This article will give you the six parts of a basic marketing plan template that will work for any business. Those parts, or sections of the template, are: Situation Analysis, Target Audience, Goals, Strategies, Tactics, and Budget.
The first section of the marketing plan is the SITUATION ANALYSIS.
In this section you look at your challenges, your competition, and how you are unique in the marketplace. The situation analysis lays the foundation for your goals, strategies and tactics. This is accomplished through a thorough analysis of your self and your specific situation or market. In this section you create your Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.).
The second section of the plan defines your TARGET AUDIENCE. Here is where you uncover who has a NEED for your product or service. This involves profiling you existing customers and finding common attributes. The purpose of the exercise is to ultimately create an “ideal customer profile”
In the Target Audience section of the document you decide which customers you are going to approach with your marketing efforts.
The third section of the marketing plan is GOALS.
This is where you lay out exactly what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts. Without goals you will never have a benchmark to compare to. If your marketing plan is a one year plan, how will you know if you were successful or not at the end of the year of marketing activities?
Another critical element of the Goals section is to schedule evaluation points throughout the duration of your plan. Having these points predetermined will allow you to continually assess the effectiveness of your efforts.
The fourth section of the plan is where you develop your STRATEGIES.
This is where you choose which tools (media) you will use to reach your target audience. With many marketing tools available for businesses, choosing the right ones can make a big difference in your bottom line.
Using the information gathered in the first three sections of the marketing plan template will make the step of deciding which media tools to use easier.
The fifth section of the marketing plan is TACTICS.
Here you lay out the logistics of how you are going to use your marketing tools. When will your marketing tools be implemented? What happens when? In this section you will create a Media Rationale and a Marketing Calendar.
The media rationale justifies the use of a particular tool by outlining specific reasons why that tool is a good choice and the specific way it will be implemented within your plan.
The marketing calendar is simply a week-by-week calendar of your marketing activities.
The sixth section of the marketing plan is BUDGET.
In this part of your plan you look at whether or not you can afford certain marketing efforts and devise a way to keep track and monitor the responses to your marketing activities. You can also determine what kind of funds it will take to accomplish certain marketing priorities.
If you use these six sections when creating your marketing plan template; Situation Analysis, Target Audience, Goals, Strategies, Tactics, and Budget, you will have everything included to launch your new marketing initiatives to the marketplace.