- Understand the functions of a marketing plan.
- Write a marketing plan.
In Chapter 1 “What Is Marketing?”, we introduced the marketing plan and its components. Recall that a marketing plan should do the following:
- Identify customers’ needs.
- Evaluate whether the organization can meet those needs in some way that allows for profitable exchanges with customers to occur.
Develop a mission statement, strategy, and organization centered on those needs.
- Create offerings that are the result of meticulous market research.
- Form operations and supply chains that advance the successful delivery of those offerings.
- Pursue advertising, promotional, and public relations campaigns that lead to continued successful exchanges between the company and its customers.
- Engage in meaningful communications with customers on a regular basis.
The Marketing Plan’s Outline
The actual marketing plan you create will be written primarily for executives, who will use the forecasts in your plan to make budgeting decisions. These people will make budgeting decisions not only for your marketing activities but also for the firm’s manufacturing, ordering, and production departments, and other functions based on your plan.
In addition to executives, many other people will use the plan. Your firm’s sales force will use the marketing plan to determine its sales strategies and how many salespeople are needed. The entire marketing staff will rely on the plan to determine the direction and nature of their activities. The advertising agency you hire to create your promotional campaigns will use the plan to guide its creative team. Figure 16.2 “Marketing Plan Outline” shows a complete outline of a marketing plan (you may also want to go to http://www.morebusiness.com/templates_worksheets/bplans/printpre.brc for an example). Next, we will discuss the elements in detail so you will know how to prepare a marketing plan.