The following is an example of a traditional marketing plan. If you’re creating a document to present your business to someone else, you can use it as a sample marketing plan and make adjustments as necessary. However, we don’t recommend using it as your main marketing plan as it’s heavy on assumptions and light on actions. Action is what matters in business, especially so with marketing. We’ll cover Marketing Action Plans in a future article.
1.0 Executive Summary
XYZ Company provides Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to improve affordability, mobility and efficiency. This sample marketing plan demonstrates the strategies employed to convert sales and create steady streams of revenue. Our company creates SaaS solutions that give us a competitive advantage. XYZ Company provides businesses with solutions that are scalable and environmentally friendly. The solutions also reduce maintenance costs, equipment costs and other costs associated with hosting new data-intensive applications. Our business provides solutions that accommodate traffic spikes and additional server space at no additional cost to your company.
We will fund our company by selling our proprietary software that manages traffic volume, allocation of resources and data encryption. Within the first three years of business, the company expects to become profitable and expand.
Our company’s vision is to provide quality, low cost services to businesses that may not otherwise have the start-up capital. By hosting and maintaining applications on our servers, we significantly lower the associated costs.
Our company has recruited some of the brightest IT specialists to set up and maintain our hosting site. Our specialists work around the clock to ensure that business applications are running 99.9% of the time. XYZ Company is challenged to gain visibility for our company in the marketplace and demonstrate our competitive advantage. We aim to accomplish this by employing social media, email marketing and search engine optimization strategies. As people recognize our value and responsiveness, word of mouth advertising will propel us into the forefront of our industry.
1. Win one Fortune 500 company contract within 12 months.
2. Generate over $1,000,000 in sales by the end of year 1.
3. Increase sales by 200% by the end of year 2.
2.0 Target Markets
Our focus is on small businesses with revenue between $500,000 and $10 million per year, as well as, larger firms with revenue over $10 million per year. Our focus will remain on small businesses with mobile employees that have difficulty raising capital and businesses that are resistant to change due to data security.
The customers may have a staff of 5 to 20,000 employees and are growing exponentially. Most of these companies are not able to predict their growth accurately. They may also have problems funding IT professionals, limited knowledge of information technology, trouble predicting future server needs and a limited budget.
This sample marketing plan will address our customer, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or an equivalent position, in a medium to large organization that is seeking an affordable solution for mobile employees.
2.1 Market Definition and Segmentation
XYZ Company targets: Organizations needing affordable, mobile IT solutions and their employees. These segments require customers who are computer savvy and recognize the need to increase sales conversions through efficient business operations and applications.
Mobile Employees and Organizations with Mobile Employees
There are several types of customers that may fall within our demographic for organizations with mobile employees: Any organization with a sales force, a call center or with global operations. The distinguishing factor between these customers lies in the department where the budget expense will be deducted. A solution, however, could comprise all three types of customers within one company.
The sample marketing plan also addresses the CIO that desires to keep company expenses low, while providing as many innovative resources to its employees as possible. CIOs seek solutions that will help their business run efficiently, while retaining their employees and customers. XYZ intends to promote products and services to this demographic.
• XYZ Company offers free consultation to companies. A quote will be provided along with a solution for the organization.
• The free consultation includes a free demonstration of the applications and services provided by the company.
Free Month with Subscription:
• XYZ Company will offer a free month of service, if the company commits to six months or more at a time.
• Complimentary applications will be provided for one month trial period.
2.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
XYZ Company strategy focuses on securing state-of-the-art server technology and software to host applications for our customers. We strive to also develop the best encryption technology for secure hosting. XYZ Company intends to communicate with our customers through social media applications and email marketing to receive continual input regarding our services. We will also market fast and affordable IT services to companies who already have their own servers.
2.3 Target Market: Mobile Employees and Organizations with Mobile Employees
Our SaaS solutions are scalable and are deployed within a fraction of the time traditional software installation requires. All of the applications are web-based and are hosted on servers at our facility. We have a fast and responsive team that will minimize application downtime and lost revenue. Applications may be accessed from any computer that has a web browser and an Internet connection.
Numerous startups and other companies have yet to take advantage of innovative SaaS solutions. This demographic may be potentially lucrative. Many organizations spend millions of dollars on server equipment, software and IT professionals. SaaS will reduce these expenses by almost half in some instances. This is a significant savings and a unique selling point to companies seeking IT solutions.
2.3.1 Needs and Requirements
The workforce is constantly evolving and the needs of employees are constantly changing. Companies have improved employee productivity, employee satisfaction, sales conversions and lowered costs with the use of Software as a Service. Our solutions will target the demographic that needs improvement in these areas, while providing a more cost effective, more secure and faster service.
