What is a Marketing Plan & How to Write One [+Examples]

Clifford Chi

Published: December 27, 2023

For a while now, you've been spearheading your organization's content marketing efforts, and your team's performance has convinced management to adopt the content marketing strategies you’ve suggested.

marketing plan and how to write one

Now, your boss wants you to write and present a content marketing plan, but you‘ve never done something like that before. You don't even know where to start.

Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template [Get Your Copy]

Fortunately, we've curated the best content marketing plans to help you write a concrete plan that's rooted in data and produces results. But first, we'll discuss what a marketing plan is and how some of the best marketing plans include strategies that serve their respective businesses.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic roadmap that businesses use to organize, execute, and track their marketing strategy over a given period. Marketing plans can include different marketing strategies for various marketing teams across the company, all working toward the same business goals.

The purpose of a marketing plan is to write down strategies in an organized manner. This will help keep you on track and measure the success of your campaigns.

Writing a marketing plan will help you think of each campaign‘s mission, buyer personas, budget, tactics, and deliverables. With all this information in one place, you’ll have an easier time staying on track with a campaign. You'll also discover what works and what doesn't. Thus, measuring the success of your strategy.

Featured Resource: Free Marketing Plan Template

HubSpot Mktg plan cover

Looking to develop a marketing plan for your business? Click here to download HubSpot's free Marketing Plan Template to get started .

To learn more about how to create your marketing plan, keep reading or jump to the section you’re looking for:

How to Write a Marketing Plan

Types of marketing plans, marketing plan examples, marketing plan faqs, sample marketing plan.

Marketing plan definition graphic

If you're pressed for time or resources, you might not be thinking about a marketing plan. However, a marketing plan is an important part of your business plan.

Marketing Plan vs. Business Plan

A marketing plan is a strategic document that outlines marketing objectives, strategies, and tactics.

A business plan is also a strategic document. But this plan covers all aspects of a company's operations, including finance, operations, and more. It can also help your business decide how to distribute resources and make decisions as your business grows.

I like to think of a marketing plan as a subset of a business plan; it shows how marketing strategies and objectives can support overall business goals.

Keep in mind that there's a difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy.

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Free Marketing Plan Template

Outline your company's marketing strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

  • Pre-Sectioned Template
  • Completely Customizable
  • Example Prompts
  • Professionally Designed

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan

A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular goal or mission. This includes which campaigns, content, channels, and marketing software they'll use to execute that mission and track its success.

For example, while a greater plan or department might handle social media marketing, you might consider your work on Facebook as an individual marketing strategy.

A marketing plan contains one or more marketing strategies. It's the framework from which all of your marketing strategies are created and helps you connect each strategy back to a larger marketing operation and business goal.

For example, suppose your company is launching a new software product, and it wants customers to sign up. The marketing department needs to develop a marketing plan that'll help introduce this product to the industry and drive the desired signups.

The department decides to launch a blog dedicated to this industry, a new YouTube video series to establish expertise, and an account on Twitter to join the conversation around this subject. All this serves to attract an audience and convert this audience into software users.

To summarize, the business's marketing plan is dedicated to introducing a new software product to the marketplace and driving signups for that product. The business will execute that plan with three marketing strategies : a new industry blog, a YouTube video series, and a Twitter account.

Of course, the business might consider these three things as one giant marketing strategy, each with its specific content strategies. How granular you want your marketing plan to get is up to you. Nonetheless, every marketing plan goes through a particular set of steps in its creation.

Learn what they are below.

  • State your business's mission.
  • Determine the KPIs for this mission.
  • Identify your buyer personas.
  • Describe your content initiatives and strategies.
  • Clearly define your plan's omissions.
  • Define your marketing budget.
  • Identify your competition.
  • Outline your plan's contributors and their responsibilities.

1. State your business's mission.

Your first step in writing a marketing plan is to state your mission. Although this mission is specific to your marketing department, it should serve your business‘s main mission statement.

From my experience, you want to be specific, but not too specific. You have plenty of space left in this marketing plan to elaborate on how you'll acquire new customers and accomplish this mission.

mission-statement-examples

Need help building your mission statement? Download this guide for examples and templates and write the ideal mission statement.

2. Determine the KPIs for this mission.

Every good marketing plan describes how the department will track its mission‘s progress. To do so, you need to decide on your key performance indicators (KPIs) .

KPIs are individual metrics that measure the various elements of a marketing campaign. These units help you establish short-term goals within your mission and communicate your progress to business leaders.

Let's take our example of a marketing mission from the above step. If part of our mission is “to attract an audience of travelers,” we might track website visits using organic page views. In this case, “organic page views” is one KPI, and we can see our number of page views grow over time.

These KPIs will come into the conversation again in step 4.

3. Identify your buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a description of who you want to attract. This can include age, sex, location, family size, and job title. Each buyer persona should directly reflect your business's current and potential customers. So, all business leaders must agree on your buyer personas.

buyer-persona-templates

Create your buyer personas with this free guide and set of buyer persona templates.

4. Describe your content initiatives and strategies.

Here's where you'll include the main points of your marketing and content strategy. Because there's a laundry list of content types and channels available to you today, you must choose wisely and explain how you'll use your content and channels in this section of your marketing plan.

When I write this section , I like to stipulate:

  • Which types of content I'll create. These might include blog posts, YouTube videos, infographics, and ebooks.
  • How much of it I'll create. I typically describe content volume in daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly intervals. It all depends on my workflow and the short-term goals for my content.
  • The goals (and KPIs) I'll use to track each type. KPIs can include organic traffic, social media traffic, email traffic, and referral traffic. Your goals should also include which pages you want to drive that traffic to, such as product pages, blog pages, or landing pages.
  • The channels on which I'll distribute my content. Popular channels include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
  • Any paid advertising that will take place on these channels.

Build out your marketing plan with this free template.

Fill out this form to access the template., 5. clearly define your plan's omissions..

A marketing plan explains the marketing team's focus. It also explains what the marketing team will not focus on.

If there are other aspects of your business that you aren't serving in this particular plan, include them in this section. These omissions help to justify your mission, buyer personas, KPIs, and content. You can’t please everyone in a single marketing campaign, and if your team isn't on the hook for something, you need to make it known.

In my experience, this section is particularly important for stakeholders to help them understand why certain decisions were made.

6. Define your marketing budget.

Whether it's freelance fees, sponsorships, or a new full-time marketing hire, use these costs to develop a marketing budget and outline each expense in this section of your marketing plan.

marketing-budget-templates

You can establish your marketing budget with this kit of 8 free marketing budget templates .

7. Identify your competition.

Part of marketing is knowing whom you're marketing against. Research the key players in your industry and consider profiling each one.

Keep in mind not every competitor will pose the same challenges to your business. For example, while one competitor might be ranking highly on search engines for keywords you want your website to rank for, another competitor might have a heavy footprint on a social network where you plan to launch an account.

competitive-analysis-templates

Easily track and analyze your competitors with t his collection of ten free competitive analysis templates .

8. Outline your plan's contributors and their responsibilities.

With your marketing plan fully fleshed out, it's time to explain who’s doing what. I don't like to delve too deeply into my employees’ day-to-day projects, but I know which teams and team leaders are in charge of specific content types, channels, KPIs, and more.

Now that you know why you need to build an effective marketing plan, it’s time to get to work. Starting a plan from scratch can be overwhelming if you haven't done it before. That’s why there are many helpful resources that can support your first steps. We’ll share some of the best guides and templates that can help you build effective results-driven plans for your marketing strategies.

Ready to make your own marketing plan? Get started using this free template.

Depending on the company you work with, you might want to create various marketing plans. We compiled different samples to suit your needs:

1. Quarterly or Annual Marketing Plans

These plans highlight the strategies or campaigns you'll take on in a certain period.

marketing plan examples: forbes

Forbes published a marketing plan template that has amassed almost 4 million views. To help you sculpt a marketing roadmap with true vision, their template will teach you how to fill out the 15 key sections of a marketing plan, which are:

  • Executive Summary
  • Target Customers
  • Unique Selling Proposition
  • Pricing & Positioning Strategy
  • Distribution Plan
  • Your Offers
  • Marketing Materials
  • Promotions Strategy
  • Online Marketing Strategy
  • Conversion Strategy
  • Joint Ventures & Partnerships
  • Referral Strategy
  • Strategy for Increasing Transaction Prices
  • Retention Strategy
  • Financial Projections

If you're truly lost on where to start with a marketing plan, I highly recommend using this guide to help you define your target audience, figure out how to reach them, and ensure that audience becomes loyal customers.

2. Social Media Marketing Plan

This type of plan highlights the channels, tactics, and campaigns you intend to accomplish specifically on social media. A specific subtype is a paid marketing plan, which highlights paid strategies, such as native advertising, PPC, or paid social media promotions.

Shane Snow's Marketing Plan for His Book Dream Team is a great example of a social media marketing plan:

Contently's content strategy waterfall.

When Shane Snow started promoting his new book, "Dream Team," he knew he had to leverage a data-driven content strategy framework. So, he chose his favorite one: the content strategy waterfall. The content strategy waterfall is defined by Economic Times as a model used to create a system with a linear and sequential approach.

Snow wrote a blog post about how the waterfall‘s content strategy helped him launch his new book successfully. After reading it, you can use his tactics to inform your own marketing plan. More specifically, you’ll learn how he:

  • Applied his business objectives to decide which marketing metrics to track.
  • Used his ultimate business goal of earning $200,000 in sales or 10,000 purchases to estimate the conversion rate of each stage of his funnel.
  • Created buyer personas to figure out which channels his audience would prefer to consume his content.
  • Used his average post view on each of his marketing channels to estimate how much content he had to create and how often he had to post on social media.
  • Calculated how much earned and paid media could cut down the amount of content he had to create and post.
  • Designed his process and workflow, built his team, and assigned members to tasks.
  • Analyzed content performance metrics to refine his overall content strategy.

I use Snow's marketing plan to think more creatively about my content promotion and distribution plan. I like that it's linear and builds on the step before it, creating an air-tight strategy that doesn't leave any details out.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

3. Content Marketing Plan

This plan could highlight different strategies, tactics, and campaigns in which you'll use content to promote your business or product.

HubSpot's Comprehensive Guide for Content Marketing Strategy is a strong example of a content marketing plan:

marketing plan examples: hubspot content marketing plan

At HubSpot, we‘ve built our marketing team from two business school graduates working from a coffee table to a powerhouse of hundreds of employees. Along the way, we’ve learned countless lessons that shaped our current content marketing strategy. So, we decided to illustrate our insights in a blog post to teach marketers how to develop a successful content marketing strategy, regardless of their team's size.

