The Marketing Plan is an important document for both large and newly started organization it’s a very detailed, deeply researched and, hopefully, well written report that evaluate inside and possibly outside the organization.

    The employees working in marketing department have to understand the result of past marketing decision
    The marketing personnel have to understand the market in which they operate.
   They should set the future goals and provides guideline for future marketing efforts that every employee within the organization should understand and follow.

The Marketing Plan is essential because of the following reasons:

    It’s important part of the yearly planning process in the marketing functional area.
    It’s used for specialized strategy for the introduction of new product planning, entering new markets, or trying a new strategy to fix an existing problem.
    It’s a section of business plan used for the proposal of a new business to the financial community.

There are different ways to write marketing plan one of the way is as follows.

Steps of marketing plan

1. Purpose and Mission
2. Situational Analysis
3. Marketing Strategy and Objectives
4. Tactical Programs
5. Budgets, Performance Analysis and Implementation
6. Additional Consideration

This plan is mostly used for individual product and product lines, however, it can also be used in planning one or more strategic business units (SBU).

1.Purpose and Mission

You will start you marketing plan from your mission statement or your purpose of the business to more elaborate the concept of mission statement it will be defined as by answering the questions ” what I do””What I want to do?”You will begin your marketing plan mission statement and also defined you product (mission statement is basically the core massage about the company purpose or answers the question why company exist)

2.Situational Analysis

A situation analysis is the base of the strategic planning process for marketing plan. It is the evaluation of both the internal factors (to identify strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (to identify opportunities and threats) it is the most important section of marketing plan and also very time consuming. The following area should be cover in situational analysis i.e. current product, current target market, current distributor network, current competitors, financial analysis and external forces

Current Products

This section of situational analysis describes the current product which the company is offering to their customer in terms of Product attribute, pricing, distribution, promotion and services offered

Product attribute

Describe the features of the product offered to the customer and how it’s beneficial for them if they use it and as well describe the branding strategies.

Pricing

Describe the price on which company offer their product and services not only to the end user but as well to the distributors, incentives and discounts are also mentioned.

Distribution

Describe the availability of offered products for the consumer or end user including the channel used like benefits received by distributors, shipping process and how they will handle the orders.

Promotion

Describe how product will be promoted through advertising and other promotional program like public relations, sales promotion, personal selling and positioning.

Services offered

Describes the services offer to the end users and distributors after purchase of the product this step is not used for the consumable product it’s for the product which cannot be consumed like computer.

Current Target Market

This section of situational analysis describes the target market approach, demographic and psychographics, characteristics of target audience or customer, Product positioning, Attitudes, purchasing process and market size estimates

Target market approach

Via which strategy the marketers will approach their target audience or customers?
Different approaches is used like mass marketing and segmentation approach it’s depend on the product and thinking of marketer that which approach would be batter to approach your target audience or customers

Demographic and psychographics

It describes the profile of your target audience to you want offer your product the profile includes the following factors gender, income occupation age education attitude, purchasing behavior, geographic region this will help us to determine that what is the taste, range of buying and what benefit they get from a product for which they are using a specific product

Product positioning and attitude

Evaluate the customers that what is their perceptions about the product which have relevant attributes doing so you will come to know that your target audience or customer will like your product or not.

Purchasing process

Ask different questions from your customer from which you come to know that

    How the target audience or customers make their purchases?
    What make them to purchase the specific product?
    How they make decisions for buying a product?
    Is the consumer himself or herself is the purchaser?
    Who or what factors persuade the purchase?

Market size estimates

This portion describe the size estimation of the potential market, estimation of current market and future growth rates for estimation you have to get the answer of the following question

Which is the largest market if all is buyer? (Answer will be estimation of potential market and current market)

What is the percentage that actually potential market purchases? (Answer will be estimation of future growth)

Current distributor network

This section of situational analysis describes the channel through which your companies sell and deliver the product
Different options for company for distribution.

    Sell direct to customer
    Sell indirect or through a distributor
    Sell with the combination of both

You should know the required benefits of distributors which will describe you the role of the product in the distributor’s network.

    What is the effect of a product in the distributors business?
    What is the importance of the product in the distributor’s strategy?
    What is the perception of distributors about product?

