The marketing strategy in the business plan positions the business in the market in a way that gives it a competitive advantage. Up this point, the business plan has discussed the market analysis based on the research conducted. The strategy places the business in the market through price, place, product, and promotion, and the sales tactics. This is just a way of saying the marketing strategy identifies targeted customers, how they will be reached, where they will be reached, and what they will be charged for the products and services.
Letting People Know the Business is Open for Business
This is an important section because it lays out the strategy for ensuring people know the company exists, and that its products and services are available. The bottom line is this: Without customers, there is no business. The information is also used by vendors considering doing business with the company and lenders who want to know the business has a solid strategy for generating a steady flow of customer leads and customers.
The Marketing Strategy
• Identifies the targeted customers in terms of demographics, needs, and interests
• Presents a unique selling proposition
• Describes the product, including brand name, functionality, packaging, warranty, and other features
• Presents a promotion plan which can include a variety of sub-strategies like online and offline advertising, promotions, marketing campaigns, and sales plan
• Addresses the pricing plan which includes: a pricing strategy which takes the competition into account, a retail price, a plan for seasonal pricing, promotional pricing, wholesale pricing, and other pricing strategies
• Presents the distribution plan which describes how customers will buy products and services and how the company will deliver them, i.e. retail or through distributors, directly from website, etc.
Integrate the Elements
The marketing strategy in the business plan includes a lot of important information. Each of the elements of product, price, place, and promotion work together to create a successful approach to attracting and retaining customers with quality, fairly priced goods and services that are delivered with excellent customer service.
It is not wise to use a template to develop this section of the business plan. Each business needs a customized marketing strategy because each business is unique. Establish goals and objectives, design a marketing strategy that drives the business toward achieving them, and measure progress. It is a formula for success.
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