Chapter 7. Crafting Your Marketing Plan

In This Chapter

  • Getting a handle on your market situation

  • Setting marketing objectives and goals

  • Figuring out your positioning and branding strategies

  • Devising your marketing strategies

Business plans. Marketing plans. What's the difference, anyway?

Here's a quick answer: Your business plan sells your company — to investors, lenders, partners, key employees, and associates — whereas your marketing plan tells how you plan to sell your products. Because selling your products is fundamental to your company's success, it's essential that your business plan include an outline of the marketing plan you'll follow to achieve sales success.

People reading your business plan want to know a description of the people you believe are the potential buyers for your offering and whether your market is growing or shrinking. They want to know the extent of your competition and where your business fits in the competitive hierarchy. And they want details about how you'll present your product, including your plans for pricing, packaging, distribution, promotion, sales, and customer service.

Marketing is one of the top issues on the minds of most CEOs, entrepreneurs and small-business owners. In fact, most business advisors and investors consider marketing the one area that can make or break a business plan, which is why the following pages are so important.

Marketing at a Glance

You're not alone if you're wondering, "What is marketing, anyway?" Entire books are dedicated ...

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