Developing your marketing plan

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If you want your target export audience to know about your product or service and to perceive it in the way you want and pay the price you’re asking – it has to be marketed effectively and efficiently.

A sound marketing plan is the blueprint for a company's marketing activities, summarising the strategies and tactics that will be used to achieve specified objectives in a given time period.

Work your way through the steps in this checklist and you will have your core document for directing and coordinating your marketing effort.

In this chapter, we have covered the following

The checklist below shows the main sections of a marketing plan and the path to follow in developing and reviewing the plan.

  1. Information inputs

You will be making decisions in sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 based upon the information you gather, analyse and summarise in this section. Hence the quality of your plan and the decisions you make based on it, will be very much determined by the quality of the research and the information that goes into it.

Objectives of the plan: This is an introduction to the marketing plan and describes its reason for being. Any objectives, guidelines or constraints imposed by management should also be identified here.

Market size: If the market being analysed is an existing one, state the size in terms of units and dollars or Euros. If helpful, show historical sales. Predict future trends for whatever period is most helpful.

Analysis of the marketing environment: You should be alert to any trends in the environment at large (i.e. beyond your control) that could affect either the magnitude of the business potential or the strategy you might adopt.

The trade: Identify those organisations in the trade (if any) which are potentially important and report the findings of your research into their needs or wants, problems, desired profit margins, attitudes to competitors, and so on.

The consumer: Summarise here the key information concerning any qualitative and/or quantitative research conducted by, or for, you. Include: date(s) of research, who did it, type of research project, and key findings.

Company analysis: This is the place to summarise the key factors in the SWOT analysis unless they have been covered elsewhere.

Other points: State key or critical assumptions so that they are not forgotten and/or can be challenged by readers.

  1. Customer motivation and market segmentation

Consumer motivation: Describe the consumer's buying motive. It may be a benefit, fulfilment of a need or want, solution to a problem, elimination of an irritation or frustration, etc. It usually has both rational and emotional components.

Market segment: Describe the group of people you are seeking in ways that differentiate them from all other people.

Market size: Estimate the number of people in your market segment.

  1. Financial, marketing and customer objectives

Financial objectives (which must be consistent with corporate objectives) may include sales, gross profit, net profit, return on investment, etc.

Marketing objectives may include unit sales, share of market, trial level, rate of repeat purchases, awareness or recall levels, distribution levels, levels of customer satisfaction, etc.

Customer objectives may include acquisition of new customers, retention of existing customers, stimulation of existing customers or re-activation of lapsed customers.

  1. Marketing strategy

Overall marketing strategy: State your overall marketing strategy, e.g. competing mainly on service, product differentiation, innovation, price, etc.

Definition of competition: Identify those products which are your main competitors. To escape 'marketing myopia', identify products which satisfy the same buying motive identified in section 2.

Market demand: State whether you intend to achieve your sales target mainly by expanding the total market (primary demand) and/or by gaining a share of the existing market (secondary demand).

Competitive positioning: State how you intend to position your product relative to competitive products.

Promotional strategy: Indicate whether you will use a pull strategy, a push strategy, or a combination of the two.

Communication theme: State the theme or message that you wish to communicate to your consumer via your advertising, packaging, promotion, point-of-sale material, public relations, direct mail, telemarketing, unaddressed mail, multimedia CD-ROM, Internet website, etc.

Customer database: Describe how you will keep data up-to-date, add new information, integrate with other information, etc.

Legal: State the legal protection (if any) that you will seek to minimise competition.

Other: State any other marketing strategies that are relevant to your particular business or situation. For example, will you focus on trial or repeat purchases? Will you focus on selected regions of the country? Will you use technology to establish a competitive advantage? and so on.

  1. Elements of the marketing mix

The main elements of the marketing mix are:

  1. Product
  2. Place
  3. Price
  4. Promotion

a) Product

Product: List briefly the main features and characteristics that the product must have to satisfy the buying motive identified in section 2. Also specify the maximum permissible production cost per unit.

Brand name: State your Brand name criteria (e.g. convey a benefit, be easy to pronounce or remember, etc); then state the name you believe best fits these criteria.

Generic product name: State your Generic Product name criteria; then state the name you believe best fits these criteria.

Packaging: List the key structural and graphic criteria which the pack design must adhere to. State any constraints that must be accepted (e.g. cost of the pack, transportation costs, retailer realities, etc.). Specify the maximum permissible production cost per unit.

Packaging outer and/or inner: State how many units will be contained in an inner and, if applicable, how many inners to an outer. List the graphic and structural criteria which the design of the outer and/or inner must adhere to. State any constraints that must be accepted, particularly maximum permissible costs.

b) Place

Distribution: State the type of retail outlets - and the area within those outlets - in which your consumer would expect to buy the product. Identify the type of middlemen (e.g. wholesalers and/or distributors) you require to gain distribution in those retail outlets. Also, specify the normal mark-up taken at each level required. State the criteria which these middlemen must fulfil for appointment as your wholesalers and/or distributors. Identify specific companies which you will appoint because they meet your criteria.

c) Price

Pricing: Predict the retail price you believe the consumer will pay and provide your rationale. Determine your selling price by subtracting middlemen mark-ups. Use mark-ups that are consistent with your promotional strategy. (Section 4).

Credit: State whether or not you will grant better credit terms than is standard industry practice (push strategy). If so, specify what you will offer and estimate the extra cost.

d) Promotion

Consumer advertising: Specify the media that will be used to reach your consumer (e.g. direct mail, telemarketing, internet, etc.) and your rationale. State the weight of advertising required (e.g. reach and frequency, etc.). Estimate production costs for the period. Estimate media costs for the period.

Consumer promotion: For each promotion, briefly state the objective(s), type of promotion, timing, rationale and estimated cost. Estimate total cost for all promotions for the period.

Point-of-sale material: List types of P.O.S. material to be produced and state the design criteria in order to guide creative development. Estimate total costs for all P.O.S. material produced in this period.

Trade advertising: State the objectives and rationale for advertising in trade journals. State the strategy (message to be communicated, which journals to be used, timing, size of ads, etc.). Estimate total costs (production and media) for the period.

Trade promotion: For each promotion, briefly state the objective(s), type of promotion, timing, rationale and estimated cost. Estimate total cost of all promotions for the period.

Selling: State your sales strategy and tactics. Estimate total selling costs in this period (salaries, expenses, costs of meetings, etc.).

Public relations: State your PR objectives and strategy. Specify actions and activities that will be undertaken. Estimate total costs for the period.

Direct marketing: State the target groups (customers and prospects) you will contact and the strategies (e.g. up-selling, cross-selling, loyalty programmes) and tactics (offers, testing) for each one. Describe the customer contact plans and fulfilment strategies for the management of responses for each group. Estimate the likely response rates, the cost-per-response, cost-per sale analysis, and total cost.

Internet: Specify the objectives for creating or refreshing an Internet site. Describe the strategy to maximise the web investment, including plans for generating site traffic and the processes for the management of this traffic.

  1. Audit activities

State the research activities that will be undertaken to determine whether or not you reached the objective(s) specified in section 3.

Element of the Marketing Mix

For [product]

From dd/mm/yy to dd/mm/yy


Price, e.g. cost of special credit terms




Consumer advertising: Production costs


Consumer advertising: Media costs


Consumer promotion


Point-of-sale material


Trade advertising


Trade promotion




Public relations


Direct marketing




Total marketing mix expenditure


For each element of the marketing mix, enter the planned expenditure into this table and calculate the total.

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The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (BRANDKE) is a new State Corporation established under the State Corporations Act Cap 446 through Legal Notice No.110 of August 9th, 2019
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