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Writing a Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan is an important part of your overall business plan. Once you understand what your business wants to achieve you can implement a marketing plan that will help you achieve it.

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1) Create a business plan


Your marketing plan is an important part of your overall business plan. Once you understand what your business wants to achieve you can implement a marketing plan that will help you achieve it.

2) Identify your market


Once you have decided upon the type of products or service you are going to provide, you should research the market that you are targeting. You should research the different segments of your market and identify if the market is growing, declining and what opportunities exist.

3) Research the competition


Analyse your competition, are there any gaps in the market or room for improvement? You should find out who your competition is, what they offer at what price and determine what it is that you can offer that is different. Can you provide a Unique Selling Point (USP) based on a gap in your market and a need for your customer?

Before you have defined the exact product / services that you are going to provide, ensure your decision is based on the needs and desires of your potential customers.

 

4) Understand your potential customers


Once you have identified who your potential customers are you need to understand their lifestyle. What are their needs? wants? where do they live? what can they afford? where do they go? Carry out as much research as possible, the more you learn about their shared characteristics the more focussed your marketing plan will be, therefore the more likely you are to reach your customer.

5) Build your objectives


Your marketing objectives provide the starting point for your marketing plan & strategy. They provide a focus for your business and should establish where you wish to be, based upon your understanding of both your business and your potential customer.

Examples of objectives:

– Increase overall sales by 15% over the next twelve months.
– Increase product awareness among existing customers by 30% within one year

 

6) Creating a strategy


In order for you to achieve your objectives you need to implement a strategy. Develop the right marketing mix for your business. Try using the ‘ FOUR P’s ’ to help you position your place in the market.

Product
Describe your product / service? Does it meet the needs of who you are targeting? What is the core benefit? What do your customers want?


Price
What will you charge? What is your gross profit? If you use discounts how much do you need to sell to break even?

 

Place
Where will the customer buy your product from? Are you selling on-line, in a shop etc? How will the product be distributed to the end user? Do you need any back office systems to get the product to the customer?


Promotion
How will it be promoted? Will the marketing communications reach your consumer?

The benefits and opportunities you have identified will help you distinguish what differentiates your product from others. It will also help you understand your weaknesses (what you don’t want to communicate to others!)
The message you communicate should highlight your benefits and speak directly to the needs of your target audience.

 

7) Promotional Method


How will you reach your customers? Consider what they read and where they go to find out information. What communication method would be most effective based on their lifestyle.


Popular options: * Newspapers * Magazines * Advertisements * Flyers * Postcards * Portfolios * Website * Email * Sales * Press Releases * Trade * Directories * Networking * Seminars * Word of Mouth * Google Ads

 

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