Advanced Business Planning
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Marketing Planning

Many business managers and owners confuse “marketing” with “promotion.”  In fact, promotion is just one aspect of marketing. Years ago business experts determined that the activity of marketing revolved around the “4 P’s of marketing” - price, place (distribution), product, and promotion. Today the list of marketing P’s has been divided into eight strategy areas:

marketing planPricing - how and how much to charge customers for the product or service
Product - how the product or service is designed
Promotion - impacts to customer awareness, perceptions and motivations to compel purchases
Placement - how the product or service is distributed and placed
People - how business representatives will be employed
Physical Environment - how the business environment (e.g., ambiance, etc.) will be created
Process - how the product or service will be differentiated relative to competitors
Packaging - How the product will be protected

The Marketing Plan is actually a part of the Business Plan. But because effective marketing is critical to a business’s success, and because marketing involves virtually all aspects of business operations, a Marketing Plan is often written as either a separate document or as the most elaborate section within the Business Plan. A Marketing Plan generally consists of the following sections, although there are many format options for an effective plan.

Executive Summary

    a summary of each section listed in the Marketing Plan

Current Situation
    Macroenvironment - economic, legal, governmental, technological, ecological, sociocultural, and supply chain situation
    Market Analysis - market size, segmentation, trends, industry structure, strategic groupings, competition strengths and weaknesses
    Customer Analysis - demographics, psychographics, motivations, expectations, loyalty segments, and nature of buying decision
    Internal - mission, vision, objectives, priorities, culture, and resources (budget, people, time, skills)
    Summary (SWOT) Analysis - external threats, external opportunities, internal strengths, internal weaknesses

Marketing Research
    information requirements and research methodology
    research results and business implications

Marketing Strategy
    “8 P’s of Marking” Assessment (see above) – Price, Product, Promotion, Placement, People, Physical Environment, Process, and

Packaging
    Strategy or “Game Plan” – clear descriptions of the activities needed to achieve the marketing objectives

Appendix
A Marketing Plan is the business’s “Game Plan” because it describes what the business’s players need to do, within a specific time frame (usually one year) to win the game, i.e., to accomplish the marketing objectives.

A well-written Marketing Plan provides an unambiguous reference point for the marketing activities throughout the planning period. But perhaps the most important aspect of a formal Marketing Plan is the planning process itself. It provides a forum for information-rich, productivity-focused discussions between the various stakeholders, and a context for subsequent management activities. Like the Business Plan itself, the Marketing Plan section must be tailored to meet a business’s unique requirements – customization that Advanced Business Planning can provide.

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