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Write Your Marketing Plan

© Robert Gluckson 2008


A Marketing Plan outlines campaigns that will bring the greatest results the fastest at the least cost. Business owners can create their own marketing plan with this step-by-step five part process.

Part One: Product or Service Description

Imagine you are telling your mother your new idea for a business. You’re talking on the phone and you give her the basic idea in just one breath. Write what you would say. Don’t worry about slick phrasing; just get the idea across in two or three sentences.

Part Two: Target Audience

Who might want your product or service? Don’t be afraid to be wild here. Imagine that you can find any group or type of person, no matter how specific: left-handed Jewish dentists, working mothers, whoever. Crazy ideas are sometimes the easiest to develop because the market is so well-defined.

Come up with at least three different audiences.

Audience 1
Audience 2
Audience 3

Part Three: Persuasive Appeals

Now ask yourself, WHY would the members of this target group WANT my product or service? What problem is solved, or what benefit received? Common appeals are saving money, working faster, making money; and being attractive, loved, and appreciated.

What is special about each audience? How do their special needs or desires match the special qualities of your product or service?

Remember that your customers care only about themselves. They don’t know you or how great your product is. What is in it for THEM? We all get caught up in our own special-ness, so we have to keep reminding ourselves to look at our marketing from the customer’s point of view!

Write down the key appeals for each Target Audience.

The value of a marketing plan is that we can TARGET our distinct audiences with special messages. These messages are honed to trigger the audience’s response to BUY, to send money to a total stranger! Everything we do is aimed at inspiring a response. We can craft our Appeal and our marketing piece to meet the special needs of a defined audience. If we were just aiming for everyone, we’d use television.

You are now almost ready to write a rough draft of a marketing piece, a persuasive message aimed at a specific audience, designed to get them to Send You Money.

But before working up your material there is still one piece of the puzzle yet to solve. How do we reach your Target Audience with your carefully crafted Persuasive Appeal? The medium will shape your message.

Part 4: Communications Medium

The medium is the form of communication, which will deliver your message. It could be the internet, a magazine, a newspaper, or a mailer addressed to a list you buy from a list broker. Between libraries and the internet, you can find a way to reach any audience.

Before we get into the specifics, let your imagination go wild. Imagine that there is a magazine devoted to doll collectors (there is); or a list of janitors who want your miracle soap (available) or an association of business owners who deal in the exact product or services you want to sell. Perhaps you can attract the exact audience you want with a free online article that meets the exact needs your product supplies. If you could find any resource, what would you choose to reach each target audience?

Write ideas next to each audience/persuasive appeal. Again, let your imagination go: imagine the perfect means to reach the audience. Then imagine another way. The object is to come up with several ideas so you can make a choice.

Part 5: The Marketing Piece

The Fifth Part is the Marketing Piece: the website, mailer, brochure, advertisement, or whatever you use to connect with your Audience.

Once you’ve decided the best (and most economical) way to reach your audience, you can create a marketing piece. You need a rough idea of all Five parts, because otherwise you spend too much money reaching the wrong people with less-than-the best reasons to buy your product or service. It’s not just about sales, but sales at a low enough cost to you so that you make a profit.

So with a basic strategy in place, it's time to fill in the blanks. Years of research by advertisers and newspaper publishers have determined what people look at and what they skim over. The more time readers spend, the more likely to convert a reader into a customer.

See the article "Write Your Website" for the next step.

Read more articles, sign up for a free newsletter, and learn about Good Cause Marketing services at We provide words, pictures, and websites for people making a difference in the world.

Copyright Robert Gluckson, M.A., 2008, a consultant with Good Cause Marketing. Permission is granted to republish this article complete with the copyright and referral paragraphs.

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