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A company’s go-to-market (GTM) strategy is one of the most important levers to improve key business outcomes.
I had also sent the company a note via a web form and tried a chat session, but neither of them seemed to fix my problem. I had called the company six times, submitted a web form, engaged in one chat session, spoke with two managers, and I still had to wait ten days for my money to be returned to my account. Most for-profit companies want to maximize their revenues and minimize their costs and risks, all the while providing a delightful customer experience. The majority of companies are not there yet, however, especially not on a consistent basis. With that backdrop, a company’s go-to-market (GTM) strategy is one of the most important levers to improve key business outcomes.
This Whitepaper will provide you with a basic overview of the strategic questions above, while arming you with questions and ideas to start the most critical of discussions – how your GTM strategy should be structured. An integrated, or holistic, GTM strategy includes a methodical analysis of markets, customer segments, channel economics, offerings, value propositions and a host of other enabling factors that are involved in formulating an integrated strategy.
The front-office triad of marketing, sales and service, which is part and parcel of a company’s GTM strategy, can account for 20-30% of a company’s cost structure (3), and is the key revenue generator and engine for top-line growth. In essence, there are many more markets that you can profitably pursue, so you have to crisply define where your offerings and messages most resonate and differentiate you from the competition (5). As many strategists know, strategy is all about trade-offs and often what you don’t do – markets and customers you don’t pursue, offerings you don’t launch, or channels that you don’t build-out. There are a number of adages around the importance of customers, which may seem trite but are often good reminders of their centrality to a business.
A GTM strategy should be no different – if you don’t consistently capture voice of the customer data, you will almost certainly miss the mark with regards to your GTM performance and ongoing strategy (6). At a minimum, there are three kinds of customer information that you should collect, regardless of method. A needs assessment is a typical occurrence in seller, offering or project discovery sessions (7).
The needs should be both broadened and narrowed – the former by asking about the bigger picture; the latter by decomposing the needs into their constituent elements. For example, if you think of a budget as a way to weight needs, a software integration project that captures 30% of the discretionary budget is probably a more important need than a 2% budget line item to train all the marketers on project management methods.
The quick question is what sort of experience or relationships do customers want to have with your company, if any.
The goal of customer experience management (CEM) is to not only satisfy your customers but to have them become advocates or raving fans of your company, brand, and offerings. Witness the rise of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in the ‘90’s as a way to measure, monitor, and track customer relationships. In summary then, CRM and CEM are complementary and should be integrated and aligned to ensure a match of internal (CRM) and external (CEM) perspectives. As many sales professionals know today, the average customer is much more informed than they were ten years ago.
In the last five or so years, there has been much more focus on aligning the sales process to the buying process.
Buying behavior is both macro and micro – there is the channel level and process or pipeline level.
How do customers (would stratify by segment) currently interact with your company, and what is their satisfaction level? This could be a small customer who wants more personalized, face-to-face service or a large, global customer who is very demanding and has significant negotiating power. Most of us have traversed numerous channels over the course of our lives buying different products and services. A lot of frustration occurs when channels don’t “talk” to each other, as explicitly referenced in the story at the beginning of this Whitepaper. This situation is sometimes referred to as channel conflict, and rather than being an issue, per se, it can be quite insightful. Figure 4 is a high-level illustration of the general cost per interaction for each channel and whether the channel is high or low touch. How do your current and future customers want to interact with you – what are their channel preferences?
One of the first rules of developing your GTM strategy is ensuring your offerings fit your channels. The aforementioned examples seem a bit silly, but they engender some feelings that can be quite insightful. As we’ve written elsewhere (16), although value is often in the eye of the beholder, there are some standard methods around determining what is valuable. For a B2B situation, the seller may be calling on a CEO and VP of Marketing, and they will want to customize their value proposition accordingly.
The lesson is that you must engage your customers in a dialogue to understand what they over and under-weight and what truly resonates with them. Like many endeavors, it helps to use a test and iteration approach with real targets and messages to improve the language and delivery of your value proposition.
