What Is a Marketing Proposal?

A marketing proposal is essentially an informative account or plan detailing a product and/or service. It is sometimes referred to as formal sales pitch. A marketing proposal should be both informative and persuasive. 

According to an article published by Financier Worldwide Magazine, any marketing plan involves strategies on how to identify growth opportunities and new markets. One strategy is to use the SWOT analysis. Once teams and businesses can pinpoint what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, it will make it relatively easier and simpler to address the opportunities and craft a course of action. 

Marketing, in general, is a business-related concept; but it has a lot of sub topics that are closely linked to one another. In most scenarios, marketing practitioners encounter one or more of these sub ideas in their line of work. The examples below explore these ideas and related concepts. 

Branding: Famous celebrities, professional athletes, and even world leaders are considered brands themselves. A brand is not just a tag on a t-shirt or the design of a bag. It is the conscious creation and maintenance of the image, perception, and external relations of  a product or service. In the marketing world, people speak of protecting one’s brand or internalizing a brand. Branding goes beyond mere packaging, it is a standardization that is consciously applied to a product, a service, and yes even, people. Sales: Sales and marketing often go together. The two are like codependent sisters who rely on each other for support. Marketing strategies are normally needed to boost sales. Sales drive the business’ profit and growth. Selling is an integral part not just of business, but it has a historical place in society. Trade and commerce predates thousands of years ago when the earliest civilizations started to proliferate. Today, the global economy has grown into a complex web of systems and transactions. Marketing plays an important role in the trade and exchange of both goods and services. In many corporate offices, the two fields are often merged into a single department. Companies need various strategies to be able to do business and gain profit. Furthermore, marketing does not only help sell goods but it can also be used for other selling techniques like upselling, recruiting, etc. Social Media Management: Social media is a game changer. Compared to traditional marketing strategies like print and word-of-mouth, social media has expanded the race and to some extent, created a more inclusive and leveled playing field. And although there are exceptions, social media can be a powerful marketing tool if used the proper way. Today, businesses without social media pages can be missing out on potential clients and customers. Most companies and business owners either hire in-house marketing specialists or outsource a third party agency to manage their various social media channels. The Digital Age has ushered in a new dawn of marketing; and it would be a waste not to take advantage of the benefits. Public Relations: Aside from sales, public relations is another basic concept of marketing. Perception is key in branding; and even if people don’t like to admit it, image is usually everything. Public relations or PR involves media or the press; and generally how the company or brand is positioned and viewed in the public eye. Corporations and various organizations give out press releases as a standard practice- whether it is for launching a product, an event, or even clearing up rumors and doing damage control. Public relations is more than just event organizing, it is a key marketing arm that can either make or break a brand.

Components of a Marketing Proposal

Marketing proposals may vary but there are several key sections that should be included in a proposal. The following are some examples of these components: 

Company Overview: What is your business all about? Before you lay out your plans, make sure the recipient of the proposal knows who you are. A brief background on the company or a condensed history of how the business came to be should suffice. Highlight only the important aspects. It would help if your company overview contains key dates and figures. However, you want to avoid overwhelming the reader with too much information. You can think of the company overview as an introduction to an essay. Market Research: Research and development is an important ingredient in every business. Without research, you would not be well-equipped to thrive or worse, you would be ill-prepared to challenge any competition. Before embarking on any business, you need to understand the market you are about to enter into. This can take many forms and market research can involve anything from observations to surveys to trial-and-error. Just like a good essay, your marketing proposal should be well-researched and backed by supporting facts, examples, and related literature. Target Market: Business owners need to establish who they want to market their products and services to. Of course it would be great if all customers fit the profile, but the reality is that the market is as diverse as the personalities of different people. First, it would be helpful to outline then narrow it down to potential customers you want to focus your attention on. One way to achieve this is by creating customer profiles. There are a number of ways to classify people. It could be by income bracket, geographical location, purchasing power, and even personal preferences. Knowing your target market entails a lot of research too. You cannot separate market research and the identification of your target market. Product: Your marketing proposal is a sales pitch for your product or service. If you want the recipient of the proposal to consider your product, you need to be able to detail and describe it in the most persuasive way possible. You can include high quality images of the product or even testimonies of customers. The goal is to convince the reader of the credibility and integrity of the product or service. Make sure to include the specifications or dimensions as well. A brief description or caption for the photos can be a big help as well. Competition: In your marketing proposal, you want to be idealistic but still maintain a firm grip on reality. A competitive analysis is a realistic account of the competition. A free market and liberal economy means that anyone who has the means can enter the market and introduce a product. Establish a clear and objective summary of the biggest threats to your business or those companies that have a share in the same market. A little healthy feud can sometimes be a good thing. Sizing up the competition can force you to innovate and improve your services. A competitive analysis is all a matter of knowing where you stand and using that information to find ways to set yourself apart from the rest. Mission Statement: Every company needs a mission statement. A mission statement typically comes with a vision too. These two usually go hand-in-hand. A mission statement serves as a guide and reminder. It is especially useful in times of difficulty or drastic change. Having a solid mission statement will remind you of the fundamental why and help keep you going despite challenges you may encounter along the way. Market Strategies: How do you plan to execute your marketing plans and achieve your goals? Your market strategies section should outline the plan of action. Are you planning to focus on social media engagement? Or are you going for more traditional advertising with the use of billboards and print media? It is important to specify the ways you intend to market your service or product. Other examples include events, partnerships, radio, text and email blast, and roving marketing teams. Pricing and Positioning: Brand positioning is essential in any marketing proposal. How you position your brand speaks of the values and standards that you uphold. In your marketing proposal, you also need to include clear price points and a clear break down of items. For example, if you intend to include billboard or LED advertising as part of your marketing strategies, be sure to break down the amount, duration, or airtime. The more information you can give, the better.Budget: Marketing always entails expense. To optimize spending, it is best to establish a budget and break it down accordingly in the proposal. The reader or recipient of the proposal would need to know the cost of services. You can organize everything in a table and label them accordingly. For instance, a company is hosting a product launching event. Weeks prior to the event, the budget would need to be laid out already. Marketing strategists should be able to allot enough money to cover logistics, promotions, meals, production, etc.

