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Creating a Marketing Plan

Need to write a marketing plan? This guide will offer tips and link you to resources such as books, articles and website to get you started.

Related Business Guides

Conducting an Environmental Scan

An environmental scan includes an industry analysis where you will discuss the external environmental factors that have, or could have, an impact on business operations. 

Competitive Environment: What to investigate

Who are your leading competitors? What are their products or services and how do they compare to your product? What market segment do they target? How easy is it for new competition to enter this market? What are your competitors' strengths and weaknesses – and how this can help you distinguish your company? What can you learn from watching your competition?

Economic Environment: What to investigate

What economic indicators are most relevant for your company? What economic trends might affect your business? What is the buying power of your target market?

Local Information:

National Information:

What do Americans spend their money on?


Technological Environment: What to investigate

Internet, e-commerce, and social media trends. How technology has/will have an impact on your product or service.

Information Sources:

There are several good websites tracking consumer trends:

Political and Legal Environment: What to investigate

Legal factors such as health and safety, product safety, advertising regulations, product labeling and legal laws.

Political factors such as trade regulations, taxes, and government stability.

Sources of Information:

Social/Demographic Environment: What to investigate

Factors such as education levels, age distribution, consumerism, income level, population growth, expectation of society from the business.

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