Every business plan needs an executive marketing summary. So much of a business plan is technical, but the executive marketing summary is a nontechnical outline of the overall marketing plan. Without this outline or overview, it can be more difficult for the business plan to make sense to outsiders, such as banks and investors.
The executive marketing summary is an overview of the entire, comprehensive marketing plan, making it more convenient to read than other sections of the plan that may be more technical and specific in nature.
What to Include in an Executive Marketing Summary
Because the executive summary contains the scope of the entire business plan, it needs to be succinct and well-written, comprehensive and yet it shouldn’t overwhelm readers with jargon. There will be a wider audience reading your executive summary: marketing officers, financial officers, and other executives.
A typical marketing executive summary template would include:
- Company Overview. Summarize briefly what the purpose of the company is and where it currently stands.
- Situation Analysis. This would include an overview of the relevant market and a summary of the company’s competition, plus their standing within the market.
- Product Overview. This is a brief description of the company’s products and services.
- Goals & Objectives. The marketing executive summary should outline the specific goals of the marketing strategy.
- Strategies & Action Plans. What are you actually going to do with this business plan? This should be the meat of the executive summary. Tell readers of the business plan what you specifically plan on doing and how you are going to do it.
How to Write a Marketing Plan Executive Summary
Knowing what you need to include in an executive marketing summary is important, as is knowing how to write one. Writing doesn’t always come naturally to business owners and entrepreneurs, but it’s important to be able to communicate your ideas to others who are involved in executing the plan.
A sample marketing executive summary would follow a process similar to this one:
- Describe your company. Talk about your business experience and the company’s marketing activities. Do you have specific successes that you can mention that will support your goals?
- Summarize the market outlook, challenges, and growth rate of your company. This is the time to give an overview of the market that your company is involved in and how your company fits into that market. Challenges associated with your individual company, as well as the general market, need to be addressed.
- Describe different products and services. This is the information that you would tell anyone that wanted to know what it is that your company does. Products and solutions are the entire purpose behind starting a company, so make sure that your descriptions are clear and concise.
- List goals and objectives. You’ve built up to this point by talking about the market and the product line, but it’s a good idea to state outright what you hope to achieve. Having a vision is one of the key elements to attracting investors.
- Write a short statement on the company’s marketing strategy and plans to carry it out. This is the bulk of what you are outlining in your actual business plan, so you won’t want to spend very much time on it in the summary. However, you will want a basic outline for those readers that tend to skim business plans.
Tips to Writing the Executive Summary for a Marketing Plan
There are some practices that apply to just about any executive summary that you will write. For a marketing research executive summary, the writing needs to be of a higher caliber than any other portion of the marketing business plan. Here are some tips to help you produce a quality executive summary:
- Write the summary last. It can be difficult to summarize components of the marketing plan that have not yet been written. By writing the summary last, you can give the most complete overview of the plan.
- The first paragraph should contain your company information. Limit your first paragraph to describing your company. Include your company name, location, products and services and the purpose of your plan.
- Make it compelling and concise. The executive summary is the one component that can’t afford to be dry or unexciting. Keep it professional, but also keep it interesting. Limit the summary to one page. One page should capture the key concepts of marketing plan and still hold the interest of your readers.
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