How to write a marketing plan for a business plan

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How to write a marketing plan

A marketing plan is like a GPS for your business: it shows you the best way to reach your sales and revenue goals while avoiding any time-consuming and costly errors along the way. BDC Senior Business Advisor Mallika Kazim provides some tips for developing a marketing plan that will help map out your route and keep your business on course.

A marketing plan outlines your intended marketing/advertising activities for a specific period, usually over the next 12 months. It describes how you’ll reach, attract and persuade customers to buy your products or services, with clear goals, actions and accountabilities.

While large corporations might have an overarching marketing strategy with individual plans for each part of the strategy, Kazim recommends entrepreneurs with smaller businesses keep things simple.

How to write a marketing plan for a business plan

Half the buyers of branded fashion watches are between 18 and 34 years of age. This group, which purchases more watches per capita than those older, is our primary market segment. Watch purchases are more likely by consumers in the northeast and Midwest. Many purchases are expected to be impulse, requiring strong point-of-purchase support. Seventy percent of the market is concentrated with strong competition from Swatch, Fossil, Guess?, and Anne Kline. We have extensive experience in the manufacture of innovative, high quality, precision plastics and timing devices permitting us to offer the consumer value in a branded fashion watch. Additionally, we have experience distributing products into 75 percent of the outlets for branded fashion watches.

General will introduce a new product, the innovative Spree watch, using penetration pricing, extensive advertising, and expanded distribution in order to increase our revenues and growth rate.

The Spree watch has strong product benefits compared to current market offerings. To achieve our objectives we will offer our unique watch in a variety of designs at a suggested retail price of $45. Our current distribution covers 75 percent of the market. At this time we will not expand our distribution to access the jewelry store retail channel. We will increase our sales force by 5 persons and add a sales trainer to support for our market plan. Advertising of one million dollars will emphasis the unique design of the watch and is weighted toward print and point-of-purchase displays. This and television advertising will be scheduled two-thirds in the first six months of the campaign. To achieve consumer awareness in the first year, our advertising voice share will be considerably higher than that of the four market leaders.

General’s core business is industrial timing devices and consumer clocks, based on skills in manufacturing high quality timing movements and plastic casings. This market plan is based on providing consumers with a high quality, innovative watch. It will be offered in a variety of styles for both men and women. The casing and movement has other potential applications not discussed in this plan.

Our 1995 profits of 30 million dollars represent 7.5 percent of total sales. Sales growth has slowed to a current level of 5 percent annually. Growth in current markets is expected to be limited. The Spree watch is one of several projects with the potential to improve General’s growth rate.

The Spree watch will compete directly with several other branded fashion watches. The market size for branded fashion watches is forecast to be $524 million retail dollars in 1998, growing to $721 million by 2002. Annual market growth is expected to exceed six percent through 2002, exceeding our current annual sales growth.

Those under 35 years of age purchase slightly over 50 percent of all branded fashion watches as shown in the Table 1. The highest purchase prevalence is those from 25 to 34 who purchase 74 percent more watches per capita than those the average consumer. Purchase behavior is expected to differ among age segments and by gender. Young females [18-24 years of age] are expected to be intense purchasers. This group is likely to be very styling conscious. Women in the 25 to 34 age group will be our second significant segment, expected to buy more watches than any other age-sex segment.

Consumer purchases of branded fashion watches also vary by region as shown in Table 2. An index of relative watch sales by regions shows that sales are above average in the east north central, west north central, north central, and midatlantic states. Product introduction is likely to be more successful in the states in these regions.

Swatch has changed watch buying habits by encouraging ownership of multiple low-priced, carefully designed branded fashion watches. Brand switching and experimentation by consumers is easy for low priced watches, assuming availability. Consumers are very design oriented when buying branded fashion watches. Watch attributes that we consider most important include watch and band design, packaging, price, and durability. Distribution and display are very important in this market and can encourage impulse purchases for both personal use and as gifts.

Consumers are reached through five types of outlets.. We currently have access to four of these channels, representing 75 percent of watch sales. Channel development is necessary to reach the total watch market. A majority of branded fashion watches are currently purchased at department stores. We will take advantage of our strong distribution through department, discount, and drug stores to assure widespread availability of Spree watches. Jewelry store channel development will be deferred until we are established in our traditional retail channels.

