How to Create a Marketing Plan

Every business needs a well thought-out marketing plan to survive. Although a lot of business people may consider a business plan as the most crucial document in the business world, an effective marketing plan is equally important as well. We all know that the main purpose of a business plan is to yield extra capital or funds from investors, a marketing plan, on the other hand, is essential in keeping your business running up and about by winning and keeping your customers loyal to your brand.

What’s a Marketing Plan and How Is It Significant

According to an article in Wikipedia, “A marketing plan is a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines a company’s advertising and marketing efforts for the coming years”. It is basically an overall part of a business plan that lists down business activities essential in achieving the company’s specific marketing goals within a given period of time. An effective marketing plan is comprised of seven key components:

1. Market Research

It provides useful information or demographics on the buying habits of customers, market size, growth or decline, and current marketing trends.

2. Target Market

It helps identify the people who will buy your products or seek your services.

3. Positioning

It helps you analyze the perception of your brand in the market. An effective positioning is essential in setting the difference on how you strategically approach your target market.

4. Competitive Analysis

It allows you to get to know more about your competitors in the business, as well as the how your offerings are different from theirs. It helps you study and analyze the different marketing strategies of your competitors. The outcome of your analysis allows you to find a better positioning so that you can stand out easily.

5. Market Strategy

Your marketing strategy can be considered as the blueprint you can use in order to reach your sales target and business goals.

6. Budget

Developing a budget plan can provide you with an overview of the things you will spend and how to spend it on a monthly or yearly basis.

7. Metrics

You can monitor the success and effectiveness of your marketing campaign and effort using web analytic tools to keep track of your website conversion and an Excel spreadsheet to compare your monthly revenue and expenses.

Sample Marketing Plan Templates

Free Marketing Plan Template PDF Download

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sbdc.umb.edu
Social Media Marketing Plan Template

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marketo.com
Simple Marketing Plan

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und.edu
Integrated Digital Marketing Plan

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entwinedigital.com
Strategic Digital Marketing Plan

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smartinsights.com
Chinese Restaurant Marketing Plan

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yourbizplan.org
Example of International Marketing Business Plan Template

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pdf.usaid.gov

Steps for Creating a Marketing Plan

Creating and implementing an effective marketing plan is one of the most essential in running and operating a business, no matter how small or big your company is. But before you start writing and implementing a marketing plan, it is important to have a clear understanding of what your purpose for writing is, as well as the needs of your company and your target customers. Once you are able to establish a clear perception of your business, then make sure to follow the steps for writing a marketing plan:

1. Make sure to prepare a mission statement for your company.

Your company’s mission statement should provide a clear description of the nature of your business, products and/or services, and your target customers.

2. You will need to provide a description of your target market.

The next step to do is to list down and give a description of your prospective clients and audience. After creating a list, you will need to determine the different market segments, that include specific roles of the members of the organization, consumer market, and age groups of prospective customers.

3. Provide clear descriptions of your products and/or services.

In order to understand your target market, as well as the needs of your prospective customers, a market research is essential so that you can clearly describe your business offerings.

4. Identify strategies that are vital for your marketing and promotional campaigns.

Before you start writing your marketing plan, it is important to understand that various strategies work differently for target markets. Keep in mind that the key to a successful marketing is understanding what would make a prospective customer want to purchase your business offerings and identify the type of marketing approach that they respond to.

5. Identify and understand your competitors.

As someone who wants to succeed in the field of entrepreneurship, you have to take some time to understand your competitors. Study what their strengths are and compare it with yours. By doing so, you will easily understand how to set your business apart and learn how to position yourself in the market.

6. Set quantifiable marketing goals

You probably have a lot of marketing goals you want to achieve for your business. However, it is important to make sure that all your goals are realistic and attainable. A good way to start is by identifying all your skills and resources that you can use in integrating and implementing your goals.

Use all the tips and information provided in this article when writing your own marketing plan. Make sure to check out and download our small business marketing plan before you leave.