1. Business Summary
In a marketing plan, your Business Summary is exactly what it sounds like: a summary of the organization. This includes the company name, where it’s headquartered, and its mission statement — all of which should be consistent with the business as a whole.
Your marketing plan’s Business Summary also includes a SWOT analysis, which stands for the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Be patient with your business’s SWOT analysis; you’ll write most of it based on how you fill out the next few marketing plan elements below.
2. Target Market
Here’s where you’ll conduct some basic market research. If your company has already done a thorough market research study, this section of your marketing plan might be easier to put together.
Ultimately, this element of your marketing plan will help you describe the industry you’re selling to, an analysis of your competitors, and your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer, focusing on traits like age, location, job title, and personal challenges.
3. Market Strategy
Your Market Strategy uses the information included in your Target Market section to describe how your company should approach the market. What will your business offer your buyer personas that your competitors aren’t already offering them?
In a full-length marketing plan, this section can contain the “seven Ps of marketing.” These Ps are product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence. (You’ll learn more about these seven sub-components inside our free marketing plan template, which you can download below.)
4. Marketing Channels
Your marketing plan will include a list of your marketing channels. While your company might promote the product itself using certain ad space, your marketing channels are where you’ll publish the content that educates your buyers, generates leads, and spreads awareness of your brand.
If you publish (or intend to publish) on social media, this is the place to talk about it. Use the Marketing Channels section of your marketing plan to lay out which social networks you want to launch a business page on, what you’ll use this social network for, and how you’ll measure your success on this network. Part of this section’s purpose is to prove to your superiors, both inside an outside Marketing, that these channels will serve to grow the business.
Businesses with extensive social media presences might even consider elaborating on their social strategy in a separate social media plan template — which you can download below.
Lastly, include the Conclusion.