Figure 6 graphically depicts the value proposition elements and the critical feedback loop to test, iterate and improve them with customer targets. Having witnessed and created many GTM strategies and variants, there are numerous lessons learned that are both insightful and instructive. View channel conflict as an opportunity to exploit the inherent need and demand of the market and your channels vs. There is no avoiding the use of metrics or analytics in almost anything you do in business today, as shown by the significant growth in business intelligence and analytics applications in recent years, as well as the M&A premiums that acquirers have paid to get into the market space (19). Figure 7 includes some metrics or potential key performance indicators (20) that you could use to measure, monitor, and track your GTM performance. Companies that acquire another company and position their new holistic value and solutions, but have separate phone numbers to call or web sites to visit for each brand or solution. In closing, the bad news is that there is no Silver Bullet for fixing many GTM problems – not unlike most strategic and multi-faceted business issues.
As an example, in keeping with the story at the beginning of this Whitepaper, online banking and call centers account for 55% of banking transactions today, and online is growing at almost three times any other channel.
1 In folklore, the Silver Bullet is understood to be the only kind of bullet that is effective against a werewolf, witch, or other monsters. 4 Business-to-consumer (B2C) segmentation is often much richer and nuanced in its segmentation bases than B2B – it might include psychographics, need drivers, persona development, behavioral signatures, etc. 5 One caveat to this statement is the idea of a disruptive innovation (see Clayton Christensen’s work) , which may appear to be an inferior market or offering at first glance, but grows to overtake its rivals as some “marginal” or new segment will value it in a way that is not easily predicted.
13 Customer lifetime value (abbreviated as CLV, LCV or LTV) is the net present value of the cash flows that would be attributed to the life of a customer relationship. 18 A weasel word – an informal term for words or phrases that are designed to create an impression that something meaningful has been said, but in fact, only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. 19 According to Gartner (2011), business intelligence spending has far surpassed IT budget growth.
Evaluate whether the organization can meet those needs in some way that allows for profitable exchanges with customers to occur. Pursue advertising, promotional, and public relations campaigns that lead to continued successful exchanges between the company and its customers. The actual marketing plan you create will be written primarily for executives, who will use the forecasts in your plan to make budgeting decisions. In the “business challenge” section of the plan, the planner describes the offering and provides a brief rationale for why the company should invest in it.
Your marketing plan has to convince busy executives and other stakeholders that your idea is worth investing in.
The market section of the plan should describe your customers and competitors, any other organizations with which you will collaborate, and the state of the market.
Break the market into customer segments and describe each segment completely, answering those questions for each segment. These segments would be based on research that Progresso has completed showing that these are the groups that eat the most soup. Your discussion of each segment should also include how to reach the customers within it, what they expect or need in terms of support (both presales and postsales support), and other information that helps readers understand how each segment is different from the others.
Include the results of your analysis of your company’s strengths and weaknesses in this section.
You will also need to identify any functional areas in which your company might need to invest for the plan to succeed. One tool that is useful for framing these questions is the SWOT analysisAn acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the SWOT analysis is a tool that frames the situational analysis.. When working with executives, some consultants have noted the difficulty executives have in separating opportunities from strengths, weaknesses from threats. The SWOT analysis for a company, or for any organization, is both internal and external in focus.
Along with company strengths and weaknesses, identify any actual or potential partners needed to pull the plan off. Your marketing plan, if it is any good at all, is likely to spark retaliation from one or more competitors.
Identify your competitors and be honest about both their strengths and weaknesses in your marketing.
A complete competitive analysis not only anticipates how the competition will react; it also includes an analysis of the competition’s financial resources. You may have already addressed some of the factors in the business environment that are creating the opportunity for your offering. A scan of the political climate should include any new government regulations as well as legislation.
