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How To Write a Marketing Plan

2015-10-14 | 2706 Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

How To Write a Marketing Plan.

As an entrepreneur owning a business is one challenging task associated with a lot of risk, but the most erroneous notion most entrepreneurs do is to ignore market planning. So what is marketing planning?


What is a marketing plan (definition):- 

A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan. Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, a marketing plan without a sound strategic foundation is of little use.
Marketing plan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"A marketing plan is good for focusing your energy towards the right actions that will deliver on what you want to accomplish," says Deb Roberts, CEO of Synapse Marketing Solutions based in Denver. "The whole idea of doing one is to try and understand your customers and take action towards delivering your product or service to them."

Base on this I have written out some five basic effective marketing plan you can build on with other marketing plans you can find out there.


1. Situation Analysis.

In understanding the situation analysis you will need to answer some of the bullet list below;

What the industry needs and why it's there.

What problem are people trying to solve from it.

What kind of buyers do you need to consider.

What's your earning potential in the industry.

How much money is spent on marketing this particular niche and what market share can you get with your marketing strategy and budget (if you can answer this particular question then you will be able to get an estimate of what your earning potential is.).

You write your complete product description, benefits and why your product is going to solve the problems buyers are trying to solve better than your competition.

You need to explore all potential buyers you have in your particular niche. Are they old, female, young, male, high income, low income, race/tribe, education, etc.

How do they think? where do they live? how did they find your product? Get in their shoes and explain a typical day they live, their name, their family situation, the emotions they feel, the things they like and don't like, their major fears and so on, this is called a persona or profiling.

Spend time to profile your target groups, you will create a much stronger, personalize and relevant experience for them on your website once they get there. There are lots of tools you can incorporate to get a better data mining for profiling, most people do have such information but find less relevant to utilize them to profile users, this is where web analytics come in handy.

CAUTION: Don't go after everyone! It's better to narrow it down to one or two core target group and reach them effectively where they are going to be and speak to them in their language, the way they want to be spoken to and connected with.

It's your job to make them feel you understand them and can help them solve their problems.


2. Competitive Analysis.

Look at your competition both online and offline. Consider all elements that will take business away from you. How do you compare?

What are your value propositions that make buyers choose you over them? At this stage it's better to do a proper analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) so you can see how you compare to your competition and how you can beat them.

Once you can identify how to beat them, create your value propositions for your customers so they know why they should buy from you over someone else.


3. Main Messaging & Positioning.

In this section, once you have determine who your primary target groups are, defined your ideal personas (get into the heads of your buyers!), in identifying your core competencies and developed value propositions, create your main market messaging. This should be consistent with your branding (if already in existent) and be targeted specifically to your core targeted groups. "SPEAK IN THEIR LANGUAGE" use words they would use, make sure your messages are short, sweet and to the point, most of all, make sure they are eye catching and are RELEVANT to your buyers.

"Sometimes it takes a foot on the desk to figure out your perfect marketing messages" you might have to play around a bit and test them on some target groups (checkout USER TESTING), ask for feed backs. Check with a branding or marketing expert to see if you are on the right track. But ultimately always remember your customers first. "So what you say and how you say it will be most important to them".


4. Online Marketing Strategy.

You need to do your research into each different marketing channel and identify your opportunities and limitations within each. You want to consider all available online channels to you and need to understand them well to pick which is more pertinent to your product and also help determine your budget and placement within each "You practically know all the list".

What is important to include in this step is strong customer retention strategy. It's placed in this step because it can be a direct result of the efforts put forward in each of these sections and thus you must leverage each to keep customers around and coming back for more.

Customer retention is one of the most important sections to pay attention to, you can spend millions of dollars trying to bring in new customers, but if you lose them after their first purchase; you are eventually going to run out of funding and people to market to.

Make sure what you have doing is done well, meaning you must have a plan to keep your converted customers around for as long as possible, bringing them back for more.


5. Financial Analysis

We will look into your sales projections, budgets and time lines. To figure out your sales projections, you look at the industry as a whole and figure out what market share you believe you will get with the plan you have outlined above and your budget. Now consider growth.

There are some important number combinations to consider in projecting your sales, which must include your avearge order value (AOV), website conversion rate, website traffic in number of visitors and possible repeat orders. Here's a quick example of how you would calculate your monthly sales.

eg Janraury = 25,000 visits converted 1%, average of $80 and 30% repurchase that same month:

250000 x 1% x $80 = $20,000

250 (1st time buyers) x 3% (repeated buyers) x $80 (AOV) = $600

i.e January expected sales = $20,600

use this formular as a rule of thumb to analyze your projected sales for every month.

You can add more insight to this market planning by reading more on Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

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Olatunji Adetunji

I am a seo web analyst and have a love for anything online marketing. Have been able to perform researches using the built up internet marketing tool; seo web analyst as a case study and will be using the web marketing tool (platform).

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