Business is an important form of investment, where the main goal is to sell and make a profit. Many people who invest their capital in business can either succeed or fail. But failure can be minimized if you follow a carefully developed strategic marketing plan.
Definition, Purpose, Benefits and How to Create Your Marketing Plan
Marketing Plan Definition
The success of your business begins with creating a marketing plan, which will lead to a profit in the end. This will help you to remain stable, in spite of any changes, to win consumer preferences, to advance in the market and attract loyal employees. Thus, this is a document that in general defines the strategy of the enterprise's behavior in the market.
Purpose of a Marketing Plan
The plan prepares a ready-made instruction for the whole operation of the company. A marketing business plan is your chronological guide that will lead your company to success. The whole structure of the company will work in such a way that each part will act rationally and effectively. This will also determine the status of the company in the future.
Qualitatively prepared marketing plan for the product solves the following tasks:
- Gives a description of the current and future situation of the company. Includes SWOT analysis and evaluation of past performance of the company.
- Contains the goals of marketing activities for the next 3-5 years, with a more detailed description of the goals for one year ahead.
- Contains a plan of concrete actions with instructions of responsible persons and terms of performance of works.
- Contains budget requirements for effective implementation of planned activities.
- Includes a control procedure: a plan of control points and indicators on which marketing work can be evaluated.
Benefits to a Marketing Plan
Review the following advantages of planning and try to implement them into your business:
- Unite with your employees in a single whole to achieve common goals. A marketing business plan will require your employees to act. As the head of the business, you need to foster personal confidence to get the best results, achieve common goals and to promote success over a certain period of time. Many companies fail because they do not understand the value of the marketing plan. Remember that your employees also want to feel part of the team. Nothing can be compared with the sense of satisfaction that they experience, combining to fulfill common goals.
- This will help you stick to a clear line of conduct. It is proved that without a plan in the first 5-10 years the company is exposed to a great threat of disintegration. The marketing business plan will help you to carefully study the situation in the market. In return, business problems will be solved easier if something goes wrong. Your employees can bring something realistic to the solution of issues that are easily accessible, for example, consideration of potential marketing opportunities that have not been implemented so far, and planning to achieve new heights.
- A business plan will create a solid base of business views. Competition in our days is great. Without a ready plan, it will be difficult to maintain competition. Moreover, if you are going to deal with things that have nothing to do with everyday business operations, it will only bring an extra headache.
Steps to Create a Marketing Plan
Marketing planning process includes the following stages.
- The first thing to do is to understand the key trends of the market. First of all, assess the changes in the consumption habits of the target market (consumers): what properties are coming to the fore, how is the attitude to quality and value to the product changing, how is the purchasing power of the market and its sex-age structure changing, determine the new fashion trends in the lifestyle of the target audience. It is also important for the manufacturing company to understand the trends in design, packaging, raw materials. Carefully look at the media trends that will help you find undervalued communication channels.
- The second step is to evaluate the product of the company, its quality, and perception in comparison with competitors, its popularity, and representation on the market. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your product and understand who really appreciates your product on the market and for what.
- The third step is to determine which consumer group is your core audience. First of all, proceed from the already existing loyal customer base.
- Build a perfect situation: what position in the market in comparison with competitors should your product occupy in order to be most attractive to the target audience. What advantages should your product have? Compare the ideal situation with the actual perception of the brand, and you will get the necessary vector of the company's development.
- Knowing the ideal position to which one should strive, one can single out strategic business goals, develop a sales growth strategy, build distribution, develop an assortment and promote the brand to the market. The marketing plan approves the elements of the strategy (goals for market share, target market, positioning and long-term competitive advantages), which must remain unchanged for at least 3-5 years. Each year, these elements should undergo minimal adjustments and be supported by new tactical programs aimed at achieving strategic goals. With any significant change in the elements of the strategy, the company almost always has to reposition its products.
- Knowing the actual situation of the product, you can draw up a plan of tactical actions for the year that will allow you to approach the ideal position of the goods in the industry.