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Week 2

Week 2: A Marketing Plan: The 4 P's and other “old school” marketing ideas


  • To understand marketing mix (the "4P's")
  • To know the elements of a marketing plan
  • To think about the marketing mix for your enterprise and what kind of marketing plan is most appropriate for you



  • Outline and/or develop the marketing plan for your enterprise. (Since this could be a fairly lengthy assignment, I'd suggest just posting some notes on approach in the forum and then if you outline an actual plan, do it in Google Docs or on a wiki or something, and link to it in your forum post.)
    • Find, adapt, or create an outline of the right kind of marketing plan for your enterprise. It might be a full-blown marketing plan that you could present to outside funders or it might be a few bullet points that are enough for your purpose. (If you already have a marketing plan, dig it out and review and revise it.)
    • If you feel ambitious, start writing one or more parts of the actual plan (and let us know if you want input). Note: This assignment could also be expanded into your final project.
    • Post your outline or a link to it in the Forums under Week 2 prompt. Then review and respond to at least one other participant's post.

Tradtional discussions of marketing often begin with marketing mix or the 4 P's:
  • Product
  • Price
  • Place (Distribution)
  • Promotion

Depending on your familiarity or interest in these topics, you can read the short article on Marketing mix article from Wikipedia or the more detailed information in chapters 7 (product), 8 (promotion), 9 (pricing), and 10 (distribution) of the Core Concepts of Marketing textbook.

While these elements of marketing tend to relate more to traditional physical products, they are considerations that all enterprises must consider. Stretching the definitions a bit, a "product' can be an idea; the "price" could be the commitment and time to embrace it; the "distribution" can be virtual (still necessitating a decision of whether the "produce" will be disributed locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally); and the "promotion" can be evangelism through social media.

Staking out specific plans in each of these areas and deciding how you will allocate your resources is critical.

Regardless of your enterprise, it is a good to have a written business plan and, as a part of that, a marketing plan. This can be a full-blown written document (which is a necessity if you are trying to get outside funding and strongly recommended for any formal organization) or informal notes on a scrap of paper (or perhaps a wiki page). Whatever style suits your enterprise, it is important to have a plan in writing.

Planning involves a lot of guesswork, and long-term planning doesn't always make sense for entrepreneurs (other than as an exercise to entice investors). However, whatever your time horizon is, remember that planning is an iterative process. Revisiting and updating your plan is as important as doing it in the first place.

Here are some outlines and suggestions for writing a marketing plan.
  • Writing Great Marketing Plans - concise PPT from Jason Amunwa, - CC BY SA

Task Discussion