The housing crisis was caused by a failure in the subprime lending market, an economic condition that affected many other businesses. The next section of the plan details the strategy your organization will use to develop, market, and sell the offering. Provide detail on the features and benefits of the offering, including pricing options, in this section. The plan for the offering should also include the plan for introducing offerings that will follow the initial launch.
Part of an offering is the service support consumers need to extract the offering’s full value.
Prior to launching a new offering, the presales and postsales support personnel for it have to be trained and the appropriate work processes created so that the right level of support is provided. In addition to the announcement of the new product, the communication plan has to specify how ongoing customer communications will be conducted. The budget section is more than just a discussion of the money needed to launch the new offering.
The budget section should include the costs associated with maintaining the amount of inventory of the product to meet customers’ needs. Note that Figure 16.8 "A Marketing Plan Timeline Illustrating Market Potential, Sales, and Costs" shows that the product’s costs are high early on and then decrease before leveling out. A marketing plan’s executive summary should include a brief summary of the market, the product to be offered, the strategy behind the plan, and the budget, as well as any other important information. The budget section of the marketing plan covers all the resources, such as new personnel, new equipment, new locations, and so forth, needed to successfully launch the product, as well as details about the product’s costs and sales forecasts. Getting your innovation, idea, new product or technology to market is complex, much more complex than it used to be. If for any reason your are not satisfied with your purchase, we offer a full 100% money back guarantee. At its core, a GTM strategy is the way a company aligns to the evolving needs of its customers – it is the interface at which the company sells to and serves its customer base and interacts with new prospects. All I wanted was to rectify a mistake the bank made when they debited my checking account twice for a credit card payment. They also tried to up-sell me after my experience had gone sour, which was after my third call to them.

If you try to sell large, complex system integration projects to small businesses, you aren’t going to be successful regardless of the channel utilized. Taking anywhere from 12-24 months to successfully implement, a new GTM strategy should not be seen as a quick-fix prescription for a current quarter shortfall but rather as a long-term strategy to increase revenues, decrease go-to-market costs, and improve the customer experience. A better-optimized GTM strategy can add 10-15% to the bottom line by improving market selection, customer alignment, and channel productivity. Also, if you have different competitors in a specific segment, you are in a distinct market and it should be pursued as such. Market selection then is a balancing of trade-offs and expected return on investment, with a sprinkle of timing and luck. There are numerous ways to collect information about your customers – focus groups, web surveys, one-to-one interviews, advisory boards, and various other methods. You can also look at how customers spend their time and what problems take up the most energy and effort – this is how you better understand implied needs. Some customers would prefer quick-and-easy interactions, while others would prefer a much deeper relationship. From a GTM strategy standpoint, CEM should be an integral part in terms of measuring and managing a customer’s cross-channel interactions to improve and optimize their experience.
CRM initially gained strong traction in verticals that wanted to stop the inexorable trend to commoditization, namely, high tech, financial services, and telecommunications.
There is a plethora of free and helpful content on the web, including a proliferation of micro-targeted blogs and wikis and an increasing number of user-generated vendor and product reviews that are often unfiltered and candid. A buyer-aligned sales process is more likely to engender strong resonance with a buyer as you are lock-step with their needs and purpose. For example, there are some customers who are currently unprofitable or have a negative lifetime value (13) and may want more services and resources from you in the future. Figure 3 depicts a typical view of the different channels-to-market that could be built-out or utilized by your company. A classic example for a B2B sales professional is when they meet with one of their customers and are not aware that their inside sales team has also been calling on their account, as well as one of their business partners.
There is a reason that Delta Air Lines charges a fee to buy an airplane ticket via their call center vs. There are offerings where the person selling them is very important, particularly professional services but also products that are expensive or that have a long life. The CEO may over-weight stock price impact but under-weight a new onboarding process, while a VP of Marketing may over-weight a new product or market launch but under-weight earnings per share growth. Also, it should be crisp (no long-winded prose) and include some quantitative proof points that can be verified and supported.
