Marketing Plan, Competitive Analysis, and SWOT Templates

The following sections cover the development of a comprehensive marketing plan as well as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats exercise, otherwise known as, the SWOT analysis.

 

Purpose Of The Marketing Plan  

 

Why prepare one?  

 

A marketing plan helps you establish, direct and coordinate your marketing efforts. Preparing a marketing plan forces you to assess what's going on in your marketplace and how it affects your business. It also provides a benchmark for later measurement. Often, simply embarking on the process of preparing a marketing plan guides you in developing a successful marketing strategy.

 

 

Who reads it?

 

Just as a road map guides you on a journey, a marketing plan guides you and your staff to reach your goals; it keeps you from getting off- course. Representatives from organizations that plan to lend you money or invest in your business require a business plan. Your marketing plan is a critical component of that business plan.

 

What is it?

 

A marketing plan contains information about your company and its products, marketing objectives and strategies, as well as how you will measure the success of your marketing activities.

 

It describes all the marketing activities you'll perform during a specified time period (usually one year). You'll also include any background information and research results you used to select those marketing activities. Finally, you'll document the costs associated with your planned marketing activities as well as the measurements you'll use to determine success.

 

Most often, a marketing plan is a component of a business plan. A business plan basically states how you plan to run your company, what your goals are, how much money it will take to achieve your goals and what activities you'll perform to achieve your goals. Marketing, obviously, is one of those activities. Marketing plans sometimes stand alone but should always support and be closely linked to a company's business objectives.

 

 

 

You need to have a thorough understanding of the following points to develop a marketing plan:

 

  • your products or services and their features and benefits
  • the problem, need or desire your product or service solves or meets for your customer
  • your target market and its characteristics and buying habits
  • current and potential competing products or services

When should I prepare one?

 

Ideally, you will develop your first marketing plan at the same time you develop the business plan that will launch your business. If you're already in business without a written marketing plan, however, develop one now with your goals for the next 12 months in mind.

 

Update your plan on a regular basis. Last year's strategy may not work given this year's market conditions. Prepare reminders to review and update your marketing plan about every quarter, but at least annually.

 

The templates below provide all you need to build creative and comprehensive marketing plans.

 

While subscription members receive all files on this site, some files from that package can be purchased individually without the need for a membership. These files are always shown with the "View Now" and "Add to Cart" buttons beside them.

 

Click Add to Cart to Buy Each Document - Download link for files provided immediately after purchase. As a reminder, subscription members receive these files in their private download area at no additional cost.

 

 

Marketing Templates

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Marketing Plan Document - REV08

Marketing Budget Development Model - REV10

Marketing Plan Presentation - REV09

Guidelines and Tactical Plan For Trade Show Success - TS01

Trade Show Expense Budget Development Model - TS02

Sales Forecast Model I - REV02

Sales Forecast Model II - REV03

Product Requirements Definition - REV04

Product Design Document - REV05

Functional Specifications Requirement - REV06

Product Launch Sequence - REV07

Sales Plan Builder Tool I - REV01 

Sales Plan Builder Tool II - REV11

 

 

 

 

But..you may also need market & industry data from here:
* Industry Intelligence  
*
Competitive Analysis 
*
Market Research



 


Develop Competitive Advantage and SWOT

 

When a firm sustains profits that exceed the average for its industry, the firm is said to possess a competitive advantage over its rivals. The goal of much of business strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

 

Michael Porter identified two basic types of competitive advantage:

  • cost advantage
  • differentiation advantage

A competitive advantage exists when the firm is able to deliver the same benefits as competitors but at a lower cost (cost advantage), or deliver benefits that exceed those of competing products (differentiation advantage). Thus, a competitive advantage enables the firm to create superior value for its customers and superior profits for itself

 

Cost and differentiation advantages are known as positional advantages since they describe the firm's position in the industry as a leader in either cost or differentiation. A resource-based view emphasizes that a firm utilizes its resources and capabilities to create a competitive advantage that ultimately results in superior value creation.

 

The following diagram combines the resource-based and positioning views to illustrate the concept of competitive advantage:

 

A Model of Competitive Advantage

 


Resources

 

 

 

 

Distinctive
Competencies


Cost Advantage
or
Differentiation Advantage


Value
Creation


Capabilities

 

 

 

Resources and Capabilities

 

According to the resource-based view, in order to develop a competitive advantage the firm must have resources and capabilities that are superior to those of its competitors. Without this superiority, the competitors simply could replicate what the firm was doing and any advantage quickly would disappear.

