A marketing plan is the foundation for how you are going to communicate with customers about your product. Entrepreneurship in a box calls it a, “… detailed roadmap that outlines all your marketing strategies, tactics, activities, cost and projected results over a period of time.” A marketing plan should be strategically thought about when it comes to terms of your overall marketing, like where you advertise via social media, targeting the right kind of customers, and keeping watch on the goals you have set up for your business. Whenever you look at your marketing plan, you should have these 5 steps placed within your plan that Brafton recommends.

Step One: Plan your mission, goals, and objectives

This is the foundation of your business, without this, your marketing plan will crumble right from the very start. You must make sure you know your mission for the business and then figure out what goals and objectives you are trying to achieve. The mission statement helps explain why you created your company; it helps customers understand why it’s been created. The next part, goals and objectives, helps you begin the process of getting your business in motion. It’s always helpful to use the SMART approach.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Aspirational
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Step Two: Analyze Industry Positioning

Here is where you look at your company as a whole and where it stands compared to other companies just like yours. In this phase it’s helpful to use SWOT, which means:

  • Strengths, the things your company is doing well compared to others.
  • Weakness, the things your company struggles with compared to others.
  • Opportunities, the trends that could help improve your business.
  • Threats, the external factors (politics, technology, economy) that could potentially hurt the business.

This will help when you are trying to create a memorable impression for your customers when they look at your business.

Step Three: Establish Marketing Tactics

This is where you begin to chart out your plans. After taking the data you gathered from your SWOT in step two and analyzing it, you now begin to place it into motion. By using the 4 Ps that E.J. McCarthy created back in 1960, this will help your marketing by focusing on product, price, promotion, and place. This information will help when it comes to figuring out the financing of each of the products you are placing on the market. This step is also where you need to focus on your brand image, the target audience needs, and what kind of marketing you are using for your specific campaign.

Step Four: Put Your Process to Work

This step and the last are the easiest out the five. This is where you gather all your research, resources, teams, etc., and place your plan into action. You get to officially launch your plan and watch what the results bring in.

Step Five: Evaluate, Make Adjusted Changes, Repeat

Within this step is where you can look at your data and observe any changes that need to be made within your marketing plan. This final step is on-going, always making some changes but you can be proud to have a well-prepared marketing plan, no matter the results.