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Writing a
Marketing Plan
Have a plan. Follow the plan, and you’ll be surprised how
successful you can be. Most people don’t have a plan.
That’s why it’s easy to beat most folks.
—Paul “Bear” Bryant, football coach, University of Alabama

for the firm, marketing objectives and strategy
in your life—where to meet for din- specified in terms of the four Ps, action programs,
ner, how much time to spend study- and projected or pro forma income (and other
ing for exams, which courses to take financial) statements—enables marketing per-

next semester, how to get home for winter break, sonnel and the firm as a whole to understand
and so on. Plans enable us to figure out where we their own actions, the market in which they
want to go and how we might get there. operate, their future direction, and the means to
s a student, you likely plan out much
For a firm, the goal is not much differ- obtain support for new initiatives.2
ent. Any company that wants to succeed Because these elements—internal activ-
ities, external environments, goals, and
means any firm whatsoever) needs to forms
plan for
of support—differ for every firm, the
a variety of contingencies, and marketing marketing
plan is different for each firm as well.
sents one of the most significant. A However,
several guidelines apply to marketing
plan—which we defined in Chapter 2 as a plans in
general; this Appendix summarizes those
document composed of an analysis of the points
and offers an annotated
marketing situation, opportunities and example.


assessing the opportunities. Situation analysis. 6. firms consider more than marketing when they make plans and there. Financial projections. and market in threats facing the which the company. company functions. Marketing strategy. why readers are reading the marketing Analysis Situation plan. the plan provides a brief description of the company. Market/product/customer analysis. a business plan also includes details about R&D and operations. 8. 3. Evaluation and control metrics. 7. weaknesses. both overall analysis generally and with this relies on SWOT particu. Overview what new products need In this section. 4 Executive Summary The executive summary essentially tells the reader why he or she is reading this marketing plan—what changes require Company consideration. Objectives or goals. Company overview. mar. 5. 2. Implementation plan. forth perhaps its mission background.fore commonly develop business plans as well.64 Section One Assessing the Marketplace MARKETING PLAN VERSUS BUSINESS PLAN Of course. Yet as this book highlights. 9.erally encompass 1. and so statement. lar consider- STP Analysis ations. 4. What does the Recall from Chapter 2 company want to that a situation achieve. this section The analysis describes the proceeds by strengths. However.keting constitutes such an important element of business that business plans and marketing plans coincide in many ways. usually according to strategic plan and focus. STRUCTURE OF A MARKETING PLAN This section briefly describes each of the elements of a marketing plan.3 Both marketing and business plans gen. —and suggests possible actions to take in Objectives/Goals response to the This section the information offersplan more specifics about contains. marketing plan? therefore. the products it currently offers . and both may feature details about other key topics. and competitive advantages. depending on the focus of the company and the plan. Executive summary. including discussion.

■ Statistical Abstract of the United States—a vast variety of statistics on a wealth of topics. ■ may various sources offer source knowledge sug. forth.arranged by SIC and NAICS codes. you likely list turn can of key to a variety of your firm’s in. and Encyclopedia which sugges- likely areofavailable Americanthrough your Industries—introduces industry structure. classified by NAICS ■ code. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 65 Marketing Strategy The marketing strategy may be very specific. IBISWorld—market research on thousands of industries. A refer. Appendix whether final quantitatively or The qualitatively. Evaluation Metrics and Control The firm must have a means of assessing the marketing plan’s recommendations. . with financial data about companies in each industry. especially if the plan pertains to. Bureau of the Census—payroll and employee numbers for most NAICS codes.S. information sources. tions university’s ■ of the library system. the marketing such as when the firm plan should pro. how-to-write-a-marketing-plan/21. On the basismay or it of bethe somewhat open to knowledge already varied possibilities. vide plans to enter a new possible developments Implementation Plan market with an and returns on the This portion innovative of the marketing the direction and ideas.knowthis. including annual data reports. such writing When as a a marketing plan.S. section(s) offers additional information INFORMATION that might SOURCES be of 5 benefit. relevant Standard & Poor ’s NetAdvantage—surveys of more than 50 different legislation. and how expansions likely will proceed. marketing investments when monitoring will take place. population. previous marketing plans. obtained. limitationsmission statements. plan includes the timing of promotional activities.ence librarian findings. plan.S. a stable product inProjections Financial a familiar market. ■ personnel. and Investext ■ so Plus—brokerage house reports.gestions for marketing” influence and examples that may provide you with http://www. and so—”a addition. Bureau of the Census—detailed statistical data gathered every 10 years on all aspects of the U. In published that Knowthis. for example. outlined in the marketing strategy.htm. can ■ help you find many of these sources. ■ industries. County Business Patterns: U. the marketing plan therefore must indicate the methods for undertaking this assessment.

