Developing a strategic marketing plan is important for any kind of business venture. It will help define goals, what the business does, the customers and marketing strategies. Marketing plans help the company to understand whom they will be selling products and services to and how they will achieve this.
Basic Strategic Marketing Plan
One way to make a strategic marketing plan is to have five sections, starting with an overview that describes the business and outlines in bullet points what the major points of the plan are, according to StartupNation.com.
Next is the situation analysis where you go into what your particular market is like, describing who your potential customers are, how many of them there are, and if your customer base is likely to grow. List what the competition is and what they can offer, as opposed to what you can. List possible weaknesses of your company and how these can be corrected.
Marketing strategy is the next part of this plan. Here, list the company marketing goals, typically for the year. Explain you how will take advantage of the opportunities available to this market by using the “Four Ps,” or: product, price, place and promotion. What is the product, how much you will price it at, the place where people can get your product or service and how you will promote it?
Explain your detailed plan of exactly how you intend to capitalize on the available opportunity, such as exactly which advertising mediums you will use and what types of advertising you will do. Typical avenues are advertising, public relations, point of sale (sales staff) and word of mouth.
Finally, submit a timeline and a budget necessary to achieve your goals.
Comprehensive Marketing Plan
Another way to write your strategic marketing plan is to break it up into three sections: the marketing plan, the operations plan and the development plan. The marketing plan section is the same as the basic strategic marketing plan. This plan differs in that it covers two additional aspects of the business not covered by the basic marketing plan, namely, operations and development.
The marketing plan portion describes your business, your competitors and how you plan to capitalize on the market, using the five sections containing the overview, the situation analysis, the marketing strategy, the detailed plan and the timeline and budget.
The operations plan includes the operations portion of the business, typically 80 percent of any business, according to a Docstoc.com article. You must have marketing in sync with operations. For example, if you are targeting a luxury audience, you do not want operations producing a budget item. This portion of the plan details how marketing works with operations and who is dictating to whom.
The development strategy talks about how you will deliver on any marketing successes. According to the Docstoc.com article, this section is often overlooked in many marketing plans. Once you are successful in your marketing strategies, you must be able to meet the needs you generate. This part of the plan explains how your company will deliver the product or service you are selling.
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.