Marketing plan worksheets

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These worksheets are designed to assist you in writing a formal marketing plan. Worksheets are a useful tool because they help to ensure that important information is not omitted from the marketing plan. Answering the questions on these worksheets will enable you to:

  1. organize and structure the data and information you collect during the situation analysis

  2. use this information to better understand a firm’s strengths and weaknesses and to recognize the opportunities and threats that exist in the marketing environment

  3. develop goals and objectives that capitalize on strengths

  4. develop a marketing strategy that creates competitive advantages

  5. outline a plan for implementing the marketing strategy

By downloading these worksheets in an electronic format, you will be able to change the outline or add information that is relevant to your situation. Remember that there is no one best way to organize a marketing plan. Our outline was designed to provide an analytical framework and to be flexible enough to accommodate the unique characteristics of your situation.

We recommend that you start by reviewing Figure 5.8, the overview of the marketing planning process found on page 108 of the text. By referring to it often you will find that it helps to keep the process in focus.
As you complete the worksheets, you should refer back to the text of the chapters as suggested throughout.
In completing the situation analysis section, be sure to be as comprehensive as possible. The viability of your analysis depends on how well you identify all of the relevant environmental issues. Likewise, as you complete the analysis, you should be honest about the firm’s characteristics. Do not claim for the firm strengths that it does not possess. Being honest also goes for your listing of weaknesses. Furthermore, it is important to be realistic in your recommendations. A marketing plan that is appropriate for a large, well-funded company such as Kellogg’s would likely be out of the question for a newly established or small business.

I. Executive Summary
The executive summary is a synopsis of the overall marketing plan. The executive summary is easier to write if you do it last, after you have written the entire marketing plan. Include a description of your product or service, the target market, and the need for it in the market. You should give an overview of the main points. Most importantly, keep in mind that this is your opportunity to sell your marketing plan and entice your audience to read the details of the plan.

  1. Company Description and Input from Corporate Strategies (pp. 90–92)

Include a description of the company’s recent history and successes and touch briefly on the strategy for the organization as a whole. This may include elements such as:

  • mission

  • corporate objectives

  • strategic business unit (SBU) objectives

(Figure 5.2, on page 91, illustrates the stages in formulating a strategy for the company as a whole.)

III. Situation Analysis (pp. 93–95)

A situation analysis considers the internal circumstances of the organization or product, the external environment, competitive activity, and characteristics of the customer that may be relevant to the marketing plan.

A situation analysis includes:

  • internal analysis

  • environmental analysis

  • customer analysis

  • competitive analysis

A. Internal Analysis (pp. 93–95)
Review of marketing goals and objectives
Identify the firm’s current marketing goals and objectives.
State whether these goals and objectives are:

  • consistent with the firm’s mission

  • consistent with recent changes in the marketing or customer environments

  • leading to expected performance outcomes (sales volume, market share, profitability, awareness, brand preference)

Review of current marketing performance
Compare the firm’s current performance with that of other firms in the industry. Is the performance of the industry as a whole improving or declining? Why?
If the firm’s performance is declining, what is the most likely cause (e.g., environmental changes, flawed strategy, poor implementation)?
Review of current and anticipated organizational resources
Describe the current state of the firm’s organizational resources (e.g., financial, capital, human, experience, relationships with key suppliers or customers).
How are the levels of these resources likely to change in the future?
If resource levels are expected to change:

  • how can the firm leverage additional resources to meet customer needs better than competitors?

  • how can the firm compensate for future constraints on its resources?

Review of current and anticipated cultural and structural issues
In terms of marketing strategy development and implementation, describe the positive and negative aspects of the current and anticipated culture of the firm. Examples could include:

  • the firm’s overall customer orientation (or lack thereof)

  • the firm’s emphasis on short-term vs. long-term planning

  • the willingness of the culture to embrace change

  • internal politics and power struggles

  • the overall position and importance of the marketing function

  • changes in key executive positions

  • general employee satisfaction and morale

B. Environmental Analysis (pp. 95–96)

Review Chapter 2

Economic growth and stability
Identify the general economic conditions of the country, region, province, and local area in which the firm operates:
Political, legal, and regulatory issues
Identify any political activities that affect the firm or the industry:

  • changes in elected officials (domestic or foreign)

  • industry (lobbying) groups

  • consumer groups

Changes in technology
Identify ways that changing technology has affected the firm’s customers:

Identify ways that changing technology has affected the way the firm or the industry operates:

Identify current technologies that the firm is not using to their fullest potential:
Identify future technologies that may increase the risk of product obsolescence:
Sociocultural trends
Identify changes in society’s demographics and values that will affect the firm or the industry (if your response becomes too broad, focus on the firm’s target customers):
Explain the changes that shifting demographics and values will have on the firm:

Identify any problems or opportunities that may be created by changes in the cultural diversity of the firm’s customers and employees:

Identify any ecological issues (pollution, recycling, energy conservation) that the firm or industry is facing:
Identify the ethical and social responsibility issues that the firm or industry is facing:

  1. Customer Analysis (pp. 97–98)

Review Chapters 8 & 9

There are seven general questions that marketers should ask about their customers:

    1. Who are our actual and potential customers?

    2. Why do they buy our product?

    3. Why do others not buy our product?

    4. Where do our customers buy our product?

    5. How do they buy it?

    6. When do they buy it?

    7. What do they do with our product?

After answering these seven questions, you can look at segmentation and positioning analysis (see pp. 82–84 and 97 for positioning analysis and positioning maps).

