Never Forget to Answer These Questions When Writing Your Marketing Plan
A marketing plan outlines your marketing strategy. It’s a comprehensive guide explaining what your company offers and how to meet specific goals. Anyone should be able to pick up your marketing plan and understand the following:
- What your business does
- Who your company serves
- What services or products offered
- The value of your products
- How the product is marketed
After the marketing strategy is executed, the plan serves as a reminder. Backed by research and data, the marketing plan reminds the reader what the proposed goal was and whether they reached it.
By answering a few questions related to The 5 P’s of marketing, you’ll ensure your marketing plan is fulfilling its need.
What are the 5 P’s of marketing?
Initially, the concept only included four, but as marketing trends shifted, the fifth P, People, was added. The P’s help any marketer find their target market to sell their product.
The first step to starting any business is understanding everything about the product you offer. That includes understanding the features, the benefits, and the difference between the two.
Features are components, such as an iPhone having 256 gigabytes of storage. The benefit is that you can ditch your bulky laptop since your iPhone can now carry over 36,000 songs — all in your back pocket. Convenient. Lightweight. Simple.
You must understand what problem your product solves. This is how you stand out amongst the competition.
- What do my products do?
- What problem(s) do they solve?
- Who are my competitors? What problem(s) do they solve?
- What are the benefits of my products?
Price is crucial. Your product’s pricing must be competitive but also enough to cover expenses and manufacturing costs. Otherwise, you won’t be profitable. Additionally, don’t forget your market must want to throw down the money for it.
- What do the competition charge?
- Can I charge competitively while also making a profit?
- What’s the value of my product?
- What are my expenses or resource costs?
How can you sell your products? If you’re a SaaS (software as a service) company, you sell products online. How do your customers get it? Through downloads on the site, or perhaps in their email. What about physical products — do you sell them in multiple stores across the country? Do you ship them too?
- Where do my competitors shop?
- How does the competitor distribute their products?
- What channels are best to distribute my product?
How will people know your products exist? Is your marketing strategy online or purely offline? Do you host contests or offer coupons? Consider the biggest question: Do you know where your customers are? Otherwise, you can’t market to them successfully. You’ll just be burning money.
- Do customers hangout online or offline?
- What marketing channels are customers most receptive to?
- Where do they typically go to buy similar products?
- What do they respond to best: funny, professional, or simple marketing?
People come in two forms: Those who work beside you and those who are your target market. First, who works with you? Do you have a sales teams and marketing department? Or are you on your own? Do you have virtual assistants or do everything with your business partner? The people you hire or work with must be professional and respectable. Otherwise, you’ll get customer complaints. Additionally make sure you know who your target market is, inside and out.
- Do I need a sales or marketing team?
- Do I need more help or better help?
- Who is my target market and where can I find them?
- What compels them to buy products?
- What are popular buying trends?
This next point can’t be stressed enough: Research the answer to these questions.
A marketing plan isn’t a book of fiction. It’s a document of analytics to back up your claims. This is not the time for guessing. You don’t imagine that your customers are addicted to Snapchat. Or that they might use your product to solve problem X.
You must know they’re on Snapchat 24/7 so you can market to them. And you must know what problem you sell to appeal to their needs. Answer these questions — each of them — and you’ll be on your way towards the marketing plan of your dreams.