Download Now: Free Content Marketing Planning Templates

In this comprehensive guide for modern marketers, you'll learn:

  • What exactly content marketing is.
  • Why your business needs a content marketing strategy.
  • Who should lead your content marketing efforts?
  • How to structure your content marketing team based on your company's size.
  • How to hire the right people for each role on your team.
  • What marketing tools and technology you'll need to succeed.
  • What type of content your team should create, and which employees should be responsible for creating them.
  • The importance of distributing your content through search engines, social media, email, and paid ads.
  • And finally, the recommended metrics each of your teams should measure and report to optimize your content marketing program.

This is a fantastic resource for content teams of any size — whether you're a team of one or 100. It includes how to hire and structure a content marketing team, what marketing tools you'll need, what type of content you should create, and even recommends what metrics to track for analyzing campaigns. If you're aiming to establish or boost your online presence, leveraging tools like HubSpot's drag-and-drop website builder can be extremely beneficial. It helps you create a captivating digital footprint that sets the foundation for your content marketing endeavors.

4. New Product Launch Marketing Plan

This will be a roadmap for the strategies and tactics you‘ll implement to promote a new product. And if you’re searching for an example, look no further than Chief Outsiders' Go-To-Market Plan for a New Product :

marketing plan examples: chief outsiders

After reading this plan, you'll learn how to:

  • Validate a product
  • Write strategic objectives
  • Identify your market
  • Compile a competitive landscape
  • Create a value proposition for a new product
  • Consider sales and service in your marketing plan

If you're looking for a marketing plan for a new product, the Chief Outsiders template is a great place to start. Marketing plans for a new product will be more specific because they target one product versus its entire marketing strategy.

5. Growth Marketing Plan

Growth marketing plans use experimentation and data to drive results, like we see in Venture Harbour’s Growth Marketing Plan Template :

marketing plan examples: venture harbour

Venture Harbour's growth marketing plan is a data-driven and experiment-led alternative to the more traditional marketing plan. Their template has five steps intended for refinement with every test-measure-learn cycle. The five steps are:

  • Experiments

Download Now: Free Growth Strategy Template

I recommend this plan if you want to experiment with different platforms and campaigns. Experimentation always feels risky and unfamiliar, but this plan creates a framework for accountability and strategy.

  • Louisville Tourism
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Visit Oxnard
  • Safe Haven Family Shelter
  • Wright County Economic Development
  • The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County
  • Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Visit Billings

1. Louisville Tourism

Louisville Tourism Marketing Plan

It also divides its target market into growth and seed categories to allow for more focused strategies. For example, the plan recognizes Millennials in Chicago, Atlanta, and Nashville as the core of it's growth market, whereas people in Boston, Austin, and New York represent seed markets where potential growth opportunities exist. Then, the plan outlines objectives and tactics for reaching each market.

Why This Marketing Plan Works

  • The plan starts with a letter from the President & CEO of the company, who sets the stage for the plan by providing a high-level preview of the incoming developments for Louisville's tourism industry
  • The focus on Louisville as "Bourbon City" effectively leverages its unique cultural and culinary attributes to present a strong brand
  • Incorporates a variety of data points from Google Analytics, Arrivalist, and visitor profiles to to define their target audience with a data-informed approach

2. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University Illinois

For example, students who become prospects as freshman and sophomore will receive emails that focus on getting the most out of high school and college prep classes. Once these students become juniors and seniors — thus entering the consideration stage — the emails will focus more on the college application process and other exploratory content.

  • The plan incorporates competitive analysis, evaluation surveys, and other research to determine the makeup of its target audience
  • The plan lists each marketing program (e.g., direct mail, social media, email etc.) and supplements it with examples on the next page
  • Each marketing program has its own objectives, tactics, and KPIs for measuring success

3. Visit Oxnard

This marketing plan by Visit Oxnard, a convention and visitors bureau, is packed with all the information one needs in a marketing plan: target markets, key performance indicators, selling points, personas, marketing tactics by channel, and much more.

It also articulates the organization’s strategic plans for the upcoming fiscal year, especially as it grapples with the aftereffects of the pandemic. Lastly, it has impeccable visual appeal, with color-coded sections and strong branding elements.

  • States clear and actionable goals for the coming year
  • Includes data and other research that shows how their team made their decisions
  • Outlines how the team will measure the success of their plan

4. Safe Haven Family Shelter

marketing plan examples: safe haven family shelter

This marketing plan by a nonprofit organization is an excellent example to follow if your plan will be presented to internal stakeholders at all levels of your organization. It includes SMART marketing goals , deadlines, action steps, long-term objectives, target audiences, core marketing messages , and metrics.

The plan is detailed, yet scannable. By the end of it, one can walk away with a strong understanding of the organization’s strategic direction for its upcoming marketing efforts.

  • Confirms ongoing marketing strategies and objectives while introducing new initiatives
  • Uses colors, fonts, and formatting to emphasize key parts of the plan
  • Closes with long-term goals, key themes, and other overarching topics to set the stage for the future

5. Wright County Economic Development

marketing plan examples: wright county

Wright County Economic Development’s plan drew our attention because of its simplicity, making it good inspiration for those who’d like to outline their plan in broad strokes without frills or filler.

It includes key information such as marketing partners, goals, initiatives, and costs. The sections are easy to scan and contain plenty of information for those who’d like to dig into the details. Most important, it includes a detailed breakdown of projected costs per marketing initiative — which is critical information to include for upper-level managers and other stakeholders.

  • Begins with a quick paragraph stating why the recommended changes are important
  • Uses clear graphics and bullet points to emphasize key points
  • Includes specific budget data to support decision-making

6. The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

marketing plan examples: cultural council of palm beach county

This marketing plan presentation by a cultural council is a great example of how to effectively use data in your plan, address audiences who are new to the industry, and offer extensive detail into specific marketing strategies.

For instance, an entire slide is dedicated to the county’s cultural tourism trends, and at the beginning of the presentation, the organization explains what an arts and culture agency is in the first place.

That’s a critical piece of information to include for those who might not know. If you’re addressing audiences outside your industry, consider defining terms at the beginning, like this organization did.

  • Uses quality design and images to support the goals and priorities in the text
  • Separate pages for each big idea or new strategy
  • Includes sections for awards and accomplishments to show how the marketing plan supports wider business goals
  • Defines strategies and tactics for each channel for easy skimming

7. Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau

marketing plan examples: carrabus county

Cabarrus County’s convention and visitors bureau takes a slightly different approach with its marketing plan, formatting it like a magazine for stakeholders to flip through. It offers information on the county’s target audience, channels, goals, KPIs, and public relations strategies and initiatives.

We especially love that the plan includes contact information for the bureau’s staff members, so that it’s easy for stakeholders to contact the appropriate person for a specific query.

  • Uses infographics to expand on specific concepts, like how visitors benefit a community
  • Highlights the team members responsible for each initiative with a photo to emphasize accountability and community
  • Closes with an event calendar for transparency into key dates for events

8. Visit Billings

marketing plan examples: visit billings

Visit Billing’s comprehensive marketing plan is like Cabarrus County’s in that it follows a magazine format. With sections for each planned strategy, it offers a wealth of information and depth for internal stakeholders and potential investors.

We especially love its content strategy section, where it details the organization’s prior efforts and current objectives for each content platform.

At the end, it includes strategic goals and budgets — a good move to imitate if your primary audience would not need this information highlighted at the forefront.

  • Includes a section on the buyer journey, which offers clarity on the reasoning for marketing plan decisions
  • Design includes call-outs for special topics that could impact the marketing audience, such as safety concerns or "staycations"
  • Clear headings make it easy to scan this comprehensive report and make note of sections a reader may want to return to for more detail

What is a typical marketing plan?

In my experience, most marketing plans outline the following aspects of a business's marketing:

  • Target audience

Each marketing plan should include one or more goals, the path your team will take to meet those goals, and how you plan to measure success.

For example, if I were a tech startup that's launching a new mobile app, my marketing plan would include:

  • Target audience or buyer personas for the app
  • Outline of how app features meet audience needs
  • Competitive analysis
  • Goals for conversion funnel and user acquisition
  • Marketing strategies and tactics for user acquisition

Featured resource : Free Marketing Plan Template

What should a good marketing plan include?

A good marketing plan will create a clear roadmap for your unique marketing team. This means that the best marketing plan for your business will be distinct to your team and business needs.

That said, most marketing plans will include sections for one or more of the following:

  • Clear analysis of the target market
  • A detailed description of the product or service
  • Strategic marketing mix details (such as product, price, place, promotion)
  • Measurable goals with defined timelines

This can help you build the best marketing plan for your business.

A good marketing plan should also include a product or service's unique value proposition, a comprehensive marketing strategy including online and offline channels, and a defined budget.

Featured resource : Value Proposition Templates

What are the most important parts of a marketing plan?

When you‘re planning a road trip, you need a map to help define your route, step-by-step directions, and an estimate of the time it will take to get to your destination. It’s literally how you get there that matters.

Like a road map, a marketing plan is only useful if it helps you get to where you want to go. So, no one part is more than the other.

That said, you can use the list below to make sure that you've added or at least considered each of the following in your marketing plan:

  • Marketing goals
  • Executive summary
  • Target market analysis
  • Marketing strategies

What questions should I ask when making a marketing plan?

Questions are a useful tool for when you‘re stuck or want to make sure you’ve included important details.

Try using one or more of these questions as a starting point when you create your marketing plan:

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What are their needs, motivations, and pain points?
  • How does our product or service solve their problems?
  • How will I reach and engage them?
  • Who are my competitors? Are they direct or indirect competitors?
  • What are the unique selling points of my product or service?
  • What marketing channels are best for the brand?
  • What is our budget and timeline?
  • How will I measure the success of marketing efforts?

How much does a marketing plan cost?

Creating a marketing plan is mostly free. But the cost of executing a marketing plan will depend on your specific plan.

Marketing plan costs vary by business, industry, and plan scope. Whether your team handles marketing in-house or hires external consultants can also make a difference. Total costs can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. This is why most marketing plans will include a budget.

Featured resource : Free Marketing Budget Templates

What is a marketing plan template?

A marketing plan template is a pre-designed structure or framework that helps you outline your marketing plan.

It offers a starting point that you can customize for your specific business needs and goals. For example, our template includes easy-to-edit sections for:

  • Business summary
  • Business initiatives
  • Target market
  • Market strategy
  • Marketing channels
  • Marketing technology

Let’s create a sample plan together, step by step.

Follow along with HubSpot's free Marketing Plan Template .

HubSpot Mktg plan cover

1. Create an overview or primary objective.

Our business mission is to provide [service, product, solution] to help [audience] reach their [financial, educational, business related] goals without compromising their [your audience’s valuable asset: free time, mental health, budget, etc.]. We want to improve our social media presence while nurturing our relationships with collaborators and clients.

