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example of marketing plan

1.0 Executive Summary
Mobile News Games LLC (MNG) develops mobile games relating to current news
events. This marketing plan example illustrates our market segments. It also
discusses the strategies we are employing to get customers and create a solid
revenue stream. We are not just any mobile game developer. Our unique focus
on creating games with a new twist gives us an advantage over our competitors
by giving customers a new outlet to enjoy mobile games. This fills a real need
for traditional gamers. It also expands our reach to people who would normally
not play mobile games yet are amused by the comical angle we use.
We will fund development of our own games by providing consulting services to
create similar games for corporations who are looking to create mobile games
for promotional purposes. These consulting assignments will come from
advertising sponsorship relationships. We will market to companies who are
interested in embedding their brand and offers inside our games. We will also
target those who would like something more custom to offer as their own game.
In the first 3 years of the business, we expect consulting to constitute a large
portion of our revenue stream.
1.1 Vision
Our vision is to provide people with a brief escape of fun over the course of their
normal day. We do this by providing them with timely interactive games that
they can access on their mobile devices. We make games that are easy to play
and have some connection with current pop culture news.
MNG leverages our team’s software development experience to create timely
games quickly. As highlighted in this marketing plan example, our primary
challenge is to attract visibility quickly. We intend to accomplish this by
leveraging a multi-pronged approach that involves social media, email
marketing and search engine optimization strategies to gain market share. As
we gain traction in the marketplace, word of mouth will lift our game downloads
1.2 Objectives
1. Generate over $400,000 in sales by the end of year 1.
2. Increase sales by 100% by the end of year 2.
3. Land 4 custom consulting game development projects within 12
2.0 Target Markets
Our ideal customer is between the ages of 13 and 25 who enjoys playing video
games and has a mobile Android or Apple smartphone. They often have an
Xbox, Wii, Playstation or other TV-based video game unit at home. They may
also have a portable gaming unit such as the DS/DSi and other portable
gadgets such as an iPod.
Customers are typically single and male and own or have access to a home
computer, PC or Mac. They have a wide range of disposable income. Some are
teenagers living at home. Others are college students or those who have joined
the workforce in the last 5 years.
Our ideal game design consulting customer is the VP of marketing or equivalent
position of a medium to large organization. They are looking for creative
promotional methods for their products and services.
2.1 Market Definition and Segmentation
We target two segments: mobile game users and organizations that want to
reach them. In both of these segments, customers are computer and mobile
phone savvy and enjoy creative experiences.
1. Mobile Game Users
There are two types of customers that define the demographics of mobile
gamers: teens (including pre-teens) and young adults. For the purposes of this
marketing plan example, we include teenagers age 18 and above as young
adults. The primary difference between the two demographic segments is who
provides the money for game purchases.
Free mobile games:
We offer trimmed back versions of our games for free. This way, users
can get a taste of the full game without committing any money up
Some features of free versions are disabled. We display advertising in
strategic locations within the game so users are not bothered or
distracted by the ads. For example, a soda company may pay for a
sponsorship to embed their name as a clickable (tappable) billboard
that appears as if it is part of the game itself.
Paid mobile games:
Our paid mobile games contain a broader set of features. The price
range is between $1.99 and $4.99 in order to create very low price
resistance for customers.
Paid games are also monetized via clickable (tappable) ad sponsorships
embedded within the games.
Games are available via instant download on their appropriate mobile platform
(i.e., Apple’s Appstore for the iPhone).
2. Organizations That Want to Reach Youth and Young Adults
There is one type of customer who purchases custom mobile game development
services: VP of Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer.
Their intent is to promote their brand and products to the demographic that
overlaps with mobile game users.
2.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
Our strategy in this marketing plan example focuses on developing an initial set
of libraries containing game attributes that are combined to create new games.
Once we launch our first set of games, we will stay in touch with our customers
via social media and email marketing. After creating these libraries and games,
we will be able to market fast-turnaround consulting services to organizations
who would like their own promotional games.
