Determine whether to create a short marketing plan or a full-blown academic type of marketing plan or something somewhere in between.
Outline the Scope of Your Marketing Plan
It takes time to develop a marketing plan – from a couple of days to several weeks, depending on your experience and the depth of the plan – so it is a clever idea to define the marketing plan scope beforehand to manage content expectations and deadlines. Most businesspeople agree that good planning is essential for business success. A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines all your marketing strategies, tactics, activities, costs, and projected results over a period. The plan keeps your entire team focused on specific goals – it is a critical resource for your entire company.
Marketing plans can range from something as simple as a 1-page summary document to a 50+ page document covering multiple product lines and distribution channels. “Traditional” marketing plan templates can be intimidating for a businessperson without an MBA or a marketing degree, as they have loads of theory that businesspeople cannot always tie to tangible results like market share goals, profit and loss results and monthly sales and marketing activities.
There is nothing wrong with creating a detailed plan; however, it is best to create a plan that delivers what you need based on your company situation. Each company is different, depending on company age, revenue, resources available and marketing and sales ability. Feel free to change the process and the level of detail, based on your needs and your available time. For example, if you need to prepare a plan very quickly, you may not choose to go through all the exercises in the supporting subjects. Instead, just respond to the questions in the exercise and do your best. You can always come back and revise your plan if necessary.
To start, outline the period that your marketing plan will cover (year, quarter, month). If you have not written a marketing plan before, make sure to give yourself enough time to complete a quality plan. Simple plans might take anywhere from 2 to 20 hours to complete, while complex plans might take anywhere from 20 to 100 hours, depending on your company size, your marketing budget and activities and your marketing experience.
What type of marketing plan would you like to create?
- Quick summary (Record key bullet points for each section)
- Average length (Address key points in each section)
- Detailed (Explore each section in depth)
Start by writing down the following:
- Plan Period
- Target Completion Date
- Marketing Plan Scope
If you have to deliver marketing recommendations before you’ll be able to write a complete marketing plan, here are tips for updating your marketing calendar.
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