Who are the firm’s current and potential customers?
Describe the important identifying characteristics of the firm’s current and potential customers:

  • demographic

  • geographic

  • psychographic

  • product usage

Identify the important players in the purchase process for the firm’s products:

  • purchasers (actual act of purchase)

  • users (actual product user)

  • influencers (influence the decision, make recommendations)

  • financial responsibility (who pays the bill?)

What do customers do with the firm’s products?

Where do customers purchase the firm’s products?

Identify any trends in purchase patterns across these outlets (e.g., how e-commerce has, or could, change the way the firm’s products are purchased).

When do customers purchase the firm’s products?
Factors under the firm’s control

Factors not under the firm’s control

Why (and how) do customers select the firm’s products?
Compare the basic benefits provided by the firm’s products with those of competing products:
Compare the degree to which customers’ needs are being fulfilled by the firm’s products with that of competing products:
Describe how customers’ needs are expected to change in the future:
Describe the relative importance of transactional (short, one-time) vs. relational (long-term, ongoing) exchange processes when customers make a purchase:
Why do potential customers not purchase the firm’s products?

D. Competitive Analysis (pp. 99–100)
Identify the firm’s major competitors (brand, product, generic):
Identify the characteristics of the firm’s major competitors:

List any potential (future) competitors not identified in the preceding:

IV. SWOT Analysis (p. 96) The previous analyses should have uncovered the essential elements for a SWOT analysis. This is essentially a summary of the previous findings, and its format may shed further light on the current company situation.
A. Strengths
Strength 1: _________________________________________________________

  • How does this strength enable the firm to meet customers’ needs?

  • Does this strength make the firm different from (better than) its competitors?

(Repeat as needed to develop a complete list of strengths)

B. Weaknesses

Weakness 1: ________________________________________________________

  • How does this weakness prevent the firm from meeting customers’ needs?

  • Does this weakness make the firm different from (worse than) its competitors?

(Repeat as needed to develop a complete list of weaknesses)
C. Opportunities
Opportunity 1: _______________________________________________________

  • How is this opportunity related to serving customers’ needs?

  • How can the firm capitalize on this opportunity in the short term and the long term?

(Repeat as needed to develop a complete list of opportunities.)
D. Threats
Threat 1: ___________________________________________________________

  • How is this threat related to serving customers’ needs?

  • How can the firm prevent this threat from limiting its capabilities in the short term and the long term?

(Repeat as needed to develop a complete list of threats.)
E. Matching, Converting, Minimizing, and Avoiding Strategies
Describe ways that the firm can match its strengths to its opportunities to create capabilities in serving customers’ needs.
Can the firm convert its weaknesses into strengths or its threats into opportunities? If not, how can the firm minimize or avoid its weaknesses and threats?
Does the firm possess any major liabilities (unconverted weaknesses that match unconverted threats) or limitations (unconverted weaknesses or threats that match opportunities)? If so, are these liabilities and limitations obvious to customers?
Can the firm do anything about its liabilities or limitations, especially those that impact the firm’s ability to serve customers’ needs?
V. Marketing Objectives and Strategies (pp. 100–102, 108)
A. Marketing Goal A: __________________________________________________
Objective A1: ______________________________________________________
Specific and measurable outcome:

Time frame:

Responsible unit/person:
Objective A2: ______________________________________________________
Specific and measurable outcome:

Time frame:

Responsible unit/person:
B. Marketing Goal B: __________________________________________________
Objective B1: ______________________________________________________
Specific and measurable outcome:

Time frame:

Responsible unit/person:
Objective B2: ______________________________________________________
Specific and measurable outcome:

Time frame:

Responsible unit/person:
(Repeat as needed to develop a complete list of goals and objectives.)
VI. Marketing Strategies (pp. 100–111)
A. Primary Target Market and Marketing Mix (pp. 106–109)
Primary target market: ________________________________________________

Review Chapters 3 & 4

This target’s primary need:

Identifying characteristics (demographics, geography, psychographics):

Purchasing/shopping habits and preferences:

Consumption/disposition characteristics:

Product: _______________________________________________

Review Chapters 10–13

Major features and benefits:

Sustainable competitive advantage:

Differentiation/positioning strategy:

Brand name and packaging:

Customer service strategy:

Complementary products:

Pricing: ________________________________________________

Review Chapters 13 & 14

Pricing objectives:

Description of per-unit costs:

Discount/markdown policy:
Distribution: ____________________________________________

Review Chapters 15–17

General supply chain strategy:

Intermediaries and channels to be used:

Elements of customer convenience:
Promotion: _____________________________________________

Review Chapters 18 & 19

General IMC strategy:

IMC objectives and budget:

Elements of the advertising/publicity strategy:

Elements of the personal selling strategy:

Elements of trade sales promotion (push) strategy:

Elements of consumer sales promotion (pull) strategy:

Elements of the sponsorship strategy:
B. Is there a Secondary Target Market? If so, repeat the above analysis
VII. Marketing Implementation (p. 92)
A. Structural Issues
Describe your overall approach to implementing the marketing strategy:
Describe any changes to the firm’s structure needed to implement the marketing strategy (e.g., add/delete positions, change lines of authority, change reporting relationships).
B. Tactical Marketing Activities

Specific Tactical Activities







Product Activities



Pricing Activities




Distribution Activities




IMC Activities




VIII. Evaluation and Control (p. 92)

Review Chapter 6

A. Formal Marketing Control
Describe the types and levels of formal control mechanisms that should be used to ensure the implementation of the marketing plan.

  1. Summary and Conclusions

Write approximately one to three paragraphs summarizing your analysis and providing a broad overview of the key actions recommended.

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