For example, if I wanted to focus on social media growth, my KPIs might look like this:

We want to achieve a minimum of [followers] with an engagement rate of [X] on [social media platform].

The goal is to achieve an increase of [Y] on recurring clients and new meaningful connections outside the platform by the end of the year.

Use the following categories to create a target audience for your campaign.

  • Profession:
  • Background:
  • Pain points:
  • Social media platforms that they use:
  • Streaming platforms that they prefer:

For more useful strategies, consider creating a buyer persona in our Make My Persona tool .

Our content pillars will be: [X, Y, Z].

Content pillars should be based on topics your audience needs to know. If your ideal clients are female entrepreneurs, then your content pillars can be: marketing, being a woman in business, remote working, and productivity hacks for entrepreneurs.

Then, determine any omissions.

This marketing plan won’t be focusing on the following areas of improvement: [A, B, C].

5. Define your marketing budget.

Our marketing strategy will use a total of [Y] monthly. This will include anything from freelance collaborations to advertising.

6. Identify your competitors.

I like to work through the following questions to clearly indicate who my competitors are:

  • Which platforms do they use the most?
  • How does their branding differentiate?
  • How do they talk to their audiences?
  • What valuable assets do customers talk about? And if they are receiving any negative feedback, what is it about?

7. Outline your plan's contributors and their responsibilities.

Create responsible parties for each portion of the plan.

Marketing will manage the content plan, implementation, and community interaction to reach the KPIs.

  • Social media manager: [hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations]
  • Content strategist: [hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations]
  • Community manager: [hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations]

Sales will follow the line of the marketing work while creating and implementing an outreach strategy.

  • Sales strategists: [hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations]
  • Sales executives: [hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations]

Customer Service will nurture clients’ relationships to ensure that they have what they want. [Hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations].

Project Managers will track the progress and team communication during the project. [Hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations].

Get started on your marketing plan.

These marketing plans serve as initial resources to get your content marketing plan started. But, to truly deliver what your audience wants and needs, you'll likely need to test some different ideas out, measure their success, and then refine your goals as you go.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2019, but was updated for comprehensiveness. This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure t o learn more about how we use AI.

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10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

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What is a marketing plan and why is it important?

Before you spend a cent on marketing, you first have to understand the market and your customers.

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Companies of all sizes have one thing in common: They all began as small businesses.  Starting small  is the corner for those just getting off the ground. Learn about how to make that first hire, deal with all things administrative, and set yourself up for success.

A marketing plan is a blueprint for launching new products, understanding the intricacies of your market, growing your audience, and promoting your company to customers who want what you’re selling. 

With a well-designed marketing plan, you can design more effective promotions and impactful campaigns, reach your customers with targeted advertising, and track your business success with analytics. Without one, you might as well throw your marketing budget down a well and hope for the best. 

If you’ve been tasked with creating a marketing plan for your company, there are some basic elements to keep in mind. Though every marketing plan will reflect the specific business and industry it’s been created for, most share a few common features and can be boiled down to just one or two simple objectives. In this article, we’ll outline some of the basic elements of a marketing plan and how to write one.

When you’re ready to put the plan into action, WeWork All Access and WeWork On Demand are there to support you with hundreds of dedicated workspaces around the world, so you can seamlessly collaborate on marketing strategy in a professional and stylish office space.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a document outlining a company’s future marketing efforts and goals. It can be as short as a single page or made up of many smaller campaign plans from different marketing teams. 

However large and complex those plans are, the idea remains the same: A marketing plan is created to organize, execute, and eventually measure the success of a business’s marketing strategy .

Types of marketing plans

Marketing plans come in as many different shapes and sizes as there are different kinds of business, but they can be broadly placed into one (or more) of a few different categories. Here are some of the most common you’ll encounter.

  • Annual marketing plans. These types of marketing plans arrange campaigns according to when they’re expected to launch, rather than the content of the campaigns themselves. It’s a useful way to get an overview of a marketing strategy for the upcoming year, and to measure success continuously as time passes.
  • Content marketing plans. This is a more content-focused way of approaching a marketing strategy, and highlights the specific channels and audiences you want to reach. Content marketing plans can look very similar to annual marketing plans, but are less concerned with the “when” and more with the “what” and the “how.”
  • Product launch plans. Launching a new product or service requires a specific kind of marketing plan. The main goal is to successfully introduce the new product to the market. But these plans also include the strategies, tactics, and content needed in the buildup to the launch itself.
  • Social media marketing plans. Social media channels are such a vital part of a company’s marketing goals that it’s often wise to create a separate social media marketing plan dedicated to creating advertising and promotional content on these platforms.

What is the purpose of a marketing plan?

A marketing plan lays out your business strategy for acquiring new customers and selling more products and services. But it also serves as a way of analyzing exactly how successful your marketing efforts have been so far. Knowing this information helps steer ongoing campaigns in the right direction, aligns your marketing with your company’s values, and ensures that future campaigns are better targeted and more effective.

To understand why a marketing plan is important, just consider what would happen without one. Your advertising budget would be spent based entirely on guesswork about where your potential customers can be found and what they’re looking for. You’d have no idea which of your campaigns contributed to increased sales figures. And you’d have no baselines from which to build more effective campaigns in the future.

How to create a marketing plan

Elements of a marketing plan.

The basic building blocks of any good marketing plan are focused on objectives, research, competitors, and content. These objectives should be clearly defined and easily measurable goals —ideally no more than two or three—and informed by as much consumer research as you can reasonably gather.

Whether your goal is increasing your Instagram followers, driving traffic to your site, or attracting more cheese fans to your cheese store, set a specific target by which to monitor the performance of any campaign. As you develop your marketing plan and learn what’s effective and what’s not, you can set more accurate targets and begin to hone in on the strategies that really work for your company.

A marketing plan should also describe your brand’s biggest competitors and the campaigns they’re running, as well as identify any openings in the market that would allow your company to grab market share. This is where SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis comes into its own, enabling a company to shape its marketing plan around its own strengths and weaknesses.

Lastly, a marketing plan should outline the content of each campaign. Will your pre-roll video content use animation or live actors? Can you offer discounts and voucher codes to new customers? Will you leverage your mailing list to notify existing customers of a new product launch?

Define a marketing plan strategy

If your marketing plan is a roadmap, then your marketing strategy is the road. The strategy describes which tools you’ll use to hit the targets laid out by the main marketing plan document, and how they’ll be applied.

Here’s where you get down to the fundamentals of selling. Depending on who you ask, there are as many as seven P’s of marketing, though most agree on four core elements: price, product, place, and promotion.

What are you selling? How much are you charging? Where will your customers see it? And how will you promote it to them? Marketing gurus will promise you that if you can answer all of these questions correctly, you’ll be guaranteed boundless success.

Of course, in the real world it’s not quite so straightforward. But the four main P’s are an ideal starting point for anyone creating a market plan from scratch.

How to measure the success of a marketing plan

An enormous amount of effort and investment is poured into monitoring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, but at some level, consumer behavior becomes what’s known as a black box. You can measure what goes into it and what comes out the other end, but what happens inside the mind of a consumer can ultimately only be guessed at based on outcomes. Even the shoppers themselves can’t reliably report on why they choose certain products over others.

That’s why tracking a marketing plan’s performance alongside more specific KPIs (key performance indicators) is crucial. Advertising spend and sales figures aren’t linked in a simple or obvious way, so measuring success on a more granular level—such as increasing conversions or returning customers—helps create a much clearer picture of how well your marketing plan is doing.

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10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Final thoughts on creating a marketing plan

Marketing plans need to be squarely outlined and adhered to, but they shouldn’t be set in stone. You need to be able to course-correct when something isn’t landing, or lean more into campaigns when they’re working well. 

Quick aside: This is particularly true when it comes to the content of social media marketing plans, which are truly effective only when they’re timely and topical. Memes are a perfect example of this: How often have you seen a promoted tweet deploy some forgotten joke from months ago, presumably because it had been left in somebody’s annual marketing plan?

But while it’s useful to have a flexible approach , it’s important that your marketing plan is resilient and doesn’t flip-flop or bounce wildly between ideas. Move the goalposts too much and your plan will quickly fall apart, leaving your campaign in chaos. Allow your strategies some time to settle in, and even if you don’t reach success, you will gain invaluable performance data for future projects.

Steve Hogarty is a writer and journalist based in London. He is the travel editor of City AM newspaper and the deputy editor of City AM Magazine , where his work focuses on technology, travel, and entertainment.

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Blog Marketing

What is a Marketing Plan & How to Create One [with Examples]

By Sara McGuire , Oct 26, 2023

Marketing Plan Venngage

A marketing plan is a blueprint that outlines your strategies to attract and convert your ideal customers. It’s a comprehensive document that details your:

  • Target audience:  Who you’re trying to reach
  • Marketing goals:  What you want to achieve
  • Strategies and tactics:  How you’ll reach your goals
  • Budget:  Resources you’ll allocate
  • Metrics:  How you’ll measure success

In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about creating a marketing plan . If you need a little extra help, there are professionally designed marketing plan templates that’ll make the process much easier. So, let’s ditch the confusion and get started!

Click to jump ahead:

What is a marketing plan?

  • How to write a marketing plan 
  • Marketing plan v.s. business plan
  • Types of marketing plans

9 marketing plan examples to inspire your growth strategy

Marketing plan faqs.

A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for your products or services, which could be applicable for the coming year, quarter or month.  

Watch this quick, 13-minute video for more details on what a marketing plan is and how to make one yourself:

Typically, a marketing plan includes:

  • An overview of your business’s marketing and advertising goals
  • A description of your business’s current marketing position
  • A timeline of when tasks within your strategy will be completed
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking
  • A description of your business’s target market and customer needs
  • A description of how you will measure the performance of the strategy

For example, this marketing plan template provides a high-level overview of the business and competitors before diving deep into specific goals, KPIs and tactics:

Orange Content Marketing Plan Template

Learning how to write a marketing plan forces you to think through the important steps that lead to an effective marketing strategy . And a well-defined plan will help you stay focused on your high-level marketing goals.

With Venngage’s extensive catalog of marketing plan templates , creating your marketing plan isn’t going to be hard or tedious. In fact, Venngage has plenty of helpful communications and design resources for marketers. If you’re ready to get started, sign up for  Venngage for Marketers   now. It’s free to register and start designing.

Venngage for Marketers Page Header

Whether you’re a team trying to set smarter marketing goals, a consultant trying to set your client in the right direction, or a one-person team hustling it out, Venngage for Marketers helps you get things done.

