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Write a marketing plan

    Write a marketing plan

    Marketing is a key part of business success – and you should use a marketing plan as a basis for executing your marketing strategy.

    A marketing plan sets out clear objectives and lists the actions you will take to achieve them. Perhaps most importantly, it looks at how you can ensure that your plan becomes reality.

    A marketing plan includes factors such as deciding which customers to target and how to reach them, how to win their business and keep them happy afterwards. It also includes continually reviewing and improving everything you do to stay ahead of the competition.

    A well-researched and coherent marketing plan will give you a better chance of building long-term, profitable relationships.

    This guide outlines the key areas to look at in an effective marketing plan and what you should include in it.

    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.

    Business strategy
    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.

    Marketing strategy
    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.


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