How to Create a Marketing Proposal

Creating a marketing proposal from scratch can be a daunting task. If it’s time-saving convenience you are looking for, try using a ready made template. All you need is to customize it to fit your needs and you’re all set. Other than that, just keep in mind the following steps: 

Step 1: Get Creative

A marketing proposal does not need to be plain and boring. In the age of social media and digitalization, the pressure to stand out is greater than ever. Tap into your inner creativity and create a proposal that’s both functional and stylish. It should look great on the outside but also contain substance on the inside. In other words, it needs to look presentable and still have good content. The cover page should grab attention because you want to create a lasting first impression with your marketing proposal. 

Step 2: Outline the Proposal 

For a more organized proposal, outline and divide it into different sections. For ideas, refer to the components of a marketing proposal above. Keep to a clear format and make headings or subheadings bold. Doing this makes it easier to read and follow. There should be a logical flow in your proposal. Avoid confusing and overly technical terms. Always keep in mind your readership audience.    

Step 3: Highlight the Important Parts 

What is considered important is subjective and would greatly depend on the person or company. Keep in mind a marketing proposal should persuade and entice; so it is best to provide information that is relevant and new. You want to keep a moderate amount of supplementary data and focus on selling your ideas. For instance, you can keep your company overview brief and expound a little more on the product and market strategies sections.

Step 4: Avoid Lengthy Proposals  

Again, you don’t want to bore your reader. You want your marketing proposal to be comprehensive and thorough; but at the same time not too lengthy that it becomes dragging. Keep your proposal straightforward. A couple of pages should be enough; because you would need to take into account the photos, graphs, and figures as well.    

FAQs

What is the format of a proposal?

The format of a marketing proposal is similar to that of a typical research proposal or academic paper. However, it can be modified according to your needs and objectives. It is best to divide your proposal into easy-to-digest sections. Make sure to separate them clearly with bold headings. Also, be mindful of spacing and margins. If you are still unsure of how to proceed, using a template will help you get started.

What needs to be included in a marketing proposal?

A marketing proposal typically includes a company overview, product brief or description, market research, market strategies, a mission or goal statement, target market, a budget, competitive analysis, and the pricing. Depending on your needs or preferences, you can omit or add other relevant sections.

How many pages is a marketing proposal?

Because it needs to be comprehensive and detailed, it is likely a typical marketing proposal will exceed a couple of pages. However, you need to know how to balance thoroughness with conciseness. It is best to keep a proposal brief and direct to the point. Try highlighting only the important information and leave out any irrelevant data. Try to keep your marketing proposal below 15 pages.

Marketing is essentially all around us. Everywhere you look, someone or some company is always trying to sell their product or service. You only need to go on the internet to see everyone advertising their brand, or even themselves. It’s true that marketing proposals take a lot of time and effort. But if done right, it can propel your business to greater heights. Browse the sample templates above and find one that’s right for you!