How to write a marketing plan 

As mentioned above, the scope of your marketing plan varies depending on its purpose or the type of organization it’s for.

For example, you could create a marketing plan that provides an overview of a company’s entire marketing strategy or simply focus on a specific channel like SEO, social media marketing, content marketing and more, like in this example:

content marketing plan template

A typical outline of a marketing plan includes:

  • Executive summary
  • Goals and objectives
  • User personas
  • Competitor analysis/SWOT analysis
  • Baseline metrics
  • Marketing strategy
  • Tracking guidelines

Below you will see in details how to write each section as well as some examples of how you can design each section in a marketing plan.

Let’s look at how to create a successful marketing plan (click to jump ahead):

  • Write a simple executive summary
  • Set metric-driven marketing goals
  • Outline your user personas
  • Research all of your competitors
  • Set accurate key baselines & metrics
  • Create an actionable marketing strategy
  • Set tracking or reporting guidelines

1. Write a simple executive summary

Starting your marketing plan off on the right foot is important. You want to pull people into your amazing plan for marketing domination. Not bore them to tears.

Creative Marketing Plan Executive Summary

One of the best ways to get people excited to read your marketing plan is with a well-written executive summary. An executive summary introduces readers to your company goals, marketing triumphs, future plans, and other important contextual facts.

Standard Business Proposal Executive Summary

Basically, you can use the Executive Summary as a primer for the rest of your marketing plan.

Include things like:

  • Simple marketing goals
  • High-level metrics
  • Important company milestones
  • Facts about your brand
  • Employee anecdotes
  • Future goals & plans

Try to keep your executive summary rather brief and to the point. You aren’t writing a novel, so try to keep it under three to four paragraphs.

Take a look at the executive summary in the marketing plan example below:

Content Marketing Proposal Executive Summary

The executive summary is only two paragraphs long — short but effective.

The executive summary tells readers about the company’s growth, and how they are about to overtake one of their competitors. But there’s no mention of specific metrics or figures. That will be highlighted in the next section of the marketing plan.

An effective executive summary should have enough information to pique the reader’s interest, but not bog them down with specifics yet. That’s what the rest of your marketing plan is for!

The executive summary also sets the tone for your marketing plan. Think about what tone will fit your brand ? Friendly and humorous? Professional and reliable? Inspiring and visionary?

2. Set metric-driven marketing goals

After you perfect your executive summary, it’s time to outline your marketing goals.

(If you’ve never set data-driven goals like this before, it would be worth reading this growth strategy guide ).

This is one of the most important parts of the entire marketing plan, so be sure to take your time and be as clear as possible.

As a rule of thumb, be as specific as possible. The folks over at  VoyMedia  advise that you should set goals that impact website traffic, conversions, and customer success — and to use real numbers.

Avoid outlining vague goals like:

  • Get more Twitter followers
  • Write more articles
  • Create more YouTube videos (like educational or Explainer videos )
  • Increase retention rate
  • Decrease bounce rate

Instead, identify  key performance metrics  (KPI) you want to impact and the percentage you want to increase them by.

Take a look at the goals page in the marketing plan example below:

Creative Marketing Plan Goals

They not only identify a specific metric in each of their goals, but they also set a timeline for when they will be increased.

The same vague goals listed earlier become much clearer when specific numbers and timelines are applied to them:

  • Get 100 new Twitter followers per month
  • Write 5 more articles per week
  • Create 10 YouTube videos each year
  • Increase retention rate by 15% by 2020
  • Decrease bounce rate by 5% by Q1
  • Create an online course  and get 1,000 new leads

You can dive even deeper into your marketing goals if you want (generally, the more specific, the better). Here’s a marketing plan example that shows how to outline your growth goals:

Growth Goals Roadmap Template for a Marketing Plan

3. Outline your user personas

Now, this may not seem like the most important part of your marketing plan, but I think it holds a ton of value.

Outlining your user personas is an important part of a marketing plan that should not be overlooked.

You should be asking not just how you can get the most visitors to your business, but how you can get the right visitors.

Who are your ideal customers? What are their goals? What are their biggest problems? How does your business solve customer problems?

Answering these questions will take lots of research, but it’s essential information to get.

Some ways to conduct user research are:

  • Interviewing your users (either in person or on the phone)
  • Conducting focus groups
  • Researching other businesses in the same industry
  • Surveying your audience

Then, you will need to compile your user data into a user persona  guide.

Take a look at how detailed this user persona template is below:

Persona Marketing Report Template

Taking the time to identify specific demographic traits, habits and goals will make it easier for you to cater your marketing plan to them.

Here’s how you can create a user persona guide:

The first thing you should add is a profile picture or icon for each user persona. It can help to put a face to your personas, so they seem more real.

Marketing Persona

Next, list demographic information like:

  • Identifiers
  • Activities/Hobbies

The user persona example above uses sliding scales to identify personality traits like introversion vs. extroversion and thinking vs. feeling. Identifying what type of personality your target users tend to have an influence on the messaging you use in your marketing content.

Meanwhile, this user persona guide identifies specific challenges the user faces each day:

Content Marketing Proposal Audience Personas

But if you don’t want to go into such precise detail, you can stick to basic information, like in this marketing plan example:

Social Media Plan Proposal Template Ideal Customers

Most businesses will have a few different types of target users. That’s why it’s pertinent to identify and create several different user personas . That way, you can better segment your marketing campaigns and set separate goals, if necessary.

Here’s a marketing plan example with a segmented user persona guide:

Mobile App Market Report

The important thing is for your team or client to have a clear picture of who their target user is and how they can appeal to their specific problems.

Start creating robust user personas using Venngage’s user persona guide .

4. Conduct an extensive competitor analysis

Next, on the marketing plan checklist, we have the competitor research section. This section will help you identify who your competitors are, what they’re doing, and how you could carve yourself a place alongside them in your niche — and ideally, surpass them. It’s something you can learn to do with rank tracking software .

Competitor research is also incredibly important if you are starting a blog .

Typically, your competitor research should include:

  • Who their marketing team is
  • Who their leadership team is
  • What their marketing strategy is (this will probably revolve some reverse-engineering)
  • What their sales strategy is (same deal)
  • Social Media strategy (are they using discounting strategies such as coupon marketing to get conversions)
  • Their market cap/financials
  • Their yearly growth (you will probably need to use a marketing tool like Ahrefs to do this)
  • The number of customers they have & their user personas

Also, take as deep a dive as you can into the strategies they use across their:

  • Blog/Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO Marketing
  • Video marketing
  • And any other marketing tactics they use

Research their strengths and weaknesses in all parts of their company, and you will find some great opportunities. Bookmark has a great guide to different marketing strategies for small businesses  if you need some more information there.

You can use this simple SWOT analysis worksheet to quickly work through all parts of their strategy as well:

Competitive SWOT Analysis

Click the template above to create a SWOT chart . Customize the template to your liking — no design know-how needed.

Since you have already done all the research beforehand, adding this information to your marketing plan shouldn’t be that hard.

In this marketing plan example, some high-level research is outlined for 3 competing brands:

Content Marketing Proposal Competitive Research

But you could take a deeper dive into different facets of your competitors’ strategies. This marketing plan example analyses a competitor’s content marketing strategy:

Competitor-Analysis-Content-Marketing-Plan-Template

It can also be helpful to divide your competitors into Primary and Secondary groups. For example, Apple’s primary competitor may be Dell for computers, but its secondary competitor could be a company that makes tablets.

Your most dangerous competitors may not even be in the same industry as you. Like the CEO of Netflix said, “Sleep is our competition.”

5. Set accurate key baselines & metrics

It’s pretty hard to plan for the future if you don’t know where your business stands right now.

Before we do anything at Venngage, we find the baselines so we can compare future results to something. We do it so much it’s almost like second nature now!

Setting baselines will allow you to more accurately track your progress. You will also be able to better analyze what worked and what didn’t work, so you can build a stronger strategy. It will definitely help them clearly understand your goals and strategy as well.

Here’s a marketing plan example where the baselines are visualized:

Social Media Marketing Proposal Success Metrics

Another way to include baselines in your plan is with a simple chart, like in the marketing plan example below:

Simple-Blue-Social-Media-Marketing-Plan

Because data can be intimidating to a lot of people, visualizing your data using charts and infographics will help demystify the information.

6. Create an actionable marketing strategy

After pulling all the contextual information and relevant metrics into your marketing plan, it’s time to break down your marketing strategy.

Once again, it’s easier to communicate your information to your team or clients using visuals .

Mind maps are an effective way to show how a strategy with many moving parts ties together. For example, this mind map shows how the four main components of a marketing strategy interact together:

Marketing Plan Mind Map Template

You can also use a flow chart to map out your strategy by objectives:

Action Plan Mind Map

However you choose to visualize your strategy, your team should know exactly what they need to do. This is not the time to keep your cards close to your chest.

Your strategy section may need to take up a few pages to explain, like in the marketing plan example below:

Creative-Modern-Content-Marketing-Plan-Template

With all of this information, even someone from the development team will understand what the marketing team is working on.

This minimalistic marketing plan example uses color blocks to make the different parts of the strategy easy to scan:

Blue-Simple-Social-Media-Marketing-Plan-Template

Breaking your strategy down into tasks will make it easier to tackle.

Another important way to visualize your marketing strategy is to create a project roadmap. A project roadmap visualizes the timeline of your product with individual tasks. Our roadmap maker can help you with this.

For example, this project roadmap shows how tasks on both the marketing and web design side run parallel to each other:

Simple Product Roadmap Plan Template

A simple timeline can also be used in your marketing plan:

Strategy Timeline Infographic

Or a mind map, if you want to include a ton of information in a more organized way:

Business Strategy Mindmap Template

Even a simple “Next, Now, Later” chart can help visualize your strategy:

3 Step Product Roadmap Template

7. Set tracking or reporting guidelines

Close your marketing plan with a brief explanation of how you plan to track or measure your results. This will save you a lot of frustration down the line by standardizing how you track results across your team.

Like the other sections of your marketing plan, you can choose how in-depth you want to go. But there need to be some clear guidelines on how to measure the progress and results of your marketing plan.

At the bare minimum, your results tracking guidelines should specify:

  • What you plan to track
  • How you plan to track results
  • How often you plan to measure

But you can more add tracking guidelines to your marketing plan if you see the need to. You may also want to include a template that your team or client can follow,  for  client reporting ,  ensure that the right metrics are being tracked.

Marketing Checklist

The marketing plan example below dedicates a whole page to tracking criteria:

SEO Marketing Proposal Measuring Results

Use a task tracker to track tasks and marketing results, and a checklist maker to note down tasks, important life events, or tracking your daily life.