Given the holistic nature of a GTM strategy, there is no single metric that will meet all of your needs. You need only look at your experiences as a consumer and buyer to get a feel for the situation. Their sellers call on you separately each selling their specific product slice – the one they get compensated for vs. The good news is that in the pursuit of a comprehensive GTM strategy, you can learn a tremendous amount about your company and markets, which can have a material impact on your results across a broad spectrum of business outcomes – financial, customer, and process. In terms of results, some large regional banks have created over a quarter of a billion dollars in incremental revenue via a consistent multichannel experience (21). The connotation for business is that there is a single thing you can do that will solve all of your problems. Some B2B companies are becoming more advanced in their segmentation, but it’s more the exception than the rule. Witness the consumerization of IT – some studies show that 95% (IDC study) of employees have purchased at least one device and use it at work. These people will make budgeting decisions not only for your marketing activities but also for the firm’s manufacturing, ordering, and production departments, and other functions based on your plan. Your firm’s sales force will use the marketing plan to determine its sales strategies and how many salespeople are needed. An executive summary should provide all the information your company’s executives need to make a decision without reading the rest of the plan. You are trying not only to influence executives to invest in your idea but also to convince other people in your organization to buy into the plan. We suggest that you always start the section by describing the customers who will purchase the offering. What makes these people decide to buy the products they do, and how do they fulfill their personal value equations?
When you write your plan, begin with the most important segment first and work your way to the least important segment. After reading the section, a person should have a good grasp of how the segments differ yet understand how the needs of each are satisfied by the total offering.
Listen as Katie Scallan-Sarantakes describes how she had to consider these factors when creating marketing plans for Toyota.
For example, money might be needed for new production or distribution facilities and to hire new marketing or sales employees and train existing ones.
Statements such as “We have an opportunity to leverage our strong product features” indicate such confusion. Some of the external areas for focus are collaborators (suppliers, distributors, and others), competitors, and the business climate. AT&T is downstream in the value chain, providing the needed cell service and additional features that made the iPhone so revolutionary. Remember that other people, and perhaps other organizations, will be using your plan to create their own plans. For example, when you discussed customers, you perhaps noted a new technology they are beginning to use. For example, will changes in the tax laws make for more or less disposable income among our customers? While 2008 saw tremendous swings in gas prices, other factors such as the subprime lending crisis and decline of the housing market affected everything from the price of corn to the sales of movie tickets. Marketers, for example, may note the rise in the Hispanic population as a market segment, but it is also important to recognize the influence of the Hispanic culture. Produced by Guidant Technologies, this pacemaker utilizes information technology to record heart-function data a doctor can read later. The huge bailout of the banks by the government is an example of how the economic environment affects the political environment. This section is your opportunity to create a compelling argument as to what you intend to do and why others should invest in the strategy. For example, in some instances, your organization might plan for several variations of the offering, each with different pricing options.
In B2B (business-to-business) environments, sellers frequently offer to train their customers’ employees to use products as part of their postsales support.
These call-center technicians had to first learn the offering’s technical processes before it could be launched. Will it be like Dow Corning’s launch of a new silicon acrylate copolymer, a product used to add color to cosmetics? The mechanisms used to gather customer feedback as well as how the offering will be promoted to customers need to be spelled out. You can put additional details in a separate planning document that outlines the product’s advertising strategies, event strategies (such as trade shows and special events like customer golf tournaments that will be used to promote the product), and sales strategies.
A complete budget section will cover all the resources, such as new personnel, new equipment, new locations, and so forth, for the launch to be a success. The plan might point out that additional funds need to be allocated to the offering to make it ready for the market.
The costs to provide customers with support services should also be estimated and budgeted. Even though the plan likely mentioned the sales goals set for each market segment, the budget section is where the details go.
