What must a marketing plan contain?

The business plan defines for an organization, the objectives to be achieved and the resources available. Achieving these goals raises the question: “What are we doing now?

Sales managers are responsible for producing and maximizing profitable revenue for the long-term future of the business by anticipating and meeting customer demands. The task of the sales manager usually derives from the business plan, in the form of financial goals that the company seeks to achieve in terms of revenues, costs , investments and profits. Upon receiving these goals, the first question that comes to mind is “how to achieve them? What should be done ? What resources are needed?

Marketing operational plan

Operational plans, commonly referred to as marketing plans, should be directly inspired by business plans, as they are fundamental to showing how investments and assets should be used to generate income. Too often, companies make little or no detailed plans on how revenues will actually be produced and think that it’s enough to increase sales goals, develop brands and presence in social media , as well as a vague mission statement to guide the way.

In order for the sales manager to meet the requirements of the business plan, all business activities that directly or indirectly involve the customer must be managed in such a way that all assets and investments are used effectively, in order to collectively generate revenue.

Have a business plan

Before starting any trip, it is important to know where you want to arrive, to have a map to show the way and to know where you are on the map before you start. The same goes for business. The business plan shows where the organization wants to be. The operational plan or marketing indicates how to achieve it.

But before starting the plan, the sales manager must make a complete assessment of the company’s situation and the market, in order to understand the current activity and the position of the company in the market.

The starting point for this assessment is that of a SWOT analysis . An analysis of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats that may affect it in its business success, provides an essential understanding of the current situation,

SWOT / SWOT analysis

  • What are the strengths of the organization in terms of market share, market segment, specialization, reputation, product or service, price, etc.?
  • What are the weaknesses of the organization in terms of market share, market segment, specialization, reputation, product or service, price, etc.?
  • What are the opportunities for the organization in terms of new markets, new products, economic situation, new technologies and legislation?
  • What are the potential threats to the organization in terms of competitors, competing products, economic situation, new technologies and legislation?

Conclusions SWOT / SWOT analysis

Applying a SWOT analysis to key competitors is also important to better understand the market in which the organization operates, although obtaining accurate information is more problematic. Nevertheless, we must try to answer them:

  • What are the competitor’s strengths in terms of market share, market segment, specialization, reputation, product or service, price, etc.?
  • What are the competitor’s weaknesses in terms of market share, market segment, specialization, reputation, product or service, price, etc.?
  • What are the opportunities for the competitor in terms of new markets, new products, economic situation, new technologies and legislation?
  • What threats are likely to affect the competitor in terms of competitors, competing products, economic situation, new technologies and legislation?

In addition to conducting regular SWOT analyzes, which may be annual, it is also recommended to carry out a regular commercial or “marketing” audit. The reason is that many business and business decisions that are made are based on assumptions, because “everyone knows it,” but do they know it? How do you know ? Is the hypothesis true? Where is the evidence ?

Enterprise or marketing audit is a self-administered method of identifying and realizing underutilized business resources, including market, business, organizational strengths and weaknesses , the economic environment, the commercial and competitive environment.

Unlike business performance indicators, much of a business or marketing audit will provide qualitative rather than quantitative information. The information collected should seek to identify and confirm what needs to be known, what should be known, what is known and what is not. The generally accepted “assumptions” should be identified and their factual content should be examined.

The questions of the audit inquiry

There is no “magic list” of questions, but they must cover as wide a field of inquiry as possible about the market and the economic conditions in which a company works. The audit will also cover internal procedures and knowledge, which can not be reported through business performance measures. Typically, a business or marketing audit can cover more than 20 topics including strategy , planning , market environment, competition , law and more, with at least as many questions for each topic.

Develop the operational plan

Once the current business situation is understood, the next step is to develop an operational or marketing plan to effectively use the resources and investments to achieve the objectives of the business plan.

An operational or marketing plan should cover what to do, how to do it, what to measure, and what emergency measures cover what follows;

  • What is the goal of turnover: how was it achieved, is it achievable and achievable?
  • Where will the CA come from: what is the market, where to find it?
  • Which market sectors should be addressed, is the market understood, where is the product on the market?
  • Who are the main potential or existing customers? Identify all customers for whom the product or service would meet a need.
  • Which communications to use: advertising , social media exhibitions , etc.
  • If a key customer is lost by competition or buys less than expected, how to fill the gap?
  • Who are the main customers who collectively will make up the bulk of the income goal?

A clear appreciation of the organization’s current market position in relation to its market and its competitors is essential to the development of an effective operational plan. Without a clear appreciation of the situation, any operational plan or subsequent marketing will be presented from the start.

Finally, to achieve the objectives of the business plan or marketing, the sales manager must demonstrate the leadership and management skills needed to motivate staff with strong leadership, good judgment and clear decision-making, guidance and communication. clear.