Marketing is a very important but often neglected part of the business development process. Statistics are available which indicate that companies that produce a written marketing plan are more likely to survive for more than three years. But it is not just about writing a plan it is about reviewing that plan on a regular basis and measuring against targets set.
But what is a plan and how should you go about writing it? There are many types and styles of marketing plan that you can find, particularly on the internet and you should choose carefully or adapt an existing one to suit your needs. You should also bear in mind that you are not writing a lengthy tome like War and Peace, but a document that suits your needs and one that helps you grow and develop your business.
There are a four key elements to a marketing plan which revolve around Products, Price, Place and Promotion. The chart below provides some idea of the strategy and tactics you need to consider for each element.
As part of the preliminary process to developing the Marketing Mix as indicated below it is necessary to understand a number of other points. One is who are your customers, how and where do they buy and are there different groups within the customer base. Segmenting this customer base will allow you to identify their separate needs and develop the right messages specifically for that group. It is also important to understand your Strengths and Weakness and what Opportunities and Threats there are to the business. In this way you can ensure that whatever tactics and strategies you do employ will match your skills and abilities.
If you need further information on marketing and how to write a business plan click on the link for a FREE copy of Marketing Simply an e-book designed specifically for SMEs or on Marketing Plan Template which is a free guide to developing your own Marketing Plan.
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