A Marketing Plan Template That Works For Any Business

This article will give you the six parts of a basic marketing plan template that will work for any business. Those parts, or sections of the template, are: Situation Analysis, Target Audience, Goals, Strategies, Tactics, and Budget.

The first section of the marketing plan is the SITUATION ANALYSIS.

In this section you look at your challenges, your competition, and how you are unique in the marketplace. The situation analysis lays the foundation for your goals, strategies and tactics. This is accomplished through a thorough analysis of your self and your specific situation or market. In this section you create your Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.).

The second section of the plan defines your TARGET AUDIENCE. Here is where you uncover who has a NEED for your product or service. This involves profiling you existing customers and finding common attributes. The purpose of the exercise is to ultimately create an “ideal customer profile”

In the Target Audience section of the document you decide which customers you are going to approach with your marketing efforts.

The third section of the marketing plan is GOALS.

This is where you lay out exactly what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts. Without goals you will never have a benchmark to compare to. If your marketing plan is a one year plan, how will you know if you were successful or not at the end of the year of marketing activities?

Another critical element of the Goals section is to schedule evaluation points throughout the duration of your plan. Having these points predetermined will allow you to continually assess the effectiveness of your efforts.

The fourth section of the plan is where you develop your STRATEGIES.

This is where you choose which tools (media) you will use to reach your target audience. With many marketing tools available for businesses, choosing the right ones can make a big difference in your bottom line.

Using the information gathered in the first three sections of the marketing plan template will make the step of deciding which media tools to use easier.

The fifth section of the marketing plan is TACTICS.

Here you lay out the logistics of how you are going to use your marketing tools. When will your marketing tools be implemented? What happens when? In this section you will create a Media Rationale and a Marketing Calendar.

The media rationale justifies the use of a particular tool by outlining specific reasons why that tool is a good choice and the specific way it will be implemented within your plan.

The marketing calendar is simply a week-by-week calendar of your marketing activities.

The sixth section of the marketing plan is BUDGET.

In this part of your plan you look at whether or not you can afford certain marketing efforts and devise a way to keep track and monitor the responses to your marketing activities. You can also determine what kind of funds it will take to accomplish certain marketing priorities.

If you use these six sections when creating your marketing plan template; Situation Analysis, Target Audience, Goals, Strategies, Tactics, and Budget, you will have everything included to launch your new marketing initiatives to the marketplace.

How to Make Use of a Marketing Plan For An Online Business

The one thing that will separate you from the 90% of other network marketers is the discipline of following a weekly marketing plan for online business. Once you have a plan in place, there is nowhere to go – but up.

This plan is just a list of task that you follow on a daily basis. It may seem tedious at first, however, once you get the hang of it, you can quickly complete your daily tasks. Now you will have more time to work on other aspects of your business.

Developing a systematic method of conducting your business will help you stay focused. You can, also, draw upon your plan to measure your success.

J.O.B. Provides Plan

In a J.O.B., you are given a plan (list of tasks) by your supervisor. This plan has been tested time and time again. I am sure it had to go through several changes before ensuring that the tasks can be duplicated.

Your J.O.B. is to perform these same tasks on a daily basis. Any successful business rely on a marketing plan.

Your business is no different. You must rely on a working plan in order to map your way to success.

Your Business and Marketing Plan

This is your business and you must start to think of how to develop a realistic plan. With all the information and ways to market on the internet, I understand putting a marketing plan together can be overwhelming.

Just remember that your plan does not have to be perfect the first time around. That is why it is called a PLAN, an on going thought process.

Start out slow, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Begin with just one marketing method until you become a master of that method. I suggest you start with Social Media. To help you get going on your marketing plan, I designed a Weekly marketing Plan form. (A copy can be downloaded from the site referenced in the resource box.)

As you develop your skills, you can expand your marketing plan.

How to Utilize A Marketing Plan for Online Business

An example on how to utilize this plan. On the form provided:

1. Decide how many times you want to perform a particular task.

2. Place this number under Goal.

3. End of the week, add up how many times you completed that particular task.

4. Place this number under Achieved.

5. Subtract the two numbers to get your Net.

For example, if you have a goal of 5 and achieve of 4, in this example, you did not meet your goal. However, do not get discouraged. You always have time to correct your actions.

Now, let us take a look at the next week’s plan. Go ahead and reset your goals and try again. After subtracting Goal from Achieved, let’s say you worked hard and produced a Net of +2. This time you exceeded your goal for that week. GOOD FOR YOU!

Your Measure of Success

Save copies of each your weekly plans. Occasionally, take them out and compare.

Keep persistent in your daily activities and you will see improvement – Revealing your Measure of Success. You do not need to earn a lot of money in order to say that you are succeeding.

Start making out your marketing plan today. The sooner you start disciplining your actions, the quicker you will see the results you seek.

The Critical Elements of a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a critical element for communicating and discussing the expectations and responsibilities of all the key decision makers of a company. This is especially true for someone who is head of marketing or responsible for the firm’s marketing strategy. The plan should be written down so that everyone is able to look at and examine it. This is a key area of communicating how the marketing plan will affect the company in terms of its growth and focus on selling the product.

The elements of a plan will vary but should have some critical elements. More than anything the plan should answer the simple questions such as: What? Who? When? and Where? This might seem too simplistic, but when crafting your marketing plan, these are the main questions that should be consider that are the critical elements to be included in it. For example, a marketing plan for a airline company should list the products to be sold, who will be responsible for areas of the marketing strategy, and what type of people should the marketing strategy focus on.

When you get started, keep in mind that a plan is produced on a yearly basis. It will appear different in regards to when it is produced, what it does contain, and the overall components of it. Regardless, of how different it looks, the critical elements should not be overlooked. These critical elements include the an overview of the current situation and what are the expectations of the future, the market and what issues can affect the product, and the strategy that the company is currently following or hoping to adopt in the future. So regardless of how a company breaks these down or outlines these elements, they should be included in the plan.

The Overview

First of all, the overview. The person in charge of marketing should spend some time writing as much as possible about the current company and product overview. It can discuss what the issues for the coming year might be and what challenges the company faced previously while trying to get or hold onto its share of the market. This is a critical area, because it gives the general information, but it is also a summary of what the rest of the market plan is going to discuss. A manager should be able to read this area and get the complete gist of the market plan without any problems.

The Current Market and Promotion Strategy

These two topics are critical to the marketing plan. The analysis written here can show how the market has been in the past and what is expected in the future. The head of marketing should spend a considerable amount of time discussing the competitors and how they affected and will affect sales. However, the largest emphasis should be what the company is hoping to do to promote the product that it currently has. This should mean discussing detail the packaging, branding, and shipping of the product. This is key to have a worthwhile marketing plan.