That cost line assumes there is a heavy upfront investment to launch the offering, which is usually true for new products. You want it to convince someone to invest in your ideas, so you want to write it down on paper in a compelling way. In this section of the plan, the planner describes the offering and a brief rationale for why the company should invest in it. I had called one number for my credit card and another number for my checking account, and they still kept passing me back-and-forth. Lastly, they admitted that they were culpable for the mistake after quite a bit of prodding on my part, but nothing could be done to shorten the waiting period. A lot of companies are continually refining and optimizing their key business outcomes and often looking for a Silver Bullet (1) or at least trying to identify the key levers to pull or dials to turn to improve their results. In the past, the financial services market was attractive to many new entrants and upstarts given their high margins and growth story, but that market is a bit less bright today.
Sam Walton is said to have remarked that if you are ever confused, go talk to your customer.
Figure 2 outlines some types of experiences that customers may want and some examples of companies that orient themselves, to some degree, to that experience. In a 2010 Forrester Research study, 90% of the executives surveyed said that customer experience was very important or critical to their firm’s strategy, while 80% said they wanted to use it as a form of differentiation (9). Each of these verticals shifted to a more customer-centric strategy and often compensated their sales professionals on customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics, which has some empirical foundations. The buyer also has more ways to interact with a company – internet, chat, social media, contact centers, direct sales professionals, and partners, among others. If the customer is still at a discovery and learning stage, and you are trying to close them, you will be misaligned, and their experience will be dissatisfying. In other words, which channels do they select and prefer, and how do they behave within a channel, such as working with a field sales professional or a call center representative.
From the customer’s perspective, this disconnect is also frustrating in that the vendor does not appear coordinated, and it can be confusing as to who they should work with – field sales, inside sales, or a partner.
There are still situations where it makes sense for the seller and buyer to be in the same room, but that seems to be shrinking.
This net value is then compared (could be formal or informal) to other uses of time, resources and capital. On the B2C side, some customers will pay a premium for more features and functionality, whereas others want the product as simple as possible>. Business metrics and financials are such a common short-hand because they cut through the “weasel words”(18) and ambiguous messages that are so common in buzzword-laden marketing materials. Similar to customers, they should be created and refined after some test and iteration cycles with each constituency for maximum impact.
An integrated dashboard that includes market, customer, channel, and offering performance is needed to make targeted GTM adjustments and changes. Learning about your markets, customers, channels and how you create and communicate value is not to be overlooked. Both B2C and B2B buyers have more content sources and devices to access and navigate buying options. The entire marketing staff will rely on the plan to determine the direction and nature of their activities. The summary should include a brief description of the market, the product to be offered, the strategy behind the plan, and the budget. How does it fit in with what the company is already doing and further its overall business goals? You are also trying to tell a compelling story that will make people outside your organization—for example, the director of the advertising agency you work with, or a potential supplier or channel partner—invest money, time, and effort into making your plan a success.
Why is the company uniquely capable of capitalizing on the opportunity outlined in the plan?
A better way to describe those “strong” product features mentioned earlier would be to say “strong reputation among product designers,” unless consumer acceptance has already been documented. A small retail chain would have to look beyond its regional operating area in order to understand larger trends that may impact the stores.

A SWOT analysis that only looks at the immediate future (or the immediate past) is likely to miss important trends. Collaborators are those organizations, either upstream or downstream in the value chain, you need to partner with to cocreate value.
Who is most likely to enter the market, what would their offering look like, and how can we make it harder for them to want to enter the market? Will the tightening of government regulations affect how salespeople can call on doctors, for example, hindering your marketing opportunity?
Such volatility is unusual, but it is important nonetheless to know what the economy is doing.
Understanding the Hispanic culture is important in reaching this market segment with the right marketing mix.
But the product might also utilize other new technologies, such as a new battery, materials used to connect the pacemaker to the heart, and the casing for the pacemaker, all of which affect its performance.
Instead of writing letters to one another, families and friends use e-mail and social networking sites to communicate and maintain relationships.
The laws passed as a result of the bank bailout, which include more-restrictive lending practices, are affecting banks, businesses, and consumers.
