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CHAPTER 2 MARKETING PLAN BASICS 2.1 How Greeley-Weld County Airport Crafted Its Marketing Plan 2.2 What Goes into a Marketing Plan? 2.3 Seven Steps to Prepare and Execute a Marketing Plan This chapter presents an overview of how to create a marketing plan. The best plans are usually simple and clear. Simplicity and clarity aid in articulating marketing goals and in delivering your message to the intended audience. Marketing plans are not necessarily expensive. Planning and forethought are the key elements in crafting a plan. This chapter offers the big picture. Part 2 of the Guidebook provides details on each step and Chapter 13 offers a compendium of worksheets intended to provoke thought as you design your plan. We begin with a case study of Greeley-Weld County Airport in Colorado (see Exhibit 2.1). This airport put together a marketing plan with the help of students and the regional economic development agency. The plan provided an excellent starting point and today serves as a guiding document for the airport. Here is their story. 2.1 HOW GREELEY-WELD COUNTY AIRPORT CRAFTED ITS MARKETING PLAN Greeley-Weld County Airport is a general aviation airport with 145,000 annual operations and 220 based air- craft. The airport operates with a small staff and a small annual marketing budget. The airport needed a good public relations and marketing program. Several factors pushed the airport toward the development of a formal marketing plan. First, the airport com- petes for new business with Ft. Collins-Loveland Airport which is 20 miles west of Greeley. Second, Greeley- Weld County is located in a fast growing corridor north of Denver, which means increasing interaction with the local community. Third, on the public relations side, development at the airport also required increased com- munication with the public because the airport was engaged in various runway, fencing, and hangar projects that have a direct impact on tenants, visitors, and the community. The Airport Authority was also negotiating a contract to explore and extract oil and gas from beneath the surface of the airport. In the past, airport marketing was handled principally by the airport manager and the staff as part of their over- all job responsibilities. The airport staff determined that the airport needed outside assistance with marketing and public relations. This assistance, at first, appeared well beyond the airport's current budget. To move ahead, the airport manager called on existing relationships in the Denver area for assistance. For the economic development plan, the manager contacted the Director of the Upstate Colorado Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The airport and the EDC had already exchanged development and investment leads. For the public information plan, the airport manager turned to the City of Greeley Public Information Office for assis- tance. For the marketing plan, the manager engaged students from the Aviation Department of the Metropolitan State College of Denver (Metro State) and made his marketing plan a special student project. Greeley-Weld County Airport created three strategic documents on a very small budget. The documents today serve as working guides for economic development, public relations activities, and airport marketing. The 5