Business Plan Series: Part 6 – Sales and Marketing – Marketing Strategy

Last time in Part 5, we discussed how to evaluate and present the competition in a manner that allows your company to stand out. Now that you have covered who you company is, what it provides and how you stack up against the competition, it is time to show how you market and sell it to the rest of the world.

Part 6 and 7, will cover the Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy which is usually combined in a business plan. This is to allow sufficient discussion in each area and not make the posts extremely long.

Marketing Strategy is separated into four distinct areas in the Sales and Marketing section. They are:

1.) Market Profile and Approach
2.) Market Penetration Strategy
3.) Market Growth Strategy
4.) Market Communication Strategy

So let’s talk about the first one, Market Profile.
Market Profile is the discussion of the types of customers in your initial markets. This sets the stage for how and why you will market to them in various ways. You should talk about how many potential customers exist that you could sell to. You should discuss how big the market potential is and how much of that you think you can capture. Be sure to be able to back up your numbers and not say things like “1% of a $1 billion market”. That won’t work and no one will take it seriously.

Next up is Market Penetration Strategy and the focus is how you will use your unique value or selling propositions to create a compelling story that sells your customer on your business. The whole point is to discuss how fast and how deep you can get in there and market to acquire new customers.

Once you enter the market, you need to grow our current and future opportunities. This is the Market Growth Strategy and includes both retaining and acquiring customers through various growth strategies. These growth strategies can include expanding product and service offerings, expanding into new verticals or even expansion through new locations or franchising.

As you continue executing your marketing strategy, you will need a solid communications strategy that includes public relations, product marketing, creating tactical selling tools and an online marketing strategy.

As you write these subsections always keep in mind how this ties into an overall selling strategy and we will cover this next time in “Part 7-Sales and Marketing Strategy-Sales Strategy”.