If your instructor assigns a marketing plan for your class, don’t make a face and complain about the work—for two special reasons. First, you will get insights into trying to actually “do marketing” that often go beyond what you can get by simply reading the textbook. Second, thousands of graduating students every year get their first job by showing prospective employers a “portfolio” of samples of their written work from college—often a marketing plan if they have one. This can work for you.
This “Building Your Marketing Plan” section at the end of each chapter suggests ways to improve and focus your marketing plan. You will use the sample marketing plan in Appendix A (following Chapter 2) as a guide, and this section after each chapter will help you apply those Appendix A ideas to your own marketing plan.
The first step in writing a good marketing plan is to have a business or product that enthuses you and for which you can get detailed information, so you can avoid glittering generalities. We offer these additional bits of advice in selecting a topic:
•Do pick a topic that has personal interest for you—a family business; a business, product, or service you or a friend might want to launch; or a student organization that needs marketing help.
•Do not pick a topic that is so large it can’t be covered adequately or so abstract it will lack specifics.
1Now to get you started on your marketing plan, list four or five possible topics and compare these with the criteria your instructor suggests and those shown above. Think hard, because your decision will be with you all term and may influence the quality of the resulting marketing plan you show to a prospective employer.
2When you have selected your marketing plan topic, whether the plan is for an actual business, a possible business, or a student organization, write the “company description” in your plan, as shown in Appendix A (following Chapter 2).