Marketing plays an important role in the success of any business. Before writing the marketing section of a business plan, market research and analysis should be done carefully.

According to Kotler, “Marketing is a societal process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and freely exchanging products and services of value with others.” Marketing is “meeting needs profitably”.

i.Marketing Plan

The Marketing section of a business plan includes the 4ps of marketing: product,price, place, and promotion. For finding out the market information two types of search could be performed:

1. Primary research: Collecting the information through survey by asking the customers.

2. Secondary research: Getting the information published by other sources.
  • For an effective market plan both researches should be done. The market plan should consist of:
  •  Business’ vision and the plan to achieve the goal
  •  Current market position and your product in the market
  •  Details of the target audience – who is the customer, where do they stay, what encourages them to buy, how do they pay etc.
  •  Methods to reach the target audience – promotional activities, advertising etc.
  • Market size
a) Product: Product sub-section should detail the following points:
  •  Description of the product or service you will be offering to the customers.
  •  Function and features of the product/ service.
  •  How is it going to give benefit to the customers?
  •  How is it different from the other existing products/services in the market?
  •  What are the factors that change the demand of the product? Or when will the product be used monthly, yearly, daily?
  •  Chart comparing the features (price, quality etc.) of competitors product and your product
b) Price: Price sub-section should consist of the following points:
 Pricing strategy that will be used by the company
 Product cost to the company
 Selling price of the product – selling price should cover all the expenses incurred by the company plus the profit margin.

c) Promotion: This section details the promotion of the product:
  •  How will the customer get to know about the product?
  •  What methods will your company use so that a customer feels motivated to buy your product?
  •  To promote the product, what all methods will your company use – advertising, print media, electronic media, public relations, word of mouth publicity etc. etc.
ii Market Size

After finding out who will be your customers, the next step is what would be the size of the business. Will it be a small company or large company? Market size and competition both are very important in a business plan because it helps to convince the investor that after the competition the business can still generate profits. Market size is decided after reviewing the statistical data and discussing with potential customers, distributors and sales representatives.

 Decide the market segmentation – i.e. dividing the market into different segments based on the customers need.
  •  What is the market size in terms of units?
  •  Describe the expected market share.l
  • Describe the market risks.
iii Market Competition

This section should give details about all the competitors. The points that can be included in this section are:
  •  What are the weaknesses and strengths of your competitors?
  •  Why your competitor is successful?
  •  Why will a customer buy a product from you?
  •  Which strategy is the competitor choosing and why?
  •  Why the competitor has not chosen the strategy that you have chosen?
  • What are the threats from the competitors?
  •  Make the chart that compares the competitor’s and yours product price, quality,service provided, and warranty, and other important features.

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