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3 Key Elements of Marketing Plan Outline or Table of Contents Executive SummarySituation AnalysisObjectivesStrategiesTacticsBudget
4 Outline or Table of Contents The outline is the headings of each section with page numbers (remember to include page numbers—without them, anybody reading your plan is lost).
5 Executive SummaryBegin your marketing plan with a one-page summary of the circumstances and principal recommendations contained in the plan.
6 Executive SummarySummary allows everyone to grasp quickly the main thrust of the plan and then lets them read further in search of the information most critical to his or her part in it.
7 Situation AnalysisThis section describes where your company stands at that moment in time.It includes background on past sales, major competitors, and explanations of recent sales and profit results.
8 Situation AnalysisIt should also feature a forecast for the industry, including opportunities and threats and some mention of the company's strengths and weaknesses versus the competition.
9 ObjectivesEvery company has objectives. They are simply a matter of deciding where you want to be and when you want to get there.
10 ObjectivesIs the purpose of your marketing plan to launch a new product or line of products?If so, your objective might read, "Achieve 10 percent market share within the first 12 months of product launch."
11 ObjectivesIs the purpose of your marketing plan to boost revenue from existing products?Your objective then might read, "Increase revenue 12 percent from our existing line of products over the next six months while maintaining current profit margins."
12 StrategiesStrategies are the things you need to do to accomplish your objectives. If your objective is where you want your company to be, the strategy is the route you need to take to get there.
13 StrategiesFor example, if the objective is to increase sales revenue, your strategies might be one or more of the following:Increase the average price on all unitsIncrease overall sales volumeSell more of the higher-priced unitsAny combination of these
14 TacticsWhereas strategies establish a broad outline of how you want to achieve your objectives, tactics are specific actions."Increase awareness among potential customers" is a strategy. "Develop a brochure to send to new prospects" is simply a tactic for implementing that strategy.
15 BudgetOf course, each tactic has a price. Add up all that you plan to use and you know what your budget must be to achieve your goals.
17 Executive SummaryPlasticMaker is a plastic injection molding firm with annual sales of $2 million.This plan was developed to provide opportunities for increasing sales 40 percent or more over the next three years.The company will expand its sales territory and attract new customers through direct mailing, publicity, and the personal selling efforts of independent manufacturers' representatives.
18 Situation AnalysisPlasticMaker uses technologically advanced plastic molding equipment capable of unattended operation to provide just-in-time service to clients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
19 Situation AnalysisSales have been flat over the past two years due to a highly price-competitive market, but have experienced steady growth the four previous years.The company has an excellent reputation and typically turns 15 percent of quote requests into customers.
20 Situation AnalysisOpportunities exist for expansion to Illinois and Iowa due to higher price points and fewer competitors in this region.
21 ObjectivesIncrease sales 40 percent over the next three years while maintaining 20 percent profit margins or better.Retain current mix of customers so no one customer represents more than 20 percent of sales.Relieve Joe Dokes, owner, of the burden of sales, allowing him more time for administration and quality control.
22 StrategiesIn all promotion materials, present clear, consistent image of quality and service to target market.Hire Independent Manufacturers' Sales Organization to relieve Dokes of sales responsibilities.Expand to markets beyond current geographic region of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.
23 Strategies Provide ample sales support for sales representatives. Develop training programs for sales representatives designed to encourage loyalty and enhance service image of firm.Respond to quote requests faster.
24 TacticsSeek out, retain, and train independent sales representatives (at a 10-percent commission rate) to cover the territory of Illinois and Iowa, which will increase customer base by 120 percent.Purchase CAD/CAM design system. Customer research indicates it is important to return quote requests promptly. Current average turnaround time is ten days. PlasticMaker will cut this time to five days by purchasing a CAD/CAM design system and using computer-dedicated fax lines to return quote requests promptly.
25 TacticsHold annual sales meeting. The additional sales representatives require training and a sense of "team spirit."Develop new brochure. Feedback from the field indicates a need for a more detailed brochure that can be used as a direct mailing prior to a sales call, a "leave behind" at the sales call, or as a follow-up to a customer contact.
26 TacticsObtain magazine reprints. Use high-quality reprints of company's trade journal advertisements for distribution by sales representatives, in mailings, and at trade shows.Publicity. The company will use its public relations agency to develop articles of interest to the industry while portraying the firm in a positive light. Emphasis will be placed on publications in the Midwest, particularly in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
27 TacticsDirect mailing. Purchase prospective customer mailing lists targeting by ZIP Code (Illinois, Iowa), Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code, and sales (over $10 million but less than $1 billion). Develop mailing designed to attract 5 percent or better prospect inquiries, of which 15 percent will become customers. Provide lists to sales representatives and notify them which portion of the list will be mailed and when.
28 Source of ReferenceW. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy, HBS Publication