Drawing up a marketing plan: this is how you do it

Drawing up a marketing plan: this is how you do it As a starter, you want to sell your products or services as well as possible.  Writing a ...

marketing planDrawing up a marketing plan: this is how you do it

As a starter, you want to sell your products or services as well as possible. Writing a marketing plan contributes to a flying start of your company with concrete objectives. With a good marketing strategy you significantly increase the chance of success.

The marketing plan is an all-encompassing strategy, consisting of a number of separate parts that are all connected to each other.

Formulate goal and strategy

Think of a SWOT analysis, the marketing mix and determining the target group. It helps you to formulate a clear goal and to base a strategy on it.

We will discuss all individual components below and also explain why it is important to include these aspects in the marketing plan. Go straight to a chapter? Click on the link.

  1. Create business analysis
  2. Determine target group
  3. Do industry and market research
  4. Prepare competitive analysis
  5. Create SWOT analysis
  6. Drafting marketing strategy
  7. Formulate marketing mix
  8. Determine marketing budget

1. Create business analysis

In the business analysis section, you describe the current situation of your (future) company: all internal matters and demographic characteristics are discussed.

Include in your business analysis:

  • Start with a clear overview of your financial situation: what are the turnover figures and what are the results of purchases and sales?
  • Also describe the characteristics of the product or service you will provide 
  • What materials do you need?
  • And is it in line with expectations that you will hire staff?
  • Include the working method and structure of your company in this analysis: for example, make an organizational chart to map this. Describe the company culture
  • Also describe external factors such as the location of your office building or accessibility, which may influence your business operations

2. Determine target group

When starting a business, it is essential to map out your future customers. You investigate who you are making the product for or to whom you are offering a particular service.

Once you know what their greatest needs are, adjust the strategy accordingly. The better you get a picture of the target group, the better chance of success the company has.

Prepare customer analysis

You can further increase the insight into the target group by drawing up a customer analysis . The main goal: discover who your potential customers are and how you can reach them.

3. Conduct industry and market research

After you've determined the target audience, start exploring the market. You do this by researching how things are going in your industry.

Gain more insight into your sector

When you have gained more insight into your sector, you can dive deeper into the market by doing market research. Ask people from your target group what they think of your product or service, for example by conducting interviews or conducting surveys.

The advantage of interviews is that you can find out the motives; the advantage of a survey is that you can reach a larger number of people in a short time.

4. Prepare Competitive Analysis

In the competitive analysis part you pay attention to the specific characteristics of your product and that of a number of competitors.

Compile a list of main competitors

For example, list some companies in your industry and region that you consider to be prime competitors.

Write down what you have to offer the customer compared to these companies:

  •  How does your product or service compare to that of the competition?
  • Are there opportunities to distinguish yourself?
  • And if so: can these plans be implemented in the short term?

5. Create SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is a well-known concept in the marketing world, which you can use on both a personal and business level.

It is an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can clearly see whether a new product or service has enough potential.

  • S = Strengths: What am I good at?
  • W = Weaknesses: What are my weaker qualities?
  • O = Opportunities: Where are the opportunities?
  • T = Threats: What threats lurk?

By being honest with yourself and your company, you expose all bottlenecks and, with the necessary adjustments, you can convert these threats or weaknesses into opportunities and strengths.

concrete goal

When you have mapped out the SWOT analysis, you can determine a concrete goal that you want to achieve with the company. And formulated the strategy to make this possible.

6. Drafting Marketing Strategy

Ansoff's growth model is a well-known concept in the marketing world. The basis of this model, in which four growth strategies for companies are discussed, can be applied to both marketing and sales.

The matrix is ​​based on selling products to customers: 

  1. Market penetration: existing products for existing markets
  2. Market development: existing products for new markets
  3. Product development: new products for existing markets
  4. Diversification: new products for new markets

7. Formulated marketing mix

A good starting point for formulating a marketing strategy is the marketing mix, which consists of the four Ps: product, price, promotion, and place. In some cases also supplemented by the fifth P: personnel.

All these parts are directly related to each other. We now also call the four Ps the four Cs, because the marketer's perspective has shifted more towards the customer in recent decades.

  • The product stands for Customer Needs: the product must have added value
  • Price stands for Costs: in addition to the price, the consumer is also increasingly looking at how much effort he has to put in. Make sure you can make a difference with good preconditions
  • The place stands for convenience. The customer is looking for convenience. Don't pay a lot of money in parking costs to get to your store, but order something online at the touch of a button. Or you must have a distinctive product
  • Promotion stands for Communication. The customer has become more assertive and wants interaction. Use social media and communicate

8. Determining Marketing Budget

Most startups have a more limited marketing budget and therefore often have to choose which business aspect to spend the most money on. 

Starting entrepreneurs or self-employed people primarily invest in the business resources they need for their work. Think of good computer equipment for a copywriter and a delivery van for a contractor. 

The marketing budget is therefore often neglected during the start-up phase. Still, you don't need a lot of budgets to run a smart marketing campaign. 

For example, you can opt for a strategy of personal branding, guerilla marketing, the use of social media, or crowdsourcing. Also, catch up on important days with a strong campaign or post.

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