2.3 Target Market: Mobile Game Users
Our mobile games have a timely connection to current news events. We release
new games within two weeks of major news stories. For example, if a politician
is involved in a scandal, we can leverage one of our current game architectures
and customize it with the names of people involved in the scandal.
We can even make a comical interactive spoof out of events. If a celebrity
makes a foolish comment, we can quickly create a game that pokes fun at the
celebrity. The mobile game user market enjoys interacting with games that give
them a sense of power and excitement, allowing them to live vicariously
through the game.
2.3.1 Needs and Requirements
Mobile game users get tired of games quickly and are constantly looking for new
games to play. With the plethora of news events always in circulation, we will
target the news media. The goal here is to get the media to discuss games
related to the stories they are covering. Our games relate to stories covered by
media outlets who target the same demographic as we do.
The users in this segment also have limited financial capacity. Teens typically
get their money to make game purchases from their parents. This money comes
from gifts or allowances, or from low paying jobs. Older teens and young adults
also have limited financial capacity. Yet they choose to spend part of their
disposable income on games as one of their sources of entertainment.
Very frequently, these customers talk to each other about which games they
enjoy. These dialogs include strategies for playing and winning. They also
participate in online forums and discussion groups to gather tips and other
information to help them play or to find new challenges.
Additionally, they enjoy being listed as the “high score” when there is a public
setting available for players. We intend to offer this public setting so customers
can upload their score to our website for each game. The highest scores will be
posted, giving the player worldwide “bragging rights”. As a result, the word of
mouth potential for timely games is explosive.
2.3.2 Distribution Channels
iPhone games are distributed through the Appstore which is currently controlled
by Apple. One of the obstacles we have to overcome is the speed with which
Apple approves applications for downloading. This is important since our games
have a time-sensitive nature to them. They will be popular only as long as a
news story is in circulation.
Google’s Android offers an open source model. We expect Android usage to
surpass the iPhone in the number of applications downloaded. This also
eliminates the need for review and allows us to post new applications quickly.
As more applications come out for this device, it will gain market share. We
want to be positioned so that we provide excellent games for this community.
2.3.3 Competitive Forces
There are many mobile game developers. However, few are actual companies.
Most games are developed by one person who does not have the marketing
savvy to integrate advertising sponsorships into their games as we have
outlined in this sample marketing plan. Our unique twist on the types of games
is also an advantage. This means that we will not have to spend as much time
and energy thinking of the game themes. The news of the day will provide that
fodder so our efforts can be concentrated on developing that real-life story into
a game.
2.3.4 Communications
We will leverage social media and word of mouth for the vast majority of our
marketing using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
These platforms are widely used by the customers in our demographic market.
We will make announcements via regular posts and updates to our pages on
these social platforms.
The newsworthy component of our mobile games also makes it enticing for
traditional media to publicize a game that is related to a trending news story.
We will use our email marketing list to send alerts when we release new games.
We have segmented our email list so that we can send appropriate emails to
media and different ones to actual gamers, our customers.
2.3.5 Keys to Success
There are many benefits of using social media to market our small business.
Each of our postings to social media sites will include a trackable link. We need
to know how many people click on each post. Using online tools like link
redirectors (i.e., bit.ly, tr.im and others), we can also see how many of readers
and followers repost or forward such links. We will also include trackable links
within our email marketing messages.
Those who click to find more information about a game will be directed to
landing pages. These are web pages containing more information about a
specific game, including details and links to download the games.
We will optimize these landing pages for search engines (we have SEO, search
engine optimization, expertise) so that when Internet users search on various
keywords, our pages will rank highly in their search results. Our preferred SEO
tool is SEMrush (affiliate link), which provides in-depth keyword, search volume
and ranking analysis.
Using online analytics tools, we will be able to see how many people click on
various links in our media campaigns to go to the landing pages and how many
click to download each game. However, online clicks cannot track users who use
their mobile phone to download the apps directly, which may comprise the bulk
of our downloads. For those, tracking of downloads is provided by the platform
such as Appstore.
