This is the first thing someone sees when they read your marketing plan but it is the last thing you write. Once you have a basic overview of your current market situation, it's time to take a closer look at your market environment. First, identify those trends that might present you with challenges. There will also likely be market trends that provide you with opportunities or benefit you in some other way.
These are the employees who engage with your customers on a daily basis, and their feedback will give you valuable insights about your customers and prospects.
Fill any gaps by talking with your employees and researching publications from trade and professional associations specific to your industry. Are any recent major developments affecting your distribution channels? Once you have the specifics down, consider what you can do to reduce the impact of these threats.
While this might sound daunting, especially if you've never conducted formal market research before, the reality is that you already have much of the information you need.
You'll need to know where your company stands in your market.
It's important to know that a properly developed, comprehensive plan isn't something you'll finish in one or even two sessions. You don't need to come up with a perfect plan, either.
You're deciding what you need to do to grow your business and how you're going to go about it. Marketing plans are not, and should not be, written in stone.
You want to address how you'll implement your strategies and achieve your objectives by breaking things down into action steps or smaller goals.
You already did a bit of this when you considered the implementation methods you would use for each marketing strategy.
It will help you understand yourself and your customers.
Writing it down forces you to think through tough problems, come up with repeatable solutions and positions you for success.