The Strategic Marketing Plan
In most organizations, "strategic marketing planning" is an annual process that typically covers just the year ahead. To be most effective, the marketing plan has to be formalized, usually written as a Word document and defined as a "formal marketing plan". The essence of this process is that it moves from generalized information to specific information; from the overall corporate objectives down to the individual department action plans or a part of one marketing program. It is also an interactive and collaborative process, so that the draft output of each stage is gathered, checked and reviewed to see what impact it has on the earlier stages - and then amended accordingly.
At Catanich, we recommend that this plan cover a full two years ahead, updated quarterly and lay the foundation for the Internet Marketing Calendar to be covered later. Like scheduling Trade Shows two years in advanced, you will find that the Search Engines (Google) will have a major affect on the Internet Marketing Calendar. Specifically, their web page "Indexing" schedule and how that will have an affect between a "new product introduction" vs. SE's web site indexing schedule (or what we call a "randomized delay").
The following is a Sample Marketing Plan that we give to our clients and help them fill out. It lays the foundation for furture decisions to be made and helps out with the question, "How does our 'brick & morter' marketing plan integrate with our new 'internet' marketing plan?"
"Or will it conflict?"
Question: Who will get credit for the sale? The web site, the shopping cart, Ebay, Outside Sales, Inside Sales, Technical Support, etc.?
Name of company, date, contact information, etc.
Table of Contents
A high-level summary of the marketing plan.
- The Challenge
- Company Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
Brief description of product to be marketed and associated goals, such as sales figures and strategic goals.
- Market share
- Value drivers
- Decision process
- Concentration of customer base for particular products
- Market position
- Market shares
- joint ventures
Macro-environmental PEST analysis
- Political and legal environment
- Economic environment
- Social and cultural environment
- Technological environment
A SWOT analysis of the business environment can be performed by organizing the environmental factors as follows:
- The firm's internal attributes can be classed as strengths and weaknesses.
- The external environment presents opportunities and threats.
Present a description of the market segmentation as follows:
- Percent of sales
- What they want
- How they use product
- Support requirements
- How to reach them
- Price sensitivity
- Percent of sales
- What they want
Alternative Marketing Strategies
List and discuss the alternatives that were considered before arriving at the recommended strategy. Alternatives might include discontinuing a product, re-branding, positioning as a premium or value product, etc.
Selected Marketing Strategy
Discuss why the strategy was selected, then the marketing mix decisions (4 P's) of product, price, place (distribution), and promotion.
The product decisions should consider the product's advantages and how they will be leveraged. Product decisions should include:
- Brand name
- Scope of product line
Discuss pricing strategy, expected volume, and decisions for the following pricing variables.
- List price
- Payment terms and financing options
- Leasing options
Decision variables include:
- Distribution channels, such as direct, retail, distributors & intermediates
- Motivating the channel - for example, distributor margins
- Criteria for evaluating distributors
- Logistics, including transportation, warehousing, and order fulfillment
- Advertising, including which media, with whom, and how much.
- Public relations
- Promotional programs
- Budget; determine break-even point for any additional spending
- Projected results of the promotional programs
Short & Long-Term Projections
The selected strategy's immediate effects, expected long-term results, and any special actions required to achieve them. This section may include forecasts of revenues and expenses as well as the results of a break-even analysis.
Summarize all of the above.
Calculations of market size, commissions, profit margins, break-even analyses, etc.