It provides an important framework that ensures all your marketing activities are carried out in a controlled way and that your results are maximised.
Ideally the plan should cover one year, and allow yourself some time to write this plan, even if it isn't very long. Writing the plan is the most difficult part, carrying it out will have it's challenges, but deciding what to do and how to do it, will be the most difficult part.
So remember to be realistic, there isn't any point writing a fantastically high-achieving marketing plan, if it isn't going to be followed. Everyone is different and knows their own limitations, so by sticking to these, you will be able to achieve what you set out to do.
10 things to include in your marketing plan:
- Market Research – Write down important information about the market that is currently buying what you sell. Some areas to consider: Market patterns and dynamics, customer demographics, other products and completion, target market, find target markets for your product and describe them
- Product – Describe your product, how does it relate to the market? What does the market need? What do they currently use? What do they need above and beyond the current use?
- Competition – Describe your completion? This will help you develop your USP’s, and figure out what makes you different from your competitor
- Mission Statement – Writing a few sentences that state what you’re selling, who you’re selling to and your USP’s will really help condense your business into short, sharp points.
- Marketing Strategies – Chose the marketing and promotional strategies that you want to use. Make sure it is a mixture of channels; networking, advertisement, digital media, publicity, etc.
- Pricing, Positioning and Branding – From the information you've collected, you can now establish strategies for determining the price of your product, where it will be positioned in the market and how you will achieve brand awareness
- Budget – An important part of the plan! Which strategies can you afford? What can you do yourself? How often can you do these?
- Goals – Establish your goals. Make sure they are achievable. These are goals that you can turn into numbers.
- Monitor your results – Test your strategies and if they aren't working, adapt them and try again
I If you think you have the right marketing plan that will grow your business and want support and assistance with the growth of your venture, then The Women's Organisation could help you.
The Women's Organisation are challenging Merseyside women in business to step their businesses up to the next level through The Venture Accelerator (TVA) programme. Venture Accelerator brings together a dynamic partnership of The Women's Organisation, Downtown in Business, Agent Marketing and High Performance Consultancy to deliver a highly innovative and effective business growth and business incubation Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme is aimed at enterprises that have the potential to grow by bringing innovative products and processes to market, scaling up and internationalising. The programme is availble to SME's across Merseyside and provides funded consultancy to enable businesses to prepare for growth. It runs up to June 2015.