By these questions you will come to know that how distributors view your product compare to competitors product.As the purchasing process and demographic of target customer is include in current target market section you should also include distributors demographic and purchasing process in this section because if you are selling your product indirectly then distributors becomes your customers

Current Competitors

This section of situational analysis describes the current competitors and products which they are offering to their customers in terms of Product attribute, pricing, distribution, promotion and services offered and competitor is described in terms of strength and weaknesses and consider marketing issues like R&D capabilities, target market perception, financial standing, and future competitive threats

Current Financial Condition

This section of situational analysis describes the current sale analysis which include total market sale, total for marketing product and total for competition and it is sub divided into different categories i.e. Total by segments or product which include total for segments, total for company product and total for competition after that Total by the channel of distribution which include total for each channel, companies product by channel and total for competition the last category in this section is Total by the geographic region which include total for each region, company product by region and total competition by region

Now you would be thinking that why we mention the current sale analysis and the sub divided categories it will help us for profitable analysis which include Revenues and Marketing expenses

Profitable analysis

Revenues

This section is covered from the current sale analysis and its sub divided categories.

Marketing expenses

Two types of expenses are there

1. Direct expenses are those expenses which is directly tied with product
2. Indirect expenses the example of the indirect expenses is administrative expense and promotional expense etc

Note: As this section is based on calculation or computation so most of the part of report is graphically presented

Analysis of external forces

This section of situational analysis describes the trend and events which may have impact on the product it covers the following areas social and cultural, demographic, economic, technological political and legal, regulatory, ethical

Summary

At the end make a summarize the information of situational analysis into SWOT.

    Strength
    Weakness
    Opportunity
    Threats

3.Marketing Strategy and Objectives

This portion of marketing plan describes what you want to achieve? And how you want to achieve? To give clearer picture we should describe it via the key strategies and objective for the product i.e.  , Financial Objectives, Marketing Strategy and Marketing Objectives

Financial Objectives

This section of marketing strategy and objective mention channel sale, Customer sale by volume, growth percentage, by segments and by channel margins, profitability and ratios are also stated in a manner that to what level company want to achieve  for example Revenues of  $2.1 million by year-end to realize a growth rate of 8.25% compared to the previous year.

Marketing Strategy

This section of marketing strategy and objective identify the marketing strategy but before starting this section you have to go back to the objective of the company because strategies are always use to achieve the objectives one and more than one strategy can be use to achieve the objective and for selecting best strategies you have to consider situational analysis you will come to know about the like and dislike of customer let’s take an example of Accounting firm marketing strategy i.e.

    Revenue diversification, including service and industry specialty.
    Focus on fixed fee structure.
    Training for awareness of marketing.

Marketing Objectives

This section of marketing strategy and objective determine the marketing objective of the company and we can say that what the company wants to achieve from its marketing decisions? For determining the marketing objective you have to use the non financial market metrics I.e. Target market objective which is sub divided in total market share by segments, channels, total number of customer, percentage of new customer, retained customer, purchases, and volume of purchases after that comes the section of your Promotional objectives which is sub divided into level of brand, brand equity, awareness of customer about the brand/company and sales force after that comes the section of your channel objective which is sub divided into total number of dealers, percentage of new dealer and percentage of retained dealer in channel objective you have to also mention the order processing and delivery which include on time rate, shrinkage rate, correct order rate next to channel objective is Market research objectives which include two things that is studies initiated and studies completed Other objective can also be included in marketing objective section like R&D objective which consist of one portion that id product development now let’s take an example of marketing objective of accounting firm

    To comprehend an annual growth rate of 6.25% more than the previous year.
    To diversify our revenue flow through increased business consulting activities to account for 16% or more of total revenues.
    To create a visible profile through establishing mutual recommendation sources with the following:

(1) banks

(2) Credit union

(3) Law firm

(4) Brokerage firms

    Educate employees to understand, appreciate, and strengthen their role in marketing the firm.

4.Tactical program

This is the most important part of marking plan this part carry the details which used to achieve the marketing objective which is mentioned in step 3 of marketing plan (marketing strategy and objective) it is very detailed section of marketing plan this section consist of six key decisions i.e. Target Markets, Product, Promotion, Pricing, Distribution and Other Areas

Target Markets (tactical program)

In this section of tactical program we will discuss the target market it may remain same which is discussed in the situational analysis may be differ from it if it remains the same than  the justification continuing with this market would be easy for new market more the requirement is very detailed. This section also carries discussion on sale forecast which will include the best case, worst case and probable case so first of all let’s discuss the target market what requirements are needed

Target market

    Write a summery for current target market
    Point out the changes occurred in the plan
    Write summery of the changes occurred
    Write Reasons for changes
    Write tactics for target market

Product positioning
    Write a summery for product positioning
    Point out the changes occurred in the plan
    Write the summery of the changes occurred
    Write reasons for changes
    Write tactics for product positioning

Sale forecast
    Write a summary of current sale
    Point out the changes occurred in the plan
    Write the summery of the changes occurred
    Write reasons for changes
    Give description of fore cast

We mean by the changes occurred is that what changes occurred in the target market, product positioning and sale forecast which was discussed in the situational analysis (step 3 of marketing plan)

Product (tactical program)

In this section of tactical program we will discuss the decision made for existing product and mention the all aspect of the product i.e. branding labeling and packaging and obviously the decision will also have a direct impact on distributors.