Your reader will be asking, “Why should we adopt this strategy?” To answer that question, you may need to include a brief discussion of the strategic alternatives that were considered and discarded. The different options should be discussed in detail, along with the market segments expected to respond to each option. For example, Teradata has a team of finance specialists who can help customers document the return on investment they would get from purchasing and implementing a Teradata data warehouse. Before you launch an offering, you need to be sure your firm’s support services are in place.
For example, will you create an online community like Laura Carros did with the JCPenney Ambrielle line?
For example, perhaps additional beta testing or product development over and above what the firm normally commits to new products is needed. Some products will be returned, some services will be rejected by the consumer, and other problems will occur. For example, the cost for advertising, trade shows, special events, and salespeople should be spelled out.
Your conclusion should remind the reader of all the reasons why your plan is the best choice. Figure 16.9 "Tips for Writing an Effective Marketing Plan" offers some tips for effectively doing so. The market section of the plan should describe a firm’s customers, competitors, any other organizations with which it will collaborate, and the climate of the market. On top of this, one of the call center representatives tried to sell me on an upgrade to my checking account.
Figure 1 depicts the key elements of a GTM strategy (2), which will be discussed in more detail later in the Whitepaper.
In the end, as important as markets are, it’s the prospects and customers in those markets who make the ultimate buying decisions. Customer satisfaction has been shown to be positively related to increases in shareholder value, revenue, and return on equity (11).
Keeping aligned with the buyer as they freely navigate myriad channels and content sources is more-and-more challenging and important (12). It’s imperative to focus on customers with the highest potential in terms of repeat purchases and larger average deal sizes. An internet interaction costs them pennies – the infrastructure is already built-out and is scalable – while a call center transaction may cost them from twenty-five cents to a few dollars, depending on whether it’s on- or off-shore or more integrated voice response (IVR: the classic phone trees we all enjoy) oriented.
The key point to explore with customers is what’s important to the person you are proposing to and how do they weight specific benefits and costs. The advertising agency you hire to create your promotional campaigns will use the plan to guide its creative team. Any other important information, such as how your competitors and channel partners will respond to the actions your firm takes, should also be summarized.
Therefore, as you write the plan you should constantly be answering the question, “Why should I invest in this plan?” Put your answers in the business challenge section of the plan.
Engineers at Mars (makers of Skittles, M&Ms, and Snickers) visit trade shows in many fields, not just candy, so that they can identify trends in manufacturing that may take a decade to reach the candy industry. Involve people from shipping, sales, production, and perhaps even from suppliers and channel members. Teradata primarily focuses on the information technology departments that support the data warehouse, whereas Unica focuses on the marketing departments that actually use the data warehouse.
If your company captures their market before they can enter, then they may choose to go elsewhere. Include, too, in this section of the plan how quickly you expect your competitors to retaliate and what the nature of that retaliation will be. Will federal policies that affect exchange rates or tariffs make global competitors stronger or weaker?
In creating marketing campaigns for something such as a financial product, it’s very important to understand the history that Hispanics have had with financial institutions in their home countries. For example, when Ted Schulte (profiled in Chapter 13 "Professional Selling") discusses a pacemaker with a cardiac surgeon, Ted is describing the latest technology available. Online communication has affected any number of businesses, including the greeting card business and the U.S. Any looming changes in the business climate such as this need to be included in your marketing plan. When readers complete the section, they should conclude that the strategy you proposed is the best one available.
Some marketing professionals like to specify the sales goals for each option in this section, along with the associated costs and gross profit margins for each.
Should there be smaller sizes and larger sizes, and should they be introduced all at the same time or in stages?
This presales support helps potential buyers make a stronger business case for buying Teradata’s products with executives who control their companies’ budgets.
That means training service personnel, creating the appropriate communication channels for customers to air their technical concerns, and other processes.
Or will you invite customers, media, and analysts from around the globe to your company’s offices for the launch, as SAS did with its SAS 9 software product? In some instances, the budget might require that existing resources be redeployed and a case made for doing so. Certainly, marketing funds will be needed to launch the offering and pay for any special events, advertising, promotional materials, and so forth.
