A marketing plan should not be something you put together at the last minute as an afterthought. After having worked with numerous small businesses and Managers, I have realized that in the larger scheme of things from a small business owner's perspective, while marketing is an important part of success, it is not often high on the to-do list. Allocating funds for rest, utilities, labor, day to day operations, often takes precedence over marketing. Most SMB owners don't know enough to develop a good marketing plan. So, even if they want to do it right, they may not have the requisite expertise to do it in the way that it will have any positive impact on their bottom line. 
Developing an effective marketing plan does not happen by accident. A lot of thought and effort goes into it. An effective marketing plan has to be comprehensive, integrated with the day to day operations and takes a 360 perspective of the business. It is also important to remember that any marketing plan is a living document, something which will need to be adjusted based on the changing market scenario. 
Below, are, what I believe the key components of an effective marketing plan. It is also available in PDF form for you to download and develop it.

MARKETING PLAN TEMPLATE


PART 1: OVERVIEW OF STRATEGY
  • MISSION
  • VISION
  • VALUES

PART 2: GOALS & TARGETS
  • MARKETING GOALS
  • RESEARCH
  • BRANDING
  • NICHE MARKETS
  • SALES TARGETS

PART 3: MARKET ANALYSIS
  • TARGET MARKETS
  • DEMOGRAPHICS
  • COMPETITION
  • MARKET TRENDS
  • P.E.S.T. ANALYSIS
  • S.W.O.T. ANALYSIS

PART 4: MARKETING STRATEGY
  • PRODUCT DESIGN
  • PRICING STRATEGY
  • CATALOGS
  • ADVERTISING
  • PUBLICITY
  • ONLINE MARKETING
  • PROMOTIONS
  • TRADE SHOWS
  • SALES TEAMS

PART 5: MARKETING BUDGET
  • ASSUMPTIONS 
  • PROJECTIONS

Over the coming weeks, I will elaborate and provide links to resources for some of the sub-headings so that you can get more help in developing a comprehensive, living & effective marketing plan. Please do contact me if you need any kind of help customizing the given marketing plan to your specific needs.
Marketing Plan Template
File Size: 290 kb
File Type: pdf
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Smart phones & social media are quickly becoming a fact of daily life and so, running a small business from a smartphone is no longer a stretch, but a reality. In fact, 85% of Americans are running some part of their small business from their smartphones today, a number that has nearly doubled in the last five years. But which small business apps are best for you as a small business owner? Download the attached file & check out the roundup of small business apps that can help your business when you're on the move. 
Small Business Apps Eco-system
File Size: 948 kb
File Type: png
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