19 Ways of Creating Business Marketing Plans

Creating Business Marketing Plans:There are several factors that need to be considered.

When developing the market plan:

Product position in the market; stage of the lifecycle for the product class.

And therefore the position of the new product on the product class lifecycle.

Relationship of the new product marketing mix to the overall company marketing mix.

Interaction of the parts of the marketing mix – market channel with price, promotion with price, product with promotion;
Quantitative relationship between sales volumes and the various parts of the marketing mix;
Marketing profitability and efficiency of the marketing mix;
Reactions to the marketing mix of the industrial, social, legal and political environments.

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Creating Business Marketing Plans

Firms that are successful in marketing invariably start with a marketing plan.

Large companies have plans with hundreds of pages.

Small companies can get by with a half-dozen sheets.

Put your marketing plan in a three-ring binder.

Refer to it at least quarterly, but better yet monthly.

Leave a tab for putting in monthly reports on sales/manufacturing.

This will allow you to track performance as you follow the plan.

Creating Business Marketing Plans

The plan should cover one year.

For small companies, this is often the best way to think about marketing.

Things change, people leave, markets evolve, customers come and go.

Later on we suggest creating a section of your plan that addresses the medium-term future–two to four years down the road.

Creating Business Marketing Plans

But the bulk of your plan should focus on the coming year.

You should allow yourself a couple of months to write the plan.

Even if it’s only a few pages long.

Developing the plan is the “heavy lifting” of marketing.

While executing the plan has its challenges.

Deciding what to do and how to do it is marketing’s greatest challenge.

Most marketing plans kick off with the first of the year.

Or with the opening of your fiscal year if it’s different.

Creating Business Marketing Plans

What is a marketing plan?

Before you can jump right in with creating your plan.

It’s important to have a solid understanding of what exactly it is.

Typically included as an expanded piece of your overall business plan.

A marketing plan is just what it sounds like: a document that details everything you need to know in order to successfully promote your business.

Why a Marketing Plan?

A plan focuses your best efforts on activities that move your business forward.

Without one, you are operating by “seeing what sticks”—not the optimal way to market your business.

 A marketing plan is much more than just another boring business document.
It’s your map to revenue, growth, and longevity.
It will help you understand yourself and your customers.
Writing it down forces you to think through tough problems.
Come up with repeatable solutions and positions you for success.
 Fortunately, you don’t need a marketing degree or extensive experience.
Many small business owners have put together effective marketing plans without either.
So what are the elements of a good marketing plan?
You want to create something that:
  • is easy to understand and execute
  • tells a comprehensive story about your business and your customers
  • is realistic but sets challenging goals

It’s important to know that a properly developed, comprehensive plan.

Isn’t something you’ll finish in one or even two sessions.

You’re deciding what you need to do to grow your business.

And how you’re going to go about it.

So take your time putting it together. Don’t feel pressured to rush.

 You don’t need to come up with a perfect plan, either.
Marketing plans are not, and should not be, written in stone.
The best plans are flexible, letting you make adjustments.

As you gain experience, data and insight into what works.

Read on: 23 Tips to Promote Pizza Parlor Business Online in Nigeria

Creating Business Marketing Plans

1. Creating Business Marketing Plans:Overall Marketing Plan

Objectives: volume of sales, market area, profit.
Predicted environment: economic, political, social, industrial.
Place of product in product mix (product line): type of product, quality level, price range, place in line (leader, minor product).
Market segment(s): type(s), location, size, characteristics.
Market channel: type of channel, retail, food service, institutional, industrial; intermediate organisations (wholesalers, agents, brokers); geographical positions of all organisations in the channel.
Marketing strategy: strategy outline, target markets, marketing mix, marketing expenditure level.

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2. Creating Business Marketing Plans:Product plan

Product: proposition, uses, characteristics.
Packaging: branding, information, legal requirements, size(s), aesthetics.

3. Creating Business Marketing Plans:Costs and prices

Costs: fixed and variable costs, marginal costs.
Prices: company list price, distributors’ margins, retail price.

4. Creating Business Marketing Plans:Sales and distribution plan

Sales organisation: personnel, training, launch, post-launch.
Physical distribution: transport, store location, inventory plan.
Sales: reporting, analysing, forecasting.
Sales targets and budgets: area targets, sales persons’ targets, areas and sales budgets.
Sales promotion: merchandising, sales communications.
Sales evaluation: targets and costs analysis.

See also: 27 Tips to Launch Emergency Goods Business in Nigeria

5. Creating Business Marketing Plans:Advertising and promotion

Message selection: creative development.
Consumer advertising: press, television, cinema, radio, outdoor posters, public relations, internet
Consumer promotions: price specials, reduced price offers, competitions, coupons, free
Point-of-purchase: display material, tasting, cooking demonstration.
Trade promotions: incentive schemes, display competitions, sales contests.
Trade advertising: trade journals, trade displays, conferences, publications.

6. Creating Business Marketing Plans:Schedules

Production: times, quantities, quality, losses
Distribution: times, quantities, quality, losses.
Selling: times, launch quantity, future predicted quantities.

In preparing the marketing plan, there are some points to remember:

  1. The promotional artwork must be completed before the package
  2. There must be sufficient capital to finance the stocks of product and the introduction costs.
  3. The money available will set the limits on your marketing plan.
  4. The sales force must be adequately trained before product stocks are built up in the different
    distribution centers but after the promotion has been designed.
  5. Adequate stocks of the product must be available at the time of introduction.
  6. The promotion should give sales which are related to the sales forecast but also the production
    capacity of the plant.

7. Creating Business Marketing Plans :Marketing approaches

Now that you know the elements of the plan.

You need to figure out how you are going to reach that target customer.

8.Creating Business Marketing Plans : Monitoring results

Creating a well-defined list of budgets, goals and action items.

With appropriate personnel assigned to each, can help make your marketing plan a reality.

Think about how much you’re willing to spend.

The kind of outcomes you expect and the necessary tasks to achieve those outcomes.

Read also: 25 Tips to Conduct Fast Food Market Research in Abuja

9.Creating Business Marketing Plans : Analyze Competitors

Wouldn’t it be nice if you operated in a vacuum and never had to worry about any competitors infringing on your space or stealing your customers?

Unfortunately, business doesn’t work that way.

Chances are, there are already companies out there doing something incredibly similar to you.

Meaning you’ll need to work that much harder to stand out.

Don’t get intimidated! This is something every business owner deals with.

So being armed with all sorts of knowledge about your competitors.

Will be helpful in finding ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Start by describing—in detail—the product or service you offer to consumers.

This is your chance to expand on the basic overview you provided in the first section.

Creating Business Marketing Plans

Then, spell out how your product or service measures up to existing competition.

What positions you as the one source clients or customers should turn to?

What makes you different? As you might imagine, you’ll be able to leverage this differentiation to effectively market your business.

Taking a magnifying glass to your competitors can be disheartening.

Particularly if they’re really thriving.

But it’s an important step to not only gather all of the information you need.

But also to demonstrate to any potential investors that you’re aware of your competition.

And prepared to tackle that challenge head on.

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10.Creating Business Marketing Plans : Set Goals

Here comes the fun part—spelling out your marketing related goals for the year.

What objectives do you want to accomplish? Are there specific targets you want to hit?

Depending on your current situation and ambitions, goals can range from lofty and grandiose.

Such as doubling sales or increasing market share.

To smaller, more bite-sized ambitions.

Like getting 100 new Instagram followers on your brand’s account or starting a blog for your business.

The important part is to zone in on the milestones you want to reach throughout that year.

Whether it seems possible or not.

Don’t cloud your mind with logistics just yet—this comes in the next step.

11. Creating Business Marketing Plans :Outline Strategies

Now that you’ve outlined exactly what you want to accomplish.

