We tested the standard edition of PlanWrite for Marketing and it has the same user friendly interface as the business planning software, a big plus. At times the outline is too similar to the business plan outline, especially regarding the Market Information section where data is collected. It also suffers from some of the same nitpicks we had of the business plan software.
Where it did shine however is in the marketing strategy which covered: Pricing, Promotion, Market Share, two Personnel sections, Distribution, Advertising & Promotional and Outside Agencies. Once again, some features could be improved by centralizing tools and functions rather than having some in the toolbar and some in the menus and also, like the business plan software, there were some sections of the plan that could have benefited from the addition of tables.
Because the marketing plan is less dependant on financial data, there was less to complain about when it came to forecasting. Also benefiting the marketing plan version is that monthly/quarterly/annual time periods are an appropriate time frame. Customizing the plan sections and financial tables was still cumbersome due to the same inability to “right click” or “double click” an item to change its properties…but using the menu becomes second nature pretty quickly.
The end product was much better that the business plan program, but was still missing a place for contact information on the cover page. Overall it is a better than average program for creating a marketing plan for your business. In fact, the test plan we created will be used for strategic marketing analysis for DIYBizPlan.com. PlanWrite for Marketing is a solid choice for just about any type business.
Highs: Interface, Completeness of Marketing Strategy
Lows: Small Functional Annoyances
Bottom Line: On Par with the Industry Standards