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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

Ours is a delivery-intensive, word-of-mouth, repeat-business business. We aren't marketing as much as selling direct. Obviously we know we need to understand our marketing process -- which is why the attention to quotes in magazines, speaking engagements, etc. -- but we are really selling more than marketing.

Product Marketing

The service itself is a key component to our marketing mix. Our service should be our best advertisement. In this case even more so than with many other similar businesses, because our specialization on channels for international product marketing means we develop contacts with people who can be our recommenders.

We need to fulfill the promise we make: we take a product across national boundaries into new markets, explore channels, guide our client through the maze, and establish the relationships the client needs. This is a very focused deliverable. We aren't just doing international marketing or marketing consulting; we're getting products into channels.

The service itself is a key to our markets.

Pricing

Our pricing needs to match our positioning. We cannot be cheap or economical, we must be at the high end of the pricing scale, job for job, project for project. We aim to be 25% more expensive than the more generic bid for the same project.

Promotion

Our promotion strategy focuses heavily on Public Relations, with very little or no emphasis on advertising or direct marketing.

Advertising

Advertising is not part of our marketing mix. We depend on quality delivery and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Public Relations

Public relations is an important part of our marketing mix. Even if advertising is irrelevant, the right PR can get us quoted as experts in publications and on websites frequented by our target market. We want to launch with a retainer relationship and a detailed plan for press releases and events, press tours and interviews. The underlying objective of the PR program is to establish our expertise in the media and on the Web so that the potential clients who need our services can find us.

PR Milestones

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Milestones
      
PRStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
Plan established2/1/20063/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
First objective review1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Second objective review1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Renewal review1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Total PR Budget  $0  

Web Plan

The Acme Consulting website will be the virtual business card and portfolio for the company, as well as its online "home."

It will showcase the Internet background of the partner consultants, as well as the portfolio of all the past and current online projects done by Acme.

The Acme Consulting website needs to be a simple yet classy and well designed website that, at the same time, is in keeping with the latest trends in user interface design. A site that is too flashy, or tries to use too much of the latest Shockwave or Flash technology can be over done, and cause potential clients to look elsewhere for online distribution expertise.

To further show off its expertise, the Acme website should create a resources area, offering articles, research and regular newsletters to interested parties.

After initial implementation of the Acme website, future development will be based on resources and business needs.

Website Goals

The website has two specific goals:

  1. Support specific sales efforts like collateral have traditionally done, providing background and credibility.
  2. Generate leads through the Web publishing of related articles and possibly even surveys of interest to potential customers who are part of the target market.

Website Marketing Strategy

Marketing in a high-end Internet consulting business depends on recognition for expertise. It starts with our known contacts in positions to recommend us, and continues with long-term efforts to develop recognition in professional forums.

We will use some limited pay-per-click expenses to push very carefully targeted traffic. Tracy, with the help of conferral with partners and outside experts (budgeted in expenses), is to establish the right keyword strategies. At the outset, keywords like "international distribution" and "international market entry" seem like targets.

Keyword strategy will be set in the initial website plan due at the end of March.

We will develop and maintain a database of people in the right positions. It starts with the contacts we bring in as we start the business. We use the database to make regular contact with email notices for additional forums and seminars, possibly group studies and market research reports.

Development Requirements

Acme Consulting's website will be initially developed with appropriate resources. The website is obviously a critical sales collateral in today's world. Tracy will be responsible and has the experience to make this happen, particularly with the back-up budget of more than $30K for outside contracting and resources. Tracy plans to use a simple hosting provider, Yahoo! Web services or equivalent, to host the site and provide the technical back end.

Tracy will work with a contracted Web designer to develop the simple, elegant, content-rich site. The maintenance of the site will be done by Tracy with content support by the partners themselves. As the website rolls out future development such as newsletters and downloadable market research reports, a technical resource may need to be contracted to build the trackable download and the newsletter capabilities. Acme can also look into pre-packaged solutions through hosting providers.

A table of specific website related expenses has been included in the appendix.

