Sample Marketing Plan Outline



This Sample Marketing Plan Outline is my attempt to give you the building blocks for creating your own generic Marketing Plan. What I have tried to show is that the idea of creating marketing plans is not as complicated as you might think and that there are a few simple and key fundamentals that you can build on. Please visit the other pages in my Marketing Plans section to see a more detailed Marketing Plan template and other vital information.

Sample Marketing Plan Outline


One approach to create marketing plans is to fill out a Marketing Plan Template and this may be the appropriate approach in order to incorporate your business or get a business loan from a bank. However, my approach with this sample marketing plan outline is to take you through the thought process of an example marketing plan by focusing on your Opportunity Analysis, Organizational Analysis and Market Analysis which are the building blocks that your Marketing Plan is comprised of.


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Creating Marketing Plans (Video)Marketing Plan OutlineMarketing Plan TemplateMarketing Plan ExampleMarketing Communication PlanAdvertising Marketing PlansSample Marketing Plan Consultant




Sample Marketing Plan Outline:
In the Beginning...

The need for a Marketing Plan begins with having a business idea that you want to accomplish. This leads to the obvious questions around the what, who, where and how you are going to accomplish this and the answers to those questions are what make up the meat and bones of your Marketing Plan. It really should be that simple and if you follow the process of simply planning out your business you will ultimately end up with your Marketing Plan.

Sample Marketing Plan Outline


Sample Marketing Plan Outline:
Opportunity Analysis

Your first step, then, is to look at your business idea – what is your product or service and why is it valuable to your customers? Remember that your customers needs to see enough value and you need to be differentiated enough for them to hand over their hard-earned cash to you over and above competitive alternatives and innumerable other reasons for them not to buy. From my perspective as an experienced sales and marketing professional, the way to approach the question of Opportunity Analysis is starting with need.

Sample Marketing Plan Outline

You may have heard of the old sales and marketing advice of always linking product features to the benefits a customer will receive. For example, advertising a lot of trunk space is feature-oriented but telling customers they will have more space for golf clubs or space for their kids is benefit-oriented. Taking this concept further, you should attached each benefit to a specific customer need and in fact use that as a starting point for your Product Development effort.

Need-oriented sales and marketing starts with customer needs and that is where it is different. It is based on the adage of “find a need and fill it” which is the true path to business success. Rather than creating a product or service and then expecting people to buy it because of your shrewd sales and marketing efforts you should instead begin with the customer in mind when designing your product or service. Everything about your business should in fact be oriented around creating customer value in one way or another.


Sample Marketing Plan Outline:
Organizational Analysis

When you think of an Organization you probably think of offices, computers, people, filing cabinets and a whole host of other things that are part of a typical business environment. However, if you think about it, all of these are secondary to the core functions that you need to take care of and what your organization is really all about first and foremost. Start with what you need to do first and then fill in the blanks of what people and resources you are going to need in order to do it.

Sample Marketing Plan Outline

Looking at your organization as being comprised of the essential functions of Operations, Engineering and Service will help you by greatly reducing the complexity of performing a rigorous and technical Organizational Analysis. Operations include basis Human Resource (HR), Finance and Administration functions; Engineering is everything to do with creating, manufacturing and / or developing your product or service; Service means sales, marketing and all other customer support functions.

Once you break down your organization like this you can put together an assessment of minimum requirements and then grow from there organically as your business grows. Rather than rent and office, hire staff and purchase office equipment, ask yourself how you can best fulfill all of the functions you need to in order to run your business successfully. What you will realize is that nowadays a business is not necessarily defined by a traditional office and that there may be many ways to accomplish your organizational objectives at a lower cost using more moder and creative means.


Sample Marketing Plan Outline:
Market Analysis

The easiest way to think about this part of your marketing plan is that it deals with everything that is external to your organization. Market Analysis includes traditional questions about the size and characteristics of your competition and market but also includes other micro and macro-economic factors such as laws, geography, culture and any and all other factors pertaining to the environment you are going to be doing business in.

You will notice that in my breakdown of what an example marketing plan is like, I have not at all talked about marketing campaigns or what kind of message and medium you should use in reaching customers. This is because these questions are built into your analysis of what value you are providing with your product or service and your overall Marketing Communication Plan and Marketing Mix. Your sales and marketing strategy is just one part of your total Marketing Plan in the big picture.

In performing your Marketing Analysis you should be looking at all of those people and factors that you are going to have to engage and interact with in order to fulfill your business functions. This includes partners, resellers, suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain that you are part of as well as the government rules and regulations that you must abide by in order to do business. Customer Analysis is also part of this picture and you should try to gather as much information as you can in order to create an exact picture of your customer.


Sample Marketing Plan Outline:
What, Why, How, Who, Where, When

Opportunity Analysis, Organizational Analysis and Marketing Analysis together can be called your overall Situational Analysis. Along with more complex marketing tools like SWOT Analyses you should elaborate on your Situational Analysis by asking commonsense questions along the way as you put together your Marketing Plan.

Remember that for most businesses creating a complex and detailed business or marketing plan may be unnecessary but that asking these kinds of questions is vital for the success and health of every business. Make sure you start by asking them and continue to ask them throughout the process of building your business!

What
...will my product or service be?
...value am I brining to my customers?
...is my ideal customer like?
...what resources do I need?
...is my sales and marketing message?
...legal requirements must I complete?
...other factors will affect my business?

Why
...am I choosing this product or service?
...will my customers buy from me?

How
...can I differentiate my product or service?
...can I meet operational expenses?
...can I keep my costs to a minimum?
...can I maximize my rate of success?
...is my customer going to buy from me?

Who
...is my ideal customer?
...is my competition?
...is going to help me realize my vision?
...can I partner with?
...can I learn from?
...else do I have to be aware of?

Where
...does my customer live?
...is my customer going to buy?

When
...can I being manufacturing?
...can I begin marketing?
...can I begin selling?
...will I break even?




These are just some of the questions you can and should ask continuously as you build out this sample marketing plan outline. I have presented this marketing plan example as a kind of business plan whereas you may just be looking for sales and marketing ideas for your specific product or service. In that case, please visit some of the other sections of my website where I detail specific Marketing Communication strategies as well as tip and techniques that have worked for others and that you can apply in growing your business.

Sample Marketing Plan Outline



In conclusion, I hope this sample marketing plan outline has shown you how easy putting together your own Marketing Plan can be. You should not look at creating a Marketing Plan to be like a textbook exercise or a form that you need to fill out as specified by someone else. Rather, ask the right questions and plan out what you want to accomplish with your business and how you are going to go from A to Z in creating a valuable product or service, bringing it to the market and then taking care of your customers.


Ask me for help with a Sample Marketing Plan for your business!

GO TO:
Creating Marketing Plans (Video)Marketing Plan OutlineMarketing Plan TemplateMarketing Plan ExampleMarketing Communication PlanAdvertising Marketing PlansSample Marketing Plan Consultant




Do you have Marketing Plan expertise or experiences?

Do you have insights, strategies or a story about marketing plans to share with other readers? Perhaps you have successfully used a different marketing plan template or have insights into how to configure marketing plans for different kinds of businesses! Send in your thoughts in as much detail as you like to create a page in this section.

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