Content of Marketing Plan
A marketing plan usually contains the following sections:
• Executive summary and table of contents.
• Situation analysis: This section presents relevant background data on sales, costs, the market, competitors, and the microenvironment. Firms will use all this information to carry out SWOT analysis.
• Marketing strategy: Here the marketing manager defines the mission, marketing, and financial objectives, and needs the market offering is intended to satisfy as well as its competitive positioning.
• Marketing tactics: The marketing manager outlines the marketing activities that will be undertaken to execute the marketing strategy.
• The product or service offering section describes the key attributes and benefits that will appeal to target customers.
• The pricing section specifies the general price range and how it might vary across different types of customers or channels, including any incentive or discount plans.
• The channel section outlines the different forms of distribution, such as direct or indirect.
• The communications section usually offers high-level guidance about the general message and media strategy.
• Financial projections: Include a sales forecast, and expense forecast, and break-even analysis. On the revenue, side is forecasted sales volume by month and product category, and on the expense side the expected costs of marketing, broken down into finer categories. The break-even analysis estimates how many units the firm must sell monthly (or how many years it will take) to offset its monthly fixed costs and average per-unit variable costs.
• Implementation controls: The last section outlines the controls for monitoring and adjusting the implementation of the plan. Typically, it spells out the goals and budget for each month or quarter so management can review each period’s results and take corrective action as needed.