WHERE DO YOU START?
If you have never written a marketing plan, then you can use this as a basis to begin. I urge you to work with a professional marketing individual to help implement the marketing plan if you do not have anyone in your company with the knowledge and experience.
I talked about creating a pr marketing strategy in a recent blog for a company, and that you should first have a marketing plan in place in order to begin your marketing strategy. Many PR Clients think if they just put together a simple plan, or a strategy, they will succeed. This is a crapshoot. You might get by for a short time, but without a definite marketing plan, it is possible to fail. Some of the reasons will be evident when you see what it takes to write a solid marketing plan.
If you think that marketing is selling or advertising, then you are wrong! Marketing concentrates on customers and what they need (or want). Customers are the essence of marketing – they are the source of sales and profits. Now that this is said, let’s move onto the writing.
The marketing plan should be for your company, not a copy or extraction of other plans and fit it into your company. You need to do your own research. These are a few of the things you need to know before writing the marketing plan.
• List who are your competitors
• Do you know your potential customers (create a profile of your customer base. Whether you are a B2B business, or retail, a profile should be identified.
• Describe your product(s) or services that are offered
• Know your actual costs and what will it take to get this to market. To do this list your entire overhead and other operating costs to know what profit margins you need to survive and grow.
Once you have gathered this critical information you still need to do more research. For example, you need do the following:
• analysis of your current market
• your business objectives
• key strategies
• steps to achieving your objectives
• proposed budget
After you have all these facts, you can now begin to do an outline of the marketing plan. Then you can start doing the writing.
As you can see, if you have not written a plan, it takes a lot of serious research and objectivity. I highly recommend hiring a marketing professional to guide you along so the plan is something that is designed to help your company grow, rather than adding information you “think is best” and might not point your company in the right direction. If you need help, call George Carson at Carson Marketing, Inc. He will get you going and prepare you in handling your next level of growth.