race. However. ■ Adopt a businesslike tone. lifestyle behavior.. graphs. product and brand usage. possible impact of regulations and lawsuits. ■ Be positive. ■ Annual & 10-K reports from Thomson One Banker. ■ Proofread the entire plan multiple times to catch grammatical. and hospital data. and charts.. and discussions of strategic issues. lifestyles. and present. “We plan to achieve 30 percent growth in two years” rather than “The plan was that 30 percent growth would be achieved by the ■ firm within two years”). ■ Yet avoid meaningless superlatives ( Academic—market research reports on a variety of consumer products. as well as business data by county and zip code. effective buying income. product consumption. county. ■ Employ direct. and buying power index. tense whenever possible (e. spelling. “Our goal is tremendous growth”). media usage. ■ Use standard. ■ Rand McNally Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide—maps and tables showing demographic. ■ Be specific. ■ MarketResearch. railroad. product listings. distribution channels.” Sales and Marketing Management—current state. ■ Maintain a professional attitude in the writing and presentation.g. avoid flowery or jargon-filled writing. and LexisNexis— business descriptions. because all firms differ. and age and income groups. ■ Mintel Reports Database—market research reports focusing on consumer products. lifestyle interest groups. rather than passive. and advertising media preferences. ■ Sourcebook America—demographic data. industrial. city. Edgar. presented by state. income. retail sales by store group. illustrations. classified by various demographics.g. transportation. or other such errors that could dampen the professionalism of the writing. spending potential index. DMA. ■ LifeStyle Market Analyst—lifestyle information about geographic areas. However. ■ Keep descriptions and summaries concise. ■ Insert graphics to convey important concepts succinctly. and Tapestry data. Bureau of Labor Statistics—income and expenditures by household. ■ Mediamark Reporter—information about demographics. avoid using so many visual elements that they clutter the plan. county.66 Section One Assessing the Marketplace ■ Consumer Expenditure Study: U. and international travel industry. and demographics. rather than past. ■ Scarborough Arbitron—local market consumer information for various media in 75 local markets for consumer retail shopping behavior. retailing. lifestyles.S. including population. ■ “Survey of Buying Power. LINGUISTIC AND VISUAL SUGGESTIONS Again. and zip code. various media audiences and their characteristics. airline. and town estimates of population by age. Get to the point. just as rules exist that dictate what makes for good writing. . ■ Simmons Study of Media and Markets—products and consumer characteristics. some rules or guidelines apply to all well-written marketing plans. edited English. recall that all marketing plans differ. including photos. use quantitative information whenever possible.

.g. distinguished clearly by font differences (e. graphics software. ■ Adopt an appropriate font to make the text easy to read and visually appealing—avoid using anything smaller than 10-point font at a minimum. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 67 ■ Lay out the plan clearly and logically..g. stick with a common serif type to make the text easy to read. italics for second- level heads). ■ Exploit modern technology (e. ■ Avoid unusual or decorative fonts. page layout software. ■ Organize sections logically. . using multiple levels of headings. bold for first-level heads. ■ Consider binding the report with an attractive cover and clear title page. ■ Consider the use of bullet points or numbered lists to emphasize important points. laser printers) to ensure the plan looks professional. ■ Generally aim for a plan that consists of 15–30 pages.

a market- ing plan should start with a one-time event. which may help readers feel with its proprietary connected to the company. with a notion that personality alignment is critical to matching the right people with the right career opportunities. which identifies synergies between the companies hiring talent (employers) and PeopleAhead members (job candidates) who wish to be hired. and socializing with other professionals. Executive Summary PeopleAhead focuses on career advancement done right.68 Section One Assessing the Marketplace PEOPLEAHEAD MARKETING PLAN ILLUSTRATION6 PeopleAhead Marketing Plan: Condensed Instead of using separate “Executive Summary” and “Company Overview” sec- tions. this marketing plan be- gins with a general overview that includes both aspects and answers the key ques. development plans. positive.ment advance. who confirm their interest and recommend others. the idea has . Since then. upbeat assess. The vision for PeopleAhead was conceived of in January 2006. By anonymously presenting only prequalified career opportunities to members. TrueMatch.tions: “What type of business are we?” and “What do we need to do to accomplish our objectives?” (see Chapter 2). PeopleAhead was founded by Carlos Larracilla and Tom Chevalier to improve people’s lives by helping them achieve their career aspirations. Note the personalization PeopleAhead culminates the career advancement experience of the company founders. discussing professional continue doing. Instead of making job search a As this plan does. and de. of what the company does and what it hopes to velop their careers by sharing career goals. PeopleAhead provides a platform for people to find. PeopleAhead transforms the ineffective online hiring process into a highly efficient career-matching system.

