For beginners, writing a marketing plan is to learn the basics. For pros who have gone wrong on more than one count in writing a workable marketing plan, it is all about getting back to the basics! So what are the basics of a marketing plan that serves your purpose and gives you the expected dividends? Here are the steps that will guide you:
1. Summary: This is the first stage of writing a marketing plan. In this stage, you lay down the objectives of your plan. Every marketing plan must have a fixed objective, along with other secondary ones. Unless you have these charted out at the very onset, things can go haywire and expenditures might shoot up. Also, a confused objective will perplex the executors of your plan. Practical, clear-headed, achievable targets should be earmarked during this stage.
2. Analysis: You must define the condition of the domain where you will work in, internally and externally. Taking a look at the competition is also a must in this stage. This is also the time when you look at your customers, their needs and how you can meet them. A market survey will give you clear answers that you can work on. Always draw your conclusions on statistics and data instead of hunch work or instincts. Too many marketing plans have bitten the dust because they were based on speculations.
3. Budget: Budgets form the core of any marketing plan. Your marketing plan must consider how much your client is willing to pay. A plan that overshoots its budget will not allow the company to break even and that will work against you. To convince the client to spend a certain amount of money, your objectives and marketing analysis will come in handy. A clearly-defined budget, making allowances for every spending you may need to do, makes a marketing plan successful.
4. Execution: This is the part where you take your marketing plan to the ground. Fill in the agents on their duties and role in the scheme of things. Everyone must know how they are contributing to the bigger picture. You can set personal milestones as well as team ones.
5. Evaluation: Regular evaluations of your marketing plan ensure that you stay on track. It is easy to get carried away by early successes or get depressed by initial failures. Take them into your stride and regulate the plan as per results. That should see you do fine!