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Small Business Planning 2016- Marketing Plan

January 21, 2016 by Ed Becker

Small Business Planning 2016- Marketing Plan

In order to grow your business, you have to market your business. You need a strong marketing plan in place to follow as a playbook, and to ensure that you are sticking to the planned marketing budget. A marketing plan helps you understand your target market and your business’ position in your market and how you intend to reach your market to set your business above the competition.


Your marketing budget should be a part of your marketing plan as well as a part of your financial plan and business plan. The marketing budget outlines the costs of each of your marketing goals as well as the time frame to meet them. The marketing budget does not have to be completely rigid, it can be bent when needed. Just watch the ROI on any new ideas. Another aspect of the budget is a plan to measure or track the spending in regard to the ROI. Do not let the budget become rigid if there are parts that are not profitable. Marketing is constantly changing, tracking and tweaking the marketing plan and marketing budget should be an ongoing practice.

Marketing plan from scratch-10 Components

If you are starting from scratch and have never had an actual marketing plan for your business, you can easily create one using the following ten points. If you have different departments or managers, ask each one to fill out as much as possible of the ten points. This gives you a multi-dimensional picture of the business and where others see it. Then you can take all the input and create your final plan.

  1. Marketing Strategy- How does the marketing plan support the goals of the business?
  2. Mission Statement- This is your company’s mission statement
  3. Target Market- Who your products/services are intended for
  4. Competitive Analysis- Who is your competition and where do you fall in the market?
  5. Unique Selling Proposition- What makes your product/service different?
  6. Pricing Strategy- Price range and why?
  7. Promotional Plan- How do you intend to reach your target market?
  8. Marketing Budget- How much will be spent, where and when?
  9. Action List- How will you accomplish the goals?
  10. Metrics- How can you track the success or failure of your marketing items?

Actually writing the marketing plan

After getting all of your information together and going through the 10 components of the marketing plan, you actually have to write it out, in detail. If you skip this, you will not have a roadmap of your marketing plans to put into practice. Your marketing plan has to be a working model of where you want to take your marketing ideas. Here’s a simple outline to start out:

  • Write specific objectives
  • Write specific tasks for each objective
  • Review the objectives and tasks against your marketing goals
  • Plan out your timeline
  • Schedule time at least weekly to review metrics
  • Include your marketing budget in the plan

Once you have a detailed version of your marketing plan, review it. Allow your managers, if any, to review it. You want to know that it is a workable plan for your company. Your marketing plan is a guide that should never be stagnant, it should be flexible and constantly evolving toward your business and marketing goals. It is a good practice to review your marketing plan and budget quarterly to assure it is still viable.

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