Business Summary • Business Customers: This group provides PeopleAhead’s revenues. The site will act as a networking platform for the various factors that may profes. efficient recruitment process that would benefit most readily from PeopleAhead’s services. • For individual candidates. customers include HR managers who are responsible for the sourcing of candidates. 2. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 69 The paragraph provides a general outline of the firm’s 2. which may have technically sustainable competitive ad- similar matching software but constantly need to reinforce their marketing messages vantage as part of its overall with explanations of their value proposition. where individuals enthusiastically create a history and have connec- tions (invited friends. and because research shows that this demographic has a less reference the information. As Chapter 2 suggests.1. tion. and executives whose business objectives rely on human capital and efficiency of operations. and mentors) in place that will make PeopleAhead a staple among their favorite Web sites. • For business customers. seeking recom. PeopleAhead will focus on The plan acknowledges both building a base of individual members who range from recent graduates to indi- a general. including automatic position feedback. and delivering only the Top 10 most highly . influence these objectives. “recommend-a-friend. Goals: • Use brand matching technology: TrueMatch- • Build critical mass of users.offers a branded technology. because these entities are underserved by large competitors in the online enables readers to cross- recruitment market. These individuals can utilize the services to the fullest extent and are valuable candidates for business customers. the pleAhead as the category leader for recruitment-matching • Drive traffic to the Web site through marketing blitzes. potential target viduals with 5–7 years of continuous employment. and the subsequent sections PeopleAhead’s mission is to help individuals with career advancement and improve go into more detail about the human capital in companies.sionals and career matching as opposed to job and resume-posting searches. • Individual Members: This group does not pay for services but is the main source of data points for PeopleAhead’s TrueMatch. which establishes Peo. professional development plans that let people establish a profes- sional record. This technology plan notes PeopleAhead’s provides a point of differentiation from competitors.” and team-based career networking. marketed to both business customers and individual candidates for its “black box” value proposition. Within this segment. opportunities. Mission offers more specific goals. mission statement. are currently employed or will be graduating within nine months and are “poised” to make a career change. PeopleAhead makes online sourcing and qualification of candidates quick and efficient by prequalifying potential candidates. Strategic Objectives objectives.4. Ideal members are those who market and the ideal targets.system. PeopleAhead delivers TrueMatch. • Utilize word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied users. the plan makes clear PeopleAhead will focus on small and medium businesses (see Market Segmentation where it is heading and section). the bulleted list 2. Customers pur- chase contact information about the Top Ten PROfiles gleaned from the individual By referring to another sec- member base that have been sorted and ranked by the TrueMatch.3.2. and valuable career advancement tools. coworkers. PeopleAhead will be the favored career advancement plat- form online. 2. functional area managers who require new talent for their team. Competitive Advantage • TrueMatch.mendations for hard-to-find individuals.

delivering prequalified.4 M 1. and information found in the resume or provided through a recommendation is simply not sufficient to make an educated hiring decision. Other sites solicit recommendations for positions.5 M Senior college students Current employ es Other college students Unemployed Graduate progr students . However.1. Market Size: attractive break in the text and summarize a lot of The market size for both member segments in 2005 was as follows: information in an easy-to- read format. Individual members segments 7.curacy than would be possible manually. Industry Analysis Large online recruitment Web sites make this a tedious process by requiring compa- nies to search through many resumes manually to find the “right” candidate. The methods employed by according to this segmenta- online recruitment service providers to serve this market range from resume tion. the common underlying objective is to locate candidates who would not be found by traditional recruitment methods and use computing power to qualify candidates quickly and with more ac. Companies need more information and intelligent tools that make this screening process more accurate. resumes are often “enhanced. Figures provide a visually 3.1.70 Section One Assessing the Marketplace In discussing both the exter- nal market and the internal qualified candidates who have preconfirmed interest in the available position. aggregation to assessment test application to linking strategies. Peo. guishes between individual job candidates and busi- 3. thus differentiating Online recruitment is the system whereby companies use the Web to locate and the focus and objectives qualify prospective candidates for available positions. preconfirmed candidates.7 M 134.” such that almost all candidates appear qualified.1. However.4 M 3. advantages of PeopleAhead.3 M 24. pleAhead will be the most effective candidate-company matching platform available the plan carefully distin- in the market. Situation Analysis—Online Recruitment nesses. 3.

