7 Key Elements of a Marketing Plan

I’m writing a lot about marketing plans these days. See my updated version of this post – Components of a Startup Marketing Plan,  along with 3 Reasons to Build a Startup Marketing Plan and my presentation on how to structure a marketing plan framework in Startup Marketing: A Systems Approach. You have a product people love and you understand who the people are that love it.  Now would be a great time to build a marketing plan.  The plan will change and evolve over time but having a structure helps to make sure that your marketing spend is aligning with your goals without being completely ad-hoc, spray and pray, or flavor of the day.   The plan shouldn’t be a massive undertaking – it’s a rough guide that documents what you are planning on doing and why you are doing it.  Good plans should contain the following: Segmentation – At this stage you should understand what segments love you offering and why.  If you don’t, you probably aren’t ready to build a marketing plan yet and you should go back and focus on finding a fit between your offering and a set of markets.  This is where you document with as much detail as humanly possible the segments that you are going to target.  Who are the groups, what are their characteristics and how do you identify them. Competitive Alternatives – This is a documented list of what your customers would consider alternatives to your product or service.  Don’t go crazy on this documenting every little bit of functionality.  The purpose of this section is to help you articulate what really...
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