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Marketing Planning Process: 5 Steps for

Success

A marketing plan is one of the most important documents in a business for


planning their long term success. Done right, it’s a road map that analyzes the
business environment, threats and opportunities in the industry, and puts a
marketing strategy in place to achieve business objectives. Don’t confuse this
with a typical business plan. A marketing plan is more focused on strategy,
whereas a business plan has its focus on the financials. In addition, a business
plan is typically used as a tool to assist companies raising capital, while a
marketing plan aims to give direction for a company, and is a core component
of a business plan.

If you’re interested in running through the details, this recent postcovers


the four steps you need to follow for success in planning your marketing.
Within the marketing plan, there is a specific process to follow to ensure you
get it right, and plan out how each phase will be accomplished. All you need is
to follow these basic process steps:

1. Determine the overall mission of the organization.


The starting point for your marketing plan is determining the goals and
the basic objectives you are planning to achieve in your company.
Sometimes these are already in place, but if you’re working on a new
venture you may need to create this from scratch. This involves setting
the company mission, defining what your company is all about, and
identifying what makes it unique. Put your focus on the needs that your
company solves for your customers, and not simply the products or
services you plan to sell. Every good business solves a need. The
company mission is the foundation from which all of your marketing
plans will be built, and gives you a set of objectives with which you can
strive for, and evaluate your performance against
2. Assess the resources available. Look at all the strengths
within your existing organization. Perhaps there is a really strong sales
team, or maybe your expertise is in research and development with a
strong tech team. Do this analysis in detail, because it will let you form a
good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your resources, and help
you to determine what you can work with, and build from.

Take all of your strengths, and make sure that you are capitalizing on what you
do best to achieve your objectives. When you know your abilities inside and
out, and are aware of the objectives you want to reach, you are perfectly
position to take advantage of any opportunities that arise. In the same light, be
aware of the weaknesses within your organization, and ensure you have
adequate measures in place as safeguards for any difficult times, or do
everything possible to eliminate them altogether.

3. Evaluate the opportunities and risks present.


Outside of your company’s own strengths and weaknesses, there are a
huge range of environmental factors that impact your ability to plan
your marketing efforts. As you reach this section perform a detailed
analysis of the market, the competitors in the industry, any marketing
channels available as well as the economy, political climate and any
social factors that may have an influence. You also need to study
internal factors that will influence your ability to compete in the
marketplace, including the costs of production, profit margins, as well
as the people, financial resources and equipment available. In addition
you need to study the target markets, and ensure what you are
producing really does satisfy a need, and there hasn’t been any changes
in what customers are looking for. Think about how well your
competition is satisfying the needs of your customers, and identify
where your company can differentiate and excel. You should also touch
on the marketing objectives you set in the first step, and ensure they are
still reasonable now that you have more information on both the
industry and the market

4. Plan the marketing strategy. The main goal of this segment is


to select a target market, and determine how you’re going to reach them all.
This is where the marketing mix that you’ve heard many times, the four P’s,
comes into play.

 Product: The item that satisfies the demand of the consumer


 Price: Setting the right price for the product, and being aware of the
customer’s perceived value of the product
 Promotion: All of the different channels with which you can reach
your target audience
 Place (Distribution): The places where your product is sold, that
makes it easy for consumers to purchase

5. Plan the marketing strategy. you need to evaluate and track


your development so you can identify what is working, and what needs to be
tweaked even further.

Financial projections are needed at this stage, so that you can determine if the
actions you’ve implemented are helping you achieve what you’ve set out to
achieve.

Following these five steps you’ll be able to build a marketing plan that will set
your business up for success, and reach your customers with products and
services that are exactly what they need. There’s no better recipe for success in
business!