The marketing plan definition is the plan to cultivate and harvest demand for the products of a business, and it is part of the business plan. A marketing plan outlines answers to the question who, what, where, how, and why will the company market and eventually sell products.
[box] Oftentimes, the CEO comes from a marketing and sales background. It’s your role as a financial leader to be the trusted advisor to your CEO and help them take the marketing plan to an action plan. Click here to read our How to be a Wingman guide. [/box]
A marketing plan, explained as the plan which leads to sales in a business, holds a depth of knowledge. Marketing plan assumptions involve 6 parts: establishing a target market, marketing tools used to communicate with this group, the price of the product in respect to the expectations of the customer, where it will be sold, and any incentives applied to the product. Though this is a simplification, actual plans at least answer these questions. Additionally, they establish a marketing plan budget and schedule for execution.
The marketing plan format is not the same across businesses. Each business will have to create a marketing plan which suits their time, skill, and budgetary constraints. For example, an e-commerce store will use marketing tools specific to the internet. Pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, sponsored product reviews, perhaps free webinars, social media websites, and a slew of more traditional tools will fit this business well.
In contrast, a CPA firm will use quite different methods. Informational seminars, direct sales, networking, event sponsorships, print media in specific publications, broadcast media, and a variety of other tools will expand the customer base of this business.
While neither example will probably use billboard advertising, smaller differences are also present. For example, an e-commerce store could be quite successful in offering coupons and other price promotions. On the other hand, how would you feel if your CPA offered discounted services? In comparison, how would you feel if you received a discount on your fees for referring another business owner to your accountant? Even in a single marketing tool, minor differences make a major effect.
When thinking about marketing, it is best to hire a trained professional. While many can not afford this, trained professionals know how the industry works far better than an outsider looking in. One will make sure to find a marketing consultant or firm who has an expertise in their industry. With a little research, great success can come from the investment of time and money.
For example, Eduardo is the owner of a nail salon. Having experienced some growth, Eduardo wants to take his business to the next level. He sees the first step of this to be writing a business plan. He is now on to writing the marketing plan.
Eduardo knows that customers like his products. Now, he needs to answer other questions. Eduardo arranges for a survey to be done in order to find out what customers are willing to pay for his services. Once he has done this, he considers marketing tools. Eduardo comes up with many ideas, the most valuable being to offer his location for networking events. During this, professional women will talk while getting their nails done. Eduardo answers other questions. Am I in the best location? What other tools will I use? Am I currently targeting the correct market? What service expectations does the customer have?
Eduardo is able to finish his marketing plan with situational analysis. Months later, Eduardo is experiencing great success. It seems a little planning has gone a long way. Eduardo can not believe that he did not create a marketing plan sooner. Still, he understands that it takes time to achieve greatness. As long as he continues to put in the time, the sky is the limit for his business.
If you want to learn how you can be the best wingman to your CEO, then download our free How to be a Wingman guide!
[box]Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra
Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.
Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?
Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs[/box]