A marketing plan is a tool used by a business to show investors how the company intends to present itself to potential customers to meet definable goals. New businesses and businesses that are changing their marketing strategy are among those most likely to write a marketing plan. A marketing plan has six specific sections, starting with a summary. The marketing objectives section includes the overall goals of the strategy, while the situation analysis and target market sections detail the company’s current situation and primary audience. The strategies section talks about the marketing strategy itself, and the tracking section at the end shows how the business intends to track all goals.
When one sets out to write a marketing plan, the first section should be the introduction. This has an executive summary and a synopsis of everything that will be discussed within the marketing plan. While this section is presented first, it is best to write it last, so one can go through all the points in the plan and ensure nothing is left out of the summary.
The second section to include if one is to write a marketing plan is the marketing objectives sections. Here, the writer discusses definable goals of the new marketing plan. For example, instead of simply saying the idea is to increase sales, the plan might indicate the goal is to increase sales by 20 percent. This section also discusses just how the marketing plan intends to do that.
In the situation analysis, the writer will detail the company’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to the marketing plan. To write an effective marketing plan, this section requires that the business evaluate all internal and external factors that can help or hurt the company. The writer also will detail how the company will play to its strengths, and how it can avoid or minimize its weaknesses.
Within the target market section, the writer should detail the demographic and audience the marketing plan is seeking to attract. To make this area effective, the company will need to research its customers, how much money those customers make, the age of those customers and other factors. Psychographics, or customers’ attitudes and behaviors, are considered in this area.
The strategy section is where the writer should show exactly how the marketing will take place. To write a marketing plan that efficiently shows the strategy, the writer must first talk about what type of advertising the company will do and how it wants to reach the customer. Market methods, such as marketing through magazines and radio, also will be highlighted.
In the final section, tracking, the writer should show how the company will track all definable goals and marketing effectiveness. For example, if using direct mail marketing, the writer will write the contact information of the business where the response letters will be counted. This allows investors to know how the business will track goals and helps the company outline the best way to track its marketing.