Similarly, the marketing plan example below talks about tracking content marketing instead:

Social Media Marketing Proposal

Marketing plan vs. marketing strategy

Although often used interchangeably, the terms “marketing plan” and “marketing strategy” do have some differences.

Simply speaking, a marketing strategy presents what the business will do in order to reach a certain goal. A marketing plan outlines the specific daily, weekly, monthly or yearly activities that the marketing strategy calls for. As a business, you can create a marketing proposal for the marketing strategies defined in your company’s marketing plan. There are various marketing proposal examples that you can look at to help with this.

A company’s extended marketing strategy can be like this:

marketing strategy mind map

Notice how it’s more general and doesn’t include the actual activities required to complete each strategy or the timeframe those marketing activities will take place. That kind of information is included in a marketing plan, like this marketing plan template which talks about the content strategy in detail:

Content Marketing Proposal

Marketing plan v.s business plan

While both marketing plans and business plans are crucial documents for businesses, they serve distinct purposes and have different scopes. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

Business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines all aspects of your business, including:

  • Mission and vision
  • Products or services
  • Target market
  • Competition
  • Management team
  • Financial projections
  • Marketing strategy (including a marketing plan)
  • Operations plan

Marketing plan on the other hand, dives deep into the specific strategies and tactics related to your marketing efforts. It expands on the marketing section of a business plan by detailing:

  • Specific marketing goals (e.g., brand awareness, lead generation, sales)
  • Target audience analysis (detailed understanding of their needs and behaviors)
  • Product:  Features, benefits, positioning
  • Price:  Pricing strategy, discounts
  • Place:  Distribution channels (online, offline)
  • Promotion:  Advertising, social media, content marketing, public relations
  • Budget allocation for different marketing activities
  • Metrics and measurement to track progress and success

In short, business plans paint the entire business picture, while marketing plans zoom in on the specific strategies used to reach your target audience and achieve marketing goals.

Types of marketing plans that can transform your business strategy

Let’s take a look at several types of marketing plans you can create, along with specific examples for each.

1. General marketing strategic plan / Annual marketing plan

This is a good example of a marketing plan that covers the overarching annual marketing strategy for a company:

marketing strategy template marketing plan

Another good example would be this Starbucks marketing plan:

Starbucks marketing plan example

This one-page marketing plan example from coffee chain Starbucks has everything at a glance. The bold headers and subheadings make it easier to segment the sections so readers can focus on the area most relevant to them.

What we like about this example is how much it covers. From the ideal buyer persona to actional activities, as well as positioning and metrics, this marketing plan has it all.

Another marketing plan example that caught our eye is this one from Cengage. Although a bit text-heavy and traditional, it explains the various sections well. The clean layout makes this plan easy to read and absorb.

Cengage marketing plan example

The last marketing plan example we would like to feature in this section is this one from Lush cosmetics.

It is a long one but it’s also very detailed. The plan outlines numerous areas, including the company mission, SWOT analysis , brand positioning, packaging, geographical criteria, and much more.

Lush marketing plan

2. Content marketing plan

A content marketing plan highlights different strategies , campaigns or tactics you can use for your content to help your business reach its goals.

This one-page marketing plan example from Contently outlines a content strategy and workflow using simple colors and blocks. The bullet points detail more information but this plan can easily be understood at a glance, which makes it so effective.

contently marketing plan

For a more detailed content marketing plan example, take a look at this template which features an editorial calendar you can share with the whole team:

nonprofit content marketing plan

3. SEO marketing plan

Your SEO marketing plan highlights what you plan to do for your SEO marketing strategy . This could include tactics for website on-page optimization , off-page optimization using AI SEO , and link building using an SEO PowerSuite backlink API for quick backlink profile checks.

This SEO marketing plan example discusses in detail the target audience of the business and the SEO plan laid out in different stages:

SEO marketing plan example

4. Social media marketing plan

Your social media marketing plan presents what you’ll do to reach your marketing goal through social media. This could include tactics specific to each social media channel that you own, recommendations on developing a new channel, specific campaigns you want to run, and so on, like how B2B channels use Linkedin to generate leads with automation tools and expand their customer base; or like making use of Twitter walls that could display live Twitter feeds from Twitter in real-time on digital screens.

Edit this social media marketing plan example easily with Venngage’s drag-and-drop editor:

social media marketing plan example

5. Demand generation marketing plan

This could cover your paid marketing strategy (which can include search ads, paid social media ads, traditional advertisements, etc.), email marketing strategy and more. Here’s an example:

promotional marketing plan

1. Free marketing plan template

Here’s a free nonprofit marketing plan example that is ideal for organizations with a comprehensive vision to share. It’s a simple plan that is incredibly effective. Not only does the plan outline the core values of the company, it also shares the ideal buyer persona.

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Note how the branding is consistent throughout this example so there is no doubt which company is presenting this plan. The content plan is an added incentive for anyone viewing the document to go ahead and give the team the green light.

2. Pastel social media marketing campaign template

Two-page marketing plan samples aren’t very common, but this free template proves how effective they are. There’s a dedicated section for business goals as well as for project planning .

Pastel Social Media Marketing Plan Template

The milestones for the marketing campaign are clearly laid out, which is a great way to show how organized this business strategy is.

3. Small business marketing strategy template

This marketing plan template is perfect for small businesses who set out to develop an overarching marketing strategy for the whole year:

Notice how this aligns pretty well with the marketing plan outline we discussed in previous sections.

In terms of specific tactics for the company’s marketing strategy, the template only discusses SEO strategy, but you can certainly expand on that section to discuss any other strategies — such as link building , that you would like to build out a complete marketing plan for.

4. Orange simple marketing proposal template

Marketing plans, like the sample below, are a great way to highlight what your business strategy and the proposal you wan to put forward to win potential customers.

Orange Simple Marketing Proposal Template

5. One-page marketing fact sheet template

This one-page marketing plan example is great for showcasing marketing efforts in a persuasive presentation or to print out for an in-person meeting.

Nonprofit Healthcare Company Fact Sheet Template

Note how the fact sheet breaks down the marketing budget as well as the key metrics for the organization. You can win over clients and partners with a plan like this.

6. Light company business fact sheet template

This one-page sample marketing plan clearly outlines the marketing objectives for the organization. It’s a simple but effective way to share a large amount of information in a short amount of time.

Light Company Business Fact Sheet Template

What really works with this example is that includes a mission statement, key contact information alongside all the key metrics.

7. Marketing media press kit template

This press kit marketing plan template is bright and unmistakable as belonging to the Cloud Nine marketing agency . The way the brand colors are used also helps diversify the layouts for each page, making the plan easier to read.

Marketing Media Press Kit Template

We like the way the marketing department has outlined the important facts about the organization. The bold and large numbers draw the eye and look impressive.

8. Professional marketing proposal template

Start your marketing campaign on a promising note with this marketing plan template. It’s short, sharp and to the point. The table of contents sets out the agenda, and there’s a page for the company overview and mission statement.

Professional Marketing Proposal Template

9. Social media marketing proposal template

A complete marketing plan example, like the one below, not only breaks down the business goals to be achieved but a whole lot more. Note how the terms and conditions and payment schedule are included, which makes this one of the most comprehensive marketing plans on our list.

Checkered Social Media Marketing Proposal Template

What should marketing plans include?

Marketing plans should include:

  • A detailed analysis of the target market and customer segments.
  • Clear and achievable marketing objectives and goals.
  • Strategies and tactics for product promotion and distribution.
  • Budget allocation for various marketing activities.
  • Timelines and milestones for the implementation of marketing strategies.
  • Evaluation metrics and methods for tracking the success of the marketing plan.

What is an executive summary in a marketing plan and what is its main goal?

An executive summary in a marketing plan is a brief overview of the entire document, summarizing the key points, goals, and strategies. Its main goal is to provide readers with a quick understanding of the plan’s purpose and to entice them to read further.

What are the results when a marketing plan is effective?

When a marketing plan is effective, businesses can experience increased brand visibility, higher customer engagement, improved sales and revenue, and strengthened customer loyalty.

What is the first section of a marketing plan?

The first section of a marketing plan is typically the “Executive Summary,” which provides a concise overview of the entire plan, including the business’s goals and the strategies to achieve them.

Now that you have the basics for designing your own marketing plan, it’s time to get started:

More marketing design guides and templates:

  • Marketing Infographics: The Definitive Guide [Includes Infographic Templates]
  • 20+ Business Pitch Deck Templates to Win New Clients and Investors
  • 20+ White Paper Examples [Design Guide + White Paper Templates]
  • The Evolution of Marketing [Timeline Infographic]

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

10 Marketing Plan Examples to Inspire Your Campaigns

What do hiking a trail, driving to a friend’s house, and executing marketing campaigns all have in common? Each requires you to closely follow directions.

Directions are a critical part of our daily life. Used correctly, they can guide decision-making processes, make labor more efficient, and get where you want to go as quickly as possible. 

But failing to keep track of directions could cost you — and not just gas money. When it comes to marketing strategies, not having a clear goal tanks web traffic, dissipates brand interest, and costs companies across the United States a whopping $400 billion a year.

Designing a marketing plan is certainly no easy task, but it can be made easier with best practices, strategic tips, and concrete examples from successful businesses all over the world.

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

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10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic document that acts as a guide for marketing campaigns and strategies. These critical road maps detail where you are, where you’re going, and how you plan to get there.

The average marketing plan consists of seven major sections:

  • Writing an executive summary
  • Discussing the mission statement
  • Listing marketing objectives
  • Performing a SWOT analysis
  • Completing market research
  • Designing a market strategy
  • Determining a budget

The more detailed a marketing plan is, the more efficient it will be at accomplishing its goals. 

As you might imagine, marketers who bother to write a concrete marketing plan enjoy several benefits :

  • Organized marketers have a 674% higher chance of reporting success
  • Marketers who set goals are 377% more successful than those who don’t

It’s clear that a successful marketing plan opens pathways to other forms of business success — although the process is underutilized at best. More than three out of four small business owners lack an overarching marketing plan if they don’t have a clear path of growth. Creating a holistic marketing plan is absolutely necessary to scale brands at any level of development.

10 marketing plan examples from every industry

It’s much simpler to design a plan of action when the groundwork already exists. Below are 10 marketing plans sourced from real companies and brands around the world, highlighting unique approaches to researching, crafting and implementing a marketing strategy . 

1. Contently

Popular SaaS Contently developed a visual marketing plan for developing future campaigns. The strategy depicts its plan in a “waterfall” format, with goals blending into methods of application that eventually lead to success metrics. Although far more casual than other examples on this list, the work provides an excellent overview of a marketing plan’s necessary components.

