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Creating a Marketing Plan For Your Business

Jul 2, 2008
A Marketing Plan is very important when managing a company, be it a small, medium or large scale business. It is the core of any marketing program and there are a variety of them according both to the type of business and its size.

A large corporation will have a number of marketing plans according to the size and geographical scope of the business and also to the range of products and services offered. A smaller business, however, will generally have a single marketing plan that will be the focus of the entire marketing strategy.

The most effecting marketing plans are those that are simple yet are effective and easy to implement. The benefit of having a short and simple marketing plan is that it can be easily updated and enhanced. Do not waste your time formulating a massive tome comprising hundreds or even thousands of pages.

Remember, a marketing plan is and must be a fluid document. It is something that you can modify any time depending on the changing circumstances.

A major aspect of a marketing plan is market research. You should make sure that all related data about your market are being considered. This part of your plan will focus on both existing customers and clients, and those that you are planning to secure.

What is your demographic? Take note of the target markets, their behavior, their buying decisions, and the market segment. You'll also have to take note of your product. Who is your competition? What do they offer in comparison to what you offer? Write down your current sales and benchmarks in the industry.

How does your product address the needs in your market, and also make a note of these needs. Can your marketing plan include an element of new product development, or existing product improvement?

Then make sure to describe your competition in detail. What is unique about your product? You should be able to come up with a USP (unique selling proposition) that will show your customers how you stand out from the competition. Additionally to this, note how your competition handles their branding in comparison to how you do yours.

In your marketing plan, it is a good idea to include your mission statement. That mission statement must include your key market, your contribution to that market, and how you are addressing their needs in your own unique way. In short, how do you distinguish your business from the others?

Your market strategies are a very important part of your marketing plan, and many people confuse the two. However, your plan is basically what you must do, and your strategy is how you go about doing it. Make sure that you go through each of the different strategies and see how you will address those.

Marketing strategies include networking, advertising, trade shows, direct selling and marketing, exploiting your own web site, press releases, training programs, and giving advice through discussion boards, forums or website content. Other basic items that should be listed in your marketing plan includes branding, budget, marketing goals, positioning, pricing, and monitoring of results.

These form the basis of a good marketing plan, but at the end of the day it is how you follow that plan and achieve the end results that matter, not the plan itself. The plan is the blueprint, but your marketing strategies will dictate the end results.
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