Marketing planning

10 questions to help you develop your marketing plan

What do you want to achieve?

Your goals and objectives should be SMART  – specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and time-bound.

Who are you going after?

Be specific. Paint a picture of the people or organisations in the target audience(s). Avoid being all things to all men.

What are you offering and what are the benefits to your target audiences?

Think about this in relation to each of the target markets. Remember a benefit is what they get, not what you give, so avoid lists of features.

Who are you up against and what are they saying in the market place?

This question is designed to help your think about your competitors. Don’t be afraid of competition, learn from them. Be broad in thinking about your competition, it may not just be direct competitors in the same market who compete for your target audience attention and investment

What are you offering that’s different from your competition?

Consider all the things that make you different, be bold and use niche positioning to stand out.

What is the core message of everything that you do and say?

This is your proposition, your core marketing message. Make your positioning compelling and memorable. Say it in words and images if you can.

What is the identity / personality of your brand?

These are the qualities and attributes of your organisation and it’s products.

What marketing activities, collateral is needed to reach the target audience?

This is where most people start their plan – but these ideas should all be influenced by answering the first 7 questions.

When are you going to launch the marketing activities?

Your marketing plan will usually have a month by month schedule of marketing activity, tied in with sales, operational and finance plans.

How much are you going to invest to achieve the plan?

This final stage is essential in establishing whether you can achieve the goals in a cost effective way.

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