How To Write An Executive Summary Marketing Plan

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An executive summary is a written document that enables one to develop strategies for reaching the target audience and driving conversations about the products.

When launching a new product or a business, a marketing plan facilitates the establishment of overall market goals. With this, all the marketing activities are well guided and coordinated. Some marketing activities include building brand awareness, establishing a solid competitive understanding, growing customer base and attracting new customer leads.

Even so, marketing plans can be very complex since you have to come up with many details regarding your marketing goals and other related supporting activities. Due to this, it’s essential to develop a comprehensive executive summary for your marketing plan.

Importance of executive summary

Just as its name goes, an executive summary provides a brief overview of your marketing plan. The plan is usually in one or two pages and provides the key results of your marketing research and your brand objectives. Below are some of the benefits that accrue to a marketing plan with an executive summary.

It helps you understand the needs of your target audience.

Through the executive summary, it’s easy to understand the pains of the target audience. Usually, before a customer purchases a product, he evaluates how the product will satisfy his deeply rooted needs.

It enables one to market his products and meet the customer’s specific needs.

Though customers may come to purchase the same product, different gaps may exist that the customers need to satisfy. Through executive summary, therefore, the specific needs of each customer are deeply dissected and understood. With a clear understanding of the customer’s needs, proper plans and mechanisms can be put in place that foresees better services to the customers.

It determines appropriate content that can support your marketing plans.

Have you ever come across any executive summary? What did you see at a glimpse? With an excellent executive summary, a marketing plan can easily be made. In an extraordinary executive summary, all steps and processes involved in marketing are included. Thus it’s easy to come up with.

It describes the competitive advantage and unique selling points.

A company must-have products to sell for it to thrive. Even with the product, the company must have a specific target. Think of it this way, if you do market research and find out that your product is highly saleable though after launching the product, it doesn’t even meet the number of adopters, those who are willing, able and ready to buy the product. So then, an executive summary helps a company to establish its unique selling points. The adopters can readily and quickly spread the products from the unique selling points to the late adopters.

It facilitates financial analysis.

Of prime importance for every business is finance. Through the executive summary, a proper financial plan for not only the future can be formulated. The executive summary comes up with a short and precise financial plan which everyone can easily understand. With this, even the junior staff of the company will feel engaged. Do you know why this is important? As human beings, we usually want to be part of something that we create, and with the engagement of the junior staff, all the staff will feel important, and the company will move to new business frontiers.

Owners and staff

Roles should be clearly outlined for every business. The executive summary does just that. It describes the functions of every member and owner of the company. Through this, each employee knows what is expected of her thus is motivated as she feels highly valued.

Components of the executive summary.

Source: SlideTeam

In a typical executive summary, information about the achievement and plans of the business should be outlined. Below are the core components of an executive summary.

Mission statement.

Here, the business purpose is clearly outlined. Moreover, the ideologies and sense of the business are emphasized. This is usually done in a few sentences so that at a glimpse, someone can easily understand what the company is all about, its core values and even philosophy.

Company information.

An executive summary should give small and concise information about the company. A brief history of the company serve the investors right. The record should indicate when the company was started, describe its products, the owners and critical founders and other relevant statistics such as the number of employees and business location.

Business highlights.

This is very key for every business; describe the company’s evolution, its growth, including increment in annual profitability, market share and number of customers. Of importance is the market share since several aspects of the business can easily be deduced through it.

A detailed description of your customer base.

This is to answer questions such as where to find your customers and how you will target them through specific market activities to reach your goals. Here, describe the characteristics of your target audience and the criterion used in identifying these. Give a brief explanation of how you will find them and how they will be targeted.

Also to note is the promotional strategy, communication channels to be used, having a software specialist to help support your marketing activities and materials while focusing on the main objectives and keeping their deadlines. Within the same paragraph, a detail of core marketing activities should be provided. More than that, a specification on whether these activities relate to the critical business activities, including product launch and entry into a new business.

The distribution strategy to be used must also be outlined here. For instance, some companies deliver the products online using downloadable apps, while others use in-person methods. It should therefore be indicated.

A description of key market trends.

Here, detailing the marketplace should be done. Explain strategies you have in place to explore specific market trends while enumerating causative factors and their impacts. Questions such as, what factors are influencing the evolution? How are we going to innovate so that we keep abreast of the elements? Who is listening and engaging? Have an outline of a unique selling proposition.

