Developing a Marketing Plan

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1 Shop Brock Workshop 1 discussed the emergence of Retail New realities and where retail is headed. Workshop 2 covered how the marketplace has moved online and how to keep up. In Workshop 3, we will discuss the physical environment and while it has changed and will continue to evolve, it is still an important part of the Retail 3.0 landscape. Developing a Marketing Plan We are first going to discuss Developing a Marketing Plan. Marketing plans are crucial to marketing success. Styles, markets, and goals change and so should your plan. You should revisit your marketing plan on a regular basis to keep it current, and adjust it according to changes in your business activities or predictions of new trends.

2 Developing a Marketing Plan Why Develop a Marketing Plan? What is a Marketing Plan? Why do I need a Marketing Plan? Plan for Business Growth Market Research Why Conduct Market Research How to Conduct Market Research Market Research Methods Creating an Effective Marketing Plan It is important to know your marketing goals and the steps you will take to accomplish them. You should understand your competitive advantage and who your competitors are. What initiatives will you undertake to promote your business? Know your customer, know what you offer, have a plan in place for your marketing, collect and analyze data to make informed decisions, review and update regularly to know what works know if your marketing has been successful. Why Develop a Marketing Plan? What is a Marketing Plan? While your business plan generally outlines your entire business, a standalone marketing plan focuses specifically, and in more detail, on just that one function. When business owners want to dive deeper into their marketing strategy they will likely put together a detailed plan that outlines their marketing goals -- as well as the steps needed to accomplish them.

3 Source: Why Do I Need a Marketing Plan? Marketing planning helps you develop products and services in your business that meet the needs of your target market. Good marketing helps your customers understand why your product or service is better than, or different from, the competition A good marketing plan can help you reach your target audience, boost your customer base, and ultimately, increase your bottom line. It's often required when seeking funding and helps you set clear, realistic and measurable objectives for your business. Marketing is for all business - big or small Without customers, your business would not survive. To attract and retain customers, your business needs to understand the value of marketing. People are unlikely to simply walk into your business and buy something from you if they don't know who you are, what you are selling and why they should choose you over the competition. Many smaller businesses don't place enough importance on marketing. They often see it as something that requires a lot of money and fancy advertising campaigns. However, marketing is about much more than advertising and sales. Plan for Business Growth A Marketing Plan is a strategic document The planning process helps you to understand the different factors that may affect your success. Instead of worrying about the future, you can actually have a sense of control over your business and livelihood. One of the greatest benefits of developing a marketing plan is that it helps you to focus your resources and plan for your business growth.

4 Writing & researching for your marketing plan gives you the chance to: identify your target market and how your product or service meets their needs identify your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses position your brand, products and services so that your target market sees your business as better than, or different from, the competition set specific, measurable goals and timeframes for your marketing activities map out a strategy to reach your target audience, including the messages, channels and tools you will use. Market Research Market research is the process of collecting information about your current or potential customers. If you haven t yet researched your market, or it has been a number of years, now is a good time to start. The objective of market research is to find out as much as possible about your market. As times change, your market will change, so it s a good idea to keep current. Why Conduct Market Research? The goal of doing market research is to equip yourself with the information you need to make informed business decisions about start-up, innovation, growth and the 4 P's: Product Improve your product or service based on findings about what your customers really want and need. Focus on things like function, appearance and customer service or warranties. Before you develop your marketing plan, research the potential market for your product or service. Use the numbers, facts and findings to back up statements in your marketing plan. You can also search available databases and other resources to find the information you need to build your marketing plan. Price Set a price based on popular profit margins, competitors' prices, or the price a customer is willing to pay. Placement Compare the characteristics of different locations and the value of points of sale (retail, wholesale, online). Promotion Figure out how to best reach particular market segments (teens, families, students, professionals, etc.) in areas of advertising and publicity, social media, and branding.

5 Market research can help you: Understand your customers & their preferences (4 P's) - Profile your customers (location, age, gender, income level, etc.) - Create more effective marketing campaigns Identify opportunities to grow & increase profits - Recognize changes in demand - Offer new products or services for the new demand Recognize & plan for industry & economic shifts - Shift inventory, price and staff levels as needed Monitor your competition - Identify competitors and learn how customers compare you with your competitors Mitigate risk in your decisions - Use information, not just intuition, to drive your business decisions Business plans and market research are not solely for new businesses. Businesses contemplating significant changes, such as business expansion and relocation, are also wise to use market research to support their decisions. Examples of situations that might call for market research include: New advertising campaigns Opening a new location or changing business locations Increasing production levels Introducing new lines of products or services The kind of information gathered through marketing research can also be very How to Conduct Market Research - Handout (canadabusiness.ca) First, it is important to establish clear goals for the market research activity you will undertake. You need to make sure you have defined what you need to know and why. Once you have established your goals, it is important develop a strategy and select techniques you will use to gather data. The two broad types of research you can use are primary and secondary research. Market Research Methods Surveys Focus groups Personal interviews Task analysis Handout from When developing a questionnaire or other form of gathering information of customer needs, it s a good idea to have a clear understanding of exactly what information you require. Keep it simple, and attractive. You can add an incentive for filing out forms in print or online. Usability testing

