expenditures. A projection of expected returns on marketing expenditure should also be included.
Your marketing plan should not be set in stone as certain factors may make it necessary for you to adapt or modify your plan as you move forward.