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The Marketing Plan

The Marketing Plan

Author: James Howard

This lesson detail the marketing plan.

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Hello, and welcome to this tutorial on the marketing plan. As always with these tutorials, please feel free to fast forward, pause, or rewind as many times as you need in order to get the most out of the time that you're going to spend here.

So let me ask you a question. How important is a plan? We've gone over the business plan before, we've seen the importance that plays with the overall success of a business. So what about marketing? We talked a little bit about what marketing is and how it can play a role in business. So what we're going to learn in this tutorial is about the marketing plan.

We're also going to look at the different parts of a marketing plan. What is it that makes up this document? And what happens in case of the failure of a marketing plan? The key terms for this lesson are going to be marketing plan and target market.

So let's go ahead and get started with the marketing plan and define it. Now, a marketing plan is a plan of action that creates a framework for the marketing efforts within an organization. Everything that goes into marketing an organization or product within a particular organization is part of this marketing plan.

Now, with a marketing plan of course, like I said before, it's very important. And it's going to impact the entire organization. It's going to include things like advertising and public relations, or in some of the bigger firms, public relations could be handled by an entirely different department than just marketing.

It provides a unified approach to those marketing efforts. It's the vision, if you will, on how we're going to market toward consumers and what they want and need.

So that brings us to the target market. Now, the target market is an identified cluster of customers that are the focus of business, specifically marketing efforts, within an organization. These are these people you're going to target specifically with your brand or your product.

Now, the parts of a marketing plan, there are six main parts and it helps create that vision, if you will, that unified one voice we've talked about before on how we're going to market our company, organization, idea, service, or product. And it's that unified approach throughout the entire organization, from the CEO down to the worker on the ground, this is the marketing plan that we want everybody to be a part of.

The first section of the marketing plan, there are six of these sections, is the SWOT analysis. Now, a SWOT analysis is typically made up of a two by two grid like you see on the screen, and it consists of the strengths and weaknesses of a company. What's going really well and what we're not so good at.

Also, what are the opportunities that are out there? What opportunities in the market exist for me to market and sell my product, and what are the threats? What's my competition? Do I have a threat as far as sourcing the resources that I need in order to make the product and get it out to the customer?

So basically, if you take it all together, it's an analysis of internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats-- those things that are internal to the market or the organization, and those things that are external to the organization.

Now, the next part of the marketing plan is the objectives, and these are those tangible goals, those things that we can touch, the targets that we want to reach. What particular market do we want to hit? What target market do we want to hit? How many of these things do we want to sell? What type of penetration do we want to have within a particular market? And also the strategic plan to go along with that vision aspect.

It's a road map of the plan. Those strategies that are going to help complete the objectives. So you can think of the strategic plan as that long term goal, way out in the distance. That five year plan, if you will. How I'm going to get-- use my objectives to get-- to where I want to go.

And the implementation plan. Now that I have my objectives and now that I have my strategic plan, where I want to go and kind of those steps that I want to use to get there, how am I going to implement those objectives in order to make sure that the road to the end, that strategic plan, is attainable? What's the plan for getting there? That break down, if you will, of tasks and deliverables along the way.

The next part of the marketing plan is evaluation. Now how do I know I'm hitting my targets? I have to have an evaluation plan to make sure that I'm hitting my targets, and if I'm not, I can identify those weaknesses when they happen and make corrections along the way to make sure that I don't get off that road or that vision of the strategic plan.

These are ongoing assessments. And you're going to adjust things based on what you find out from the evaluation. Also the control tools for the marketing plan. Standards of performance, for instance. Financial controls, or the budget. How much can I really afford to spend on this?

And with this model of the marketing plan, these six parts, you'll notice there's some overlap here. They don't have to be separate individual sections. They can overlap, and they don't have to be specific sections within a plan. For instance, page one is the SWOT analysis, page two is this. They all kind of run together.

So what happens if I fail? What happens with a failure of the marketing plan? Now, one of the five big reasons that businesses fail is because they don't have a marketing plan. You see, lacking that vision, or that ability to drive customers to you can cost you customers. And if you don't have any customers, you're not going to have any sales.

In brick and mortar shops, people talk about having location. Having a location where you're going to generate foot traffic that at least some of it is going to get into your store and you're going to have an opportunity to sell them, or make them a part of your marketing plan.

We even, with websites, I can have the best, prettiest website out there. I could have the most innovative product that ever devised at the best price ever seen on the market. But if I don't have a plan to reach those customers and drive them into that website so they can see my product, it's really not going to do me any good. Zero hits on a website equals zero sales, and zero sales equals failure for the business.

So what did we learn? What did we look at in this lesson? We looked at the marketing plan and kind of what it is. We also looked at the parts of a marketing plan, those six things that go into making that unified vision of how I want to reach my customers and drive them into my store or my website to sell. And also, the consequences of failure to have a marketing plan.

As always, thank you for spending some time with me. I enjoyed it, and I hope you have a great day.

Terms to Know
Marketing plan

A plan of action that creates a framework for the marketing efforts with an organization.

Target Market

An identified cluster of customers that are the focus of business, specifically marketing, efforts