The Marketing Plan section of your Business Plan provides details about the industry, your competition, your target niche’ market and how you will market to your niche’.
Include the following sections:
Market Research – Include both primary (data you gather yourself) and secondary (information from sources such as trade journals, periodicals, census and demographic data, etc.) market research.
Market Analysis – Describes the overview of your business industry, target market and competition. Be sure to support your claims with data and evidence.
Marketing Strategy – Building upon the Market Analysis, this section outlines the strategic and tactical measures to be implemented as your marketing plan. Include details such as pricing, promotion and how you will go about selling your products and services.
This sub-section should explain the following:
The total size of your industry
Trends in the industry – is it growing or shrinking?
The total size of your target market and your current share of the market
Trends in the target market – is it growing or shrinking? How are customer needs or preferences changing?
The growth potential of your business. What market share is realistic for you to obtain in the future?
Barriers to entry – What are the barriers to entry that discourage new competitors from entering your industry? Are these barriers enough to prevent others from entering your industry? Examples of barriers include:
High startup costs
High production costs
High marketing costs
Brand recognition challenges
Need for qualified employees
Need for specialized technology or patents
Tariffs and quotas
Unionization in the industry
Threats and Opportunities – Being aware of the threats your business faces, as well as potential opportunities is very important. Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your company weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities. Threats and opportunities could occur when changes occur:
Changes in government regulations
Changes in technology
Changes in the economy
Changes in your industry
Products / Services Features and Benefits – Describe all products and services from your customer’s point of view. For each product and service:
Describe the most important features. What is special about it?
Describe the most important benefits. What does it do for the customer?
Also include all after sale services your company provides:
Target Niche’ Customer – Describe each of your target niche’ customers or customer groups. Explain your target customer groups, and create a demographic profile for each group that includes:
Consumer Target Niche’
o Business Target Niche’
Stage in business (startup, growing, mature)
Key Competitors – Demonstrate how you differentiate your business from your competitors. Be realistic about all competitors and include the following sub-sections:
Direct Competitors – companies that compete with your company:
Company name & location
Competing products and/or services
Form of competition
Across the board
Just specific products
o Indirect Competitors – Competitors who may not offer exactly what you offer, but provide products or services that are a different choice.
o Analysis of Competition – How does your company compare with the competition in regards to specific factors such as:
How You Plan to Market Your Products and Services – Describe your marketing and advertising tactics your business will use, such as:
Also include details such as:
Why you chose the medium
How often you will advertise/market in each medium
How will you measure your success?
Other marketing strategies and tactics may include:
Marketing may include:
Social media marketing
Search engine optimization
Print marketing materials (brochures, flyers, business cards)
Marketing Promotional Budget – Describe how much you are currently spending on marketing and advertising. Include your marketing and promotional budgets for the operating budget moving forward.