Important Contents of the Marketing Plan
- Executive summary and table of content: The marketing plan should open with a brief summary of the plan’s main goals and recommendations. The executive summary permits senior management to grasp the plan’s major thrust. A table of contents should follow the executive summary.
- Current marketing situation: This section presents relevant background data on sales, costs, profits, the market, competitors, distribution, and the macro environment. The data are drawn from a product fact book maintained by the product manager.
- Opportunity and issue analysis: After summarizing the current marketing situation, the product manger proceeds to identify the major opportunities/threats, strengths/weaknesses, and issues facing the product line.
- Objectives : Once the product manager has summarized the issues, he or she must decide on the plan’s financial and marketing objectives.
- Marketing strategy:The product manager now outlines the broad marketing strategy or game plan to accomplish the plan’s objectives. In developing the strategy, the product manager talks with the purchasing and manufacturing people to confirm that they are able to buy enough material and produce enough units to
meet the target sales volume levels. The product manager also needs to talk to the sales manager to obtain sufficient sales force support and to the financial officer to obtain sufficient funds for advertising and promotion.
- Action programs:The marketing plan must specify the broad marketing programs for achieving the business objectives. Each marketing strategy element must be elaborated to answer these questions: What will be done? When will it be done? Who will do it? How much will it cost?
- Projected profit-and-loss statement: Action plans allow the product manager to build a supporting budget. On the revenue side, this budget shows the forecast sales volume in units and the average price. On the expense side, it shows the cost of production, physical distribution, and marketing, broken down into finer categories. The difference between revenues and sales is projected profit. Once approved, the buget is the basis for developing plans and schedules for material procurement, production scheduling, employee recruitment, and marketing operations.
- Controls: The last section of the marketing plan outlines the controls for monitoring the plan. Typically the goals and budget are spelled out for each month or quarter. Senior management can review the results each period. Some control sections include contingency plans. A contingency plan outlines the steps management
would take in response to specific adverse developments, such as price wars or strikes.