 

Website Milestones

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Milestones
      
Web DevelopmentStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
Detailed plan1/5/20062/15/2006$0TracyMarketing
Up and running2/15/20063/31/2006$8,000ABCDepartment
Fine tuning and refresh9/1/200610/31/2006$8,000ABCDepartment
Other1/4/200612/31/2006$16,600ABCDepartment
Total Web Development Budget  $32,600  

International Markets

International markets are the key to Acme Consulting. Our expertise applies equally to a US company looking at entering Europe, Latin America, or Asia, or to a European company entering US, Latin America, or Asia, or an Asian company entering US, Europe, or Latin America, or a Latin American company entering US, Europe, or Asia.

We have to also recognize what we don't know. We don't have expertise in market entry in China, Russia, Middle East, or Africa. To say so outright when these issues come up is to validate our credibility in other areas.

Implementation Schedule

The Milestones table and chart identity the key marketing programs, with their managers. Dates and budgets are clearly established. The managers are informed of their main programs and they are on board with implementation.

We will be tracking plan-vs.-actual results for each of these programs and discussing them at our monthly marketing meetings.

The programs will be revised each year. This year's plan includes only the programs to be implemented this year.

Milestones

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Milestones
      
AdvertisingStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
n.an.an.a$0n.an.a
n.an.an.a$0n.an.a
n.a.n.an.a$0n.an.a
Othern.an.a$0n.an.a
Total Advertising Budget  $0  
PRStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
Plan established2/1/20063/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
First objective review1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Second objective review1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Renewal review1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Total PR Budget  $0  
Direct MarketingStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
n.a.n.a.n.a.$0n.an.a
n.a.n.a.n.a.$0n.an.a
n.a.n.a.n.a.$0n.an.a
Othern.a.n.a.$0n.an.a
Total Direct Marketing Budget  $0  
Web DevelopmentStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
Detailed plan1/5/20062/15/2006$0TracyMarketing
Up and running2/15/20063/31/2006$8,000ABCDepartment
Fine tuning and refresh9/1/200610/31/2006$8,000ABCDepartment
Other1/4/200612/31/2006$16,600ABCDepartment
Total Web Development Budget  $32,600  
OtherStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
Recruit Additional Partner10/1/200612/15/2006$1,000AllAdmin
First Asian Client6/1/200612/15/2006$500WongSales
Name me1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Other1/1/20061/15/2006$0ABCDepartment
Total Other Budget  $1,500  
Totals  $34,100  

Sales Plan

We don't really "sell," in the classic pejorative sense. Instead, we listen. We offer our services to clients who have the needs we can fill, and we listen well enough to establish whether or not we do. The most powerful long-term sales pitch is to tell somebody "I'm sorry, that's not what we do. We are not the best answer to your problem." That unusual "pitch" establishes credibility and positions us well for the future time when that company does need our services.

Selling doesn't work well in this area except honest expertise well delivered. We don't overpromise,we don't embellish, we don't even attempt to sell to anybody who isn't buying it. We don't answer objections, we move on to the next client. We are offering true expertise and we sell only to those who already know they want it.

The key is repeat business: never lose a client.

Sales Strategy

Acme will focus on three geographical markets, the United States, Europe, and Latin America, and in limited product segments: personal computers, software, networks, telecommunications, personal organizers, and technology integration products.

The target customer is usually a manager in a larger corporation, and occasionally an owner or president of a medium-sized corporation in a high-growth period.

Sales Process

  1. Listen first. Understand the client's market introduction objectives, in detail.
  2. Don't ever convince a client that he or she needs our services. Focus on the ones who already know they need us.
  3. Always underpromise and overdeliver.

The underlying objective of the PR program is to establish our expertise in the media and on the Web so that the potential clients who need our services can find us.

Sales Account Plan

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Sales Account Plan
      
Target AccountsHistoryStatusAnnual Sales PotentialKey Account Manager 
Name omitted for confientialityn.a.50%$250,000Kelly 
Name omitted for confientialityn.a.25%$100,000Tracy 
Othern.a.40%$100,000Leslie 
      
Existing Key AccountsHistoryStatusAnnual Sales PotentialKey Account Manager 
Name omitted for confientialityn.a.-$200,000Kelly 
Name omitted for confientialityn.a.-$100,000Tracy 
Othern.a.-$250,000Tracy 
Total  $1,000,000  

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