Some customers are start-ups and have limited income. These companies will benefit from the convenience and immediacy SaaS will provide. Organizations who desire to cater to companies with mobile employees recognize that this group wields a significant amount of spending power. CIOs recognize the importance of this demographic and want to reach the market before it is saturated. Organizations must demonstrate a competitive advantage over other companies offering similar services.
With SaaS, businesses can access the same information and applications from any location in the world. Seamless customer service is offered when data and applications are uniform despite location. By providing a quality solution, our company will not only improve the efficiency of the business, but we will also develop a rapport with the CIO. The relationship will remain whether he or she is employed by the company.
2.3.2 Distribution Channels
Our services will primarily be offered online through our websites. Current SaaS companies such as, Salesforce.com primarily promote their products online and through their sales force. Salesforce.com currently has a significant portion of the market share in this industry. Our aim is to gain some their marketshare and also reach startups that cannot afford their services.
2.3.3 Competitive Forces
There are numerous competitors in the SaaS industry. Salesforce.com, Amazon.com, IBM and numerous others provide these services. Though the competition is great, our competitive advantage lies in our proprietary encryption software and competitive pricing structure. Many businesses are hesitant to use SaaS because of security concerns. Our solution focuses on alleviating these concerns, while keeping the workforce mobile.
XYZ Company will use email marketing campaigns and leverage social media for a vast majority of our marketing. We will combine this strategy with event sponsoring for exposure. Exposure will increase fans on Facebook and Twitter. Ongoing promotions and updates will be provided on Twitter.
2.3.5 Keys to Success
We monitor the traffic to our website and the origin of the inquiries on our website. XYZ Company uses this information to allocate their marketing dollars more effectively and improve sales conversions. Other postings on social media sites will also be monitored by a trackable link.
3.0 Marketing Plan Strategy
XYZ Company intends to establish a website customer inquiry form to capture information about customers who reach the site through search engine results. Social media tools and email marketing campaigns will also be employed.
3.1 Emphasize Mobility, Productivity, Security and Speed to Market
Our company will focus on improving productivity of mobile employees in a safe and secure virtual environment. SaaS may be implemented in half the time of traditional solutions.
4.0 Expense Budget Summary
Most marketing expenses are free with social media tools. Emails for direct marketing campaign and search engine optimization will be completed by our in-house by our staff and IT professionals. Our only marketing expenses will be incurred by sponsoring events to gain exposure. This expense may be between $5,000 and $10,000.
4.1 Expense Budget by Month – Year 1
We do not expect any changes in staff or marketing that will significantly affect our budget for the coming year.
[A chart may be inserted for pictorial description of monthly expenses.]
4.2 Expense Budget by Year
As the company grows, we anticipate the marketing budget to increase in the second and third year. Our sample marketing plan indicates that the total marketing and sales expenses will increase to approximately 15% of total sales.
5.0 Sales Forecast
Sales will be generated from three sources:
1. SaaS Monthly Subscriptions
2. IT Consulting Services
3. Proprietary Encryption Software Sales
[Insert Table of Projected Sales]
5.1 Sales Forecast by Month – Year 1
Our sales forecast for the first year is broken down by services offered or product delivered:
[Insert Chart of Projected Sales]
6.0 Progress Measurement and Monitoring
Our sample marketing plan establishes key marketing metrics to ensure that we meet our goals and objectives. Based on current market research, we selected the metrics most relevant to our industry.
6.1 Key Marketing Metrics
We estimate that every 1 in 100 customers will express a sincere interest in our product and request a free consultation. Other metrics will include sales conversions, monthly subscription price, sales of software and IT services.
[Include a Chart Outlining Projections of These Metrics]
6.2. Other Success Metrics
• Industry Awards
• Speaking Engagements
• Magazine Features
7.0 Marketing Organization
XYZ Company is a small company with high expectations. Our team is comprised of one professional with a background in software development, one individual with a background in IT and an individual with a background in business and marketing. Our team works with numerous professionals that help us deliver solutions to businesses worldwide.
Izra Kahn, President, leads the general management team of XYZ Company. Prior to joining XYZ, he was the Vice President of Software Development at a major wireless telecommunications provider for three years.
Kresla Karn, CIO, leads the IT team. She brings her expertise and wealth of knowledge from her previous experience with a software development company.
Lema Lalo, VP Marketing has developed numerous marketing plans and been involved in numerous product launches in other organizations. She will focus on key strategic relationships.