Employment by enterprise type 15.7 M 35. according to the U. not the number of companies that use the service.33 M 5. because sales are based on the num- ber of positions (profiles purchased).3 M Very small enterprises Medium enterprises Small enterprises Large enterprises .27 M Very small enterprises Medium enterprises Small enterprises Large enterprises The most critical issue in examining market size is the relationship between the number of companies and the number of workers employed.1 M 27. The following figure shows the number of people employed by each enterprise market segment as of January 2006. This segment information will be useful in defining PeopleAhead’s target market.4 M 51. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 71 Company members segments 1 M M 1. Department of Labor.S.

economy (GDP) will graph summarizes compli- grow at an average annual rate of 4% for the next decade. The growth of this industry is subject to two primary constraints: U. 6 B 4 . u Recruitment adv tisement industry gr wth Rev nue 0 $1 B 8 6 2 $2. General indicators suggest the U. The advertising is expected to grow by 35% per year to reach $7.4B CareerBuilder. economic health and online recruitment advertise.8 Not only use of high-quality color can is the market expanding.1.2. and Yahoo/HotJobs $ 7.S. as the add a professional feel to a following graph shows. Understanding these constraints will help identify An0ther visually attractive PeopleAhead’s opportunity.7 Online recruitment cated information easily.6 billion by 2010. but it is exhibiting rapid adoption by new entities. Market Growth PeopleAhead will operate in the online recruitment market.ment adoption rates.9 marketing plan.S.72 Section One Assessing the Marketplace 3.

Note that the analysis uses outside sources to support External OPPORTUNITIES THREATS its claims. an award-winning European • Broad target market: Because Peo- software development provider. including online feed- mass: As is true of many Internet back.4. However.1. collaborating. trusted Web sites while enabling companies to access those individuals for financial purposes. • Inability to protect model: Very • Demand for productive candidates. PeopleAhead does pleAhead draws on the industry not currently have resources to at.6 billion by 2010. to reach law. the product being usually reserved for high-budget developed has not been “custom- projects. and social net- companies. ware aligns business objectives • Verifying efficiency of matching with appropriate candidates.2. able for a start-up company. 3. capabilities: In theory. Internet users are growing familiar with sites that encourage socializing. the matching capabili- • Web development expertise: ties must be verified as accurate PeopleAhead has partnered with to gain widespread acceptance. The underlying objective of these Web 2. sales.0 services is to allow individuals to re- main on a few. Although PeopleAhead will $7. the system • Team expertise: The combined has an absolute guarantee of talents of the founders include effectivity. every 3. a lot of information succinctly and clearly. decisions rather than humans. SWOT Analysis Positive Negative Internal STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES • Industry best practices: The • Absence of industry “influentials”: networking model used by Peo. establish powerful positions before • Industry gap: Job turnover is PeopleAhead can establish itself. computations make human resources. recruitment. analysis. opment. and thus establishes a basis ster and CareerBuilder to new Web 2. “meta tagging. and distributing private Using a table and bullet information online to help improve network benefits and need to be engaged to points. protocols drawn from multiple • Inability to guarantee critical industries. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 73 Before engaging in a firm- specific SWOT analysis (see Chapter 2). system devel.5 years per person. and marketing.soft- puzzle to build critical mass. the focus is moving from aggregation of unique visitors toward engaging existing users more intensively. this marketing 3. In parallel. ized” ideally for each segment. TrueMatch. As a start-up. the business must working and offline professional solve the “chicken and egg” networking. little intellectual property created • Online recruitment advertising: by online Web sites is protected by Growing by 35% per year.accepted “best practices” contact tract influential industry managers. Market Trends plan assesses the external The methods by which online recruitment service providers deliver candidates has market environment further been undergoing a migration from resume aggregation and search services like Mon.0 methodologies that include passive for the subsequent SWOT recruitment. the plan summarizes maintain contact. at terms that are favor. pleAhead is targeting a wide range This company provides quality of businesses.” and social networking.10 . • Service gap: Recruiters are not • Convergence: existing (continued) competitors pleased with current online may form strategic alliances and recruitment vendors.