 

Resources are the firm-specific assets useful for creating a cost or differentiation advantage and that few competitors can acquire easily. The following are some examples of such resources:

  • Patents and trademarks Proprietary
  • know-how Installed customer base
  • Reputation of the firm
  • Brand equity

Capabilities refer to the firm's ability to utilize its resources effectively. An example of a capability is the ability to bring a product to market faster than competitors. Such capabilities are embedded in the routines of the organization and are not easily documented as procedures and thus are difficult for competitors to replicate.

 

The firm's resources and capabilities together form its distinctive competencies. These competencies enable innovation, efficiency, quality, and customer responsiveness, all of which can be leveraged to create a cost advantage or a differentiation advantage.

 

Cost Advantage and Differentiation Advantages

 

Competitive advantage is created by using resources and capabilities to achieve either a lower cost structure or a differentiated product. A firm positions itself in its industry through its choice of low cost or differentiation. This decision is a central component of the firm's competitive strategy. 

 

SWOT Analysis

 

SWOT analysis looks at your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats your business faces. By focusing on the key factors affecting your business, now and in the future, a SWOT analysis provides a clear basis for examining your business performance and prospects.

 

While subscription members receive all files on this site, some files from that package can be purchased individually without the need for a membership. These files are always shown with the "View Now" and "Add to Cart" buttons beside them.

 

Click Add to Cart to Buy Each Document - Download link for files provided immediately after purchase. As a reminder, subscription members receive these files in their private download area at no additional cost.

 

 

Competitive Analysis Templates

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Tool to Conduct & Prepare A Competitive Analysis Report - CA01

SWOT Analysis Customizable Template - CA02

 

 

 

Download Additional Amazing Marketing & Competitive Analysis Tools
For
Annual Subscription Members Only

Marketing Templates File Description
Marketing Campaign Workbook Step-by-step action plan on the specific tactics of executing a marketing, branding, public relations campaign (Word Document)
Product Marketing Campaign Presentation Presentation template with the step-by-step details on executing the marketing launch campaign for a product (PowerPoint Document)
Category Management Process Details the steps and activities involved in developing and executing a category management process for a product or service (PowerPoint Document)
Product Plan Template to identify and articulate market requirements leading to the development of a product's feature set
Short Sales Plan Need to do a quick sales plan in 5 pages or less? Use this template
Simple Sales Forecast A simple sales forecasting excel model using multi-period volumes and pricing relationships
Developing Collateral Materials A guide to how to develop effective marketing collateral materials (Word Document). In addition, visit our collateral development tools page for additional helpful aids.
Developing A Marketing Communications Plan Need to get the word out about your product or company? This guide will help you develop an effective marketing communications plan (Word Document)
Marketing Planning Kick-Off Ready to determine and set your marketing plan, strategies, and priorities? This presentation will get the team focused on to get the job done (PowerPoint Document)
Branding And Customer Segmentation A tool to help you effectively handle branding and customer segmentation methods and issues (PowerPoint Document)
Strategic Marketing Plan Blue print with step-by-step sections and line items description. Just fill in the blanks to develop a creative and effective strategic marketing plan (Word Document)
Marketing Crash Course Can't seem to get off the ground with your marketing efforts? This crash course will give you the ideas to revup your engine! (PowerPoint Document)
Marketing Plan (Ver 2) Another marketing plan template ,in addition to the one referenced above, to give you more choice and flexibility (Word Document)
Marketing Plan (Ver 3) Even another marketing plan template

 

Competitive Analysis Templates Description
Competitive and Value Chain Analysis Workbook A powerful Excel spreadsheet workbook with tabs providing models to undertake both competitive and value chain analysis. Even though it is for annual subscribers only, please click here to see the workbook in protected form.
How To Gather Competitive Analysis Information  Provides the steps and potential sources to use to gather the information necessary for a good competitive analysis exercise (PowerPoint)
Starbucks Competitive Analysis Example  A sample competitive analysis study using Starbucks as the company being studied (PowerPoint)
SWOT Analysis Additional SWOT analysis model

 

Additional Marketing Course

1-Introduction 2-Geographical Considerations 3-Cultural Components 4-Business Customs
5-Political Considerations 6-European Union 7-Market Entry 8-Target Market
9-Product 10-Industrial Product 11-Channels 12-Pricing
13-Promotion 14-Retailing 15-Marketing Plan Explained 16-Marketing Plan Example
17-Course Notes      

 

Are questions preventing you from making a decision? Contact us and we will answer them.