Preparing a marketing plan - checklist


Preparing a marketing plan - checklistFrom describing your market and researching customers to preparing sales forecasts and budgets, learn how to create a marketing plan.

  • Describe your market and the characteristics and size of each market segment; review key market trends.
  • Research what customers value, such as product features, quality, service, image.
  • Compare the distribution channels for reaching customers (eg direct sales or through retailers).
  • Profile your competitors and what they’re offering.
  • Identify other key factors influencing your business environment; carry out a SWOT analysis of your competitive position (SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).
  • Review the effectiveness of previous marketing initiatives such as advertising campaigns or seasonal sales.
  • Assess the profitability and sales potential of different customers and market segments, and of different products or activities.
  • Decide who to target among both existing and potential customers; decide which products to push and those which need updating or replacing.
  • Set specific objectives: for example, retaining existing customers, increasing order sizes, selling new products or winning new customers.
  • Decide how you will price each product or service.
  • Decide how you will distribute and sell; plan how you can improve customer service and satisfaction.
  • Plan how you will promote your products or services, and how you will keep in touch with customers.
  • Identify customers’ purchasing cycles to timetable marketing activities.
  • Confirm the implications of your marketing plan for the rest of your business: production and training requirements, for instance.