 Write a summary of product decisions for customer and distributor In summery you will give the description of the product which include Category, product line information, features, benefits for customers, branding, packaging and labeling
    Point out the changes occurred in the plan
    Write the reasons for changes occurred

Now let’s discuss the new products tactical program

    Development  stages and process of product
    Availability time of product
    Point out the changes occurred
    Reasons for the changes
    Description of the plan changes
    Give description to the distribution network

Promotion (tactical program)

In this section of tactical program we will discuss the decision made for promoting products the major areas which is covered in promotion is advertising, public relation, personal selling and sale promotion in this section information are basically shown in tables and graphs because it contain the time tables of the commercials and adds in the magazine and newspapers etc. other than that also have the time table of different days seasons like winter time table summer timetable other then that the holiday timetable.

    Write a summary for current promotional programs in the light of four promotional areas
    Message and theme which you want to convey to your target audience
    Define and summarize the methods used
    Then describe the interrelationship of promotional areas
    Point out the changes occurred
    Write a summary of changes
    Give reasons why this changes occurred
    Give description to the end users
    Description for the importance of the four promotional areas
    Write the messages and source via which you want to convey the massages to the audience
    Identify all this information to distributors

Distribution (tactical program)
In this section of tactical program we will discuss the distribution plan it’s the ways how to gets the product to the customer distribution have a high impact on the cost of product that’s why this as consider to be the important part for the tactical program good distribution may result the success of the product.

    Write a summary for current distribution network Type of channel, Level of market coverage, outlets handling product, distribution cost should be mentioned in the summery.
    Point out the changes occurred in the plan
    Write the summery of the changes
    Give reasons for changes
    Give description of plan changed

Pricing (tactical program)

In this section of tactical program we will discuss the pricing decisions complex responsibility for which the knowledge of the market, customer and competitors’ economic conditions are needed. In this section of tactical program graph and use of table will be helpful in presenting the trends and pricing decisions in the different categories.

    Write a summary of current pricing decisions product, segment, channel, geography, adjustments and allowances should be mentioned in the summery
    Point out the changes occurred in the plan
    Write the summary for the change occurred
    Give reasons for the change
    Give description of planned changes which include the factors affecting price setting i.e. cost factor, fixed cost to be cover, variable cost, demand consideration, economic condition and pricing options

Additional consideration (tactical program)
In this section of tactical program we will discuss the of the other marketing decision area. Two additional considerations are there customer support service and marketing research.
Customer Support Services

    Write a summary of current customer support services types of services offer, customer being serviced and service delivery method should be mentioned in the summery
     Point out the changes occurred in the plan
    Write the summery for changed occurred
    Give description of the planned changes which include objective, types of offers, customer being serviced and service delivery method

Market Research

Write a summary of current market research. efforts project and research responsibilities should be mentioned in the summary.

    Point out the changes occurred
    Write a summery for changed occurred
    Give description of the planned changes

5.Budgets, Performance Analysis and Implementation

In this part of marketing plan budgets and their performance analysis and execution this section of marketing plan will be approve by higher authority or management level. This section consists of three key topics i.e.

    Marketing budget
    Performance analysis
    Implementation schedule

Marketing budget

This section of Budgets, Performance Analysis and Implementation is based on the spending requirement to meet the objective of plan. The presentation of important budget issues will be in graph and tables.

Make outline of spending  for tactical marketing decision which will include the tactical categories type of service offered, type of advertising and marketing research expense which will be shown in month or year and also show spending by product, segment and distribution network

Performance analysis

This section of Budgets, Performance Analysis and Implementation hold different performance metrics which include financial implication of the marketing plan in the way of contribution of the company bottom line and this information will be again presented by graph and tables

  Mention the marketing contribution  in terms and revenues and expenses which will breakdown in to product segment and distribution
  After mentioning the marketing contribution then you have to do break even analysis which include fixed cost, variable cost and the break even should be shown in graph
  Ratio analysis

Implementation schedule

This section of Budgets, Performance Analysis and Implementation discuss that how the pan   will be carried out and by whom.

    Write the details for the tasks and their responsibility
    Point out the responsibilities for the important tasks

6.Additional Consideration

The last part of marketing plan discuss the negative effect of the factor on the plan that can be internal or external internal factor can be production problem due to budget, loss of funding, loss of the key employees working on the project the external factor could be supply chain, legal environment, societal changes, economical issue, governmental concern