It is one thing to have a business, but quite another to make a marketing plan to promote and grow the business. Investors are not only interested in the business potential, but also your marketing plan outline. It shows if the business will be successful or not.
The easiest way to create a strategic marketing plan especially for a start-up is by using a proven marketing strategy example. You can find our marketing plan example provided in this article useful. We also consider examples of marketing strategies.
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What Is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a document that outlines the marketing strategy and methods necessary for the promotion of a business. The marketing plan outline also includes the financial projection for the period of the marketing plan. A marketing strategy is not static, but ever-changing as your business develops.
Types of Marketing Plan
Content Marketing Strategy: content marketing involves creating content for a targeted audience to generate leads.
Social Media Marketing Strategy: promoting through social media requires a plan to reach the target audience.
Paid Marketing Strategy: Using pay per click, traditional advertising, and promoted social media campaigns requires strategies.
Diversity Marketing Strategy: To develop a marketing strategy to target different customer views, taste, expectations, and cultural diversities
Promoting New Product or Services: this involves creating and executing strategies to promote new service or product.
How to Write A Marketing Plan
Here is a short process on how to make a marketing plan:
As we want to go deeper, here is a systematic guide on how to write a marketing plan:
Step 1: Vision and Mission Statement
A marketing plan starts with introduction, the vision, and mission statements, as well as, the broad objectives of the company. These are important to set the tone to the readers.
Step 2: Set Your Goals and Objectives
Marketers that set clear goals have 397% chance of developing a successful strategic marketing plan because it helps align the focus of the marketing team.
For example, to generate a specific number of leads for this quarter can be the goal.
Step 3: Breakdown The Goals
The next step is to breakdown the goals into easily achievable tasks. For instance, you want to outperform above your competitors. One of the tasks to achieve this goal is to perform comprehensive research on your competitor’s marketing strategy to improve yours.
You also need to set a realistic deadline to achieve your goals. It help generates commitment towards the goal.
Step 4: Know Your Audience
Your market is obviously towards a particular group. Get their demographic information, their taste, sense of fashion etc. Integrate into this information into your marketing plan. Take into consideration also the purchasing power. 242% of successful marketers do audience research.
Knowing your audience is an important aspect of your marketing plan. It determines the success or failure of a marketing plan as it greatly influences the decision-making process.
Step 5: Perform A Comprehensive Research
This is when writing a marketing plan becomes more interesting especially if it concerns outperforming your competitors. The research includes competitive analysis and SWOT analysis.
The competitive analysis involves studying your competitors marketing strategies for better repositioning. This may include competitor keyword research, website ranking, and content promotion. Besides the marketing strategies, also consider the pricing, distribution method.
SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunities Threats) analysis is introduced to match the internal strength with opportunities and convert the internal weakness into strength and the external threats to opportunities
Step 6: Determine The Effectiveness of Your Goals or Objectives
To be sure, your marketing plan is effective or you should improve it, you need to track the results of the strategies.
There are two ways to do this, either through the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) or through the ROI (Return on Investment). The KPI can include leads generation, website traffic, sales growth, and email marketing performance.
Step 7: Create Your Marketing Tactics
The next step is to create tactics to achieve your marketing objectives. This is very important because it determines the success of the marketing plan.
Consider this example of a failed marketing plan:
The sample marketing plan was developed to generate 50 new customers for a beauty product within a month. The target audience is female, age group 20 to 40. With this information, the marketer launched an ad, and the plan failed. This is because market research alone does not guarantee success. You likewise need to develop marketing tactics.
This involves tracking the interests of the target audience, understanding the website the target audience visits, their favorite shows and so on. Creating good advertisement content around beauty, fashion and skincare is also very tactical for the success of marketing.
All these were missing and the ad failed miserably. An e-mail follow up is also a good idea to add in your marketing plan. You can use this to inform customers about new products and to convert leads that did not convert immediately. Check more details in the marketing plan example.
Step 8: Budget
A marketing plan is not complete without the budget. Have a separate budget for your marketing; remember marketing is just as important as the production phase.
Your tactics will determine the marketing budget. If the cost of your tactics is higher than the budget, you may need to adjust the tactics.
Step 9: Implement The Plan
With the plan in place, it is time for implementation. As a sole proprietorship, you can decide to handle the plan alone or employ a team. An organization will rely on its marketing team and if need be they may add more marketing staffs.
For effective implementation, a team leader needs to designate responsibilities towards achieving their objectives.
All the nine steps of how to write a marketing plan should be well detailed in your marketing plan as you can see in the marketing plan examples. Also, include a concise executive summary as a synopsis of the plan.
Marketing Plan Examples
Each marketing plan example will give you a practical idea on how to write a marketing plan to grow your business.
Let’s consider this marketing plan example courtesy of more Business
Marketing Plan Example #1
This sample marketing plan is a 20-page document. The company name is Mobile News Games LLC (MNG). Their objectives:
- Increased sales by the end of the first year
- 100% increase by the second year
- Generate new consulting game development within 12 months
The first thing we admire about the Mobile News games LLC is the structure of the marketing plan. This is a sign of a good example of a marketing plan.
It was divided into seven segments, including the executive summary. The executive summary summarizes the details of the plan. This is the first subject on a marketing plan after the cover page, but it is written last.
The vision, objectives of the company was mentioned in segment one.
Segment two presents the environmental analysis. This includes the target market, competitive forces, market needs, and the distribution channels. The distribution channels they intend to use includes the paid media, owned media, and the earned media.
Segment three describes the marketing strategy or tactics of the company. As earlier said, it is not enough to have a good understanding of your target market, distribution channels. You also need to create a strategy to get the required results.
This is exactly what Mobile News Games LLC did in this segment. Look at a segment of their marketing tactics. The strategy addresses how they intend to achieve their objectives- straightforward and clearly written.
Segment four presents the budget of the marketing investment. The budget was beautifully illustrated with charts for the first year by months and annual expense budget.
You can have something like this in your marketing plan too. Picture speaks louder than words
Segment Five describes the sales forecast based on game downloads and ads from both free and paid games.
Segment Six is for estimating the performance using the Key marketing metrics regularly. The key marketing metrics or KPI (Key Performance Index) includes the revenue, leads, leads converted, referrals, testimonials, and others.
Segment Seven was used to describe the marketing organization, from the leaders to the members.
This is a good marketing plan example you can utilize to prepare your marketing plan. It is well structured and rich.
Marketing Plan Example #2
The second marketing plan example courtesy of College Cengage is also divided into seven segments. The executive summary, environmental analysis, SWOT analysis, Marketing objectives, Marketing strategies, Marketing implementation, and Evaluation and control. This is a marketing plan for the Star software company, Inc.
Let’s take it segment by segment:
The executive summary is the summary of the plan, it is mostly read because it gives the reader an idea of what to expect in the content.
The Environmental Analysis describes the company’s environmental forces (competitive, economic, political, legal, technological, and socio-cultural), the target markets, as well as the company’s current marketing objectives and performance.
SWOT Analysis: the company analyses its strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats to help meet the need of its customers. After the analysis, a company must develop a technique to match strength with the opportunities and converting the weakness into strength and threats into opportunities.
Marketing Objectives: for a company to set reasonable market objectives, it must first perform the environmental analysis, the SWOT analysis.
The company is aiming to reach new customers based on their current success to have cumulative growth of at least 50 percent in the next five years. Other objectives include improving the billing cycle as well as launching new products.
Their targets are the new, non-manufacturing companies as well as non-seasonal products, or products that deliver in the off-peak hours.
Marketing Strategies: the success of the objectives depends on the effectiveness of the market strategies. The marketing strategies focus on the future target markets to achieve the objectives.
What are the examples of marketing strategies from this marketing plan? They include products to meet clients’ expectations, pricing, distributing the products as well as the promotion of the products.
The Marketing Organization describes how the company will organize itself to implement the marketing strategies and this includes assigning roles and responsibilities, and time table for completion.
Lastly, Evaluation and Control Segment. This includes the budget to finance the plan as well as measuring the performance with the objectives.
This is another example of a marketing plan you can find helpful. Each point is clearly illustrated on different sections and paragraphs.
Marketing Plan Example #3
This is another unique example of a marketing plan provided by Armenush Archuniani called The Daily Grind marketing plan. This marketing strategy will help those who are exploring small business ideas, like a coffee shop business.
The aim of the business is to create a center where students can relax with a cup of coffee.
While students take the larger percentage, the target market also includes neighbor stores, office owners, and the entire university community.
The cost requirement to start the business followed immediately after the executive summary. The cost covers rent, build up costs, salaries, tax, and other expenses.
The objectives of the business are to generate profits from the first month of operations, to be the best in the area, and to create a comfortable environment for both the students and workers.
The Daily grind presents his strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats. This is important for the business to have proper positioning.
After establishing the market need, SWOT analysis, environmental analysis, “key to success” or market objectives. The future shop owner develops a marketing strategy to achieve a success in the business.
The daily grind intends to use Guerrilla marketing strategies, social media platforms, and discounts, among other tactics to promote the business.
The marketing plan ended with a forecast of future revenues and expenses using the break-even point.
A marketing plan is an important document that outlines an organization’s marketing strategy. The most important part of the plan is the marketing tactics or strategies. The tactics informs the reader how you want to implement your plan. However, the strategies don’t exist without the marketing objectives, and other factors, discussed prior to the marketing strategy.
Hence, what are the examples of marketing strategies? They include paid advertising, content marketing, e-mail marketing, word to mouth, and any other strategy you deem fit to achieve your business goals.
Investors are not just interested in your market objectives, but on how you want to achieve the objectives. Combining the three marketing plan examples will give you multiple ideas on how to write your own marketing plan that wins!