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How Marketing Plans Work

Market Overview

In the research phase of this exercise, you did the legwork necessary for the first few sections of your business plan. Now you just need to get the information compiled in a clear and concise document so you can make use of it and others can read and understand (and support) it.

With that end in mind, go through the piles of market research and worksheets you've completed and start making some sense of everything. Once you have a handle on it, begin by writing a good overview of the market. You can actually pull some information from your business plan as long as the market information there is current and specific to the products you're planning for. If you don't have a business plan, or access to it, then the questions you need to answer in this overview are:

  • How big is the potential market?
  • Is the market growing, flat, or shrinking? What changes do you see happening?
  • Is the market segmented by pricing, quality, age, income, or product usage?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Who are your competitors?

Just as with all of the other sections of your marketing plan, there is no absolute for organizing your plan. Organize the market overview section in the way that seems most logical and will best illustrate your product's market.