How to write a marketing plan
Marketing plan summary and introduction
Your marketing plan should start with an executive summary, which gives a quick overview of the main points of the plan.
However, although the executive summary appears at the beginning of the plan, you should write it last. Writing the summary is a good opportunity to check that your plan makes sense and that you haven't missed any important points.
It's a good idea to introduce the main body of the plan with a reminder of your overall business strategy, including:
- what your business is about (your business mission)
- your key business objectives
- your broad strategy for achieving those objectives
This helps to ensure that your marketing plan, your marketing strategy and your overall business strategy all work together. For example, suppose your business strategy is based on providing premium quality products and service. Your marketing strategy and plan will need to take this into account. It should target customers who appreciate quality, promoting your product in ways that help build the right image and so on.
You should segment your customers into particular groups characterised by their 'needs'. Identifying these groups and their needs through market research and market reports, and then addressing those needs more successfully than your competitors, should be one of the key elements of your marketing strategy.
You can then create a marketing strategy that makes the most of your strengths and matches them to the needs of the customers you want to target. For example, if a particular group of customers is looking for quality first and foremost, then any marketing activity aimed at them should draw attention to the high quality of your products or service.