A marketing plan is a way to lay out the campaigns and individual efforts that will promote your business' products and services to its target audience. As you develop a marketing plan, it is important to consider the internal factors that will affect your campaigns and budget; with a solid understanding of all factors involved, you can better develop a plan that will stand strong over the course of time.
One of the most important internal factors impacting a marketing plan is scheduling. As you develop the plan, consider the time and manpower it will take to carry out each campaign. Depending on the type of activities involved, you might choose to dedicate a single staff member to the project or, if you do not have the available staff, you may need to scale back marketing campaigns. Consider also the workload of client projects; rolling out a major marketing initiative during a deadline push can put too much stress on staff and lead to inferior work on both ends.
As you develop a marketing plan, consider the competitive advantages your business has in the market. With a solid understanding of your capabilities, you can shift your marketing to focus on the things you offer that competitors do not. Consider your core competencies, pricing advantages, complementary services and partnerships. Analyze your audience and determine how you can meet their needs; if your ideal customer is environmentally conscious, for example, your strong recycling program and sustainable production line could be the basis of a major marketing campaign.
Just as important as knowing your strong points is an understanding of your internal weaknesses. Look at your company from the point of view of a customer to identify the things they might see as weaknesses; if necessary, talk to your existing clients to get a first-hand opinion. Your company's shortfalls can inform the development of a marketing plan by giving you an opportunity to change public perception or focus on services that far outweigh your weak points.
Your company's resources can have a profound impact on a marketing plan. The marketing budget, available staff, and facilities can be limiting factors on campaign size and type. On the other hand, things like the strength of your brand, key staff, operational efficiency, market share and exclusive contracts can be a boon to a marketing plan because they provide a strong foundation for promotional activities.