Peo. access to its resume database. Job posting is the primary not belong in the main activity. This section offers the 3. In this first-generation ment firms work will be online recruitment business model. Without differentiation. The most recognized com. team-based intangible features of its career discovery.3. not resumes. MSN. Information about competi- with more than 43 million professionals in its viewer base. years. quality matches. would relegate PeopleAhead to poised (people unsatisfied with (unfair) comparisons with competi. and CNN. offering. sold together with or separately from resume searches. and network If PeopleAhead chooses to Monster. such as is the sixteenth most visited Web site in the United States. Most active recruiters offer free services to users and charge companies on 13). Why search solo? PeopleAhead it focuses on some unites groups of friends. For information that may AOL. more user friendly and reduce the effort required to make these sites deliver results. BellSouth. to a new position if the right opportunity was presented. analysis.74 Section One Assessing the Marketplace External OPPORTUNITIES THREATS • Fragmented business models: pursue aggressive IP protection Online recruitment is fragmented strategies. Monster earns revenue tors’ revenues. detailed information a fee basis. the model could be cop. only to be overlooked because their writing style or resume format does not match an overburdened recruiter ’s preference. and mentors to create natural.000). text. No posting. scale through network effects. . and search for jobs on company pricing strategy (see Chapter Web recruitment methodology: ac. • Monster: Monster. an appendix offers an has experienced 75% growth for the past five variety of sources. CareerBuilder. Competition Most online recruitment Web sites compete in the active recruitment market. Companies can post jobs and search for candidate resumes in the database about how other recruit- (average fee for local searches is $500 and nationwide is $1. and Yahoo/HotJobs.tive means to • Passive Recruitment: The second generation of online recruitment locates candi. PeopleAhead’s TrueMatch. pas. post their resumes. • Job posting is not natural: People spend countless hours searching job listings and posting resumes. • Inadequate differentiation: In- sive (people who are not looking ability to explain our differentiation but would move if enticed). It achieves growth through affiliate partnerships that host job searches on affiliated Web pages. and advertisements on Web sites growth. and so forth often is of partner companies. The pervasive segment includes job adopt a competitor-based seekers who actively look for jobs.4. ied or mimicked by competitors. competitors face the challenge to make the process mandatory. Earthlink. Company Analysis “product” component of the market/product/customer PeopleAhead’s mission is simple: improve people’s lives through career advancement. LinkedIn. provide detail without dates who are not necessarily looking for jobs but who could be convinced to move distracting readers. includ. • Users are not alone: Finding a job is not easy.(finding people of interest based pleAhead will not be able to create on who or what they know). no applying—just good. and H3 (Appendix B).technology matches the right people with the right position. Good people make great companies. This job post/resume search company uses its media ownership to attract “passive” candidates from partner Web sites. available publicly through a • Careerbuilder: Careerbuilder. they have). USA Today. Because People- PeopleAhead recognizes that career advancement means many things to many people Ahead’s product is mostly and provides a fresh perspective on career networking that is flexible yet powerful: a service (see Chapter 12). 3. coworkers.petitors in this category include Jobster. tive (people who need jobs). from job postings.

Business Customer • Industry: Because companies that value human capital are more likely to take a chance on a start-up that promotes professional development. self-educate. including insurance. and music networking. Here. . This information might be used in conjunction with the Marketing Strategy.5. demand vendors with proven track records. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 75 • Professionals being professionals: There is a place online for social networking.1. sets such as programming or accounting. its competitors fail to do and therefore why 3. and talk about their career. and working quickly and cost effectively. PeopleAhead tries inquisitive about their professional future and not content with their current to consider what customers situation. firm usually cannot ad. a medium-sized customers. as this plan shows. customers. effort.1000 employees) have high volume requirements and that analyses of competitors.dress • Hiring need: PeopleAhead serves two types of searches very well: those with too one without consider. Customer Analysis PeopleAhead’s R&D efforts show that the impetus to improve recruitment effectiv. say most important—piece achievements and objec. plan. So why is there no outlet for career networking online—the activity that consumes the majority of our professional The last—and some would lives? PeopleA. Probably the clearest example of proactivity is a student who devotes time. small businesses (.ing the many applicants and those with too few applicants.head is a place where professionals share their experiences. verifying the candidate’s career progression.” ing for jobs too.tives with other professionals that care and can be found of the analysis puzzle: by employers who value their professionalism.25 employees) hire products. The common industry terminology for this group of people is think and feel when search- “poised candidates. the broadly defined professional services industry. Understanding a target • Situation: Members should have a professional development plan to share with customer is not just about others who can help them achieve their objectives—likely people who are numbers. establishing a fit between the candidate and the company culture. most are likely college educated. By drawing applicants that other. the system section. so positions that Although the introduction require human interaction are more aligned with system capabilities than those to this appendix and the with stringent skill requirements.5. banking. computer networking technologies. the plan notes what assures the right candidate is identified quickly. and customers are fewer people and may not justify acquisition costs. PeopleAhead aligns best with separate. and aware of their professional competencies/deficiencies. motivated by career success. 3. The following customer characteristics represent ideal attributes that align with Peo- pleAhead’s service offering.2. in the “customer” most systems overlook and delivering only the most qualified applicants. is the primary focus. and consulting. and financial resources toward career advancement. Outlook: Proactive people who research.5. Individual Member it offers a more valuable • Background: People who value professional development and are familiar with service. • Functional area: PeopleAhead’s system identifies “people” people. 3. plan’s organization suggest • Size: Large businesses (. pet networking.ity is pervasive and that unmet needs revolve around a few core issues: the ability to find qualified talent.