2.4 Target Market: Organizations Who Want to Reach Youth
and Young Adults
Mobile game users consist of young people. Since the youth and young adult
demographic is so large, it is also very lucrative. There are countless products
targeting this demographic, from soda manufacturers to clothing designers to
hair product companies. This segment can also consist of recruiters, which can
be for military service or other jobs. Companies who already spend millions of
dollars on marketing to this group are regularly looking for newer, more
creative ways to reach this market to reinforce their brand and sell products.
2.4.1 Needs and Requirements
Organizations who want to reach males (and females, though it is a smaller
proportion of our defined customer base) between 13 and 25 realize that this
group has a lot of spending power. This age group is not yet used to saving
money so they typically spend a lot of what they earn. Vice Presidents and Chief
Marketing Officers of these organizations want to reach this market early and
need to do so in catchy, creative ways.
Much to the dismay of an older generation, teens and young adults are reading
less and spending more time in front of a screen, whether it be television, a
computer or a mobile phone with a variety of applications. The VP or CMO needs
to reach their target market where they hang out. They typically have large
budgets to spend on marketing and are not afraid to try new things, as long as
they show results.
The typical tenure of a VP or CMO is about 3 years so there is a good deal of
industry churn. This is a good thing for us in the sense that when a senior
executive like this leaves to go to another company and they have had a good
experience with our products and services, they are likely to hire us to create
similar results for them in their new
Our job is to make them look good to their superiors by getting them more
entrenched with the demographic they are trying to reach.
2.4.2 Distribution Channels
Reaching senior marketing executives is typically done through a variety of
means. Since we have limited resources and need to manage our finances very
effectively, we will focus on two: advertising and networking. The advertising
will primarily be online via search engine. This way, we can see the results
within days instead of not knowing whether a print ad has any effect.
We have identified 4 trade shows and 3 conferences that these executives
typically attend over the course of a year. Part of our marketing plan is to
attend these events to network with these potential buyers. We also will submit
responses to calls for papers to be speakers at some of the events when
2.4.3 Competitive Forces
As with the mobile game user segment, there are a lot of software developers
targeting organizations to build custom games. Some are developing games
overseas at lower costs. Even some of the larger domestic companies outsource
portions of their game development. In order to keep up with pricing pressures,
we have established ties with two overseas organizations to help us with game
development. That will enable our domestic staff to focus on marketing and
project management. As a result, we can release new games and component
libraries faster.
2.4.4 Customer Communications
In order to get these high-level executives, we will develop an online ad
campaign with landing pages containing lead generation forms that visitors can
fill out to get guides on using mobile gaming to attract customers. These guides
explain how we can embed advertising within the games and examples of
custom games we develop.
We also will network at major trade shows and conferences. We will get
speaking engagements where we can discuss case studies to expose our
concepts and strategies to the right level of buyer.
2.4.5 Keys to Success
The primary key to success is showcasing studies in which other companies
leveraged the power of mobile games to reach their market. We track this using
metrics such as the number of times a gamer clicks on an ad embedded into a
game, the number of custom game downloads or an increase in sales of a
promoted product. We can also track success by industry buzz.
For example, several years ago fast food chain Burger King created a Facebook
application that allowed users to earn points for “unfriending” one of their
friends. The application would show the image of the friend burning. Upon
burning 10 friends, the user would be entitled to a free burger. Word of this
application spread very quickly and quite a few Facebook users enjoyed
This marketing campaign did two things: generated traffic into restaurants and
generated a tremendous amount of media buzz. It cost significantly less than a
paid advertising campaign involving television time purchases.
3.0 Marketing Plan Strategy
Gamers like to share notes with other gamers. On our website, we will create a
forum where people can post and respond to comments freely. We will also
encourage them to provide suggestions for new games.
Forums will require registration and users who post more frequently will be
rewarded with a special tag, a gold star, next to their avatar to show other
users that they are a “super contributor” to the forums. For our demographic,
this is a badge of honor that they
try to attain proudly.
