Step By Step Marketing Plan

© Jerry Belch

Overview of Project

  • Make sure that you use the most up-to-date browsers to view this project.
  • The purpose of this step by step tutorial is help you prepare a Marketing Plan Presentation
    and compete at the trade shows.
  • Once you have selected the type of business,you can begin this project.
  • you will learn in this lesson about the industry, target market and market segmentation, product, pricing, placement and promotion.
  • The unit takes 15 days at one hour per class period.
  • The presentation is prepared by the Marketing Department of your company.
  • It includes a written report, a tri-fold showing your plan and an oral presentation.
  • The oral presentation takes 5 minutes
  • At least 2 to 3 members of the marketing department must make the presentation.
  • You are given five minutes followed by a two minute question and answer period.
  • There is a portion of the business plan competition that contains the Marketing Plan.

    Materials that need to be collected

    Registration Form for Marketing Plan
    Intent to compete in Marketing Plan Competition
    Instructions for written Marketing Plan - VE web site
    Score Sheet for Marketing Plan Competition - VE web site
    Job Descriptions
    Organizational Charts
  • Digital pictures of products in product line, for the report and tri-fold.
  • Logo design.
  • Other graphics that relate to your business for the tri-fold.

    Teacher Responsibility

  • Hold meeting with officers.
  • Pass out the progress logs each week to ensure a timely plan completion.
  • Proofread the plan.
  • Send the plan in by deadline.

    Progress Logs

    Use Progress Logs to manage the project Progress Logs and Department Templates Video

    The tutorial part of the lesson appears in the left-hand column.
    The example for this project is a surf shop and appears in the right-hand column.

  • Industry Analysis- Tutorial Days 1, 2, 3

    Look at competitors in the marketplace.

    You should know the name of your company at this point and an idea about the product line.

    How many similar companies exist in the real world and how many competitors do you have in your Virtual Enterprise network?

    Do some secondary marketing research. Check out

    Marketing Research

    Is this market growing or in decline?

    Identify strengths and threats to be addressed in long and short term planning.

    Compare company vision and experience against averages for similar operations.

    Take notes on your research.

    Make an outline of information collected

    Write out in narrative form the information about your analysis of the industry.

    Use charts and graphs to make the report more meaningful.

    In this section tables and graphs might include: revenue, market share, growth potential of the market. a pie chart of strengths and threats.

    Use Excel to portray the data and then have the information in the table graphed.

    Here is how to take table data and turn it into a graph using Excel. These instructions are for Office 2007. We are going to construct a column chart.

    The column chart uses bars of varying height to illustrate the value in a worksheet.

    If we wanted to show the cost of goods sold by different retail industries, this type of chart is a good choice.

    First we need to construct the worksheet in Excel.

    Put the industries in column A. Make it wide enough to hold the longest entry

    Column B contains the percentage of cost of sales or goods sold for each industry listed.

    Give the worksheet a title. Save the work sheet

    To make a chart out of the data, Highlight the data in the chart. Both columns

    Click the Insert Tab

    Select Columns

    I selected 2-D. it is the first choice.

    The chart appears next to the worksheet.

    Put it on the clipboard and then it can be pasted into your document.

    To move the chart to another location, click the Change Location icon. It is located in the upper-right hand corner.

    Click the new sheet button.

    Click OK.

    The chart will appear as a tab on the bottom, called Chart 1.

    Your Worksheet will appear on the Sheet 1 tab.

    Cost Of Goods Sold Worksheet and Chart

    Statistics: Tutorial Days 1, 2, 3

    Include statistics about the industry as a whole. Make sure to graph some of the information.

    Trends: Tutorial Days 4, 5

    Explain what is happening to the industry. Is it growing or declining? Which items in your product line are doing well as far as sales are concerned?

    Strengths: Tutorial Day 6

    Include strengths in your analysis of the Industry. What are the positive aspects. Look at factors relating to products, pricing, costs, profitability, performance, quality, people skills, adaptability, brands, services, reputation.

    Threats: Tutorial Day 7

    What major threats face your chosen industry? How much of an influence do big box retailers have? What are the factors relating to market sections, audience, fashions, season-ability, trends, competition, economics, politics, society, culture, technology and environment?

