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The Four P’s of a Marketing Plan When Writing a Business Plan
One of the most important parts of a business plan is the marketing plan. A business marketing plan is needed because it explains how you will be gaining new sales and increasing revenue. A simple rule of thumb for preparing the marketing plan is to cover the “Four P’s” of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. One of the easiest things to do when writing a business plan is to implement business plan software.
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In the Products section of the business plan, you’ll want to write about the products and services you want to provide now, as well as in the foreseeable future. You’ll want to list the product features or characteristics, especially any that make the product unique compared to your competitors’ products. You’ll also want to list the benefits of the product or service. It’s important to know how the product will help customers since you can use that list of benefits to convince prospects to buy your product.
The Pricing section of the business plan should describe your pricing philosophy and the actual prices you are planning to charge your customers. The pricing philosophy refers to how you want to be perceived in the marketplace. You could choose to offer the products at prices lower than most of your competitors. Or, you could choose to charge more. If you charge more, you should offer more features in your product or a service as part of the sale of the product because if your product is more expensive than most of your competitors, there must be a perceived higher value that will help your customers justify spending more.
You should also explain how you determined the prices. If you have many competitors, you’ll need to consider what they are charging and find a way to fit within that marketplace. If you do not have many or any competitors, you’ll need to take the actual cost of your product and add your desired profit to come up with the price you want to charge customers.
For the Place section of the marketing plan, explain where your customer will learn about and buy your products. Will the customer buy directly from you in a brick and mortar building or on an ecommerce website or both? Will you have sales reps on staff or will you pay an outside reseller to sell your product? You’ll need to describe the distribution channel you think will work best for your new business.
The fourth part of a marketing plan is all about Promotion. The promotional plan explains how you will get the word out about your product in order to draw in customers and convince them to buy your product. Advertising, public relations, sales promotions via direct mail or email are common ways of promoting products. Be sure to keep a close eye on the promotions budget because promotional activities tend to come with significant costs.
Keep in mind the “Four P’s” of a marketing plan when you’re writing a business plan. Thorough descriptions of your products, prices, places, and promotions will help guide you as you search for new customers. Business plan software includes examples, instructions, and how-to advice to help you write your business marketing plan.