Sunday, 17 February 2013

Starting a business – preparing a marketing plan

A marketing plan is one of the key preparatory documents you need to start a business effectively, along with your overall business plan and operations plan.

A marketing plan integrates your marketing efforts to your overall business objectives and strategies.  It provides a systematic approach to ensure that the products and services you offer address the needs of your target market.  It provides a clear value proposition that differentiates you from the competition.  And it includes the supporting strategies and detailed plan to achieve your objectives.

A typical marketing plan includes:
  • Your business vision and goals
  • An analysis of your current market (size and growth, customers, competitors, environmental factors, etc.)
  • Your target market
  • Your value proposition
  • Key marketing strategies (products/services, pricing, promotion, distribution)
  • Detailed plan to achieve your objectives – activities and timeframes
  • Marketing budget
  • Risks and contingency plans
  • Key performance measures to track progress
The www.business.gov.au website offers a free marketing planning iPad app, MarketMyBiz, which can help you to identify your target market, position your brand to stand out from the competition, and set specific, measurable goals for your marketing activities.  See http://www.business.gov.au/Business-Apps/Pages/MarketMyBiz.aspx.

The same website also has a Word template and guide to preparing a marketing plan.  See
http://www.business.gov.au/Howtoguides/Thinkingofstartingabusiness/Whatplanningtoolscanhelpme/Pages/Marketingplanguides.aspx.


Other useful state government sources include:
Like strategic business and operational planning, marketing strategy is ongoing activity.  You should regularly review your marketing plan to ensure it aligns to your overall business plan and operations plan.