The proposition should highlight those who will buy your products while enumerating reasons why you think they will prefer your product to others. Give an outline of professionals who will be consulted, such as your suppliers, accountants and marketing experts. This will help you know who to run to in case of business mishaps.

Financial summary.

If there is a need to update the business plans to seek additional financing, a financial summary is crucial. Most of the shareholders doesn’t have the requisite knowledge for analyzing every business aspect. They will therefore depend on the executive summary for deciding whether to invest in the business or not. With an excellent executive summary, an investor can clearly understand the business core values, their profitability in the former years and their financial plans in the years to come.

Future goals.

Goals are what keeps us going. Without a concise description of dreams, a business cannot be able to attract investors.

Marketing plan executive summary examples.

person working on blue and white paper on board
Photo by Alvaro Reyes

Smartwatch marketing plan summary.

Situational Analysis.

More than 50% of the buyers of the Smartwatch are between 18 and 34 years of age. This group which purchases more watches per head than the older people is the primary target. Watch purchases are more likely by those in urban areas than rural areas. In most cases, the investments are expected to be impulsive; thus, a strong customer experience must be in place.

Most of the competition is from spree watch fossil and Guess? Even so, as those involved in selling Smartwatch, we have enough experience that gives us an edge over our competitors. We make innovative, high quality, transparent plastics and timing devices, permitting us to provide our customers with a wholesome experience while purchasing a fashionable stopwatch.

Objectives

With a unique, affordable and quality stopwatch, we will establish a 10% market share within the first year. By 2022, the Smartwatch market shall be exponential.

Marketing strategies.

Using penetrative pricing, extensive advertising and expanded distribution, we will introduce the new product into the market.

Market analysis.

With other similar branded watches in the market, Smartwatch will find the market very competitive. The forecasted market for Smartwatch will be around $524 million in 2015 and $760 by 2022. The annual market growth of Smartwatch is projected to be 6% by 2025. This will extend the current yearly sale of Smartwatch. Our highest purchase comes from those aged between 25 and 34 years. Among different age segments, there exist other purchase behaviours.

Moreover, within the same age segments, different purchase behaviours due to differences in sex exist. Young females aged between 18-25 years are expected to be the highest purchasers. This group loves stylish things and always makes every effort to look fashionable. The second most significant purchasers are women aged 25 to 34 years.

In some instances, consumer purchasers vary as per the regions. Some regions and communities are believed to be more fashionable than others. This therefore makes them more excellent customers as they will make every effort to look stylish.

Competitive Analysis.

In the fashion and design industry, there are fourteen competitors to our Smartwatch. Some competitors like Ann Kline have almost 70% of the market share. Even so, our competitors do not have strong distribution networks though they have strong brand recognition. Therefore, as a company, we shall ensure that we have headquarters in every state so that our commodities can easily flow and be distributed to several areas. Branded smartwatches are new into the market, and there exists a chance to dissect the market as had been demonstrated by other companies such as Fossil.

Company Analysis.

75 % of the market revenue can be attributed to proper distribution channels. Branded Smartwatch sales are growing fast. Through the innovative product design, good manufacturing skills and proficient distributors, an opportunity has been created for our branded Smartwatch to stabilize in the market.

Actionable plan.

Compared to other market offerings, The Branded Smartwatch has a lot of benefits. Our main goal is to offer smartwatches in different varieties to our customers so that those with different preferences can also get covered. Even with other types, all the smartwatches will have the same price of $45.We will cover close to 75% of the market with adequately equipped distribution channels just after six months. We have laid down plans to increase sales by 5% and get a market trainer to boost our marketing plans.

Moreover, there are artistically designed adverts that will put a lot of emphasis on the unique design of our stopwatch. As per our schedule, the television adverts will frequently feature in the first six months of the campaign. To create more awareness in the first year, our advertising voice will be more effective than the four market leaders.

Contingency plans.

In case of increased competition, our sales will significantly reduce. As such, we have prepared to add $50000000 to our advertising budget.

Financial Analysis and expected results.

In the first year, we expect sales worth $8.5 million and even higher sales in the succeeding years.

Tips for writing an executive summary.

woman writing on notebook
Photo by J. Kelly Brito

Capture ideas to include.

For every planning process, there should be a framework of what to capture and what not to. The executive summary is not an exemption. You can attend the market launch and get to experience the products of other companies you admire. While at the events, take a mental note on ideas which you think if implemented by your company, they too can be successful.

