Developing a written annual marketing plan is a progressive step in becoming a truly marketing led business.
How it is written and presented can be the difference in receiving enthusiastic or lukewarm support from senior level management and more importantly from the sales department.
Every product and service needs to be assessed individually.
Working on the annual marketing plan requires time and it should start shortly after the previous year's plan is completed. There should never be a rushed marketing plan if everyone is on the same page to its development timetable.
- Historical Performance
- Competitive Analysis
- Problems and Opportunities
- Strategy Development, Method, and Implementation
- Pricing (markup and gross margins)
- Forecasting and Budget
Developing results-oriented strategies, selecting the methods to execute, and timely implementation are paramount. Even if a company does not have a formalized written marketing plan, it should have a formalized approach to strategy development and recording successes and failures for future purposes.
Strategies are the "guiding lights” and assisting tools for a company to achieve its forecasted sales and profits.
Former President George H. Bush might say, "A thousand points of lights!"