Similar to creating a business plan, marketing plans are critical to launching and selling products online and through traditional distribution channels with retailers. Having a well-outlined and written marketing plan is key to reaching customers and selling successfully.
Creating an effective marketing plan to sell products does not have to be a difficult process or task. A company and brand can find a tremendous amount of information online about marketing plans, outlines, and resources to write an effective marketing strategy and plan. There are many books about it and certainly many resources online for marketing plans. Keeping it simple, clean, and straight forward is always a good idea.
Marketing plans can be very flexible and should be edited along the way, as it is necessary and required. They tend to be more flexible unlike a business plan since marketing campaigns and the results of them can quickly change the business landscape.
How to Create an Effective Marketing Plan with Help
To create effective marketing outlines and plans, companies and brands must first understand several areas of their business, market, and marketing techniques available. At times, brands do not have all the necessary information and details to write an effective marketing plan and therefore relay on help from professionals.
Marketing consultants work through marking consulting services to provide all the required intelligence and information to clients to help them understand their market better, opportunities, costs, and time necessary to achieve desired goals.
Marketing consulting services are a great tool to gain valuable knowledge and details prior to making any major decisions and allocating resources towards marketing campaigns. Consultants can help companies and brands define their target market better, help create the proper reports and statistics, and help with the marketing plan.
The Following is Included in Marketing Plans
Here is a list of sections that should be included in a more complete marketing plan. There are several ways and methods of writing these plans. Even though there are variations, most of these sections below are needed in general and used in most of them.
This section is the cornerstone of the marketing plan. The reason, which is the “Why” is critical to success. A company must know what it wants to accomplish and why. In this section, a brand should describe the goals and objectives (similar to an executive summary of a business plan) that it wants to reach and why.
Identify and describe the perfect customer (target market) by their age, sex, income, educational levels, profession, and geographical location. A company must know their customer’s likes, dislikes, and expectations. Who are the customers that are most likely to purchase the products and why?
In this section, the competitors are identified. Indirect and direct competition should be known to any business. Identify competition by strengths and weaknesses of them, unique features, pricing, demand, and other relative information that will give a business a clearer picture on their competition.
Here a company describes its product line. The benefits, advantages, of the goods and services offered. A business should emphasize the unique features of their products here. The product is described in detail here and how it will fill a demand and expectations of the customer.
Hopefully, entrepreneurs have set their pricing through diligent research on the desired market, keeping in mind their competitors. The product has to be priced in accordance to what the market can bear and competitor’s prices. In addition, the business has to be able to make adequate profits based on distribution and sales plans.
In today’s digital world, the marketing strategies are much more complex than in the older days. No longer does radio and TV suffice. A variety of media and Internet type of marketing methods have to be deployed to be successful these days.
Companies should describe in detail how they are going to go about marketing and advertising their business. Marketing methods such as Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, and Print Media may be discussed for the business and desired target market here.
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / FreeDigitalPhotos.net