Back to: Business Planning 2 Marketing Basics: Video Course
Please note: the sound on this recording is a little low, you may wish to listen through headphones.
The marketing activities involved in the business planning process, and summarized in your Business Plan, explore how you plan to communicate the existence of your business to your chosen customers or clients.
The second section of a Business Plan is called the Marketing Plan, Marketing Approach, or Marketing Strategy (depending on the Business Plan template you are using) and reflects the results of those activities.
In other words, the marketing section of the plan details how you intend to make the Business Idea you summarized in the first section of the Business Plan, a reality. It explains what methods you plan to use to communicate the presence of your business to your market, and why you believe those methods will work, based on your research, experience, and the nuances of your market.
Marketing activities of business planning also serve to put a cost against your start-up marketing activities and your ongoing marketing costs. You will need these numbers to feed into your financial plan later.
In summary, your Marketing Plan answers the questions:
Who are my customers?
- Where do they hang-out?
- What activities will I do to reach them?
- How much will it cost?
Before we look at the detail of the marketing activities related to business planning, let’s take a step back and review what marketing is all about.
So what exactly is marketing?
- Marketing is the process used to raise awareness about a business, brand, product or service.
- It does this by building a relationship with an audience (customers or clients or supporters) via various channels or methods such as newspaper advertising, social media, website, etc.
- The ultimate result of the marketing process is to increase sales.
A well researched and constructed marketing strategy, turns marketing efforts from this…
A scattershot marketing approach that costs a lot and often misses the target.
Save time and frustration
- Make the most of your budget
- Increase your profits
Now, let’s go back and look at the activities that are included in marketing planning and in particular the elements of the Business Plan related to marketing.
The following is the list of activities you’d generally undertake as part of your marketing planning.
The results of these activities should also be included in your Business Plan under the Marketing section.
Let’s quickly run through them, before we dive into each separately:
- Defining your Audience is about deciding who typifies the best example of a client or customer you’d ideally like to sell your products or services to and how you will reach them. It also talks about how to size that audience so that you can understand if your business idea is viable ie are there enough of them to sell to.
- Brand development is about deciding how to present you business in a way that appeals directly to your audience, so that you immediately attract as many of them as possible.
- Identifying where you can find your audience and which marketing channels to use to reach them, is the next activity.
- Once you’ve worked through these first 3 activities, you can put it all together to develop an overall Marketing Strategy which will connect with your audience.
- Planning your Year 1 marketing activities – both campaign based and regular day-to-day activities – is the next step.
- And once you have your plan in place, you can look at the budget you will need to support your plan.
Let’s look at these activities one by one.