What are the best tips for creating a marketing plan?

Marketing plans are detailed strategies for how to successfully market a product or business.

Writing a marketing plan can be a daunting task, especially if it is to be read by investors who can determine whether a business will thrive or go underfunded. The person in charge must write in simple terms, so that even a potential investor who is not an expert in the area can understand what is being traded. To show that the business is focused on the present and the future, writers must present both short-term and long-term goals. While it can be difficult for a company to admit that it has competition or weaknesses, these should also be mentioned. To make it easier for the company to follow this plan, each action step within it should highlight exactly what is being done to achieve the goal.

Both investors and those within a company read marketing plans. This means that products must be written in an accessible language so that everyone understands what is being discussed without feeling that the language is so simple as to be condescending. Even if only those within the company are reading the marketing plan, employees outside of product development may not understand the terminology. For example, writing “short range infrared signal device” might be inappropriate, but writing “TV remote” would be more clearly understood by everyone.

When someone is writing a marketing plan, he or she should highlight short-term and long-term goals, to show investors that the company is focused on the present and the future. For example, if no short-term goals are discussed, this indicates to investors that they will only make money after waiting many years for the investment to mature; if there are no long-term goals, then it seems that the company is only interested in making quick money now, without thinking about the future of the company. Both short term and long term money making strategies need to be discussed.

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Some business owners will have a hard time admitting that there is serious competition or weakness with a product or marketing strategy, but these aspects should be mentioned in the marketing plan. Writing them down allows the company to realistically move forward with the plan, knowing what problems to expect. This also tells investors what they can realistically expect, which will keep them from feeling ripped off if an issue arises and they are not informed.

In the marketing plan, the company will detail the steps to complete the marketing, but each step should be filled with sub-steps that show the entire process. For example, writing that a TV commercial will be used for marketing would be inappropriate. The screenwriter must highlight all stages of the commercial, such as hiring a team, writing the script, filming and editing the film and talking to TV executives to get a privileged advertising spot.

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