Steven Van Hook's "The Marketing Plan"
Follow these instructions for completing a marketing plan project for this course.
Once your marketing plan is complete, please follow the instructions for peer assessment of your plan, which you can post to the discussion forum, if you so choose.
Your final task for this course is to prepare a marketing plan—either an actual plan for a company/organization that you are currently working for, a plan that may apply to a product or service of a company you might like to work for, or a completely hypothetical plan that you’ve made up as a practice exercise.
Your completed marketing plan should run from 20–25 pages, including the components discussed below and suggested in the marketing plan template. The plan should take you about 25 hours to prepare, including research, writing, self-review, and posting your plan for peer assessment on the discussion board.
Review of Course Materials
Now is the time to put all your hard work in the marketing course to use. All the theory behind marketing becomes real and practical as you piece together your plan. Your marketing plan should clearly identify your target market, assess the marketplace for need and competitors, cover channel issues such as distribution and pricing, devise a promotion plan including selected media and messages, identify any particular regulatory or ethical issues that you will need to consider, as well as calculate project timelines and financials by estimating expenses and receipts.
To complete the business plan, please carefully review the BUS203 materials, focusing on sections that cover the marketing mix; segmenting, targeting, and positioning; publics; marketing research; the creation of an offering; distribution channel strategies; promotion; satisfying the customer; marketing ethics; and the marketing plan.
Marketing Plan Template
Make sure to download Saylor Academy’s "Marketing Plan Template," which provides a suggested format for completing your own plan. The template provides sections of your marketing plan as well as descriptions of the type of information that should be included in each of these sections. You may want to use more or fewer headings, rephrase heading descriptions, or disregard the template altogether and devise a format of your own. You can also do a web search for sample marketing plans to see additional possible formats and content samples.
Once you have completed your marketing plan, you should set it aside for a day or two, and then come back with fresh eyes and complete a self-review. Review and revise your plan based on the following criteria:
- Overall writing and comprehension
- Effective use of headings and subject categories
- Clear presentation of the plan’s goals and tactics
- Efficient and credible use of supporting data
- Potential for success
After you have completed the self-review, then post your marketing plan in the discussion forum for peer assessment. Then, please assess the marketing plans posted by others, using the same criteria above.
If your marketing plan is proprietary or otherwise sensitive and you are unable to post it publicly, you can ask a trusted colleague to review it for you, using the criteria above. Once you have received feedback and comments, please post a response about this process on the discussion board and generally describe your "lessons learned."
As you comment on other marketing plans, try to be helpful with any constructive criticisms you may offer. Learning how to critique well with supportive and constructive suggestions will help make you popular with your co-workers throughout your career.
Here are a few tips to help do it well:
- Provide your feedback in a timely manner. This keeps the issue fresh.
- Try using a "criticism sandwich": offer some words of praise, then point out any problems, and follow up with another piece of encouragement.
- Write your critique from a "me" perspective, and focus on your reaction to the writing rather than the writer (e.g. "This sentence left me a little confused...").
- Provide useful examples of how a problematic passage might be improved.
- Do not pick just for the sake of picking. If something works, leave it alone.