However, the market potential stays the same, assuming that the potential number of customers stays the same. The strategy section details the tactics the organization will use to develop, market, and sell the offering.
In another B2C example, the all-in cost to acquire a new consumer banking account is 15% to 45% lower through the internet than a branch or call center (15).
Because most executives will be reading the plan to make budgeting decisions, the budgeting information you include in the summary is very important. After that, discuss your competitors, the climate, and your company in the order you believe readers will find most persuasive.
Opportunities and threats are external to the company, and could be due to potential or actual actions taken by competitors, suppliers, or customers. Assuming demand (an external characteristic) for a strength (an internal characteristic) is a common marketing mistake.
In this way, they can shorten the cycle and take advantage of such trends early when needed.
Nonetheless, Teradata is well aware of Unica’s marketing strategy and is taking steps to combat it by broadening its own market to include data-warehousing users in marketing departments. Will they lower their prices, create similar offerings, add services to drive up the value of their products, spend more on advertising, or a combination of these tactics? For example, the government introduced the Cash for Clunkers program to encourage people to buy new cars. Understanding that culturally Hispanics might not trust financial institutions and developing campaigns that generate positive word of mouth, such as refer-a-friend and influencer tactics, can be explosive once the wall has been torn down. The new technology could be related to the battery used to power the pacemaker, the materials used in the leads (the wires that connect the pacemaker to the body), or even the material that encases the pacemaker. Other planners prefer to wait until the budget section of the plan to provide that information. In addition, the distribution section should specify the inventories that need to be maintained in order to meet customer expectations for fast delivery and where those inventories should be kept. Funds might also be needed to cover the costs of training salespeople and service personnel and potentially hiring new staff members. The sales costs for one month might be estimated, as well as two months, six months, and so forth, as Figure 16.8 "A Marketing Plan Timeline Illustrating Market Potential, Sales, and Costs" shows. When readers complete the strategy section, they should conclude that the proposed strategy is the best one available. Next, we will discuss the elements in detail so you will know how to prepare a marketing plan. If the executives want more detail, they can refer to the “budget” section, which appears later in the plan.
In other words, discuss the factor you believe is most convincing first, followed by the second-most convincing factor, and so on. Opportunities and threats could also be a function of government action or changes in technology and other factors. One step was to teach their salespeople what marketing managers do and how they would use a data warehouse as part of their job so that when these salespeople are talking to marketing managers, they can know what they’re talking about.
Within only a few weeks, 250,000 new cars were sold through the program and it ran out of money. Understanding the technological environment can provide you with a greater understanding of a product’s life cycle and the direction the market is taking when it comes to newer technologies.
If we were targeting mothers of babies, for example, the market potential might vary based on the projected seasonality in birth rates because more babies tend to be born in some months than others. A good marketing plan includes how the organization should respond to various scenarios if the market changes.
The executive summary should be less than one page long; ideally, it should be about a half page long. To answer these questions, you will need to carefully review your competitors’ financial statements and all information publicly available about them. In addition, the plan should include “triggers” detailing what should happen under the scenarios. Most marketing plan writers find it easier to write a plan’s summary last, even though it appears first in the plan.
This can include an executive quoted in an article about a company’s growth for a particular product or an analyst’s projection for future sales within a specific market. Details for the sales force, such as how many salespeople, sales managers, and support personnel will be needed, would go in this section. For example, it might specify that when a certain percentage of market share is reached, then the price of the product will be reduced (or increased).
A summary is hard to write when you don’t know the whole plan, so waiting until the plan is complete makes writing the executive summary easier. Or the plan might specify the minimum amount of the product that must be sold by a certain point in time—say, six months after the product is launched—and what should happen if the mark isn’t reached. For that reason, the outline of a marketing plan may look somewhat different from the order in which the tasks in the outline are actually completed.

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