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Definition[ edit ] A marketing plan is a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines a business advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. It describes business activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a set time frame.
A marketing plan also includes a description of the current marketing position of a business, a discussion of the target market and a description of the marketing mix that a business will use to achieve their marketing goals. A marketing plan has a formal structure, but can be used as a formal or informal document which makes it very flexible.
It contains some historical data, future predictions, and methods or strategies to achieve the marketing objectives. Marketing plans start with the identification of customer needs through a market research and how the business can satisfy these needs while generating an acceptable return.
A marketing plan can also be described as a technique that helps a business to decide on the best use of its resources to achieve corporate objectives. It can also contain a full analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a company, its organization and its products.
For example, a marketing plan may include a strategy to increase the business's market share by fifteen percent. The marketing plan would then outline the objectives that need to be achieved in order to reach the fifteen percent increase in the business market share.
Marketing planning can also be used to prepare a detailed case for introducing a new product, revamping current marketing strategies for an existing product or put together a company marketing plan to be included in the company corporate or business plan.
These are some of the most important things that companies need when developing a marketing plan: Gathering and classifying data about the market the organization is currently in. Examining the market dynamics, patterns, customers, and the current sales volume for the industry as a whole.
The marketing plan should identify the organization's competition. The plan should describe how the organization will stick out from its competition and what it will do to become a market leader. Developing the marketing and promotion strategies that the organization will use.
Such strategies may include advertising, direct marketing, training programs, trade shows, website, etc. Strategies identified in the marketing plan should be within the budget. Top managers need to revise what they hope to accomplish with the marketing plan, review their current financial situation, and then allocate funding for the marketing plan.
The marketing plan should include attainable marketing goals. For example, one goal might be to increase the current client base by over a three-month period. The marketing plan should include the process of analyzing the current position of the organization.
The organization needs to identify the strategies that are working and those that are not working. The marketing goals normally aligns itself to the broader company objectives. For example, a new company looking to grow their business will generally have a marketing plan that emphasizes strategies to increase their customer base.
The marketing plan also helps layout the necessary budget and resources needed to achieve the goals stated in the marketing plan.
The marketing plan shows what the company is intended to accomplish within the budget and also to make it possible for company executives to assess potential return on the investment of marketing dollars.An effective small business strategy will help build your business.
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