Marketing Plan Template Step 3 & 4

Step 3

3.1    Opportunities and Options

Let's undertake a practical exercise here that will help you to complete this section:

Practical Exercise 2

SWOT Analysis

This is a great and simple way to offer a ‘this is where we are now' it also helps you to focus on whether or not you have the competence and resource to take you where you want to go.

Take a look at the following areas and categories and assess whether you have strength or weakness in these areas.  

From this exercise you can cover Background Analysis and Opportunities and Options - so keep to the key areas.  If you identify an opportunity when going through the points - then note that down, also do the same with threats.  It may be that you realise through this quick analysis that a key competitor is much stronger with technology than you and therefore, you have identified a threat.

Options to be explored may be: shifting into a new market segment, adding new products to your current offering, enhancing service levels or investing in technology.

Marketing Strengths

  •          Image among clients
  •          Market share
  •          Reputation for quality
  •          Service levels
  •          Effectiveness of communications
  •          Geographical cover
  •          Globally connected

Financial Strengths

  •          Profitability
  •          Cash flow
  •          Debt carried
  •          Technical skills

Operational Strengths

  •          Efficiency of projects
  •          Corporate leadership
  •          Motivation of employees
  •          Entrepreneurial skills
  •          Range of products / services
  •          Technological development
  •          Differentiating factors

Step 4

4.1    Marketing Objectives

Overall Marketing Objectives: (These top line business objectives ‘should' theoretically speaking, fall out of your strategic business plan (providing you have one!). 


  •          Timescale - long and short term pressures / achievements
  •          Markets -  Greater share of existing or exploit new markets
  •          Services - High added value or low added value
  •          Culture - Build on existing or develop new culture
  •          Financial - More profit or strengthen market positioning

In your marketing plan you will outline two key objectives.  Marketing objectives and financial objectives - let's call them ‘goals'.  These are typically what you want to achieve. 

Remember all ‘goals' must be SMART :

S          -           Specific

M         -           Measurable

A         -           Attainable

R         -           Realistic

T         -           Trackable

Whilst goals should be ‘SMART' they should also stretch your business and the team.   Your goals provide you with targets and a means for evaluating your business and those who work within it.  So do ensure that your targets aren't too ‘safe' and that you are going the extra mile.


4.2       Marketing Goals

Some examples of areas typically measured:

  •          Increase market share by X %
  •          Increase the average transaction value by X %
  •          Increase the number of sales by X %
  •          Increase the level of client satisfaction by X %
  •          Increase level of awareness (your brand) by X %


4.3       Financial Goals

Some examples of areas typically measured:

  •          Increase return on investment by X %
  •          Reduce number of debtors by X %
  •          Increase return on sales by X %
  •          Decrease cost of acquisition by X %


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