Access to groupings is permission based and similar to marketing mix consists of social networking. Nor. 4.1. Business makes each segment Customers attractive. Worcester. Marketing Mix 5.000 employees. Businesses with 100–1. 4. the share development plans. PeopleAhead will track data from successful member profile matches to must establish the value for provide feedback for members who have not been matched successfully. national recruitment spending. but most job seekers are locally based. tion here). who will be granted access to groups of members to target people they want to hire. 5. the plan provides after graduation. and advance careers by uniting friends. Persons who are currently employed but are poised to locate specific targeting better career opportunities. Peo- pleAhead will be better equipped to build a critical mass of users that represent the PeopleAhead’s mission job. Members will be able to share professional experiences with the four Ps: product (service people they know. a discussion of the mar- ing a platform to discover. PeopleAhead will then open group profiling to business customers. By maintaining this focus. Group profiling may prompt “voyeur” networking. or full-time section. Businesses with 10–99 employees. consumers: Why should they expend effort or resources to obtain the offering? . such as internships. Students in the process of searching for a first career. and promotion. plan.2. Stamford. plan.1.1. and the use of financial resources. so market penetration is possible by covering a single geographical location.seeking population and thus improve both users’ and customers’ experience. customer service. process: Positioning for the walk. coworkers. ning process (see Chapter 2). such that here). • Unemployed. User Positioning Given its own section in this To the proactive professional. Mid-career candidates searching for new career markets in the previous opportunities. PeopleAhead is career advancement done right—provid.1. a foundation for a more • Current employees. Products/Services Offered According to well-known The first planned offering is group profiling. Online recruitment companies compete for segmented. price.1. 4. Target Market PeopleAhead plans to focus resources on small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the The final step in the STP New England Metro market. Companies with less than 10 employees are categorized as “Very Small Enterprises” and will not be a primary target market. part-time during enrollment. • Small enterprises. targeted market. including Boston. statement in this section.2. The next added feature will be user feedback on professional development The product (service) offering plans. Marketing Strategy the same segmentation 4. and Springfield.3.76 Section One Assessing the Marketplace The plan continues with 4. keting mix constitutes a key element of the strategic plan- and mentors with companies searching for the right talent. Providence. Market throughout. • Medium enterprises. users self-associate with groups to marketing concepts. Hartford. Individual Members • Senior college students. By already identifying key • Graduate program students. place (distribu- members join to view the profiles of the people they know. Persons searching for job not included in previous segments. Here the plan Segmentation discusses targeting and what 4.

