A Complete Marketing Plan Outline

The marketing plan outlines the activities involved to create interest in your product or service. As defined in the definition of marketing, marketing is a series of action steps taken to grow customer interest in a product or service to the pint of where they have to have it. Therefore, the marketing plan will outline these steps.

Below is a complete marketing plan outline of all activities that are required to get customers interested and buying your product or service.

  1. Overview and Goals of Marketing Strategy
    1. Marketing Strategy Overview
      1. Who are your customers and competitors?
      2. What problems will your business solve or needs will it fulfill? What are you selling and what price?
      3. Where is your target market located and where can you reach them?
      4. When are your customers most likely to buy?
      5. How will you reach your customers?

    2. Marketing Strategy Goals
      1. Creating a strong brand.
      2. Building a strong customer base.
      3. Increasing sales.

  2. Target Market Analysis
    1. Target Market
    2. Define your target market by:
      1. Demographics - statistical data of a population
      2. Psychographics - lifestyle of a particular demographic
      3. Niche market - specialized market area

    3. Competition
      1. Description of major competitors
      2. Assessment of strengths & weaknesses

    4. Market Trends
      1. Industry Trends
      2. Target Market Trends

    5. Market Research
      1. Methods of Research

  3. Marketing Strategy
    1. General Description
      1. Marketing effort allocation - percentage of budget allocated to the various marketing strategies online and offline
      2. Discussion on the strategies that are expected to generate the most new business.

    2. Sales & Distribution Method
    3. Where will you sale and distribute your product or service to the customer?
      1. Stores, Offices, Kiosks
      2. Catalogs, Direct Mail
      3. Web site

    4. Packaging
    5. How will the product be packaged? Who will design it?

    6. Pricing
      1. Price strategy
      2. How low can you charge and make a profit? How high will the market bear? What will you charge and why?
      3. Competitive position
      4. Is your price going to be less than, equal to, or greater than your competitors? Why?

    7. Branding
    8. What is your image? Cheap, Great Quality, Honest, etc.

    9. Marketing Database
    10. How do you plan to collect and study buying patterns of your customer for future services and products?

    11. Sales Strategies
    12. How will you contact, deliver and follow-up with sales material to your target market?
      1. Direct Sales
      2. Direct Mail
      3. E-mail Marketing
      4. Affiliate Marketing
      5. Reciprocal Marketing
      6. Viral Marketing

    13. Sales Incentives & Promotions
      1. Free Samples
      2. Cash Back Coupons
      3. Sweepstakes
      4. Online Promotions
      5. Bonuses / Ad-ons
      6. Rebates

    14. Advertising Strategies
      1. Traditional Advertising (television, radio, print, extreme)
      2. Web Advertising (banner ads, ppc, smart phones, portals/vortals, interactive TV)
      3. Long-term Sponsorships

    15. Public Relations
    16. How will you build credibility in the marketplace that are more discreet than direct marketing?
      1. How will you build an online presence through community groups, clubs, chats, and message boards?
      2. Will you have an event to attract people to your website or store?
      3. Press Releases
      4. Interviews

    17. Networking

  4. Customer Service
    1. Customer Service Activities
    2. Expected Outcome

  5. Marketing Strategy Implementation
    1. In-House Responsibility
    2. Outsourced Functions
      1. Advertising, public relations, marketing firms
      2. Advertising networks
      3. Other

  6. Marketing Assessment
  7. In the beginning this section will be blank. However, after three months evaluate your marketing results compared to your plan. Describe in this section what is working and what is failing. Remember a business and marketing plan is a living document. Meaning it should grow and improve with your business.

A good resource to dig deeper into the marketing plan outline is Anatomy of a Business Plan: The Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Business and Securing Your Company's Future

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