Need to quickly put together marketing!
November 24, 2007 1:51 PM   Subscribe

I need to quickly create a marketing plan and budget but I am more the creative, not so much the plan.

The company I work for is in the process of getting some VC money. The latest VC firm is very serious and part of what they require is a marketing plan and budget. I am the marketing guy for the company, but so far most of my work has been branding and creative stuff. I have not been able to do much else as we have not much money and I have no staff. My time has also been taken by doing a lot of customer service, sales and misc.


I don't know much about creating a formal marketing plan...any resources, thoughts, suggestions? I don't even know if I should use ideal numbers or actual more realistic numbers? This whole shebang needs to be put together in about 4 days!

FYI we are a small software company that provides software to businesses...product line is split between enterprise and small business.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
VC firms will likely identify overly optimistic figures as such
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:15 PM on November 24, 2007

Okay. In a nutshell, you need to:
a) Define the current state of the market - your competitors, the industry, the problems your products or services are intended to solve, the Political, Economic, Social and Technological contexts within which you operate and so forth. This is the Marketing Audit
b) Next, you need to define to whom you are marketing. Define the industry, define the sector within that industry, e.g. Financial Institutions and retail banks with significant offshore presence.This is your Segmentation and Targeting
c) Define how you will position your product or service in the minds of the target customers. This is your Positioning
d) Write down what you need your marketing plan to achieve - increased revenue, increased customer base, increased feedback, increased market share and so on. Make these Marketing Objectives S.M.A.R.T.
e) Write descriptions of the following:
e1) Product / Service
e2) Pricing strategy
e3) Distribution channels
e4) Promotional activity - how / where / when / what you will advertise your product or service and its features and benefits
f) Calculate your budget to do all of e) and achieve all of d)
g) Assign roles, responsibilities and timelines to each of the Objectives and any other activities defined above
g) Define some means of measuring progress against those Objectives and controls to implement to minimise the chances of straying too far from them

Bare bones, this is enough to be a marketing plan. In terms of numbers, you need to use as many real, hard numbers as possible and make sure you detail where the numbers come from and the assumptions you have made in drawing those numbers up. You could add this into the appendix of the overall plan.

For more detailed info, I suggest you pick up a book or two on marketing plans. Something like this would be enough for your purposes. If nothing else, google for 'marketing plan template' which will provide a fair few resources for headings etc.

Good luck!
posted by mooders at 2:15 PM on November 24, 2007 [9 favorites]

That second g) should be an h), obviously!

Also, you probably want to be pretty concise in this - 4 pages tops for this for a funding plan ought to be plenty. If the VC needs more, he'll ask for it but you should be able to put a lot of analysis into 4 pages.
posted by mooders at 2:17 PM on November 24, 2007

For some reason, someone somewhere came up with lots of P's for marketing. You can find old and new one's here.

My suggestion is to find the P's that apply to your product/service/company, open Notepad and list the P's that apply. Use those as section headings and start filling in beneath them with two sub-section headings: Strategy(ies) and Tactic(s).

Ultimately I suggest using Powerpoint to format your marketing plan, and the outline above will contain the content for the PPT document, so keep in mind brevity is a good thing. You want your PPT font size not to exceed 20pt, so you can't get too wordy.

Under each P come up with 2-3 Strategies. For each Strategy come up with 3-4 Tactics. The Tactics are the bread and butter of your Marketing Plan. The Strategies explain your rationale for selecting those Tactics.

At this point your Notepad document starts looking like an outline. It's not too daunting.

Next, go through your Tactics and assign a start and end date to them. Also assign initials of individuals that will be involved in the execution of each Tactic. You can also assign a budget or budget range for each tactic.

Icing on the cake is to create a simple, Powerpoint friendly Gantt chart -- one for Strategies and one for Tactics. Depending on how many Tactics you have, you may end up with a few pages of Gantt charts. Color code the Gantt charts and people will think you're a genius.

Further icing is to take all the costs for the budgets and throw 'em in a simple spreadsheet that lets anyone calculate the costs, by Strategy or Period of Time.

You can throw some other stuff in the Marketing Plan at the front end of the PPT, like Competitive Landscape, (SWOT), Positioning Statement, etc. VC's and executives love to see this shit. Nobody ever refers to it again, but some MBA will probably fault you if you don't jam-pack the front end of your presentation with some examples that your frontal lobe is functioning.

Don't get mired in the SWOT analysis. Again, it's MBA/consultant flack used to sell textbooks. But do understand the basic SWOT elements so you can reflect them in your Strategies and Tactics.

One last thing... One person's Strategy is another person's Tactic. There are no absolutes, so don't kill yourself trying to make fine distinctions.


Positioning Strategy: Become the hotel that's known for cleanliness.

Tactic #1: Promote a specially dressed, elite crew of housekeepers that carry special cleaning equipment and roam the hotel, methodically scouring every room and hallway. (Duration: 11/07-11/08; Cost: PR [$36,000], Equipment and Uniforms [$20,000]; Participants [JS, TM, RW, BrightStar PR]

Good luck!
posted by pallen123 at 5:05 PM on November 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

anon, if you're still watching this thread: lots of good advice here, and I'd also be happy to provide some quick-n-dirty help offline as well (I've been right where you are). MefiMail me or email me if you like.
posted by pineapple at 10:45 AM on November 26, 2007

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