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Marketing Plans [Part 2] 



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Listen to the Podcast Here:

total running time: 16:27 --  Download the MP3 here

In part 1 we learned that an effective, quality marketing plan is part strategy, part compass, and part road-map and must encompass the present, the near future and the long term.  

We also learned that a critical component of a marketing plan is its foundation. One element of a proper foundation is to conduct a market potential feasibility analysis. 

The feasibility analysis is like the COMPASS, it orients us as to the direction we want to travel, identifying for us our market – the “true north”.  However, a compass alone is of limited value.

In addition to your compass, you’ll need a ROAD-MAP.  This is our second foundational element to an effective, quality marketing plan.

When constructing an accurate map, you’ll need to determine the topography of the land and identify all major obstacles.  We do this with two tools, described below:

The Business Topography or Environment
When defining the environmental forces with which your venture must operate. I recommend using a P.E.S.T. or PESTELI analysis. An excellent explanation and a free MS Word template can be found at But here is a brief description quoted from the site:

“Here the PEST analysis template is presented as a grid, comprising four sections, one for each of the PEST headings: Political, Economic, Social and Technological.


The free PEST template below includes sample questions or prompts, whose answers can be inserted into the relevant section of the PEST grid. The questions are examples of discussion points, and obviously can be altered depending on the subject of the PEST analysis, and how you want to use it.


Make up your own PEST questions and prompts to suit the issue being analyzed and the situation (ie., the people doing the work and the expectations of them).


Like SWOT analysis, it is important to clearly identify the subject of a PEST analysis, because a PEST analysis is four-way perspective in relation to a particular business unit or proposition - if you blur the focus you will produce a blurred picture - so be clear about the market that you use PEST to analyze.”
          – Alan Chapman,

Major Obstacles & Competitive Analysis
Identifying Major Obstacles is an analogy for a thorough competitive analysis.  There are 2 parts to the competitive analysis, the first plots the five forces of competitive position and the second is a product or service positioning grid.

The best explanation I’ve seen is Porters’ Five Forces. 
Free MS Word or .PDF template can be found at 

Porter's Five Forces Are:
(and are arranged as a cross, with item #1 being in the center)

  1. Existing competitive rivalry between suppliers
  2. Threat of new market entrants
  3. Bargaining power of buyers
  4. Power of suppliers
  5. Threat of substitute products (including technology change)
3 1 4


Product / Service Positioning Grid
For each of your products and services, you will want to compile a positioning grid.  On the left side of our grid is the quality axis, high quality at the top, low quality the bottom.  On the bottom side of our grid is the price axis, low price to the left, and high price to the right.  You should have 4 quadrants, each corner representing a combination of price and quality. 

By plotting the competitive products and services on the grid, you can determine how much competition you will be directly facing for that niche market.

We can also get very complex with this simple grid, and overlay our market research data onto this grid to identify underserved market niches to target and saturated market niches to avoid.  Below, is an example of product positioning grid.

Can't see this image?  Please connect to the Internet and reload.

The next phase of your marketing plan is to determine “where you are”.  Now that you’ve created a map, and a compass, the next critical element is determining your relative location on the map. We will delve in more detail how this is done in our next installment.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback specifically related to developing marketing plans?  I encourage you to send all responses to me at and I'll do my best to integrate answers throughout the series as we go.

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Up-Coming Topics For Discussion: (this is just the tip of the iceberg as there were 22 topics that got a significant vote).  

  • Marketing Plans (part 3)

  • eMail Marketing

  • Creating Joint Ventures and Alliances

  • Using the Web for Listbuilding

  • Creating a Funding Strategy

  • Managing and Evaluating Ideas 

Want to contribute, ask a question or offer a comment?  Please send your input to me at

To your success,

Allan Sabo
Chief Success Advisor
ALTI Success Strategies

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© 2006 ALTI Success Strategies