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How to Write a Marketing Plan

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  • 0:03 Developing a Marketing Plan
  • 0:29 Drafting an Outline
  • 4:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Joseph Moore

Joseph is an Adjunct Faculty member. He has a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to write a marketing plan. We'll explore a step-by-step process for organizing and formatting a marketing plan for your business.

Developing a Marketing Plan

So what is a marketing plan, and why is it important in business? A marketing plan is a detailed guide that assists an individual or a business in understanding the goals, objectives, and needs of customers. Marketing plans vary in length: a business with only a few employees may have a marketing plan made up of only a few pages, whereas a company with 10,000 employees and an enormous operation may have a marketing plan consisting of 25 or more pages.

Drafting an Outline

The first step in writing a marketing plan is formatting an outline. The outline should consist of headings and capture the information that you want in each section within your marketing plan.

For example, one heading on your draft outline will be 'Targeted Audience,' which we will discuss in greater detail later. So on your draft outline underneath the heading 'Targeted Audience,' you should include what information should be discussed as it relates to the target audience.

You may be asking, what is the purpose of formatting a draft outline? Creating a draft outline will assist in facilitating and organizing your marketing plan. Think of the outline as a table of contents - this will allow you to know what is within your marketing plan prior to writing it.

Though not mandatory, you may also opt for the inclusion of graphs or charts within your marketing plan. If you do choose to include these, this information should be added at the end of the entire marketing plan.

The Introduction Section

Now that you have your draft outline formatted, this will serve as a guide when writing your actual marketing plan. The first section on your marketing plan should be the introduction. This section should be an overview of your business and should examine the current situation and state of your business.

Additionally, this section should contain the product or services that your business focuses on. Providing a detail description of the product and services is extremely important. Also this section should discuss any issues or concerns that your business currently faces.

Within this section it should also include a mission statement. The mission statement should be approximately five to six sentences stating the goals, function, values, and objectives of your business.

Targeted Audience Section

The next section should cover the targeted audience, or the group or individuals that use your products or services. This section should clearly define the average age, the percentage of females and males that uses your products, and the demographics of the consumers of your products and or services. The more you know and understand about the targeted audience, the better it will be for your business. Knowing your targeted audience will save you time and resources because you will know what specific group and individuals are the consumers of your products/services.

Market Research and Analysis Section

The next section should be the market research & analysis section. This section should analyze and examine other competitors who have similar products and services that you offer. Researching your competition is important because this will allow you to examine best practices and see what other companies may be doing right or wrong.

Within this section you should include the competitors that you examine, a comparison about the data on your company as well as data on your competition, and best practices. The research should examine companies and data from the past five years because examining data too far back may be considered outdated. This data could be the mission statement, profits, location of the companies, customer base, and information related to the services and products being examined. The research should ultimately be used to identify challenges and future opportunity as it relates to the market.

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