There can also be other things relating to your overall strategy, like attending activities, communication channels or even ideas to boost your advertising. With these ideas, you can develop a well-equipped marketing strategy that can be impactful in the startup.

Ensure that the marketing strategy is dynamic.

With the change in your brand, your marketing strategy should change as well. Using the executive summary, you should ensure that all these changes are included. By looking at your executive summary, a person can decipher the changes taking place within your company.

The current situation in the world clearly should be depicted in the executive summary. With the Coronavirus pandemic, many brands have undergone several changes to navigate the changes brought about by the pandemic.

Even so, most of these companies have failed to include these changes in their executive summary. This only works against them because when prospective investors come, they will not understand the challenges the company will be experiencing thus will not chip in even in cases where they could have significantly helped.

To navigate through the changes brought upon by the pandemic, the executive summary needs to be modified and changed a little bit to accommodate all these changes.

Write the executive summary as though it’s a blurb book.

Within the executive summary, try and explain information that’s highly critical to the business. Within each main subheading, there should be a key takeaway. After reading your executive summary, a person can proudly say that they know everything going on within the company. Since a marketing plan is usually long, in-depth and complicated, the executive summary should be written in a way that’s sifted and easy to understand. With a clear outline and takeaways, a reader can quickly devour essential points in your document, thus making your business a significant one.

Make sure the summary stands on its own.

Having a clearly defined structure, an executive summary can be a standalone document. Conversely, an executive summary without a clearly defined system needs the support of a well-researched report. Unless your executive resume can standalone, consider reversing it. The executive summary should have a well-structured introduction, body, and conclusion. A person who has not interacted with the business before can easily understand the business whereabouts and goals.

It should capture the reader’s attention.

A well written executive summary should be informative. Moreover, it should be in such a way that within the first few seconds, the reader’s attention is a capture. This will create curiosity within the readers, and they will want to understand the undertakings of the business.

One of the goals of an executive summary is to inspire excitement in your audience. Therefore, even while collecting data for research and report, one of the main factors not to overlook is inspiring excitement in your audience.

While concluding the executive summary, it should be done so that the audiences are eager to read it. It would also help if you were careful not to reveal everything in your executive summary because there have been cases in the past where people have even revealed business secrets in their executive summaries.

Start with a bang.

The summary should contain mind-boggling and thought-provoking ideas regarding your business. Without a relevant beginning, the customers will presumably know that the summary is boring, and many of them wouldn’t want to continue reading it. Therefore ensure that the attention of the audience is always captured while writing the summary.

For a practical summary, the five-paragraph formula step can be adopted.

In paragraph one, give an overview of your business. To get readers thinking along the tracks, they should know your reason for existence. It’s therefore imperative that you provide the summary of your business in the first paragraph just so that by the time they are reading other sections like an actionable plan, they already have familiarized themselves with the business core ideologies. In the first paragraph, include a quote or even a statistic regarding your market share. Within the first paragraph, you should also give details about the nature of the industry you are in, the name of your business and even the nature of your business.

In paragraph two, discuss market, competition and the market strategy.

This paragraph should include a clear and concise definition of your target market and your customers’ journey. Moreover, all the customers’ pain points must be enumerated here. Then give an outline of the competition of your industry.

Give reasons why you think your business will not be amongst many others who had ventured into the industry but failed. Having given your competitive advantages using the marketing strategy, you should hinge on the primary ways that you will use to reach your target customers. These should be limited to three since having too many points may reduce your focus. Even more than that, focusing on just the three most vital issues will get readers excited about the rest of your plans.

In paragraph three, a clear overview of operational highlights should be given.

Here are operational highlights such as where your company’s offices shall be located, the type of business structure you will have, sole proprietorship, partnership or a limited company. Moreover, you should also indicate whether you will operate online or serve as a brick and mortar.

Paragraph four-show forecasting.

Here investment needs of the business should be given. You know, more often than not, finance is of utmost importance for a business. In this paragraph, therefore, the financial needs of the company should be indicated. Moreover, sources of finance should also be included. Break-even points and points when the business becomes highly profitable should be shown so that investors can know what to do.

Paragraph five, Detail your business investment needs.

This is the point where details regarding the finances and investment of your business should be indicated. The number of your needs should be precise so that whenever investors go through the document, they can easily decipher it. Moreover, all your projections should go hand in hand with your investment needs.

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