Although there are fourteen competitors in this market, there is substantial concentration. Swatch, Fossil, Guess?, and Anne Kline are strong competitors, holding 70 percent of the market. Swatch and Fossil have strong manufacturing and distribution skills, while Guess? and Anne Kline have less extensive distribution networks but strong name recognition in fashion. Fossil and Swatch are strong at the lower price lines. Branded fashion watches are a relatively new product category. Although pioneered by Swatch, there is considerable opportunity for new entrants as demonstrated by Fossil and Guess?.

Marketing plan examples

Knowing how to create a marketing plan and some key components that should go into one are only half the battle… You still need to actually compile the information and create a marketing plan proposal that will wow the powers that be.

To give you some inspiration for your next business and marketing plan template, take a look at some of the best sample marketing plan examples we’ve found. These will show you how your proposals could look in the real world and help you see how the various categories relate to one another to create a thorough marketing plan proposal that your company can get behind:

1. Contently content strategy waterfall

Contently strategy waterfall

The straightforward design of this one-page marketing plan provides a clear workflow that users can follow, with extra bullet points to expand on the various categories included.

You can use this business and marketing plan template to provide guidance on how to compose your next market plan proposal and ensure you cover all the marketing plan steps necessary to wow.

2. Lush marketing plan

Lush egg matrix

In terms of actual content, Lush’s marketing plan contains details on market segmentation, SWOT analysis, packaging, and the overall retail experience customers expect from the brand. It also highlights the brand’s mission statement, vision, and values and how these connect to their customers. There’s virtually nothing missing from this example.

3. Coca-Cola Content 2020 Initiative

The strategic marketing plan the marketing team has produced here a little unusual in that it takes the form of an 18-minute video, but this powerful brand has done a great job of ensuring every second is engaging and relevant, and there’s even a surprise at the end!

The video format for this plan works well as there’s a firm focus on storytelling and creating conversations and provides a valuable insight into the massive world of content marketing that Coca-Cola encompasses. We highly recommend you take a look at this rare treat.

4. Naperville Park District comprehensive marketing plan example

Naperville Park District

Leaving literally no stone unturned, Naperville has dubbed this plan “a living document,” and has made their intention to continuously update and review the plan over the next five years incredibly clear.

Because the plan spans such a long time, you can expect it to be a comprehensive guide covering everything from the business mission statement to public relations to marketing budget and pricing strategy challenges.

5. Starbucks one-page marketing plan example

Starbucks is known for its consistent branding and strong social media presence, but this one-page marketing plan example from the business is surprisingly concise. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this short and sweet marketing plan has left anything out…

Starbucks-marketing-plan-example - Stolen from Venngage

This comprehensive guide contains clear and easily organized categories, simple bullet points, and a straightforward one-page design that makes everything simple at first glance. There’s nothing that we can see missing from this marketing plan example, and it’s a great illustration of how you don’t need 79 pages of information to create an effective marketing plan.

A living document

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking their marketing plans and strategies should be one-off documents that don’t need to be altered. But this is wrong. Your strategy shouldn’t be completed and put in a draw. It should be constantly reviewed and revised to keep up with the needs of your business, changing customer appetites, etc.

The best companies know that the only way to consistently attract new customers, create compelling blog content, or achieve any of your other marketing objectives is to treat plans like living documents… Updating as you go to ensure everything is always as fresh and relevant as possible. So, you can use your marketing plan to achieve your goals and take your business to the next level.

living document

How do you write a good marketing plan?

A good marketing plan will clearly define the who, what, where, why, when, and how of any promotional activities your brand will be undertaking in a given time frame. It should be viewed as a “living document” in that you must continuously review and alter (when necessary) to ensure your plan is always in line with your brand’s mission statement, values, and objectives.

What is a 5 point marketing plan?

You can build your plan based on the Five Ps of Marketing for a simplified marketing plan sample. These are Place, Price, Product, Promotion, and People. We also add Process and Physical evidence to this list to create a more comprehensive marketing plan that leaves no room for confusion.

How do you write a simple marketing plan?

What is in a marketing plan?

Simply put, a marketing plan acts as a roadmap for your marketing content, campaigns, and strategies. It will include everything your team needs to know about how their marketing efforts will relate to one another and the business as a whole and what targets need to be met.

A good marketing plan will clarify what everyone should be doing, what the business hopes to achieve, why specific channels are being used, who the target audience is, and much more.rnrn