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Marketing Plan Outline

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Overview of entire plan, including a description of the product or service, the differential advantage, the required investment, and anticipated sales and profits.

  4. Introduction
  5. What is the product or service? Describe it in detail and explain how it fits into the market.

  6. Situational Analysis
  7. The Situational Environs

    • Demand and demand trends. (What is the forecast demand for the product: Is it growing or declining? Who is the decision maker? The purchase agent? How, when, where, what, and why do they buy?)
    • Social and cultural factors.
    • Demographics.
    • Economic and business conditions for this product at this time and in the geographical area selected.
    • State of technology for this class of product. Is it high-tech state-of-the-art? Are newer products succeeding older ones frequently (short life cycle)? In short, how is technology affecting this product or service?
    • Politics. Are politics (current or otherwise) in any way affecting the situation for marketing this product?
    • Laws and regulations. (What laws or regulations are applicable here?)

    The Neutral Environs

    • Financial environment. (How does the availability or unavailability of funds affect the situation?)
    • Government environment. (Is current legislative action in state, federal, or local government likely to affect marketing of this product or service?)
    • Media environment. (What’s happening in the media? Does current publicity favor this project?)
    • Special interest environment. (Aside from direct competitors, are any influential groups likely to affect your plans?)

    The Competitor Environs

    • Describe your main competitors, their products, plans, experience, know-how, financial, human, and capital resources, suppliers, and strategy. Do they enjoy favor with their customers? If so, why? What marketing channels do the competitors use? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

    The Company Environs

    • Describe your products, experience, know-how, financial, human, and capital resources, and suppliers. Do you enjoy the favor of your customers? If so, why? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  8. The Target Market
  9. Describe your target market segment in detail by using demographics, psychographics, geography, lifestyle, or whatever segmentation is appropriate. Why is this your target market? How large is it?

  10. Problems and Opportunities
  11. State or restate each opportunity and indicate why it is, in fact, an opportunity. State or restate every problem. Indicate what you intend to do about each of them. Clearly state the competitive differential advantage.

  12. Marketing Objectives and Goals
  13. State precisely the marketing objectives and goals in terms of sales volume, market share, return on investment, or other objectives or goals for your marketing plan and the time needed to achieve each of them.

  14. Marketing Strategy
  15. Consider alternatives for the overall strategy; for example, for new market penetration a marketer can enter first, early, or late, penetrate vertically or horizontally, and exploit different niche strategies. If the marketing strategy is at the grand strategy or strategic marketing management level, a market attractiveness/business capability matrix and product life cycle analysis should also be constructed.

  16. Marketing Tactics*
  17. State how you will implement the marketing strategy(s) chosen in terms of the product, price, promotion, distribution, and other tactical or environmental variables.

  18. Implementation and Control
  19. Calculate the breakeven point and make a breakeven chart for your project. Compute sales projections and cash flows on a monthly basis for a three-year period. Determine start-up costs and a monthly budget, along with the required tasks.

  20. Summary
  21. Summarize advantages, costs, and profits and restate the differential advantage that your plan offers over the competition and why the plan will succeed.

  22. Appendices
  23. Include all supporting information that you consider relevant.

* Note under the marketing strategy and tactics sections how your main competitors are likely to respond when you take the action planned and what you will then do to avoid the threats and take advantage of the opportunities.