A marketing plan is a document that describes the environment of a company, the situation in which it is located, the marketing objectives that it will seek to achieve, the marketing strategies that will allow it to achieve those objectives, and the action plans that they will allow you to implement these strategies.
|What Is a Marketing Plan and How to Make One|
By analyzing your environment and current situation, and by planning your marketing objectives, marketing strategies and courses of action, the marketing plan allows a company to anticipate the facts and, therefore, reduce uncertainty and minimize risk.
But in addition to serving as a planning tool, the marketing plan also serves a company as a coordination tool by allowing it to coordinate marketing activities, as a control instrument by allowing it to control the performance of the personnel in charge of them, and as an instrument of evaluation by allowing you to evaluate and compare the results obtained with the planned ones.
Like any business plan, the marketing plan is not a document that circulates only once and then is forgotten somewhere in the company, but it is a document to which you must go again and again, either to follow the guidelines that this entails, or to ensure that the results obtained agree with the planned ones; and it is not a static document, but a flexible document that can be modified or corrected if the circumstances merit it.
It is usually thought that making a marketing plan is something that only the big companies have to deal with due to its complexity, But the truth is that this is also done by small and medium companies, and in reality, it is not something difficult but something that any of us can do.
Let’s see below how to make a marketing plan through the development of each of its parts or sections:
The main parts of a marketing plan
1# Executive Summary
The first part of a marketing plan is the executive summary, which consists of a summary of the most important points of the other parts of the plan, so it should be put at the beginning of this, but be developed after having completed the other parts.
Some of the elements that should be included in an executive summary are:
- The description of the company (name, location, description of the business, etc.).
- The description of the product (differentiating characteristics, main attributes, etc.).
- The main opportunities and threats detected.
- The main strengths and weaknesses detected.
- The main marketing objectives that will be sought to achieve.
- The main marketing strategies that will be used to achieve the objectives.
- The work team in charge of executing the plan.
- The budget required for the execution of the plan.
The objective of the executive summary is that the reader has a general and succinct overview of the marketing plan, can quickly learn its most important points,
2# Analysis of the environment
|Analysis of the environment|
After the executive summary, the next part of a marketing plan is the analysis of the environment, where the external factors that could influence the company are analyzed and described.
These external factors could be made up of:
- Indirect action forces: economic forces (gross national product growth rate, inflation rate, interest rate, etc.), social forces (productivity rates, mortality rates, migrations, etc.), government forces (government regulations , patent laws, laws on monopolies, etc.), technological forces (new machinery, new production procedures, new communication systems, etc.), etc.
- Consumers: needs, tastes, preferences, desires, consumption habits, shopping behaviors (where they buy, when they buy, how often they buy, why they buy), customs, attitudes and other characteristics of consumers.
- Competition: location, target audience, sales volume, market share, market experience, resources, capacity, main strategies, competitive advantages, strengths, weaknesses and other characteristics of competitors.
The analysis of the environment allows us to better understand the company’s environment and detect opportunities and threats, so it serves as a basis to learn marketing objectives and to formulate marketing strategies that allow us to take advantage of opportunities and deal with the threats.
3# Analysis of the situation
In this part of the situation analysis, the different elements or factors that may exist within the company are analyzed and described, and they can give an idea of the resources and capacity that this account has.
These elements or internal factors could be made up of:
- In the administrative area: objectives, strategies, policies, culture, values, structure, planning, organization, direction, control, etc.
- In the marketing area: sales, target audience, product, price, distribution, promotion, customer service, customer loyalty, etc.
- In the area of finance: liquidity, profitability, financing, investments, financial ratios, working capital, assets, liabilities, equity, etc.
- In the area of production: plant layout, research, and development, technology, acquisition of inputs, inventory control, etc.
- In the area of human resources: hiring, training, reward, incentives, labor relations, leadership, motivation, etc.
The analysis of the situation, by allowing us to have an idea of the resources and the capacity of the company, allows us to detect strengths and weaknesses, and thus also serve as a basis to establish marketing objectives and to formulate the marketing strategies that allow us to strengthen the strengths and neutralize the weaknesses.
4# Establishment of marketing objectives
|Establishment of marketing objectives|
In this part of the establishment of marketing objectives, the objectives are established and indicate the marketing objectives that will seek to achieve, taking into account the analysis of the environment and the analysis of the situation.
It must establish the objectives that take into account the opportunities and threats detected in the analysis of the environment, and that at the same time take into account the resources and the capacity of the company, as well as its strengths and weaknesses detected in the analysis of the situation.
The objectives of a marketing plan must be both general and specific.
The general marketing objectives are generic objectives that are aligned with the objectives and mission of the company.
Some examples of general marketing objectives are:
- Be a leading company in the market.
- Position the brand in the minds of consumers.
- Being a company recognized for its quality in customer service.
While the specific marketing objectives are specific objectives expressed in terms of quantity and time, which allow achieving the general objectives.
Some examples of specific marketing objectives are:
- Increase monthly sales by 20% for the second semester.
- achieve a 15% market share at the end of the year.
- open 2 new stores for the first quarter of next year.
5# Formulation of marketing strategies
|Formulation of marketing strategies|
In this part of the formulation of marketing strategies, the marketing strategies that will be used to achieve the proposed objectives are formulated and indicated.
Strategies must be formulated to take advantage of opportunities and cope with threats and, at the same time, as well as objectives, take into account the resources and capacity of the company, strengthen their strengths and neutralize their weaknesses.
The strategies of a marketing plan should be oriented to the product, the price, the distribution, and the promotion.
Some examples of product-oriented marketing strategies are:
- Include new features or attributes to the product.
- Launch a new line of products.
- Add new complementary services to the product.
Some examples of price-oriented marketing strategies are:
- launch a new product with a low price in order to achieve rapid penetration.
- Increase the price of the product in order to increase the feeling of quality.
- reduce prices below those of the competition in order to beat you market.
Some examples of marketing strategies oriented towards distribution are:
- Make use of intermediaries in order to increase product coverage.
- Use the Internet as a point of sale.
- Increase the number of delivery vehicles.
Some examples of promotion-oriented marketing strategies are:
- The offer of acquiring a second product at a half price for the purchase of the first.
- Publish ads on classified ads sites on the Internet.
- Give away advertising items such as pens, key rings or cartridge belts that carry the company logo.
6# Design of action plans
|Design of action plans|
Finally, this part of the design of action plans specifies the steps and other aspects necessary to implement or execute the marketing strategies formulated.
Some of the elements that should be specified in the action plans are:
- The tasks to be carried out: the tasks, activities or actions that are going to be carried out necessary to implement the marketing strategies.
- The allocation of resources: the resources that will be used to carry out the tasks and implement the strategies, and the way in which they will be distributed.
- Those responsible: those responsible and in charge of carrying out the tasks and implementing the strategies.
- The programming of the tasks: the schedule with start dates and deadlines to carry out the tasks and implement the strategies.
- The required budget: the investment required to perform the tasks and implement the strategies.
The action plans serve as a guide to implement or execute the marketing strategies, but they also serve as an instrument of control and evaluation, allowing us to verify that the tasks are being developed as specified and that they are being met within the deadlines. agreed.