Business Basics Program

Marketing Plan Of A Business Plan

Activity:  Pick a product and write a marketing plan by working through the many questions and things to consider.

The Market 


Market Definition

What markets are you competing in? If you make glove-compartment hinges, don't gush about the $80 billion automobile market. You make hinges -- not cars -- for that market, so tell us how many hinges were sold last year. Are there other markets where you sell your products?


We [expect to compete, are competing] in the [define niche] of the [define industry]. This market was approximately [$x] at [wholesale or retail] last [period available], according to [site resource]. We believe, the major future trend in the industry will be toward [environmentally oriented, miniaturized, high quality, value oriented] product offerings.


Market research [cite source] suggests this market will [grow/shrink] to [$x] by the year [20xx]. We expect the niche in which we compete to [grow, shrink, remain stagnant] during this time. The major forces affecting this change will be [falling cost of computers, explosion of home based businesses, tendency for baby boomers to have less kids- and pamper their pets]. The area of greatest growth within the industry will be [x].


Identify where you got this information, and how up to date it is.


Market Segment

We define our market segment as [the writing and drawing instrument segment of the school/home/office products industry, the low fat dairy products segment of the food industry]. This segment has been [volatile, steady] in the last few years. Industry experts [name them] forecast [x] for the industry in the next few years.


The major market segments [segment a, segment b, segment c]. List, in general, the types of customers you are likely to reach (retailers, electrical contractors, catalog buyers, etc.)] The [a] segment of the market is based on [product type] that retail in the [x to y] price range. Most of the sales in the segment are delivered through the [catalogs, retailers, manufacturers reps, OEM's].



A typical customer for our product is a person who currently may use [alternative product or service] for [what purpose]. They are motivated to buy our product because of  [its value, its quality, its usefulness]. We know this from [customer responses, trade show input, ad inquiries] and feel our customers perceive our products as [good value, superior performance, great taste].




Our product, does, however, have the following weaknesses; [higher price point than most other cheeses, weak brand identity in a commodity market]. We are working to position our product as [x] in order to reduce this vulnerability.





Our marketing plan is based on the following fundamentals;

We expect to penetrate the [x] segment of the market[s] and achieve this by using the [retail, mail order, multi-level marketing, internet] as our primary distribution channel[s]. In time, we plan to capture [%] share of the market or an estimated units sold.






We will position our product as [good value for price, top quality, cheap and fun], which is a position not presently being addressed by the competition. One demographic group in particular, the [elderly, Hispanic, generationX, techies] has a particular need for this product, and we tailor our positioning accordingly.






Our pricing strategy is [describe policy or, at least philosophy]. Is this pricing based on cost? Gross margin objectives? Market competition?


We arrive at our pricing based on [cost, gross margin objectives, market prices, perceived value].



We review this pricing [monthly, quarterly, annually] to ensure that potential profits are not squandered. Customers seem willing to pay as much as [x] because of [explain reasoning].




Distribution channels

The distribution channels we use for our product are [wholesalers, cataloguers, mass merchant retailers, consolidators]. These make sense for delivering our product to the end user because [customer profile, geography, seasonal swings]. The competition uses the [[wholesalers, cataloguers, mass merchant retailers, consolidators] channel. Our channel will prove more advantageous because [x].



Our major current customers include; [list top five, with one or two sentence descriptions]. The attached chart [see appendix z] demonstrates how our product reaches the customer.




Advertising, promotion, trade shows

Your purpose is to introduce, promote, and support your products in the marketplace. Although considered a cost, a properly designed and executed campaign is an investment.



[Your Company Name] has developed a comprehensive advertising and promotion strategy, which will be implemented by the best possible firm when funded is completed. We expect to have a presence in several national magazines as well as the trade press. We will produce our own ads and be a part of ad campaigns of our JV partners or OEMs. Our publicity plan is to remain in constant contact with editors and writers of the [trade journals that serve our industry] and seek stories and coverage that will [enhance our reputation, introduce us to buyers].


We plan to promote our product through a variety of [on site product sampling, demonstrations at high profile events, give-a ways at fund raisers] and other high leverage events. The objective of all our promotions is to [expand the audience, position our product as a premium brand, strengthen our ties to the community].



[Your company name] participates in the following trade shows; [list trade shows, briefly describe organization that sponsors it and who attends, and describe presence there]. We have a regular [20 foot display booth of knock down construction which allows us to display our existing products and introduce new ones, or we prefer to attend trade shows as visitors and walk the show while displaying our wares only to pre-qualified buyers who will come to our nearby hospitality suite]. The following factors are taken into account when considering a trade show; will this event help deliver our message to our target audience? Does the location of the show have significance? Is the time frame convenient? Is it a "must-go show"?


Tell us about key competitors in regard to product, price, location, promotion, management, and financial position. False or incomplete information here translates as dishonesty and negligence to investors, bankers, etc. Do not delude yourself (or your investors) about your competition.


Look in your telephone book's yellow pages. Look in the industrial directories at your local library. Search on-line databases that provide competitive profiles of other companies. Read industry magazines and look for advertisers.


We have no direct competition, but there are alternatives to our [product or service] in the marketplace.


We compete directly with [name competitor a, b, and c].



Provide a sample of each...[example...Acme Inc. is a $3 million sales manufacturer and marketer of pencils in the Northeast region. Acme Inc. is a division of Acme Corp., a public company with $800 million sales. The division sells pencils, pens, and other writing and drawing instruments. The recent trend for the division has been static, as the parent has not provided working capital to modernize machinery. Acme Inc. is managed by one Vice President who has been there for six months. The previous manager worked there for 11 months.]


The competition [does, doesn't] [use the same means of distribution as the company, advertise in the same trade journals]. If the advertising is regular-it probably works!


  Our [product or service] is unique because of [x] and/or we have a competitive advantage because of our [speed to market, established brand name, low cost producer status].