A marketing plan is part of an overall business strategy. Strong marketing strategy is the cornerstone of a good-running marketing program so that measurable objectives can be achieved quickly and easily. However, while a well thought out marketing plan typically includes a list of recommended activities, without an established strategic framework, it’s of little use to any company.
For companies that don’t already have an extensive marketing program, developing one usually involves hiring an outside firm to provide a full service executive summary or management report. In some circumstances, however, marketing strategies will only involve specific activities, such as print or radio advertisements. In these circumstances, creating a situation analysis or executive summary will allow the principals to clearly define their short-term and long-term goals, as well as their relative timeline. In many cases, these are the same activities that a company undertakes on a regular basis. However, when the activity isn’t frequently conducted, it becomes much more difficult to evaluate its results.
Defining the short-term and long-term goals of any company often involves using a variety of different marketing tactics. The strategy that best addresses the company’s needs at any given time requires a different approach than what might work for a year-long campaign. Therefore, establishing what are known as marketing goals will help the company to develop a concrete marketing strategy. Often these goals will include the development of new products, a change in focus, or a consolidation of all customer relationships. Defining the different marketing tactics that should be used to achieve each goal is also a significant part of any overall marketing plan.
Developing and executing a strong marketing strategy means that a company has defined their expectations for success. When looking to hire a consultant, make sure they have experience in providing executive summaries. Many companies do not provide the necessary information to assess their current level of success and end up making tactical mistakes in their marketing plans that lead to unneeded complications and increased expenses. An effective marketing plan should be able to provide a concise executive summary that addresses its most important objectives. A summary should provide an executive summary of the key elements of the plan in a logical manner.
The first step in developing an effective marketing plan is to conduct market research. The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of what customers want, what they need, and what makes competitors’ products and services superior to those of your own. This executive summary will outline how you plan to meet these three objectives. You should also address why competitors are your competitors, how their products or services are different than yours, and how they currently serve the market.
Next, your executive summary should address the audience that will be targeted by your marketing efforts. Your marketing plans should target a specific group of people, such as buyers, employees, and customers. By targeting a specific target audience, you ensure that the demographic features of the key elements that will help you reach this group.
After addressing these key points, you should next create a flow chart of your marketing strategy that clearly represents your target audience, your overall strategy, and your milestones. The flow chart should provide you with a visual representation of your marketing strategy. The first stage of the diagram should pinpoint your target audience. Next, you should provide information on the market you plan to enter. The final stage of the flow chart should visually display your milestones.
Once you have created your flow chart, you should then mentally walk through your marketing activities. Review each activity and identify which of the activities are the easiest ones to execute. For example, if you want to promote your business using Facebook, you can visually mentally walk through how you will advertise your business using Facebook. In addition, by using Facebook to advertise your products or services, you can easily determine which of the different marketing channels are effective.