Contently marketing plan

2. Visit Baton Rouge

The Baton Rouge area of Louisiana generates millions of dollars every year from tourism alone. The Visit Baton Rouge marketing plan was born from a need to better position the area and create long-term strategies for generating interest. This 38-page document goes into detail describing different destinations, events, and calendars, including recommended measurements for success.

Top marketing plan examples: Baton Rouge

Created by SaaS company HubSpot , this template includes a business summary, SWOT matrix, market strategy, budget, and other important aspects of a marketing plan. By filling it out, you can make informed decisions about your company’s positioning and your marketing in general.

HubSpot marketing plan

4. Evernote

Evernote provides a comprehensive marketing plan template for businesses of any size. Create a plan that walks through overviews, timelines, research, personas, and all other elements of an airtight campaign. If desired, you can also implement this template into your Evernote account to start developing a marketing plan almost immediately.

great examples of marketing plan: Evernote

5. University of Illinois

Even educational institutes need marketing plans. The University of Illinois created a very straightforward document that encapsulates its market context, research efforts, and current campaigns. Objectives and success metrics are completed in the third section, with about 40 pages overall. 

6. Monday.com

Monday.com is a project management platform providing in-house templates to all active users. This marketing plan offers various categories and subcategories that track project progress with data visualizations. Detailed objectives and KPIs can be identified in-app, including columns for a projected cost range.

Popular health and hygiene brand Lush released a comprehensive marketing plan walking through some products, positioning, and a marketing calendar for upcoming product releases. One of the highlights includes a detailed SWOT analysis with easy to read graphics. This is particularly helpful for brands in the personal care industry, among others.

Lush marketing plan

8. Coca-Cola

Industry titan Coca-Cola released a strategy video that encompasses all seven elements of a holistic marketing plan. The proposal primarily explains the major content initiatives for the coming year, and focuses on how the brand’s initial ideas can be practically implemented into the existing strategy. 

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

9. Naperville Park District

Publicly funded recreational parks often have limited access to resources, which is why the Naperville Park District created a strategic marketing plan right at the beginning. This extremely detailed document walks through the company’s mission, situational analysis, strategy, and budget, on a micro-level.

nashville park marketing plan

10. Starbucks

Unlike the longform documents we’ve seen already, Starbucks takes a more concise approach. This six-page release details a strategy to elevate CX and brand ambassadors around the world. The marketing plan touches on individual strategies and tactics, as well as the methods used to ensure success. It’s important to note the detailed customer journey profiles that fit into a five-year strategy.

beverge marketing plan: starbucks

How to approach a marketing plan

Now that you know what a marketing plan looks like, it’s time to explore the initial stages of drafting and publishing your very first plan. Once you establish some basic starting points, a little research is all you need to get started.

Determine your goals

Directions simply don’t matter without an endpoint in mind. Craft some meaningful goals for your marketing campaign that envelop your brand’s values, objectives, and year-end plans. It’s best to use the SMART goal framework:

The more specific your goals are, the more effective your marketing plan will be.

Check your competitors

Staying abreast of your competitors and market share is critical in the early stages of a marketing plan. Using competitive analysis tools or an internal process, take some time to evaluate the approach that others are using — and how you can do better.

You might want to:

  • Perform a competitive analysis
  • Keep a close eye on industry news
  • Browse competitor social media content

Keep in mind that it’s possible to hire freelancers to perform competitive analysis for you, depending on your needs and time constraints.

Identify your audience

Understanding your target market — including their goals, ages, values, and demographics — is the golden rule of marketing. This can be done several ways, either by using data, creating personas, or outlying features in a document.

It’s best to consider everything that may be relevant to your audience in the marketing plan, including how products can be positioned in a way that makes them relevant. For example, a customer with a degree in IT would be more interested in ads that speak to their experience and industry pain points.

If you don’t have a target audience in mind yet, consider using programs like Google Analytics or in-platform insights from Facebook to identify specific segments.

Craft final KPIs

The difference between a good marketing plan and a great marketing plan starts with key performance metrics (KPIs). These will be used to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and provide detailed information about what worked, what didn’t, and what you can change in the future.

Every marketing plan should rely on its own unique set of metrics, all fitted to individual needs. If you’re looking for specific examples, you might want to try:

  • Raising the number of followers on a social media account
  • Generating a certain amount of website leads 
  • Achieving higher email open rates 

Keep in mind that your final metrics should adhere to the SMART method for best results.

Perform your revisions

The marketing plan is a living document and must be updated regularly to remain current. The average plan only has a shelf life of one to five years , on average, and should receive regular revisions in the meantime.

Take a closer look at your past goals, competitors, audience, and KPIs. Are any of these outdated or ill-aligned? What has changed for the company since its initial publication date? Make these adjustments accordingly (and hopefully with members of a team or committee).

Create marketing plans that guide your business well

It’s not enough to just write a marketing plan. In an increasingly competitive world of iron-clad strategies, marketing pros should take their time developing a plan that lasts. The above examples are a great place to start, especially as you craft an approach that is catered to your industry. 

Keep an eye on the growth of your business once your marketing plan hits the shelves. Continue to find new ways to optimize, refine, and otherwise make what you have even better than before. With an airtight marketing plan by your side, the possibilities are virtually limitless.

Want to learn more?

  • How to Create a Killer Social Media Marketing Plan
  • The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Influencer Marketing
  • 7 of the Best Landing Page Examples to Learn From
  • Instagram Marketing Tips to Shoot Up Your Sales

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

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What Is a Marketing Plan?

Understanding marketing plans, how to write a marketing plan, marketing plan vs. business plan.

  • Marketing Plan FAQs

The Bottom Line

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What Is a Marketing Plan? Types and How to Write One

James Chen, CMT is an expert trader, investment adviser, and global market strategist.

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Pete Rathburn is a copy editor and fact-checker with expertise in economics and personal finance and over twenty years of experience in the classroom.

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

A marketing plan is an operational document that outlines an advertising strategy that an organization will implement to generate leads and reach its target market . A marketing plan details the outreach and PR campaigns to be undertaken over a period, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives. The functions and components of a marketing plan include the following:

  • Market research to support pricing decisions and new market entries
  • Tailored messaging that targets certain demographics and geographic areas
  • Platform selection for product and service promotion: digital, radio, Internet, trade magazines, and the mix of those platforms for each campaign
  • Metrics that measure the results of marketing efforts and their reporting timelines

A marketing plan is based on a company’s overall marketing strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • The marketing plan details the strategy that a company will use to market its products to customers.
  • The plan identifies the target market, the value proposition of the brand or the product, the campaigns to be initiated, and the metrics to be used to assess the effectiveness of marketing initiatives.
  • The marketing plan should be adjusted on an ongoing basis based on the findings from the metrics that show which efforts are having an impact and which are not.
  • Digital marketing shows results in near real-time, whereas TV ads require rotation to realize any level of market penetration.
  • A marketing plan is part of a business plan, which describes all of the important aspects of a business, such as its goals, values, mission statement, budget, and strategies.

The terms marketing plan and marketing strategy are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is developed based on an overarching strategic framework. In some cases, the strategy and the plan may be incorporated into one document, particularly for smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. The plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis while the marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

Types of Marketing Plans

There are a variety of different marketing plans that suit different businesses and different business needs.

New Product Launch: This is a marketing plan that outlines how a new product will enter the market, who it will target, and in what way advertising will be done.

Social Media: A social media marketing plan focuses on the advertising strategies on different social media platforms and how to engage with the users on these platforms.

Time-Based: Time-based marketing plans, such as those that are executed quarterly or annually, focus on the time of the year, the current condition of the business, and the best strategies in that period.

Mission and Value Proposition

A marketing plan considers the value proposition of a business. The value proposition is the overall promise of value to be delivered to the customer and is a statement that appears front and center of the company website or any branding materials.

The value proposition should state how a product or brand solves the customer's problem, the benefits of the product or brand, and why the customer should buy from this company and not another. The marketing plan is based on this value proposition to the customer.

Establishing your key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow you to measure the success of your marketing plan in relation to your company's value proposition. For example, if your goal is to engage with a certain demographic in a certain region, you can track social media and website visits.

The most effective digital marketing techniques in 2020 according to marketers are content marketing and marketing automation.

Identify Your Target Market

The marketing plan identifies the target market for a product or brand. Market research is often the basis for a target market and marketing channel decisions. For example, whether the company will advertise on the radio, on social media, through online ads, or on regional TV. 

Knowing who you want to sell to and why is an extremely critical component of any business plan. It allows you to focus your business and measure its success. Different demographics have different tastes and needs, knowing what your target market is will help you market to them.

Strategy and Execution

The marketing plan includes the rationale for these decisions. The plan should focus on the creation, timing, scheduling, and placement of specific campaigns. The plan will include the metrics that will measure the outcomes of your marketing efforts. For example, will you advertise on the radio or on social media? What time will you air advertisements if they are on the radio or TV? The strategy may include flighting scheduling , which includes the times when you can make the most of your advertising dollars.

Set Your Budget

A marketing plan costs money. Knowing your budget for a marketing plan will allow you to create a suitable plan within that context, stick to it, and prevent runaway costs. It will also help you allocate to different areas of your marketing plan.

Adjust Your Plan

A marketing plan can be adjusted at any point based on the results from the metrics. If digital ads are performing better than expected, for example, the budget for a campaign can be adjusted to fund a higher-performing platform or the company can initiate a new budget. The challenge for marketing leaders is to ensure that every platform has sufficient time to show results.

Without the correct metrics to assess the impact of outreach and marketing efforts, an organization will not know which campaigns to repeat and which ones to drop; maintaining ineffective initiatives will unnecessarily increase marketing costs.

Digital marketing shows results in near real-time, whereas TV ads require rotation to realize any level of market penetration. In the traditional marketing mix model, a marketing plan would fall under the category of "promotion," which is one of the four Ps , a term coined by Neil Borden to describe the marketing mix of product, price, promotion, and place.

A business plan details how a business will operate and function in its entirety. A business plan is a roadmap for a business. It will cover the goals, missions , values, financials, and strategies that the business will use in day-to-day operations and in the achievement of its objectives.

A business plan will include an executive summary, the products and services sold, a marketing analysis, a marketing strategy, financial planning, and a budget , to name but a few items.

As mentioned, a business plan will include a marketing plan, which focuses on creating a marketing strategy on how to bring awareness to the public of the company's product or service, how to reach the target market, and generate sales.

Example of a Marketing Plan

John came up with a new business idea that he believes is a niche offering in the market. He decides to start a business and his first step is creating a business plan that outlines all of the objectives, goals, values, pitfalls, and finances of his company.

John is able to raise enough capital from friends and family to get started, hires a few employees, and eventually creates his product. He now has to start selling his product and generate sales to keep his business operating.