6 Creating an Effective Marketing Plan Key Elements of a Marketing Plan Table of Contents Executive Summary Situation Analysis Objectives Strategies Tactics Budget Table of Contents Table of Contents or outline is a list of headings for each of the sections in your marketing plan. Remember to have page numbers for each section to ensure anyone reading your plan does not get lost.

7 Executive Summary Begin your marketing plan with a ONE PAGE summary of the circumstances and principal recommendations contained in the plan. A summary allows everyone to quickly grasp the main thrust of the plan and then lets them read further in search of the information most critical to their part in it. Situation Analysis This section describes where your company stands at that moment in time. It includes background on past sales, major competitors, and explanations of recent sales and profit results. Situation Analysis It could also feature a forecast for the industry, including opportunities and threats. Outline the results of a SWOT analysis. There are many online sources available for industry information & forecasts. For example: if you own a restaurant, you could be a member of Restaurants Canada. RestaurantsCanada.org has a quarterly report that provides a two-year projection of foodservice sales by segment at the national level and a forecast of the latest economic indicators. Canada Business Network (canadabusiness.ca) Discover what market research is, and how to create an effective market research campaign. Learn more about your industry, your customers and the markets you serve. Great info on starting, planning, financing, managing, and growing your business.

8 Situation Analysis The SWOT analysis is a valuable step in your situational analysis. Assessing your firm s strengths, weaknesses, market opportunities, and threats through a SWOT analysis is a very simple process that can offer powerful insight into the potential and critical issues affecting a venture. Objectives Without goals in place, how do you measure success? Objectives are simply a matter of deciding where you want to be and when you want to get there. Is the purpose of your marketing plan to launch a new product or line of products? If so, your objective might read Achieve 10 percent market share within the 12 months of product launch Objectives Is the purpose of your marketing plan to boost revenue from existing products? If so, your objective might read Increase revenue 12% from an existing line of products over the next 6 months.

9 Strategies The strategies focus the direction of your efforts and what route you need to take to accomplish your goals. Strategies are the things you need to do to accomplish your objectives. Objective: Where you want to be Strategies: The route you need to take to get there Strategies For example: if the objective was to increase sales revenue, your strategies might be: Increase the average price on all units Increase overall sales volume Increase awareness among potential customers Tactics Where strategies are a broad outline of how you want to achieve your objectives, tactics are specific actions you can take to achieve your objectives Each step you take in flushing out your marketing plan, builds upon the last to bring you closer to a clearer, focused understanding of where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. This step gives you actionable information to put your plan in motion. Objective: Where you want to be Strategies: The route you need to take to get there Tactics: Actions you can take to implement the overall strategies

10 Tactics If increase awareness among potential customers was one of your strategies, then your tactic might be Develop a brochure to send to new prospects This is a tactic for implementing that strategy. Budget Every tactic has a price! When you add up the tactics you plan to use, this will help you arrive at the budget needed to achieve your goals. Creating an annual marketing budget for your business is one of the most critical steps in your marketing strategy. Without a budget, you risk spending money without a well-developed plan. You could end up spending more than you intended on your marketing efforts or less than what may be necessary to achieve results. Once all the steps are in place, it s a matter of implementing your tactics and analyzing the results. As previously mentioned, this process needs to be revisited as things will change as time passes. Now what? You should now have a good idea what a marketing plan is, why you should have one and keep it current, revisit and revise on a yearly basis if possible We have discussed market research, why it s important and data collection methods. I ve given you a broad example of the key elements of a marketing plan. I now encourage you to take this information and apply it to your own business plan. Your marketing plan will be a vital part of your success in the evolving retail landscape.

11 Next Steps Your next steps with a marketing plan in place would be to put it in action! - implement your marketing tactics - gather, record, and analyze the results and feedback of your marketing efforts - learn from your success and any challenges along the way - apply your knowledge to improve your next marketing plan Questions?

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