Marketing Planning

Marketing planning is a subject a lot of people talk about and in theory it is a simple and pretty straighforward structure. There are lots of different versions but they boil down to 4 key steps

1 Assess the current issues. These come from the internal capabilities, such as speed to the market, being really sharp on delivery, amazing product range, being creative in the way you communicate. Then look to the pressures outside the business in the external environment, Pestel is one way

2 Decide what youwant to achieve that means objectives. Try to really clear and show how these objectives can be measured. E.g 10% increase in sales in year 1

3 Decide what the business does that is better or different. That will build a source of value. Set out to do something really well, solve a problem for someone and that leads to success. Focus on the future of the business so you do not just rent out holiday cottages. You learn about why the customers visit. Is it a short activity break to go climbing or a family holiday. Then add all of the services and that can mean working with others such as pubs, activity centres etc. From here decide how in the long term you can grow the business. Never forget what you do well.

Turn this strategy into action by promoting the business, so online, advertising, working with partners, selling space on the website. These tools can be adapted and changed quickly to focus on customers or respond to activities by competitors

4 Finally return to the objectives and examine the progress. In the example of the holiday company look at number of bookings, length of stay, recommendation to others, profitability

Hope this gives you a really good idea of the principles of marketing planning

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