marketing planEverything You Need to Know About a Marketing Plan

Once you’ve determined the size of your potential market, you’ll have to develop a marketing plan. This plan will consist of your promotional strategies for generating sales revenue. Prior to formulating your plan, you should perform a critical self-assessment (also known as the SWOT analysis) of your company’s current position and future projections.

The SWOT Analysis of your Marketing plan

The SWOT analysis examines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that may emerge in a business. The strengths focus on your ability to successfully operate your business. You must be capable of fulfilling roles such as manufacturing, selling, purchasing, and accounting. The strength of your business will be dependent on the number of persons involved in your company’s day to day operations. Weaknesses cover the areas in which you lack the skills to accomplish certain tasks. In order to fill this void, you may have to hire someone who is skilled in that field. Opportunities may arise for you to implement strategies that can lead to big profits for your company. With such opportunities, your competitors may become one of your threats. You may also face changes in technology; price wars; and unrest among employees. Make sure that you identify each threat and provide a solution to address the situation in your marketing plan.

The 4 Ps of Marketing

Marketing consists of four components. These include product, price, place, and promotion. Each component plays a fundamental role in the development of your marketing plan.

The product is what you offer to your customers. Its value will be assessed based on the following criteria. Does it meet the customer’s needs? If so, what features are included to meet those needs? In what way will it be used by the customer? What is the name of the product? In what colors or sizes does it come? Can customers easily set it apart from your competitors’ products?

The price refers to the product’s value in the eyes of the customer. While price may be a factor in a customer’s purchasing decision, getting value for his/her money may take precedence. Other factors to take into consideration include whether there are set prices for that product; discounts that you may offer to customers; and your price in comparison to your competitors.

The place is the location where customers can obtain your product. Is your product available in stores or supermarkets? Do customers have the option of obtaining it online, or do they have to order it from a catalog?

Promotion is tied to the size of your business and its marketing budget. Can your marketing budget cover the scope of your marketing campaign? If so, how do you intend to reach your target market? There are a variety of ways in which you can promote your product. Such methods include TV, radio, newspapers, and trade shows. Once you’ve selected your promotional methods, compare them to those of your competitors. This will allow you to tap into strategies that they failed to implement. Also, consider the best time for running your promotions.

Knowing the four Ps of marketing will help you develop your short, medium, and long term objectives. On completion of these objectives, you’ll be ready to put your marketing plan into effect.

Written by Caroline Baxter
Caroline Baxter is a serial Entrepreneur, Business Start Up Coach, and recent bestselling author on Amazon. Having started her first business aged 24, she now has multiple businesses in property, the motor trade and online and offline business consultancy. Caroline is now starting a series of live training events to support entrepreneurs looking to plan launch and grow their business