A marketing plan forms part of the wider operational planning. It identifies how you will find out more about your customers needs, how you will develop services to match their needs, and how you will let them know about your services.
See also Your communications plan
Essential elements of a marketing plan include:
- Service description - explain exactly what it is you are marketing e.g. is it the organisation as a whole or a specific service?
- Situational analysis - briefly summarise the current situation saying why your community or clients need the service
- Service analysis - find out if there are other groups in your community offering the same or a similar service. How would your group fit in? Use your local knowledge and any local services directories to help you.
- Target market(s) - at whom are your programmes directed? Usually this is a client group with specific needs. Identify who is mostly likely to be interested in your service and what are their demographics - age, gender, ethnicity?
- Marketing objectives - specify what you want to achieve by using a marketing plan. These objectives should be realistic and measurable (with timeframes and specific outcomes and key messages).
- Marketing strategies - based on all the information you've gathered, state the main strategic approach you'll take to achieve your marketing objectives
- Pricing - will you charge for your service? If you do, will it be a flat rate or a sliding rate, dependent on income etc.?
- Strategic alignments - look at what other organisations you could work with to help achieve your objectives.
- Promotional activities - detail the specific things you will do to implement the plan, mindful of your target audience and which media fits that audience. Is this project for the group, the greater community or the nation?
- Budget - give details of the total budget for the plan and how it will be spent.
- Performance measures - identify how you will measure your objectives and who will do the measuring. You may want to measure things such as customer satisfaction or service usage using tools such as customer surveys.
(Adapted from Developing a Marketing Plan, Te Papa National Services).
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