MKT 4490


"The fruit that can fall without shaking, indeed is too mellow for me." - Lady M. W. Montague

  1. Title Page

  2. Executive Summary ( Opportunity, required Investment, payback, why you will succeed, and competitive advantage)

    1. This 2-3 page summary or abstract should present a description of the product/service/idea/image/event/place/etc. (herein referred to as "product/service"), its target market and its need within that market. The summary also should present an overview of the main points of the plan, i.e., the marketing mix and the sales and profits for the first two years.

    2. The relationship between the organization's mission, objectives, strategy, and the marketing plan should be clearly expressed.

    3. The summary should emphasize an action orientation.

  3. Table of Contents (Please center on the page and include page numbers i, ii, etc.)

  4. Introduction (Include a 1-page brief statement of background information, issues, and purpose of the plan.)

  5. Situational Analysis (This section includes the macro and micro environments as well as the SWOT analysis.)

    1. Macro and micro environment (Business conditions, economic conditions, state of technology, demand trends, laws, etc.)

      1. Describe any Important aspects of the company's history.

      2. Describe the company's current products or services.

        1. What are their sales in dollars?

        2. What is their share of the market?

        3. How do they compare to the competition?

      3. Describe important external conditions and/or trends impacting the industry: Social, technological, economic, legal/regulatory, competitive, and institutional.

        1. Is the size of the market of the product category increasing or decreasing and how fast?

        2. Why has the market remained stable or changed?

      4. Do these conditions create opportunities for the product/service?

      5. Do these conditions pose threats to the product/service?

    2. SWOT analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (Explain how you will handle each.)

      1. This section requires the manager to look ahead and visualize the major threats and opportunities facing the product. The purpose is to counter the managers' tendency to focus on current problems and fail to anticipate important developments that can have a significant impact on the firm. Managers should list as many threats and opportunities as they can imagine. Suppose the manager at a cigarette company comes up with the following list:

        1. The U.S. Surgeon General is asking Congress to pass a law requiring that every cigarette band include a skull and crossbones on the front of the package and the warning: "Scientific evidence shows that daily smoking shortens a person's life by an average of seven years."

        2. An increasing number of public places are prohibiting smoking or are setting up separate sections for smokers and nonsmokers.

        3. A new insect is attacking tobacco-growing areas, leading to the possibility of smaller crops in the future and larger price increases if some means cannot be found to control it.

        4. The company's research lab is on the verge of finding a way to turn lettuce into benign tobacco. If successful, the new tobacco will be enjoyable and harmless.

        5. Cigarette smoking is rapidly increasing in foreign markets, especially in developing nations.

      2. Each item has implications for the cigarette business. The first three are threats. Not all threats warrant the same attention or concern. The manager should assess each threat according to its potential severity and its probability of occurrence. The results of assessing the three threats listed above are shown below. All three are high in potential severity, and two have a high probability of occurring.

      3. Threats and opportunities. Create a grid to graphically portray the potential severity/attractiveness of the threats and opportunities.

"We want our children to become warm, decent human beings who reach out generously to those in need.  We hope they find values and ideals to give their lives purpose so they contribute to the world and make it a better place because they have lived in it.  Intelligence, success, and high achievement are worthy goals, but they mean nothing if our children are not basically kind and loving people." - Neil Kurshan

  1. Marketing Objectives and Goals (Include when you will reach them.  In creating a marketing plan for yourself, include your goals and plan for achieving those goals in this section.)

    1. What are the corporate marketing objectives of the product/service under evaluation?

    2. What are the specific marketing objectives of the product/service under evaluation?

    3. Are the objectives of the marketing plan compatible with the overall marketing objectives of the company and/or business unit?

    4. Include marketing and financial objectives.

    5. Include a pro forma income statement and balance sheet as appropriate.  If confidentiality is an issue, please use percentages.

  2. Marketing Strategy (Include items such as nitching, positioning, entry timing, etc. Show how your strategy takes advantage of your competitive advantage.)

    1. Who are the competitors and/or what are the product substitutes for the product?

    2. Does the organization have an obvious competitive advantage? If yes, what is it? Consider brand names, service, price, distribution, technology, personnel.

    3. Provide a complete competitive analysis for the product/service. This should include the following:

      1. Major competitors' strengths and weaknesses

      2. Brand positioning and competitive advantage

      3. Market share

    4. Does the product/service have a competitive advantage? If yes, explain your competitive strategy.

    5. How will the product or service be positioned?

"A human action becomes genuinely important when it springs from the soil of a clear-sighted awareness of the temporality and the ephemerality of everything human.  It is only this awareness that can breathe any greatness into an action." - Václav Havel, Czechoslovakian playwright, president

  1. Action or Tactical Plan

    1. Target Market (Demographics, psychographics, geographics, lifestyle, and any other segmentation used)

      1. Describe the firm's possible market segments.

        1. What are the characteristics of each of the market segments? (Age, geography, income, lifestyles, etc.)

        2. Assess the potential of each market segment.

      2. Describe the chosen target market(s).

        1. Why was this target market selected?

        2. How does the product or service meet the needs of the target market?

      3. Describe the purchase decision behavior of the target market(s), i.e., who, what, where, why, when, and how.

      4. What is the general sales forecast for the target market of the product/service?)

    2. Marketing Tactics (The 4 p's.)

      1. Product/Service

        1. What is the total product concept for this good or service? Describe the product/service in terms of features and benefits.

