A marketing plan is a well researched and detailed report that illustrates the aims, objectives of a startup company and how they intend to achieve them (Roman and Scott 9). A market plan is the one that will ensure that one gets funds and dictate the success or failure of the enterprise. This plan has strategies that will help the company to look into the market and set objectives that will aid them to comprehend fully the kind of market they operate.
In developing a market plan, one can follow this format which is divided into six parts (Tim 19). The first one is the purpose and mission of the company. This shows the intention of the plan and spells out the mission statement of the organization which indicates the long-term vision of the company. A situational analysis is the one that will show the way things are at the time of formulation of the plan. This covers major areas like current products, competitor, target market, distributor network, external forces and market analysis. This analysis can be done through the help of a SWOT analysis.
Before hitting the road with the new product, a company needs to carry out a SWOT analysis or evaluation. This helps a new organization to brainstorm on what they intend to do and in decision-making. In the first option of Strengths, a company will look at the benefits of the proposition, its ability, resources like capital, assets, and human resource. This also helps the company to look into the marketing aspects like distribution, awareness and reach and location. They will also need to look at the value, innovative aspect and quality of the product together with the subjected price and at the same time look at the behavior, culture and attitude of the target market. Lastly the company should see the needed certifications, accreditations and qualifications.
In the Weaknesses aspect, they will have to look at the cash flow, plan predictability and the reliability of available data ( Tim 64). They also need to look at the gaps in the abilities, negative aspect of the proposition, deficient competitive strength, the timescales, vulnerabilities and pressures. Another main area is the morale of the management team, and the distractions that they may get from inner and outside sources.
In the Opportunities facet, the company will need to look at global influences, new markets and the trends in lifestyle of the target or niche market. They will also need to study closely the vulnerabilities of the competitor, space for innovation, major contracts and technological development ( John 29). They need to do research and gather information about the weather, production and the means of distribution.
In the Threats part, they will have to analyze the obstacle, competition, socio-cultural and political effects and the unknown market demand. They will also need to look at the economy challenges for instance the possibility of a recession and financial backing incase this occurs. In addition to that, they have to look at the seasonality of the product due to introduction of new products and technologies in addition to loss of staff and other insoluble weaknesses that may arise.
The marketing strategy and objectives is what the company will use to sell its products. These include the 4 P’s. This can be supported by the use of the 4P’s which are product, place, promotion and price. In the product strategy, a company should introduce products that are new in the market. On top of that they should have prices that are lower than those of the competitors who have the same product. Since the product is new, they should have programs in place that will create awareness. The company should also identify a place to market its product. For an organization to achieve this, it has to identify its target market or the will be buyers from the large audience. The organization should also have in place means to distribute the product easily to large stores and retailers so that the product can be easily accessed by the customer.
Tactical programs or strategies are required which will help the company get its product into the market with a storm. This strategy should have details of the products and give attention to what the competitor’s reactions may be (Malcom 72). When an organization is introducing a new product into the market, they have the objective of growing and expanding their market share. This can be achieved through launching into the market products that did not exist before, products that are more superior or refined than the current products.
The financial analysis can be carried through drawing of budgets. The company is also required to make an analysis on the performance and try to implement it. This can be done by looking at the profitability, margins, volume of sales growth and the percentages. Additional consideration should also be taken into account or plan B incase the plan fails. This also includes market exit or re-invention and innovation (William 102).
In conclusion, the major part of the business plan is looking into the competitive advantage that they will have over their competitors’ products. These will dictate the reception of the product in the market and the consequent result which is either success or failure of the business.
William, M. L. The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It.; 3rd ed. Amacom. London, 2001.
Malcolm, M. Marketing Plans, Sixth Edition: How to prepare them, how to use them. 6 ed. Kansas, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007.
John W. How to Write a Marketing Plan (Creating Success). 3rd ed. Kogan Page;. 2006
Roman H. and Scott C.The One-Day Marketing Plan : Organizing and Completing a Plan that Works 3 ed.NY: New York. McGraw-Hill. 2004
Tim C. Breakthrough Marketing Plans: How to Stop Wasting Time and Start Driving Growth. NY: New York. Palgrave Macmillan. 2008