A Template for Your Marketing Plan by Bobette Kyle

When deciding how you will create your marketing plan, it may seem as if there are nearly as many methods as businesses. In one sense this is true. You will find, however, that whatever the final format there are certain elements that appear in most plans:

Executive Summary
-An overview of the plan.

Industry Analysis
– SWOT, Porter’s Five Forces, or other discussion of the industry and how the company fits within it

Your Ideal Customer
– Target market demographics: income levels; interests; activities; living environment; other geographic descriptions; psychological mindsets; political affiliations; family situations; age ranges; tastes; etc.
– Industry or societal trends that affect your customers
– Your ideal customers’ needs and wants, and corresponding product benefits

Marketing Strategy
– Overall objectives and mission
– How you stand out from your competitors, from your customers’ viewpoint
– General strategies to reach goals and accomplish your mission
– Marketing mix, including specific marketing programs
– Products or services
– Pricing strategies
– Distribution channels
– Promotions, advertising and other marketing programs
– Size of total customer market and growth projections
– Sales growth projections

Financial analysis
– Pro forma profit and loss (P&L) for each product and in total: sales forecasts, cost of goods, marketing budgets, fixed overhead and variable expense projections, profit margins
– Breakeven analysis
– “What-if” scenarios (sensitivity analysis)

– Measurable goals and success metrics for each program
– Intermediate measurements for monitoring progress

Template Software

The most straightforward way to obtain a template–and built-in help with developing the plan–is with software, such as the following: