The marketing plan is the roadmap that guides your marketing strategy. This document describes the operational marketing actions planned for the coming period (often a year) and their different methods, while quantifying their cost. It is also an element that can be very interesting to integrate into a business plan. The use of the project roadmap happens to be essential here.
So how do you make a solid, well-structured marketing plan?
Here is a complete file on the main steps to follow to succeed in this approach and meet the challenges of the marketing plan, plus several resources and models to fill.
Perform an internal and external analysis of the company
It is high time to take stock of your company’s situation and the environment in which it operates:
Getting to know yourself better, but also getting to know your competitors and the world around you, is the best way to make informed marketing decisions.
An essential first step in your plan, therefore.
The SWOT analysis (which means “Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats”) makes it possible to diagnose the situation of the company internally and externally:
The internal level:
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the business allows you to identify qualities and skills that can help you gain advantage in your market, but also loopholes to fill or protect.
The external level:
The opportunities and threats represent the possibilities for growth and development of the company or, on the contrary, the obstacles that can harm it.
To carry out your SWOT analysis with ease, we offer a blank matrix to fill out , which can be downloaded free of charge:
Blank SWOT matrix to download
For even more efficiency, the SWOT matrix can be supplemented by a PESTEL analysis .
The latter focuses on external analysis, by evaluating 6 areas of the business environment:
It gives a more complete and structured vision of the environment of the organization, allowing for more informed decision-making.
- Know your competitors better
- Determine the key success factors in your industry
- Identify a competitive advantage that will help you develop
Market research is most often useful when launching a new product, but it is still an important source of information for your marketing plan, especially if you use it as part of a business plan.
The study provides information on the viability of your project, but also and above all on the characteristics of your market, which will help you in the targeting phase (see below).
Define your goals
The development of a solid marketing plan is based on concrete objectives, which can take many forms:
- Increase your sales
- Gain market share in a target market
- Build customer loyalty (or a customer segment)
- Increase your notoriety
- Improve the public perception of your brand, your products or services
- Increase traffic to your website