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

Grizzly is entering its first year of operations.  Grizzly offers financial planning, investing services and estate planning and has identified two market segments that it will serve. Grizzly has gathered a fair amount of information about its target customers and will leverage this information to meet the needs of the targeted customers. The basic market need is a comprehensive financial planning and estate planning consultancy.

Market Summary

Within the entire financial service market, Grizzly will concentrate on two distinct market segments. Grizzly has researched these two market segments and will use the captured information to better understand how to serve these segments, their specific needs, and how Grizzly can best communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR
Estate planning customers8%38,74541,84545,19348,80852,7138.00%
Investment customers9%43,55847,47851,75156,40961,4869.00%

Market Needs

Grizzly Bear Financial Managers is providing its customers with comprehensive financial and estate planning services for middle to upper income customers. Grizzly seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to its customers.

  • Comprehensiveness: The full selection of services offered, as well as full-detail research is appreciated by customers who would prefer to get all the relevant information and services from one entity.
  • Expertise: Customers demand expertise as they are trusting their money and financial futures to their financial planners.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Because the customers are trusting so much to the planners, it is important that they feel completely satisfied by all interactions.

The market trend for financial planning has been an increase of individuals doing their own planning. This trend is likely to be short lived.

  • The trend has occurred primarily due to the incredible amount of information that is available over the Internet. While the internet has been a godsend for information seekers, time must be spent sifting through all the information and determining the relevance of the information.
  • The trend is likely to be short lived. To make good financial decisions, you need to devote a large amount of time to perform the requisite due diligence. Therefore the new-found accessibility of information does not decrease the time of the decision making process because of the need to filter the information.
  • This trend is quite analogous to Internet-based day traders. For a couple of years, Internet day traders were all the rage. The market niche quickly grew large.

    As the market recovered from the initial Internet enthusiasm, the number of day trader transactions by non-financial people decreased significantly as the reality that the amount of information available does not make it efficient and profitable to undertake activities that previously required a fair amount of time, research, and information to accomplish successfully.

Market Growth

In the year 2000, the financial advisor market generated $9 billion in revenue. Financial planning is a profession that requires lots of information and time to achieve success. Most people do not have the time to do a proper job so they turn to professionals. Since financial planning for the retirement years is especially important, the need for financial services will not likely be significantly diminished any time soon.

The financial market as a whole has seen a 5% growth rate for the last four years and it is forecasted to maintain this rate for another three.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company and the opportunities and threats that the industry faces.


  • Financial expertise, both practical and educational.
  • Strong relationship-selling techniques.
  • A proven business model with a customer-centric focus.


  • Low brand power, a function of being a start-up company.
  • The difficulty generating brand equity with a limited marketing budget.
  • A rough first six months due to the low volume of clients.


  • Participation within a stable, growing industry.
  • The true need for financial advisors by the majority of people.
  • Locating the business within a growing metropolitan area.


  • A financial advisor scandal that shakes the confidence of consumers irrationally because of the misdeeds of a firm or small number of firms.
  • The proliferation of financial advisor chains, the equivalent of H & R Block in the tax world.


Competition comes from many different sources:

  • Independent financial planners. These are often most like Grizzly Bear Financial Managers. They do not belong to a larger company, and they are not affiliated with any type of company, mutual fund, or other entity.
  • Financial planners that are part of a larger organization. Examples of these would be American Express, Charles Schwab, and Merrill Lynch. While these planners might offer good advice, they are often biased, having a financial interest in the companies that they sell equity in.
  • Tax and estate planning attorneys. These are professionals with a legal background who offer similar financial services, sometimes as a sideline to their practice of law, sometimes this is their exclusive service.
  • True niche players who work only as stock brokers or only do estate planning. While these people probably have very detailed information about their area of specialization, often estate planning or financial planning requires a breadth of knowledge in many areas.

The buying patterns of consumers are often based on networking or who the person knows. This is because the industry of financial planning is so populated it is quite hard to make a decision for choosing a service provider. Since many/most people after a certain age have at least visited a financial planner it is not difficult to get a referral for a planner.

Service Offering

Grizzly Bear Financial Managers is a comprehensive financial planning consultancy. Grizzly is a financial and estate planner.

  • Stocks: Grizzly has a series seven state and federal securities license, allowing it to sell stock. Grizzly takes the order from the customer and forwards it to their clearing agent, Bear Stearns.
  • Estate Planning: Grizzly offers estate planning to customers specializing in tax consequences and maximizing the amount that can be transferred to relatives before death.

Financial management is a populated space, just like real estate. There are literally hundreds of financial managers serving the Minneapolis metropolitan area. The secret is specializing (concentrating on a specific area in the market, helping you to be differentiated from all the other service providers) and networking (building your business through personal/professional contacts). Although the financial market is pretty full, there is room for new providers that specialize and offer unsurpassed customer attention.

Keys to Success

The following are the keys to success, the factors that make the difference between success and failure:

  • Comprehensiveness;
  • Expertise;
  • Customer focus.

Critical Issues

Grizzly Bear Financial Managers is still in the speculative stages as a start-up business. The critical issue that it faces is that expansion of the service providers must be done to ensure superior service provided.  It should not be undertaken because of a perceived increase in future demand, but done to meet current demand.

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