consumers want it may seem somewhat easier for Peo- 5. intimacy and excellent cus. For strategic purposes. • PeopleAhead Challenge: The PeopleAhead Challenge will act as a primary user ac- however. Selection will be focused on successful target segments to consider how it can ensure demanded by customers. with proper precautions for protecting competitive advantages. and blogging. which recog- d. • Industry Events: Attendance at HR industry and recruitment events will supple. PeopleAhead prefers to focus on product development in the near term (3 months) and then reassess potential alliances after system efficacy has been proven.4. clubs. the firm still needs quisition strategy. and zoominfo. during the first six months. Strategic alliances serve multiple purposes: They can help PeopleAhead increase public as the market dictates.tomer service are more highly desired than reduced cost. PeopleAhead can increase its Web presence.2. Price In addition to a basic pricing schedule. Promotion • Public Profiling: When the product is ready. . people know where and how • Direct Sales: Direct customer contact is the preferred method of communication to access its offering. During the initial stages. and increase revenue opportunities. colleges. PeopleAhead will encourage available where and when new trials by offering promotional pricing to new customers. Strategies include contributing articles to recruitment publishers. PeopleAhead will offer bulk pricing and con- tract pricing to business customers to satisfy unique customer needs.3. • Strategic Alliances: PeopleAhead offers a product that complements the services offered by many large organizations. Making the product (service) Continuing the new customer acquisition plan. A subsequent linking blitz will put opinion pieces in front of recruiters. Universities. and the investment community. due to reduced costs and quicker customer sales cycle. but it limits intimacy between the customer and PeopleAhead. Ziggs. Telesales is the anticipated eventual sales model. public profiling of the founders on Web sites like LinkedIn. academic institutions b. expand product offerings. Distribution pleAhead because of the vast development of the Internet. Partner opportunities exist with a. • Blogger Community Testimonials: Influential users of blogs will be invited to try the system and be granted “exclusive” access to the inner workings of the site. exposure. outplacement firms. 5. and nizes the potential need to executive search firms make changes in the future. blogs The plan offers a specific time frame. • Challenge Groups: Word-of-mouth distribution by PeopleAhead members. groups.ment direct sales efforts. writing op/ed pieces. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 77 5. The pricing model is expected to remain constant. industry affiliation groups c. increase the user base. job seekers. but customer feedback will be analyzed to ensure align- ment with their requirements. and direct sales achieves that objective. These benefits will be considered and partnerships proposed prior to the official launch. Online associations. Professional associations. Professional services firms.

A. Certain assumptions or After the Web site launches. ing expenses are projected to be $6. and general overhead.00% 86. Financials also potential revenues to Start-up costs consist primarily of Web site design and development.194 $2. Sales $56.000 has been funded by the founding team.843 $30. and intellectual property protection).356.170.155 $14.035.31% 90.906) $717. Monthly overhead likely will reach $24. legal cover those costs. Pro Forma Income Statement the graphs and tables help Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 depict those numbers clearly Year 5 and visually.250 per month. general and administrative operating costs.665 $8. the cost structure will consist of sales agent marketing research form the salaries.750 and remain constant.78 Section One Assessing the Marketplace The marketing plan needs to identify not only costs but 6.780.403 $3.312.453 $2.37% 90.tion (business formation.041 .61% 91.013 Gross Margin $54.000 during inception. representa.244.383. of which $30. PeopleAhead projects start-up expenditures of $70.768 $7. basis for its estimation of market- start-up costs.655 $16.829 $14.316.329 $28.180.318 $7. contract negotiation. In the first year. Projected Income Statement This section contains a lot of numbers in a small space.921.683.172 Gross Margin % 96.34% Net Profit ($156. and marketing.

Brand awareness should be developed through the founders’ visible pres- ence at professional events. membership in professional associations. beginning with building brand awareness. marketing.3M) ($14.2M) $56K ($0. Marketing Objectives—Growth • PeopleAhead Challenge: Pursue groups that were effective during Beta trial and represent a cohesive set of profiles. Objective—Growth • During the first six months of commercial availability . online searches. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 79 Revenue and net income projections Revenue $40M ($31M) 30 20 ($16. use a phased approach. networking. • Individual Members: Convert 10.1.7M)($8. Although this is a marketing plan. Execute 117 position matches.2M) ($7M) 10 ($2.7M) ($3. • Business Customers: Sign 24 regular customers and 72 occasional customers. and financial. it must 7. Implementation Plan also include other aspects The launch of PeopleAhead will that influence marketing.000 people to PeopleAhead members. such as financial status. 7.4M) 0 ($157K) –10 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Revenues Net income (profit) Net income (loss) This plan divides the objec- tives into three categories: overall objective. the primary objective is to expand both the user and customer base to maintain a 100:1 user to customer ratio.2. Expand and refine the Challenge to reflect . 7. and strategic alliances. This visibility will help gain investment capital.