It’s time to detail the strategies you’ll use to actually reach these objectives.

I recommend taking each goal separately, and listing the related action items directly underneath it.

This allows you to see exactly what needs to get done in order to push yourself toward that accomplishment.

It’s also a great way to get a handle on whether or not this goal seems realistic or if needs a little adjusting.

You want your goals to be motivating and far reaching.

But not so difficult that they’re just discouraging. 

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12.Creating Business Marketing Plans : Set a Budget

If you’re anything like me, this is the part you dread the most—the numbers.

I’ve never been a math whiz, and just the word “budget” is enough to send me running for the hills.

But, as you already know, it’s a necessary evil when it comes to running your business.

In your full-blown business plan, you detailed the entire financial side of your business.

But in your marketing plan, stay focused strictly on marketing related activities.

How much do you plan to spend on marketing and promotion throughout the next year.

And how much will the action items you listed above cost you?

Most importantly, where will this money come from?

Budgets aren’t fun, but it’s important to be honest with yourself here.

You’d rather discover you need to tweak or tailor something to make it affordable right now.

Rather than six months from now when you’ve already forked over your credit card!

13. Creating Business Marketing Plans :Get to Work!

There you have it! These are the steps you need in order to create a marketing plan for your business.

You just need to put them all together.

As mentioned earlier, marketing plans vary from basic and simple to comprehensive and complex.

And remember, as with everything else, it really depends on what’s best suited for your own business.

But regardless of whether you plan to end up with a document that’s two pages or 200.

These steps should help to get you started!

14.Creating Business Marketing Plans : Market Research

Before you can sit down to write, you’ll need to do some market research.

While this might sound daunting, especially if you’ve never conducted formal market research before.

The reality is that you already have much of the information you need.

 You’ll need to know where your company stands in your market.
Look at recent financial reports, current and past sales numbers.
And your product and services list.
You’ll also want to gather together information about your target market.
This should help you answer questions like:
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • Where is your ideal customer located?
  • What needs does your ideal customer want your product or service to fulfill?

If you did any research when you developed your business plan.

You may already have this information.

If not, talk to your salespeople and your customer service staff.

These are the employees who engage with your customers on a daily basis.

And their feedback will give you valuable insights about your customers and prospects.

 After you’ve done your market research.
You should know everything you can about:
  • your competitors
  • current market trends that affect your business
  • a comprehensive listing of your products and services
  • your distribution channels and networks
  • any demographic data that describes your potential (and current) customers

Fill any gaps by talking with your employees and researching publications from trade and professional associations specific to your industry.

Read on:30 Tips to Run Editorial Focus Group in Nigeria

15.Creating Business Marketing Plans : Market Overview

Once you’ve gathered market research, it’s time to prepare your Market Overview section.

Begin this section with a description of your market as it currently stands.

Define your market and discuss your customers’ needs and any other market factors that might affect your customers’ purchasing patterns.

 What are the characteristics of your target market?
What’s the size of your market in dollar figures? Include any relevant demographic details.
If you have more than one target market, describe the product lines associated with each one.
This section should also include information about:
 Products/Services. What are your current products and services?
How do they fulfill your target market’s needs?
How well have your products been selling? Include details about sales, prices and gross margins.
 Competitors. Who are your competitors? What strategies are they using and how are they positioning themselves in the market?
How successful are they at what they do?
What kind of an impact do they have on your business?
 Distribution. How is your distribution network set up?
What channels do you have working for you?
What are your sales trends?
Are any recent major developments affecting your distribution channels?

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16.Creating Business Marketing Plans :Implementation

This is the section where you get down to the practical nuts and bolts of your marketing plan.

You want to address how you’ll implement your strategies and achieve your objectives by breaking things down into action steps or smaller goals.

 You already did a bit of this when you considered the implementation methods you would use for each marketing strategy.

Here you’ll simply break things down further and provide yourself with an actionable roadmap.

