How to write a marketing plan
Learn how to write a marketing plan in the time it takes to vacuum your room.
By the time you find the vacuum and a conveniently located power point, we’ll teach you what a marketing plan is and why it’s important.
We’ll also help you filter through all the important information you’ll need in there, from your marketing mix to your promotional plan.
That’s about four minutes reading time.
You’ve made it through the testing your idea, all the legal and administrative procedures and finally started your dream business.
You need to let people know that you exist. That’s where marketing comes in.
There are many ways to go about your marketing. Before you start buying ads on Facebook or putting up posters around the block, it’s important to understand what you’re trying to get out of your marketing. That’s where a marketing plan can help.
What’s a marketing plan? Why is it important?
A good marketing plan will help you answer key questions about your business and outline your marketing strategy. Your marketing plan should clearly set out what you’re trying to do with your marketing and how you’re going to do it.
What to include in your marketing plan
What do you want your marketing plan to accomplish?
Be clear about your goals and how you’re going to achieve them. Be specific.
Read more about identifying your objective, as well as other important considerations of writing a marketing plan, here.
Who are your customers? Where do they currently go to research and purchase products?
Ask questions about how your potential customers like being communicated with to help you decide how you can reach them. Do they like snappy emails? Or perhaps they like to touch and feel products in a retail store?
Are other businesses trying to sell the same product or service as you? Who are they and how do they speak to their customers?
Understand what’s working for other businesses – as well as what’s not working – to help you see opportunities to make your business stand out against theirs.
What kind of advertising will work best for your business? How much will it cost you?
When making a marketing plan, consider how much you’re willing to spend on advertising your business.
While you can promote your business on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram quite cheaply, also consider the time, energy and other resources you’ll be putting into making the content that will feature on these sites.
Before you start to make this content and write your marketing plan, it’s first important to understand your marketing mix.
The Marketing Mix
The Marketing Mix is a tool to help you decide how you’re going to get the word out about your business. It helps you understand what benefits your product or service has for potential customers.
The Marketing Mix can be broken down into the seven Ps:
Your product is the most important part of your marketing mix. What does it do? How well does it do it? How many people want it?
This is where customers can find your product. Ideally, your product should be available where your customers like to shop, whether that’s online or in a bricks-and-mortar store.
How much does your product or service cost? Potential customers should think your product is good value for money.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the price should be as cheap as possible – it’s about finding out how much potential customers would be willing to spend on it.
How are people going to find out about your product?
Promotion is all about how you are advertising your business; whether that’s on social media, with posters, flyers or brochures, or via email.
Who’s on your team? How are they talking about you?
Your employees will often be talking to potential customers, which forms an important part of your marketing. Consider how you’d like your staff to interact with these people.
Processes are the different systems you have in your business and how efficiently they run.
Consider the processes that will affect your customers, such as your delivery service and customer service processes, and what kind of impression you’d want them to make.
7. Physical Evidence
Almost all services include some physical elements. For example, a hair salon provides customers with a completed hairstyle, and day care centres give parents written reports about their child’s progress.
Think about how these physical elements represent your business. Who is going to see them? What impression of your business are they creating?
Top 3 takeaways
- A marketing plan outlines what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing and how you’re going to do it.
- Include your marketing objectives, your target market, competitor analysis and your promotional plan in your marketing plan.
- Your marketing mix, which consists of the seven Ps – product, place, price, promotion, people, processes and physical evidence – will help guide your marketing plan.
DOWNLOADABLE TEMPLATES (Coming soon!)
READ NEXT: How to pitch