Stutendt STUDENT GUIDE FOR WRITING A MARKETING PLAN
1. Executive Summary
The Executive Summary “sells” the marketing plan to readers through its clarity and brevity. The summary should present a description of the product/service, its target market, and its need within the market. The summary should also provide an overview of the main points of the plan and should emphasize an action orientation.
2. Company Description
The company description should highlight the recent history and successes of the organization.
3. Strategic Focus and Plan
While not included in all marketing plans, the Strategic Focus and Plan sets the strategic direction for the entire ...view middle of the document...
A competitive advantage is an unique strength relative to competitors, often based on quality, time, cost, or innovation.
An example of a competitive advantage: “McDonalds’ competitive advantage is its large number of restaurants, more than double its competitors, making it more convenient for customers than any other fast food restaurant in the world.”
4. Situation Analysis
The essence of the situation analysis is taking stock of where the firm or product has been recently, where it is now, and where it is headed. The situation analysis is the first of three steps in the planning stage. See pages 44-45 in the text.
a. SWOT Analysis
The SWOT analysis is an effective shorthand summary of the situation analysis.
The acronym is used to describe an organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and its external Opportunities and Threats. This analysis provides a solid foundation to identify subsequent actions in the marketing plan.
The SWOT analysis can be effectively presented in a tabular format (see Appendix A), followed by a text discussion that elaborates on the information in the table.
An analysis to identify internal strengths and weaknesses usually includes the following areas in an organization:
When analyzing: | Consider: |
Management | experience level, management style, size |
Offerings | uniqueness, quality, price |
Marketing | type and scope of marketing plan |
Personnel | quality and experience of workforce |
Finance | sales revenues |
Manufacturing | quality and dependability of suppliers |
R & D | plans for continual product improvement, budget |
An analysis to identify external opportunities and threats usually includes the following factors:
When analyzing: | Consider: |
Consumer/Social | size and stability of market |
Economic | current and projected economic situation of market |
Technological | the effect of technology on any facet of the business |
Competitive | number and size of competitors |
Legal/Regulatory | the effect of legal/regulatory issues on any part of the business |
b. Industry Analysis
The industry analysis section should provide the backdrop for a more detailed analysis of the competition, the company, and the customer. An in-depth analysis will give both internal and external readers of the plan confidence in the company’s ability to understand its own industry.
c. Competitor Analysis
An effective analysis of the competition should demonstrate that the company has a realistic understanding of its major competitors and their marketing strategies. As in with the industry analysis, a realistic assessment makes readers feel confident that the marketing actions in the plan are well grounded. See Chapters 2, 3, 8, and 22.
d. Company Analysis
The company analysis provides details of a company’s strengths and marketing strategies that will enable it to achieve its marketing goals.