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How to Do a Marketing Plan

Many Business and MBA level courses require that college students do a marketing plan. Here is a suggestion on how Paper Masters lays out a plan like that.

The marketing plan should be feasible, meaning that there will be costs for anything that is planned and you will need to list a dollar value to any implementations. For example, if you decide on an internet presence, please assign an annual cost to this as well as defining what makes up this cost. With respect to the internet presence, are you going to have in-house personnel handle this? If so, there are costs such as payroll to have someone maintain the site, or are you just going to have a “static” site that will provide information only. Please remember to assign costs for the various other proposed plans.

How to Do a Marketing PlanAdditionally there should be appropriate demographics and other pertinent information as part of your marketing plan. For example if you decide to open up a toy store then you need to make sure that it will be feasible with your location. Having a toy store on Wall Street in New York City might not be the appropriate location.

This marketing plan should not only address your first year in business but unlike accounting your marketing plan needs to be larger than that. Another example, the name of your entity should not be so narrow that it may not allow for long-term growth. (Federal Express was the name of the business. Imagine the name if it would have been called Smith Express or Chicago express.)

Your plan at a minimum needs to include:

1. Defining your product or service.

2. Define your organizational structure

3. As we learned in chapter 2 there are key components to a marketing plan. They are:

1. Executive Summary

2. Situation Analysis

2.1. Market Summary - Target Markets
2.1.1. Market Demographics - Geographics - Demographics - Behavior Factors
2.1.2. Market Needs
2.1.3. Market Trends
2.1.4. Market Growth

2.2 SWOT Analysis
2.2.1. Strengths
2.2.2. Weaknesses
2.2.3. Opportunities
2.2.4. Threats

2.3 Competition
2.4 Product Offering
2.5 Keys to Success
2.6 Critical Issues

3. Marketing Strategy

3.1 Mission Statement
3.2 Marketing Objectives
3.3 Financial Objectives
3.4 Target Markets
3.5 Positioning
3.6 Strategies
3.7 Marketing Mix
3.8 Marketing Research

4. Financial

4.1 Break-even Analysis
4.2 Sales Forecast
4.3 Expense Forecast

5. Controls

5.1 Implementation
5.2 Marketing Organization
5.3 Contingency Planning

Remember your marketing plan must not forget to address:

i. Who your competition is
ii. Don’t forget to list your location, where your plan will be implemented
iii. Don’t forget to have a well defined mission statement for your entity
iv. Don’t forget your distribution channels.
v. Don’t forget to define who your customer is (target market)

a. Including demographics
b. Life cycle demographic
c. Positioning of product or service
d. Government, business, or consumer

vi. Is this a “growth industry”, “mature industry”, “declining industry” provide data and define.
vii. Is your marketing plan addressing issues such as:

a. Follow-up
b. Will you have repeat business by previous customers- if so, when?

Financial are also needed for this project.

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