How to Build a Marketing Plan

How to Build a Marketing Plan – ideas to think about and questions to ask

Reference – Marketing Real People, Real Choices, 8th edition.

  1. Perform a Situation Analysis
    1. Internal Environment
      1. How does the marketing support your company’s mission, objectives and growth strategies?
      2. What is the corporate culture and how does it influence marketing activities?
  • What has your company done in the past with its target markets? Products? Pricing?  Promotion?  Supply chain?
  1. What resources including management expertise does your company have that make us unique? How has your company added value through its offerings in the past?
  1. External Environment
    1. What is the nature of the overall domestic and global market for your product? How big is the market?  Who primarily buys your product?
    2. What are the key trends in the economic environment? The technological environment?  The regulatory environment?  The social and cultural environment?
  2. SWOT Analysis
    1. Based on this analysis of the internal and external environments, what are the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
  3. Set Marketing Objectives
    1. What does marketing need to accomplish to support the objectives of your firm/company?
  4. Develop Marketing Strategies

    1. Select Target Markets and Positioning
      1. How do consumers and organizations go about buying, using and disposing of your product?
      2. Which segments should you select to target? If a consumer market – what are the relevant demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation approaches and the media habits of the targeted segments?  If a business market – what are the relevant organizational demographics?
    2. Product Strategies
      1. What is your core product? Is it an actual product or an augmented product?
      2. What product line/product mix strategies should you use?
  • How should you package, brand and label your product?
  1. How an attention to service quality enhance your success?
  1. Pricing Strategies
    1. How will you get your product to the consumer and through what channel? How much must you sell to break even at this price?  What pricing tactics will you use?
  2. Distribution Strategies
    1. How do you get your product to consumers in the best and most efficient manner?
    2. How will you integrate supply chain elements to maximize the value you offer to our customers and other stakeholders?
  • What types of retailers, if any, should you work with to sell your product?
  1. Promotional Strategies
    1. How will you develop a consistent message about your product? How will you generate buzz?
    2. What approaches to advertising, sales promotion, social media, direct/database marketing, personal selling and public relations should you use?
  • What role should a sales force play in the marketing communications plan? How should direct marketing be used?
  1. Implement and Control the Marketing Plan
    1. Action Plans (for all marketing mix elements)
      1. How will you make your marketing plan happen?
    2. Responsibility
      1. Who is responsible for accomplishing each aspect of implementing the plan?
    3. Timeline
      1. What is the timing for the elements of the marketing plan?
    4. Budget
      1. What budget do you need to accomplish your marketing objectives?
    5. Measurement and Control
      1. How do we measure the actual performance of our marketing plan and compare it to your planned performance and progress toward reaching your marketing objectives?

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