Creating Business Marketing Plans

Think of these action steps or goals as addressing the “Who”, “What” and “When” of your strategy. As you outline the steps to achieve your marketing objectives, decide who will be responsible for each specific action or goal, what will be done and when it will be done.

 When you combine all of these elements together into a single push, you get what’s known as a campaign.
A campaign can run for a finite amount of time or it can continue until your message seems to lose its energy (you’ll know when the response numbers start plummeting).

Ideally you’ll develop individual campaigns tailor-made for each of your objectives.

Be specific about dates and schedule each of the different tasks.

The more specific you are, the more likely the action steps you’ve outlined will be executed.

17. Creating Business Marketing Plans :Marketing Budget

Your marketing budget is another crucial component of your plan.

It will outline both the expected costs of your strategy and the expected revenues.

As with other sections of the marketing plan, it’s a good idea to involve staff members who will be responsible for various action steps in your budgeting decisions.

 You should also be as comprehensive as possible when you’re estimating the costs associated with each of your action steps.
This helps prevent unpleasant surprises in the future. And while external costs are often the most apparent, it’s important to remember internal costs as well, such as the time required of your staff to implement particular action steps.
 Once you have your budget in place things may start to feel inflexible.
Remember, despite having a fixed budget, you still have wiggle room—you can always re-evaluate how to allocate your budget.

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18. Creating Business Marketing Plans :Measurement/Controls

The final part of the plan is the Measurement/Controls section and it may be the most important.
The Measurement/Controls section provides you with a detailed method of monitoring your progress to see how well you are doing.
Remember, marketing is where creative ideas and data meet .

This is the where you’ll address how you’re going to get all of that data.

 The first thing you want to measure is your return on investment (ROI) by coming up with ways to continuously measure your financial progress.
Your ROI can be an effective indicator of a strategy that isn’t working.

Some marketing strategies present a challenge when it comes to calculating ROI but that doesn’t mean they aren’t without value.

Creating Business Marketing Plans

Social media campaigns, for example, are difficult to measure because the path someone takes from liking your post, or sharing your tweet, to buying your product isn’t a straight line.

 You’ll have to get creative when you measure these strategies and remember revenue isn’t the only metric to measure: brand awareness, engagement (how long and how often someone interacts with you), and building your business’ reputation are invaluable.
 Plan out how you’ll approach the measurement of results.
Be concrete: use projected and actual numbers and compare them regularly.
While intuition and experience can be helpful in assessing a given strategy, measurement and controls provide you with crucial evidence to back up your gut feelings.
Reporting also plays a big role in this section.
Monthly reports and regularly scheduled meetings to discuss results will go a long way in helping you determine what’s working and what’s not.
 Be sure this section includes a summary of how you will make changes in response to what your tracking tells you.

19.Control – Monitor, manage and improve

The final step is about monitoring action, managing the process and measuring results.
The 7 steps to make your plan happen are:
  1. It is essential to maintain the impetus, start the plan today, not tomorrow.
  2. Appoint one person to monitor the entire plan and give them the authority to do so.
  3. Regular meetings should be held to review the plan.  These could be 20 minute meetings at the start of the week.
  4. If you don’t do it today, your competitors will start tomorrow.
  5. If one item is difficult to start, move on to the next area.
  6. At the end of each quarter, review what has taken place and where more help is needed.
  7. The most successful businesses stick to the plan and make it happen – whilst still getting on with the day job.


Creating Business Marketing Plans:The marketing plan is summarized in a marketing programme.

Which is an integrated plan of all activities together with their timing and costs.

It includes a marketing budget with the sales forecasts – volume, revenue and the costs and the gross profits.

The plan is evaluated before final approval. Is it feasible, comprehensive and flexible?

Does it include a schedule, a budget? Is it in written form, in line with company policy?

Does it provide for effective implementation?

Has it been carefully reviewed and agreed by the people who will carry it out? Is it integrated with the production plan?

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