3.1 Emphasize Creativity, Service and Speed to Market
Since our games will be tied to current news events, we will emphasize our
focus on creativity along with spectacular service and speed of development for
our consulting clients. It is important for us to get to market quickly in order to
capitalize on the news event that is associated with the game. The longer the
delay between game conception and game release, the less the penetration of
that game.
3.2 Emphasize Fun
Our goal is to establish a reputation for games that poke fun at what many
would consider humorous or ridiculous actions by well-known people. In order
to cross-promote our games, each game will contain a link to our website. It will
also offer an option to view the same information within the app itself. This
allows users can find out about more games and subscribe to our email list and
follow us on social media.
Additionally, to help promote games via word of mouth, each game has the
option to notify a friend. So, a user can send a text message to a friend
instantly to share their excitement or recommendation about the game.
4.0 Expense Budget Summary
Marketing expenses are mostly for staff required to do the marketing activities
listed. Most of the tools we need, like analytics and landing page creation, are
inexpensive. The exceptions to this are for specific tools like email marketing
and forums.
4.1 Expense Budget by Month – Year 1
We do not expect an increase in marketing staff requirements during the first
year. One person can actually do a lot of these activities. Once they have put
marketing plan processes in place, the marketing activities upkeep becomes
easier. Junior staff can then handle it. Below is a breakdown of marketing
expenses by month for year 1.
4.2 Expense Budget by Year
We anticipate second and third year marketing expenses to increase. This is
mostly for covering the cost of additional staff for marketing activities. We
expect sales and marketing expenses to be around 15% of total sales.
Table: Marketing Expense Budget
5.0 Marketing Plan Example – Sales Forecast
In this marketing plan example, our sales will come from three sources:
1. Game downloads – this includes free and paid downloads. We
monetize the free downloads from embedded advertising sponsorships
2. Embedded Advertising Sponsorships – ads embedded in both free
and paid games
3. Custom games developed for companies – this would be consulting
projects to
develop iPhone, Blackberry and Android promotional games
Sales costs relate to the fees charged by our channel partners for carrying the
games, such as Appstore. This marketing plan example also includes our
estimated costs for staff to sell ad sponsorships or develop custom games.
5.1 Sales Forecast by Month – Year 1
Below is our first year’s sales forecast broken down by product type, estimated
unit pricing and costs:
6.0 Progress Measurement and Monitoring
In order to make sure that we are on track, we have created a variety of key
metrics for this marketing plan example. These may require adjustments and
fine tuning as we progress. They are our best estimates based on currently
available market research.
6.1 Key Marketing Metrics
We estimate that 1 of every 10 people who visit the landing page will download
a game. Other metrics include the average sale price. In this marketing plan
example, we estimate these numbers based on paid downloads as well as sales
of advertising sponsorships and custom game development.
Table: Key Marketing Metrics
Below is a breakdown of key marketing metrics measured by month for year 1:
6.2 Other Marketing Plan Example Success Metrics
Other key metrics we will measure to monitor our success are as follows:
Number of speaking engagements
Five star game reviews
Number of games developed
Industry awards
Number of game feature libraries created
Number of deals with channel partners
Email list size
In order to monitor our growth, we will track the number of followers on our
social media accounts. Below is a breakdown of other success metrics by month
for year 1:
7.0 Marketing Organization
Even though Mobile News Games is a small company, we have high aspirations
as this marketing plan example shows. Our management team is two unique
individuals who have a solid background in mobile communications and
marketing. Our team of local and international software development staff can
launch many unique mobile games quickly.
Bill Philips, President, oversees the general management, including game
development, of MNG. Prior to forming the company, he was Vice President of
Products at a major wireless telecommunications provider for 5 years. He is also
a member of the Mobile Marketing Association.
Donna Paster, VP Marketing, is responsible for all areas of marketing. She cofounded MNG with Bill Philips. Donna’s prior experience includes developing the
key marketing plan that launched several mobile versions of games for a large
video game producer. Donna will be assisted by 2 marketing interns hired from
local universities as co-op students throughout the year. While Donna focuses
on the key strategic relationships, these students will handle the more routine
aspects of the marketing efforts.
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