Strategies: Our Strategies section tells what action is needed to achieve your marketing objective.  

Product Positioning: How do you want to position your product? If your product is toothpaste, do you want it to be positioned as a "whitener" or a "breath freshener"?

Price: How do you want to market the product? Above market, below market, or in-between?

Package: How do you want to package this product? Will it have bright colors? Will it be packaged similarly to your competitor's product? Perhaps you will do something totally different in the packaging area. One of the greatest examples of the impact of packaging on a product is in the pantyhose industry. For years pantyhose was packaged in flat boxes and mostly marketed through department stores. Now through the efforts of L'eggs, women can go to quick-stops and other outlets to buy pantyhose found in unique egg-shaped packaging.  

Distribution: Do you want to change the way the customer can get the product? If it is a book, do you want him to find it in a specialty bookstore? Or can you reach the customer through a grocery store or other outlet?


Promotion: Do you want to use contests, sweepstakes, or give-aways in your strategies of selling the product?

Creative: How do you creatively present your product to the marketplace? Will you use humor, "slice-of-life" approaches, or product-oriented advertising?

Media: What forms of media will best reach your targeted customer? Is this product best suited for television, radio, print, or direct mail?

Promotion: What other avenues can you pursue to promote this product? Perhaps you need to do a full PR campaign on the release of the product.

Budget/Projections: Here's where you state what it is going to cost in order to accomplish your objective. Not only will you produce a budget, but also want to project sales based on that budget. The plan does not necessarily have to show profit on the product during the first year. Proctor & Gamble states it takes 18-24 months before they get on the upswing of any new product. But, remember, it must make a profit at some point! A good marketing plan will be an invaluable tool to your organization. It is your track to run on.

A detailed, concise plan takes the guesswork out of the marketing process and insures you the greatest opportunity for a successful marketing effort. It can be as simple as one page or hundreds of pages depending on the size enterprise you are running. The important thing is it must have the SOS formula addressed. 

Practical Steps to Planning

In summary, I recommend the following when developing a strategic plan.

1. Pray. Get peace from the Lord about your plan.

2. Plan. Write it down. This provides accountability for yourself and others.

3. Consult. Develop your plan with other team members that will be responsible for implementation. There is wisdom in the counsel of many.

4. Review. Every month or two, pull out your plan and see how you are doing. Be willing to adjust as new information become available.

5. Apply Faith. God wants you to do more than what you think you can do. Trust God to accomplish even greater things through your plan.

Finally, make sure the spiritual emphasis is there. Don't leave God out of your plan. Write it in pencil, seek the Lord about your plan and ask for his wisdom and direction for implementation.

For more books by Os Hillman click on the Faith and Work link listed to the right of this page.

February 15, 2010

Os Hillman is author of The 9 to 5 Window: How faith can transform the workplace and TGIF Today God Is First, a free daily email devotional that goes to more than 100,000 people daily. He is president of Marketplace Leaders and the International Coalition of Workplace Ministries: