FRIDAY: PUTTING THE PLAN TOGETHER.
Congratulations. You’ve done all the thinking works. Now you simply have to put your plan down on paper with everything in the right order.
ASSEMBLE YOUR DATA:
You just need the results of your research which will be as follows:
- Answers to the questions we asked on Monday.
- Competitors comparison table.
- SWOT analysis.
- Sales forecast.
- Marketing strategy.
STRUCTURE OF THE MARKETING PLAN:
COVER PAGE: Includes company name, address, phone number and date the plan was prepared. Also, give your own name and phone.
CONTENTS PAGE: List the main headings of the document and those within the core content.
SUMMARY: This is the brief precise of what’s in the document.
THE CORE CONTENT: See the previous table.
APPENDICES: Add them if you think it would help to include you extra information here.
TIP: SUMMARIZE YOUR STRENGTHS:
Since the summary is usually for people who, you hope, will invest in your business, don’t call attention to your weakness at this point. They need to be included in the plan-it wouldn’t be credible without them, and the smart investor will spot them anyway-but they don’t need to go into the summary.
TIP: LEAVE OUT THE DETAILS.
When summarizing your strategy, just mention the first stage you went through. You can say, for example, that you will ‘increase your customer base by 30 percent through advertising and exhibitions’ without giving details of which exhibitions you plan to attend.
PLAN THE DESIGN AND LAYOUT:
This may seem rather long, but if you want to impress people with your plan, you will need to present it professionally and clearly, and that takes up more space than presenting it badly.
WRITE IT UP CLEARLY:
Now that you have a smart-looking, well-presented marketing plan that contains all the essential information, the only thing left is to make sure that whoever you show it to can read it.
GUIDELINES FOR WRITING A CLEAR ENGLISH:
- Use ordinary, everyday language – don’t try to be clever.
- Use short words.
- Use short sentences – average 20 words and don’t exceed 40.
- Use short paragraph – they should never look deeper than they are wide.
- Don’t use jargon that your readers might not be familiar with.
- Avoid legal terms and pompous words such as herewith and therein.
- Use active rather than passive verbs – make the subject of the sentences do something rather than it has done to them. Eg: The boss phoned me rather than I was phoned by a boss.
- Use concrete rather than abstract nouns – abstract nouns often end with ‘-tion’: Eg: write car rather than transportation.
Today you learned about the five stages of piecing your plan together so that you have all the tools you need to complete the marketing plan on which you’ve spent so much time and effort.
Once you have your completed marketing plan, all that’s left is to ensure that you get the most out of it. After all, you want to make all the work that’s gone into it worthwhile – and it will be. TOMORROW we will learn how to use the plan effectively in order to grow your business.