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4.1 Intro to Marketing Plans

Biggest Marketing Mistakes of Startups

How to Plan and Execute Great Startup Marketing Programs

And information on how it really works from an expert consultant in the tech industry.
Video courtesy of MaRS Discovery District. (


Marketing Plan Graphic

Begin to outline your marketing plan in your business plan. Continue to fill in some of the blanks as we continue to work through this session. If you are more visual, think about drawing this up in a way that helps you define and organize your thoughts about pushing your message out there (advertising, email, social media, etc.), or pulling people in toward your work (go to your website, social media, come to your shows, seek out your work).

Executive Summary

This is the last item you write, but helps someone get the gist of your marketing before they get into the details.

Target Audience

Who is going to pay for your art? Who will pay to see you perform? Who is reading your stuff? It may help describe one fictional ideal character. Include:

  1. Demographic Profile: This includes things you can typically observe or answer with one question. Things like gender, age, ethnicity, where they live, level of education, etc.
  2. Psychographic: This is a bit more difficult to get at and includes other interests they have outside of your work. Where do they go? What do they like to learn about? What are they talking about?
  3. Needs: The most difficult of all is finding out what your audience wants or needs and why they are coming to you. What do they want? What frustrations do they have? What gives them energy and enthusiasm? What conversations are you striking up that really get them talking?

Your Niche

Why are you different than the other artists, writers, musicians and performers that you identified in your marketing research? Why should someone choose to see your show or buy your art instead of someone else’s? Why should they spend money on your artwork instead of spending it elsewhere? Focus on the strengths you outlined in the first session. This will inform your messaging and brand.


What are those audiences willing to pay for your work? Are you a bargain or high-end? Can you be both? Can you charge more if you perform in a special location or for a VIP audience? How much more do you charge for custom pieces? Getting the right price is an art in itself, but building a strategy can help you identify your best prospects for making money through your creative voice.


Where are you going to put your art, or perform, or your books? Online distribution has changed the game and leveled the playing field when it comes to selling yourself and your artwork. Place your work where your target audience is likely going to be, and at a price that makes sense based on your niche.

Reflection Questions

1. Once you create it, how will you use and continue to revisit your marketing plan? 

2. Based on the major components of the marketing plan, what areas do you currently spend a lot of your time on?

3. Which areas would you like to spend more time on in the near future?

4. Based on your current skill set and experience, which areas of the Marketing Plan do you foresee yourself reaching out to others to help with?

5. Name a few individuals or organizations that could lend you a hand in those areas. 

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