        2. Will it satisfy consumers' needs? How will the consumer use the product? Will consumers purchase the product?

        3. How does the product differ from that of the competition?

        4. Describe the package (size, color, label, etc.) and its benefits.

        5. Are any product modifications expected as the product moves through the product life cycle?

        6. Are any warranties or guarantees offered?

        7. What is the test marketing process for the product/service?

      2. Pricing

        1. What is the overall pricing policy for the organization?

        2. What are the organization's pricing objectives?

        3. What is the pricing structure for this product or service? (Include pricing method, approach, and strategy.)

        4. How does the pricing structure for the product or service compare to that of the competition?

        5. What is the target market's evaluation of price and its ability to purchase? Will there be significant demand at this price? What is the estimated effect of lowering or raising the price of the product or service?

        6. What is the competition's likely reaction to the pricing strategy for the product or service at this price level?

        7. What (if any) price promotions (sales, discounts, allowances, etc.) will be used during the year?

      3. Distribution

        1. What is the current distribution strategy?

        2. How effective are the current distribution channels? Will these same channels be used for the new product/service? Why?

        3. What (if any) new distribution channels should be added to accommodate the new product/service?

        4. Does the competition use any distribution channels not presently being used by the planning organization?

        5. What (if any) expected future developments could affect how, what, when, or where consumers will purchase this product/service?

      4. Marketing Communications

        1. What are the communication objectives for the organization's product or service?

        2. What is the overall promotional strategy for the organization? Describe this in terms of structure, tasks, and strategy (push/pull).

        3. How much money is allocated for the promotional budget? How will it be divided?

        4. What are the copy and media strategies for this product or service? How does the advertising differ from that of any competitor?

        5. What is the role of personal selling in the promotional mix? What is the ratio of advertising spending to personal selling spending? Does this ratio reflect the importance given to personal selling in the overall promotional strategy?

        6. What is the role of sales promotion? What is the ratio of advertising expenditures to sales promotion expenditures? Does this ratio reflect the importance given to sales promotion in the overall promotional strategy?

        7. What type of sales promotion will be used?

        8. What are the objectives of the public relations program?

    3. Proposed (realistic) marketing budget for implementation of marketing plan.  Include details, such as estimated sales, media costs, etc.

  2. Implementation

    1. Include a schedule/chart/timeline of execution for each element of the action plan, i.e., project development schedules.

    2. Who will do each task, that is, who has responsibility?

  3. Control and Evaluation

    1. Include methods for measuring actual performance versus planned objectives.

    2. Include illustration(s) of measurement of progress during the campaign, and upon its completion.

    3. Organization chart for project

      1. For the product or service being planned for, develop a timeline that will explain:

        1. What is to be accomplished and how much will it cost?

        2. Who will do it?

        3. When will it be done?

      2. How will results be measured? Consider sales analysis, market share analysis, and cost analysis, etc. What information is needed for the comparison of actual and planned results?

      3. Who will be responsible for monitoring and controlling the marketing plan? Who is accountable for significant deviations from the plan?

      4. Develop a pro forma statement for the first two years of sales and detail the income and expenses in both quantitative and qualitative format.

    4. Breakeven chart

    5. Cash flow

    6. Profit and loss statement

    7. Balance sheets

    8. Contingency plans

    9. Other relevant information

  4. Summary (Include a 1/2 to 1 page summary of the tactical plan and conclusions while emphasizing competitive advantage.)

  5. Appendices/Exhibits (Use titles and cite references as appropriate. Include a copy of the PPT slides. Include any other tables, graphs, exhibits, complicated information or numbers, sample ads or brochures, etc.)

  6. Reference/Bibliography (Use complete citations and indicate in the paper where each is used.  Check the library website for how to cite references.)

"Thinking well is wise; planning well wiser; doing well wisest and best of all." - Persian Proverb



  1. Anderson and Vincze (2005), Strategic Marketing Management, Houghton Mifflin.

  2. Subhash, C. Jain, Marketing Planning Strategy, 4th Edition, Cincinnati, Ohio: South- Western Publishing Company, 2004.

  3. William A. Cohen, The Marketing Plan, New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2005.

  4. Kotler, Principles of Marketing, 3rd ed., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2003.

  5. The marketing plan outline included in this appendix is an adaptation of the marketing plan exercise used by Professor Anne M. Devine, Alverno College, Business and Management Division, 3401 S. 39th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53234-3922.

"The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through." - Harry A. Overstreet


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