Develoing Your Marketing Plan – Part II

The Elements of a Marketing Plan

First things first, preparing a marketing plan is not rocket science. It is, however, a thoughtful process for identifying those business practices that are considered most important to you for the success and survival of your company. The complexity or simplicity of your plan is strictly up to you. For the purposes of this example, we will provide a simple marketing plan. A marketing plan, typically, consist of three key elements: goals, objectives, and tasks.

Goals

The purpose of goals is to focus your attention upon the strategic efforts that have the highest priority to improve, protect, or enhance your business. Draft your goals in clearly understood terms to convey the most important aspects of your company’s success in the future. Goals are broadly stated and indicate the direction the company intends to pursue to be successful in overcoming competition, enhancing profits, improving market share, and /or increasing staff, product, or service performance. Whether you have just started or have been in business for many years, the changing economic forces affecting all of use requires adapting, modifying, and controlling our situation. Two goals that illustrate the initial development of a simple marketing plan are:

  • Increase the company’s volume of sales by 15%
  • Improve community awareness of our company’s new service

Objectives

Objectives are directly linked to specific goals. In other words, they are the tactical steps to the achievement of a specific goal. They need to focus the efforts of the company by stating the path the company will take in achieving a goal. In many cases there are more than one objective in reaching a specific goal. Examples of objectives to achieve the sample goals stated above might include the following:

  • Establish a direct mail advertising campaign
  • Establish an in-house telemarketing program
  • Establish a Network of business associates and community outreach programs
  • Develop a public relation campaign that focuses on the quality of our new service

Tasks

Tasks are defined as clearly stated pieces of work assigned to assure completion of a specific objective. Each task has a measurable outcome that leads to or supports other tasks in accomplishing an objective. Some tasks have “subtasks” that are required to support or complete the main task. Examples of tasks to achieve the objectives described above might include such steps as the following:

  • Talk with three direct mail advertisers
  • Solicit employee applications for a telemarketing position

Follow a Specific Pattern

The drafting of a marketing plan should follow a specific, consistent pattern that guides the reader through a series of steps, such as:

I. Increase the company’s volume of sales by 15%
A. Establish a direct mail advertising campaign 1. Identify three direct mail advertisers

  • Make an appointment with each
  • Collect information on pricing, mailing areas and number of homes included in each mailer
  • Ask for their mailing calendar
  • Select one company
  • Develop ad copy and offer

B. Establish an in-house telemarketing program 1. Develop a job description, work schedule, and script 2. Solicit employee applications for a telemarketing position

  • Place employee ads in newspapers
  • Contact employee agencies
  • Post employee opportunity flyers at local colleges

3. Interview applicants
4. Select and employ an applicant
5. Train applicant

II. Improve community awareness of our company’s new service
A. Establish a Network of business associates and community outreach programs 1. Join the local Chamber of Commerce
2. Join a local nonprofit community service organization

B. Develop a public relation campaign that focuses on the quality of our new service 1. Identify public relation firms that successfully serve your community
2. Interview three such firms

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