Why you need a marketing plan

Having a marketing plan can help you to:

  • identify your target market and how your product or service can benefit it
  • identify how you might attract new customers
  • encourage your existing customers to continue purchasing your product or service
  • set goals and time frames for your marketing activities
  • map out a strategy to reach your target audience, including the messages, channels and tools you’ll use
  • evaluate your marketing activities
  • provide a marketing budget and see your return on investment.

Download our marketing plan template

Our marketing plan template helps you identify who your customers are, how you'll meet their needs and what marketing tactics you might undertake.

Develop your marketing plan

Our template steps you through the process of developing a succession plan with links to extra information if you need it.

You may want to check our tips below before you start.

Market research can help you to understand your strengths, weaknesses and the opportunities that you can take advantage of. Analysing your own business and your competition can help you identify where you're positioned in the market.

It’s important to analyse your competition to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This can help you refine your marketing strategy and what's unique about your business.

A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis can help you determine where your business fits within the market and your unique selling point. Use it to help identify what your business is doing well and how you can improve.

Identifying and understanding your customers is an essential part of your marketing plan. Not everyone is your potential buyer, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of your target market early on.

Identify your target market, competitors and potential customers.

Once you're clear about your business and its positioning, you can start thinking about what you want to achieve. Think about your main business goals, whether it's the size of your business, expansion plans or desired sales. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound (SMART) goals to increase your chances of success in achieving them.

Once you’ve set some goals, consider what marketing activity, process or price will help you achieve them.

Try and choose marketing activities that suit your business and your customers. For example, if you want to target young adults, newspaper advertising may not be as effective as a social media campaign.

Choosing multiple activities that complement each other is a good way to help you get your message across. For example, if you're trying to establish a new product in the market, you may choose to advertise on the local radio, as well as setting up social media channels and introducing a low-cost pricing strategy for first-time buyers. When used together, these strategies complement each other and help you reach a broader market.

Knowing how much you have to spend on marketing and how to spend it is critical to the success of your business. A marketing budget will ensure you accurately calculate your marketing campaign or advertising.

When developing your marketing budget, make sure you're only spending money on the activities that contribute to your current marketing goals. Advertising and promotion can be expensive. Make sure to pick options that will give you the best value while still reaching your target customers.

It's important to evaluate your marketing activities. Analysing your results and being aware of new marketing trends is important to keeping your marketing plan up-to-date and reaching your business goals. You should tweak and change your plan as your business and market grow and change.

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