Preparing a marketing plan helps you identify your business’ position within the marketplace and outlines how you intend to reach your business objectives.
1. Describe your market and the characteristics and size of each market segment; review key market trends.
2. Research what customers value, such as product features, quality, service, and image.
3. Compare the distribution channels for reaching customers (for example, direct sales or through retailers).
4. Profile your competitors and what they’re offering.
5. Identify other key factors influencing your business environment; carry out a SWOT analysis of your competitive position (SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).
6. Review the effectiveness of previous marketing initiatives such as advertising campaigns or seasonal sales.
7. Set specific objectives: for example, retaining existing customers, increasing order sizes, selling new products or winning new customers.
8. Decide how you will price each product or service.
9. Decide how you will distribute and sell; plan how you can improve customer service and satisfaction.
10. Plan how you will promote your products or services, and how you will keep in touch with customers.
11. Identify customers’ purchasing cycles to timetable marketing activities.
12. Include key indicators (for example, new enquiries, conversion rates, customers lost, average order value) and a system for measuring them in your plan.
• base your plan on solid market research
• focus on target customers
• build an action plan to achieve specific objectives
• learn from experience
• measure the effectiveness of your plan
• spread your efforts too widely
• make plans you can’t fulfil
• make unrealistic assumptions and forecasts
"Dont stay in the past and dont think too much of the future. Think of here and now and any bad feelings or sadness will eventualy pass with a little work day by day...."
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