To achieve this, John, with the help of a marketing company, creates a marketing plan. The marketing plan consists of market research that details the target market for John's product, which is recently retired men.

The marketing plan then comes up with the best methods of reaching this target market. The marketing plan stresses radio and television as opposed to social media as older, retired men use social media less than traditional forms of media, according to the market research that was conducted.

The ads are tailored to the target market, showing how John's product will benefit their lives, particularly when compared to market alternatives. Once the marketing plan has been executed, the marketing team analyzes how the efforts translate into sales.

What Is a Marketing Plan Template?

A marketing plan template is a document that an individual can use to create a marketing plan. The marketing plan template will contain all the important elements and the various needed language with blank sections. A user can insert their own information related to their business in the blank sections to ultimately create their own marketing plan.

What Is an Executive Summary in a Marketing Plan?

The executive summary of a marketing plan provides a brief overview of the entire marketing plan. The executive summary will contain the key findings of the market research, the company's objectives, marketing goals, an overview of the marketing trends, the description of the product or service being marketed, information on the target market, and how to financially plan for the marketing plan.

What Is a Top-Down Marketing Strategy?

A top-down marketing strategy is a traditional marketing strategy. This is where a business determines who it should sell to and how, and the customer base is largely passive and spurred to take action once they hear the advertisement. For example, a top-down marketing strategy would include ads on radio or television. Top-down marketing strategies are usually determined by the executives of a firm. It usually consists of what a firm desires to do and then determining a way to do it.

What Is a Bottom-Up Marketing Strategy?

A bottom-up marketing strategy focuses on discovering a workable strategy and then building on that strategy to create an impactful advertising campaign. Today's consumer wants to relate to a product or service in a meaningful way and a bottom-up marketing strategy is better suited to this. A bottom-up marketing strategy should focus on the target market and how better to create value for them.

How Much Does a Marketing Plan Cost?

The cost of a marketing plan will vary based on the company, the complexity, and the length of the overall strategy. The cost can range anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000.

A marketing plan is the advertising strategy that a business will implement to sell its product or service. The marketing plan will help determine who the target market is, how best to reach them, at what price point the product or service should be sold, and how the company will measure its efforts.

Constantly monitoring and adjusting a market plan is an important part of running a business as it shows what are the best and worst ways to generate sales. Without a successful marketing plan, a business may not be able to continue operating for very long.

Statista. " Most Effective Digital Marketing Techniques According to Marketers Worldwide in 2020 ."

Laire. " How Much Does a Marketing Plan Cost? "

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How to create a winning marketing plan, with 3 examples from world-class teams

Caeleigh MacNeil contributor headshot

A marketing plan helps leaders clearly visualize marketing strategies across channels, so they can ensure every campaign drives pipeline and revenue. In this article you’ll learn eight steps to create a winning marketing plan that brings business-critical goals to life, with examples from word-class teams.

quotation mark

To be successful as a marketer, you have to deliver the pipeline and the revenue.”

In other words—they need a well-crafted marketing plan.

Level up your marketing plan to drive revenue in 2024

Learn how to create the right marketing plan to hit your revenue targets in 2024. Hear best practices from marketing experts, including how to confidently set and hit business goals, socialize marketing plans, and move faster with clearer resourcing.

level up your marketing plan to drive revenue in 2024

7 steps to build a comprehensive marketing plan

How do you build the right marketing plan to hit your revenue goals? Follow these eight steps for success:

1. Define your plan

First you need to define each specific component of your plan to ensure stakeholders are aligned on goals, deliverables, resources, and more. Ironing out these details early on ensures your plan supports the right business objectives, and that you have sufficient resources and time to get the job done. 

Get started by asking yourself the following questions: 

What resources do I need? 

What is the vision?

What is the value?

What is the goal?

Who is my audience?

What are my channels?

What is the timeline?

For example, imagine you’re creating an annual marketing plan to improve customer adoption and retention in the next fiscal year. Here’s how you could go through the questions above to ensure you’re ready to move forward with your plan: 

I will need support from the content team, web team, and email team to create targeted content for existing customers. One person on each team will need to be dedicated full-time to this initiative. To achieve this, the marketing team will need an additional $100K in budget and one new headcount. 

What is the vision?  

To create a positive experience for existing customers, address new customer needs, and encourage them to upgrade. We’ll do this by serving them how-to content, new feature updates, information about deals and pricing, and troubleshooting guides. 

According to the Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) , CEOs and go-to-market leaders report that more than 60% of their net-new revenue will come from existing customers in 2023. By retaining and building on the customers we have, we can maintain revenue growth over time. 

To decrease the customer churn rate from 30% to 10%, and increase upgrades from 20% to 30% in the next fiscal year. 

All existing customers. 

The main channel will be email. Supporting marketing channels include the website, blog, YouTube, and social media. 

The first half of the next fiscal year. 

One of the most important things to do as you create your marketing strategy is to identify your target audience . As with all marketing, you need to know who you’re marketing to. If you’re having a hard time determining who exactly your target audience is, try the bullseye targeting framework . The bullseye makes it easy for you to determine who your target audience is by industry, geography, company size, psychographics, demographics, and more.

2. Identify key metrics for success 

Now it’s time to define what key marketing metrics you’ll use to measure success. Your key metrics will help you measure and track the performance of your marketing activities. They’ll also help you understand how your efforts tie back to larger business goals. 

Once you establish key metrics, use a goal-setting framework—like objectives and key results (OKRs) or SMART goals —to fully flush out your marketing objectives. This ensures your targets are as specific as possible, with no ambiguity about what should be accomplished by when. 

Example: If a goal of your marketing plan is to increase email subscriptions and you follow the SMART goal framework (ensuring your objective is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) your goal might look like this: Increase email subscription rate from 10% to 20% in H1 . 

3. Research your competition 

It’s easy to get caught up in your company’s world, but there’s a lot of value in understanding your competitors . Knowing how they market themselves will help you find opportunities to make your company stand out and capture more market share.

Make sure you’re not duplicating your competitors’ efforts. If you discover a competitor has already executed your idea, then it might be time to go back to the drawing board and brainstorm new ways to differentiate yourself.  By looking at your competitors, you might be surprised at the type of inspiration and opportunities you’ll find.

To stay ahead of market trends, conduct a SWOT analysis for your marketing plan. A SWOT analysis helps you improve your plan by identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Example: If your competitor launches a social media campaign identical to what you had planned, go back to the drawing board and see how you can build off their campaign. Ask yourself: How can we differentiate our campaign while still getting our message across? What are the weaknesses of their campaign that we can capitalize on? What angles did they not approach?

4. Integrate your marketing efforts

Here’s where the fun comes in. Let’s dive into the different components that go into building a successful marketing plan. You’ll want to make sure your marketing plan includes multiple supporting activities that all add up into a powerful marketing machine. Some marketing plan components include: 

Lead generation

Social media

Product marketing

Public relations

Analyst relations

Customer marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Conversational marketing

Knowing where your consumer base spends the most time is significant for nailing this step. You need to have a solid understanding of your target audience before integrating your marketing efforts. 

Example: If your target audience is executives that spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, focus your social media strategy around placing branded content on LinkedIn. 

5. Differentiate with creative content

Forty-nine percent of marketers say visual images are hugely important to their content strategy. In other words, a clear brand and creative strategy is an essential component to every marketing plan. As you craft your own creative strategy, here are some tips to keep in mind: 

Speak to your audience: When defining your creative strategy, think about your audience—what you want them to feel, think, and do when they see your marketing. Will your audience find your creative work relevant? If your audience can’t relate to your creative work, they won’t feel connected to the story you’re trying to tell. 

Think outside the box: Find innovative ways to engage your audience, whether through video, animations, or interactive graphics. Know what screens your creative work will live on, whether desktop, mobile, or tablet, and make sure they display beautifully and load quickly across every type of device. 

Tie everything back to CTAs: It’s easy to get caught up in the creative process, so it’s important to never lose sight of your ultimate goal: Get your audience to take action. Always find the best way to display strong Calls to Action (CTAs) in your creative work. We live in a visual world—make sure your creative content counts.

Streamline creative production:   Once you’ve established a strong creative strategy, the next step is to bring your strategy to life in the production stage. It’s vital to set up a strong framework for your creative production process to eliminate any unnecessary back and forth and potential bottlenecks. Consider establishing creative request forms , streamlining feedback and approval processes, and taking advantage of integrations that might make your designers’ lives easier.

Example: If your brand is fun and approachable, make sure that shows in your creative efforts. Create designs and CTAs that spark joy, offer entertainment, and alleviate the pressure in choosing a partner.

6. Operationalize your marketing plan

Turn your plan into action by making goals, deliverables, and timelines clear for every stakeholder—so teams stay accountable for getting work done. The best way to do this is by centralizing all the details of your marketing plan in one platform , so teams can access the information they need and connect campaign work back to company goals.  

With the right work management tool , you can: 

Set goals for every marketing activity, and connect campaign work to overarching marketing and business objectives so teams focus on revenue-driving projects. 

Centralize deliverables for your entire marketing plan in one project or portfolio .

Mark major milestones and visualize your plan as a timeline, Gantt chart, calendar, list, or Kanban board—without doing any extra work. 

Quickly loop in stakeholders with status updates so they’re always up to date on progress. This is extremely important if you have a global team to ensure efforts aren’t being duplicated. 

Use automations to seamlessly hand off work between teams, streamlining processes like content creation and reviews. 

Create dashboards to report on work and make sure projects are properly staffed , so campaigns stay on track. 

With everything housed in one spot, you can easily visualize the status of your entire marketing plan and keep work on track. Building an effective marketing plan is one thing, but how you operationalize it can be your secret to standout marketing.

Example: If your strategy focuses on increasing page views, connect all campaign work to an overarching OKR—like “we will double page views as measured by the amount of organic traffic on our blog.” By making that goal visible to all stakeholders, you help teams prioritize the right work. 

See marketing planning in action

With Asana, marketing teams can connect work, standardize processes, and automate workflows—all in one place.

See marketing planning in action

7. Measure performance

Nearly three in four CMOs use revenue growth to measure success, so it’s no surprise that measuring performance is necessary. You established your key metrics in step two, and now it’s time to track and report on them in step eight.

Periodically measure your marketing efforts to find areas of improvement so you can optimize in real-time. There are always lessons to be learned when looking at data. You can discover trends, detect which marketing initiatives performed well, and course-correct what isn’t performing well. And when your plan is complete, you can apply these learnings to your next initiative for improved results. 

Example: Say you discover that long-form content is consistently bringing in 400% more page views than short-form content. As a result, you’ll want to focus on producing more long-form content in your next marketing plan.