    Putting the Industry Analysis part of the program in report form: Tutorial Day 8

    To put this part of the report together, collect all of your notes so far. Open up a Microsoft Word document. Your plan might be submitted electronically in a PDF format. Check the instructions. Decide on font size, type, margins and spacing. Check with the instructions for submitting to see if these items are specified. Decide if you will write the report using just paragraphs. Will you use tables, clip art, photographs, lists, spreadsheets or graphs? All of these items above will make your report more meaningful and interesting. Spell and Grammar Check your work. Use a Thesaurus if you want to change some of the words. Turn in this part of the report to your instructor, so that they may see you are progressing and on schedule. We will do the front page and table of contents when we are all finished with the report.

    Assembling the Industry Analysis section of the trifold: Tutorial Day 9

    It is not a good idea to save the trifold construction until the last minute. Build it one part of a time. There are obviously three sections to a trifold. I suggest saving the center section for the 4p's : Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The left side could be used for target market and market segmentation. The right side could contain the Industry Analysis, Trends, Strengths and Threats. I would use bulleted points for the main ideas. Remember this is the only prop you will have to make your presentation. No electronic media may be used. You will want to use the trifold as a guide, your notes. Make sure the text is large enough to be seen from where the trifold is located and the judges' table. Use your company colors, incorporate the logo. Make certain that the judges can tell right off, what your company is and your product line. Less is better. You will not have a lot of space for lengthy narrative. Microsoft Word has a Word Art Section in Word can easily be used for the main headings on the trifold. Click the Insert Tab, Select a style, size, and style. 48 to 54 size works OK. Key in all headings:Industry Statistics, Target Market, Product, Price, Place, Promotion. Click OK. Print and out and cut the tags. Double sided tape is a good way to affix the material to the board. You may also want to use a glue stick. Remember it must look fresh and not beat up when you are finished. You can also purchase stick-on letters from a office supply store. Trifolds cost around $7.95. It is a good idea to mount the text on colored paper. Look at your notes that you took on Industry Analysis, Strength and Threats and Target Market and Market segmentation. Open a Word document and use bulleted points in a large font.

    Target Market and Market Segmentation: Tutorial Day 10

    You might think that you want to sell your product to everyone. This is not a good strategy, however. The better you know your customers' demographics like age, sex, occupation, education level, etc., the better marketing campaign you can prepare. For example, day time television shows in the early days of television were mainly sponsored by soap companies: Proctor and Gamble, Lever Brothers, Colgate and Purex. They quickly inherited the name "soap operas." In the early days of TV, one company usually sponsored an entire show. Today it takes many companies to host a show. Back in those early days of television, most of the women in America were stay-at-home moms and homemakers. It made perfect sense that soap companies targeted this major segment of our population during day time hours. If we want to look at a much younger demographic, let's examine Saturday morning television . Their target market is kids. The products that are advertised are cereals geared to the youngsters and toys. One thing that is critically important when deciding on your target market, is the ability to pay. It would make no sense to sell high end sports cars to teenagers. Remember that your target market is other VE students in other schools. Keep this in mind when deciding on product line, Consider what you would buy. Detailed demographic information is available from the Census Bureau's website. Click on "State and County Quick Facts" for your state, and you can find county-by-county demographic information. You can also get this kind of information from established businesses within your industry or from a trade association. Gale's Dictionary of Associations, available in most libraries, contains listings for more than 30,000 trade associations' national headquarters. Many associations also have local or regional chapters that serve members in a variety of ways, with everything from newsletters to lobbying actions.

    Target Market Trifold: Tutorial Day 11

    To make titles for your trifold for this sections, you might want to open your word document for the regular report, highlight all the text, change and enlarge all the fonts. Print out the sheets and paste them onto a piece of paper and then to the trifold. Use only the most important points. Remember you can use the trifold as your notes when giving the presentation.

