How to Write a Marketing Plan


In your marketing plan explain your marketing strategy and what it is based on. Explain why consumers will buy from you, how much they may be willing to pay, and how much profit you intend to make. You must define and quantify the benefits your customer will receive from buying your product or service. You must es­tablish the size of your market and the potential customer in­terest in your market. Conclude this plan with an evaluation and assessment of your competition. The following should also be in your Marketing Plan for maximum effectiveness.

Description of the market

Who are your customers and why will they buy from you? Ex­plain the need you will fill in your target market. What is your market niche? How will you position your product or service? Describe in detail the background of your industry, including its size, chief characteristics, trends, and major customers. Project any changes inside or outside your industry that will affect your business. Describe your customers in detail, includ­ing their demographics and psychographics. Remember, busi­nesses don’t buy products or services, people do.

Customer benefits

What are the benefits of your product or service to the cus­tomer? You have to address why your product or service is bet­ter than that of the competition. Does it:

  • cost less?
  • have better quality?
  • provide more efficiency and convenience?
  • need less maintenance?
  • reduce the customer’s labor costs?
  • lower the customer’s inventory costs?
  • improve the customer’s productivity?
  • improve the customer’s performance?
  • save the customer money, time, or both?
  • entertain the customer?
  • improve the customer’s appearance or health?
  • solve problems?
  • generate profits?

Market share

Describe your assumptions about your market share. Make sure your assumptions are based on sales projections, using specific customers and marketing research. It is important that you explain in detail how you have arrived at your market share figures.

Competition

Who are your competitors? Compare their products or services to yours, and outline your strategies to sell more than they do. Explain how you will compete with them and outsell them.

The sales strategy

How do you plan to sell your product or service? This is one of the most critical parts of the marketing plan. You have to ex­plain how you are going to encourage your customers to buy your product or service. What is your step-by-step selling pro­cess? How will your sales strategy reach customers? How do you plan to advertise and promote your product or service? What is your distribution process, and how will you service and support your product or service? Include the pricing structure you’ve developed and how it will make your product or service competitive while generating a profit. You must be specific about how you arrive at your pricing.

Business protection and uniqueness

What makes your company stand out from the rest? Explain what you have done to protect your company against unau­thorized use. Do you plan to obtain patents or copyright protection?

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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