and overall experience with the PeopleAhead brand. Proposing an inappropriate match could jeopardize the credibility of the system.S. • System effectivity: The ability of PeopleAhead’s TrueMatch® software to provide relevant candidate recommendations is critical. its progress toward those 7. • Crafting of brand identity: The contrast between PeopleAhead and competitors lies not only in product differentiation but also in the company’s mission statement and delivery. Financial Objectives By offering and True.PeopleAhead. Existing competitors have made many efforts to protect their methodologies through U. and development. Limited by resources. As a result. depending on compatibility between each constituency. The effectiveness of the software depends on the algorithms that match users with positions and the networking protocol that initiates recommendations between users and the people they know. PeopleAhead will not be able to proceed beyond the product development stage. consisting of diligent IP infringement review. The challenge is to associate www . ensures that it can measure • Revenue: $482.” The goal is to become the only company that a person thinks of for long- term career discovery. PeopleAhead will assume an offensive IP strategy. • Critical mass of business customers and individual users: The matching process requires that both customers and users exist in the system from the outset of com- mercialization. and secure customers and users to meet financial targets.4. • Economical marketing to relevant constituents: PeopleAhead needs to establish communication (distribution) channels that pinpoint relevant constituents in a manner consistent with mission values. • Sales process: PeopleAhead’s business model requires the acquisition of both business customers who have available positions and users who will be matched . attracting many different audiences. However.50 per position × 117 positions = $56.000 target users (10. Key Success Factors: goals.00 target acquisition cost = $45. execute the IP strategy. • Efficient value delivery: The base of customers (both individual and business) needs to receive the proposed value in a timely manner. This need brings to the forefront the “chicken and egg” scenario. • Efficient marketing expenditures: 9.80 Section One Assessing the Marketplace 7.50 revenue.Match® technology with “career advancement done right.452. patent application where appropriate. and aggressive trade secret protection of best practices. or deferred costs involved. patents. The exact number that constitutes “critical mass” ranges from 100 users per position to 10 users per position. One-time job search is available from thousands of online recruitment sources. advance. minimal. Financial support will be required to fund operations.ment. Without funding. • Financial support: The founders’ investment is sufficient to form the business core and take delivery of PeopleAhead’s Web site and software. with consideration given to quality versus quantity of results. precedent has not been established for the legal assertions made by these companies.000 budget. alignment with existing objectives.000 during beta) × $5.3.000 year-end total – direct goals. chosen channels must aggregate many relevant eyes with free. PeopleAhead 1. Social networking has been covered from diverse angles. establishing either customers or users requires the other constituent to exist already. • Intellectual property (IP) strategy: PeopleAhead is engaged in two primary seg- ments of online enterprise: online recruitment and social networking.

Individual Members Periodic surveys of various prospective users of online recruitment services indicate (1) current services. (2) methods that work well. soft costs: Most companies track the recruitment costs of hiring providers. Late career professionals hope to improve their own job search opportunities. phone conversations. and e-mail survey contacts with people from a range of industries. Additional useful informa- • Lack of differentiation: Regardless of the qualifications a job seeker possesses. Networking is the favored method for career advancement. Appendix A. (2) understand customer needs. Mid-career professionals recommend people because it helps the people they know. • Motivation shift over time: Early professionals are motivated by financial rewards. they are averse to spending time uploading resume information to online recruitment Web sites only because of the lack of perceived value. but few measure the time costs of hiring. • Hard costs vs. Value selling is difficult in the human resources departments.tion new business customers. Recommendations include the recommender ’s judgment of the candidate’s fit with the available position. between business customers and individual members. Writing a Marketing Plan Chapter Two Appendix 81 with those positions. A summary of the key findings is listed here: • Employee fit: Will the applicant fit our corporate culture? Will the applicant fit with the team we’re considering? Will the applicants’ competencies fit with the position requirements? • Pay for performance: Objections to recruitment services focus not on price (though it is a consideration) but rather on lack of performance. • Frustration: Job seekers are frustrated with available online recruitment providers. • Valuable recommendations: Most recruiters use online recruitment as a neces- sary but ineffective means of candidate sourcing. Recruit- ment performance must be easy to measure. They will spend time when the career opportunities are perceived as valuable. 8. and functional areas provide a means to (1) build relationships with prospective customers. These two constituents may be reached through different sales processes without overlap. and (3) ensure alignment between PeopleAhead’s product and customers’ recruitment prefer- ences. and (3) biggest problems with online recruitment providers. should appear in an appendix. Competition: Passive Recruiters . it tion that might clutter the plan is difficult to make them evident in a traditional resume. whether they are qualified or not.2. 8. Evaluation & Control PeopleAhead will evaluate user profiles to identify sets of profiles that are valuable to The evaluation section retains the segmenta. • Unqualified applicants: Many people who want a job apply. which will aid in the selection of subsequent target market scheme established previously customers. Organizational Chart of PeopleAhead Appendix B. Business Customer Face-to-face meetings. or productivity costs of leaving a position unfilled. company sizes. 8. Recruiters then must scan resumes and weed out unqualified ap- plicants instead of getting to know the qualified applicants. but is not included in this illustration. The following is a qualitative summary of the key findings: • Willingness to try: Careers are important to people. opportunity costs of hiring the wrong employee.1. secondary to recommendations.