    Product or Service: Tutorial Day 12

    In this section, you want to describe the products of services that your company provides. Use pictures and descriptions. For products include colors, sizes and styles. For services, be specific. Tell them exactly what service you are offering. A product is a tangible item or an intangible service. Products have life cycles:growing, maturity and decline. Products should complement each other. You would not want to sell dishwashers and clothes as your marketing mix. Be thinking about sales and amount of inventory of products you will need. Research most sold sizes, styles and colors. Put together an inventory of these items into a spreadsheet so as to calculate inventory costs for the accounting department. Don't just say I need $100,000 worth of inventory. A lot of planning must go into the quantities of each item purchased since cost of goods sold is the major expense for a business selling products. In the marketing plan competition, the inventory spreadsheet is not required, but by including it, you will clearly define what your products are. In addition, you can use it to keep a perpetual inventory system and be able to give your accounting department an exact number for ending inventory. Make up facsimile of your products to be given to the customer at the time of the sale. The sales are virtual not invisible.

    Product or Service Tri-fold: Tutorial Day 12

    Take some of the more colorful pictures from your catalog, print them out and past onto the tri-fold board. You may wish to put the product name under each picture if you wish.

    Pricing Strategy: Tutorial Day 13

    Pricing strategy is determined by a couple factors: the price our competition's charge and by generally accepted pricing strategies found in the mark-up percentage that accompanies most Industries. Biz shows what cost of goods sold percentage goes with each industry.

    Look under S corporations then retail then the industry that your product line falls into.

    If you are starting a service business, however, mark up is more difficult to calculate, particularly for new business owners. With most service businesses, the key variable cost associated with delivering the service to your customers will be you and your employees' time.

    In computing proper mark up for a service business, you must pay close attention to the time spent to provide the service to customers, as well as to market prices of the services provided.

    In starting a service business, you will need to research the going rate paid to employees and the market prices for the services you will be providing.

    The is no fool proof way of determining what to charge for your service

    There a number of ways to calculate the cost price for your service.

    Cost plus pricing.

    Determine the cost of providing the service. This includes the salaries of those providing the service, the rent utilities, insurance and other fixed costs.

    Competitors Pricing.

    What are your competitors charging for this service. Check websites, talking to friends and associates who have used this service.

    You need to convince your customers that you are giving them value in terms of service and quality

    Perceived value to the customer.

    This area is pretty subjective when determining what price to charge for your service, but what does your customer perceive the price to be.

    Charging an hourly rate

    For some service business this make sense. The rate should be determined by the expertise of the person performing the service,

    Charging a flat rate for services

    Customers like this approach, since they know up front what the service will cost. If you spend more time on the service than you are paid, you will lose money.

    Pricing Strategy:Tri-fold Tutorial Day 13

    Take the written part of your report on pricing, enlarge the font for a section of it and print out and tape it under the Price Heading on your tri-fold.

    Placement: Tutorial Day 14

    The placement element or place of the 4p's relates to the channels of distribution. How does the product get to the final consumer? In some cases you might be the company that manufactures the product, then send it to a wholesaler or jobber and then to a retail outlet. In most virtual businesses the channel of distribution is simple. Your company buys the product from the manufacturer and then sells it the final consumer through your web page. With the advent of the Internet, placement is becoming less relevant. Many brick and mortar stores also have an Internet presence, so that items can be purchased from their retail outlet or ordered on line. Some companies franchise their businesses, so that there are multiple retail outlets run by independent business persons, but are still supported in marketing and accounting efforts by the parent company.

    Promotion: Tutorial Day 15

    There a number of ways to promote your products or services. Internet ads can be composed and sent to each virtual company. You might include a discount on a number of items. Coupons can be included that can be redeemed at trade shows. You can have the Internet ads posted on

    . There is a special place for Internet advertisements on the site. There is also a Step by Step lesson on how to create Internet advertisements. Trade Show specials can be designed prior to each show. Drawings can be held for real merchandise at trade shows, open houses and grand openings. Presentations can be given to service clubs and ASB clubs at your school followed up by a time for your audience to buy your products or services. Some companies feature a mascot at trade shows. The mascot many times passes out flyers promoting your booth. Some companies have their their sales people in the booth in costume. For example, a catering company could have their booth people in chef's outfits. A surf company could have their sales staff in board shorts, T-shirts and sandals. Announcements for special deals can be made over the loud speaker at trade shows. Your web page can offer special deals or discounts.

    Written by Jerry Belch