Marketing plan examples from world-class teams

The best brands in the world bring their marketing plans to life every day. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these examples from successful marketing teams.

Autodesk grows site traffic 30% three years in a row

When the Autodesk team launched Redshift, it was initially a small business blog. The editorial team executed a successful marketing plan to expand it into a premier owned-media site, making it a destination for stories and videos about the future of making. 

The team scaled content production to support seven additional languages. By standardizing their content production workflow and centralizing all content conversations in one place, the editorial team now publishes 2X more content monthly. Read the case study to learn more about how Autodesk runs a well-oiled content machine.

Sony Music boosts creative production capacity by 4X

In recent years the music industry has gone through a pivotal transition—shifting from album sales to a streaming business model. For marketing and creative teams at Sony Music, that meant adopting an “always on” campaign plan. 

The team successfully executed this campaign plan by centralizing creative production and approvals in one project. By standardizing processes, the team reduced campaign production time by 75%. Read the case study to learn more about how Sony Music successfully scaled their creative production process.

Trinny London perfects new customer acquisition 

In consumer industries, social media is crucial for building a community of people who feel an affinity with the brand—and Trinny London is no exception. As such, it was imperative that Trinny London’s ad spend was targeted to the correct audience. Using a work management tool, Trinny London was able to nail the process of creating, testing, and implementing ads on multiple social channels.

With the help of a centralized tool, Trinny London improved its ad spend and drove more likes and subscriptions on its YouTube page. Read the case study to learn more about how Trinny London capitalized on paid advertising and social media. 

Turn your marketing plan into marketing success 

A great marketing plan promotes clarity and accountability across teams—so every stakeholder knows what they’re responsible for, by when. Reading this article is the first step to achieving better team alignment, so you can ensure every marketing campaign contributes to your company’s bottom line. 

Use a free marketing plan template to get started

Once you’ve created your marketing strategy and are ready to operationalize your marketing plan, get started with one of our marketing templates . 

Our marketing templates can help you manage and track every aspect of your marketing plan, from creative requests to approval workflows. Centralize your entire marketing plan in one place, customize the roadmap, assign tasks, and build a timeline or calendar. 

Once you’ve operationalized your entire marketing plan with one of our templates, share it with your stakeholders so everyone can work together in the same tool. Your entire team will feel connected to the marketing plan, know what to prioritize, and see how their work contributes to your project objectives . Choose the best marketing template for your team:

Marketing project plan template

Marketing campaign plan template

Product marketing launch template

Editorial calendar template

Agency collaboration template

Creative requests template

Event planning template

GTM strategy template

Still have questions? We have answers. 

What is a marketing plan.

A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines the different strategies your team will use to achieve organizational objectives. Rather than focusing solely on the end goal, a marketing plan maps every step you need to reach your destination—whether that’s driving pipeline for sales, nurturing your existing customer base, or something in-between. 

As a marketing leader, you know there’s never a shortage of great campaign and project ideas. A marketing plan gives you a framework to effectively prioritize work that aligns to overarching business goals—and then get that work done. Some elements of marketing plans include:

Current business plan

Mission statement  

Business goals

Target customers  

Competitive analysis 

Current marketing mix

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Marketing budget  

What is the purpose of a marketing plan?

The purpose of a marketing plan is to grow your company’s consumer base and strengthen your brand, while aligning with your organization’s mission and vision . The plan should analyze the competitive landscape and industry trends, offer actionable insights to help you gain a competitive advantage, and document each step of your strategy—so you can see how your campaigns work together to drive overarching business goals. 

What is the difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy? 

A marketing plan contains many marketing strategies across different channels. In that way, marketing strategies contribute to your overall marketing plan, working together to reach your company’s overarching business goals.

For example, imagine you’re about to launch a new software product and the goal of your marketing plan is to drive downloads. Your marketing plan could include marketing strategies like creating top-of-funnel blog content and launching a social media campaign. 

What are different types of marketing plans? 

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, what your timeline is, or which facet of marketing you’re driving, you’ll need to create a different type of marketing plan. Some different types of marketing plans include, but aren’t limited to:

General marketing plan: A general marketing plan is typically an annual or quarterly marketing plan that details the overarching marketing strategies for the period. This type of marketing plan outlines marketing goals, the company’s mission, buyer personas, unique selling propositions, and more. A general marketing plan lays the foundation for other, more specific marketing plans that an organization may employ. 

Product launch marketing plan: A product launch marketing plan is a step-by-step plan for marketing a new product or expanding into a new market. It helps you build awareness and interest by targeting the right audience, with the right messaging, in the right timeframe—so potential customers are ready to buy your new offering right away. Nailing your product launch marketing plan can reinforce your overall brand and fast-track sales. For a step-by-step framework to organize all the moving pieces of a launch, check out our product marketing launch template .

Paid marketing plan: This plan includes all the paid strategies in your marketing plan, like pay-per-click, paid social media advertising, native advertising, and display advertising. It’s especially important to do audience research prior to launching your paid marketing plan to ensure you’re maximizing ROI. Consult with content strategists to ensure your ads align with your buyer personas so you know you’re showing ads to the right people. 

Content marketing plan: A content marketing plan outlines the different content strategies and campaigns you’ll use to promote your product or service. When putting together a content marketing plan, start by identifying your audience. Then use market research tools to get the best insights into what topics your target audience is most interested in.

SEO marketing plan: Your SEO marketing plan should work directly alongside your content marketing plan as you chart content that’s designed to rank in search results. While your content marketing plan should include all types of content, your SEO marketing plan will cover the top-of-funnel content that drives new users to your site. Planning search engine-friendly content is only one step in your SEO marketing plan. You’ll also need to include link-building and technical aspects in order to ensure your site and content are as optimized as possible.

Social media marketing plan: This plan will highlight the marketing strategies you plan to accomplish on social media. Like in any general or digital marketing plan , your social media strategy should identify your ideal customer base and determine how they engage on different social media platforms. From there, you can cater your social media content to your target audience.  

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Importance of a Marketing Plan + 7 Simple Steps to Make One

What Is the Importance of a Marketing Plan? (7 Easy Steps to Create One)

  • by Web Admin
  • January 11, 2023
  • Digital Marketing

In today’s competitive business landscape, having a solid marketing plan in place is important for the success of any business. 

A well-crafted marketing plan serves as your roadmap and helps you identify and target your ideal customers, as well as differentiate yourself from your competitors. Without one, you might as well throw your marketing budget into the trash and hope all goes well.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of a marketing plan and provide a step-by-step guide on how to create one.

What Is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic document that outlines a business’s overall marketing strategy and tactics. 

It typically includes the following elements:

  • Executive Summary – a brief description of the entire marketing strategy.
  • Situation Analysis – a detailed analysis of the market, customers, and competition.
  • Target Market – information on the business’s target customer, including demographics, psychographics, and buying habits.
  • Marketing Objectives – specific , measurable , attainable , relevant , and time-bound (SMART) goals that the business hopes to achieve through its marketing efforts.
  • Marketing Mix – information on the business’s products or services, pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies.
  • Action Plan – specific tactics and actions the business will take to achieve its marketing objectives, including a budget and timeline.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation – a plan to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing plan and to make adjustments as needed.

A marketing plan serves as a guide for your business’s marketing efforts, helping it to stay on track and achieve its goals. 

What Is the Importance of a Marketing Plan?

A well-crafted marketing plan is a living document that can be updated and modified as needed to stay on track with constantly changing market conditions and customer behavior trends .

This way, you can prioritize your marketing activities and allocate resources , such as budget and staff time, accordingly.

A marketing plan includes specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals . This helps you track your progress and make adjustments as needed.

It also helps you identify and target your ideal customer so you can better understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and buying behaviors. 

Another importance of a marketing plan is that it helps businesses identify their unique selling proposition (USP) and communicate it effectively to their target audience.

Types of Marketing Plans

There are several types of marketing plans, each with a unique focus and purpose. 

Here are five common types of marketing plans:

  • Product Marketing Plan – it focuses on the specific product or service that the business is offering, including information on its features, benefits, and target market.
  • Brand Marketing Plan – this focuses on building and maintaining the brand identity and reputation of the business.
  • Integrated Marketing Plan – combines different marketing tactics, such as advertising, public relations, and sales promotions, to achieve specific marketing objectives.
  • Digital Marketing Plan – it focuses on the use of digital channels, such as social media, email marketing, and online advertising, to reach and engage with target customers.
  • Marketing Communication Plan – it focuses on the development and implementation of a communications strategy to reach and engage target customers.

It’s important to note that a business may use different types of marketing plans at different times, depending on its goals, target market, and budget.

7 Easy Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

importance of a marketing plan:  using different social media platforms to reach customers

1. Know Your Business

Knowing your business is an important step in creating a marketing plan. It allows you to understand your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These are key factors in identifying your target market and differentiating your business from competitors. 

Understanding your business also helps you identify your unique selling proposition (USP), which is the one thing that sets your business apart from others in the market.

Additionally, knowing your business helps you determine your marketing goals and objectives and prioritize your marketing activities accordingly.

2. Define the Mission and Vision of Your Business

The mission statement defines the purpose of your business, outlining what you aim to achieve and for whom. The vision statement defines what you want to achieve in the future.

Defining your mission and vision can help you develop a clear and consistent message that resonates with your target audience. 

This message should be reflected in all of your marketing activities, from your website and social media presence to your advertising and customer service. 

By aligning your marketing efforts with your mission and vision, you can create a strong and consistent brand identity that will help to attract new customers and retain old ones.

3. Identify Your Target Market

By identifying your target market, you can learn more about your ideal clients’ demographics, psychographics, and buying behaviors.

Use this information to create a marketing plan that responds to their particular needs and interests and effectively conveys the value of your products or services.

Once you have identified your target market, you can conduct market research to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences. 

This can help you refine your marketing strategy and tactics and develop effective marketing messages and campaigns that resonate with your target audience. 

4. Competitor Analysis

Conducting competitor analysis is an important step in creating a marketing plan because it allows you to understand the competitive landscape in which your business operates, including the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. 

For example, you may find that your competitors are not effectively reaching a specific target market or that they are not providing a certain service that your business can offer.

5. Describe Your Marketing Goals

These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) so that you can track your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Here are three examples of marketing goals:

  • Increasing brand awareness: This goal focuses on increasing the visibility and recognition of your business and its products or services.
  • Generating leads: This goal focuses on attracting potential customers and turning them into leads that can be nurtured and converted into sales.
  • Boosting sales: This goal focuses on increasing revenue by increasing online sales or the average order value.

Once you have set your marketing goals, you can develop a plan of action to achieve them. This plan should include specific tactics and activities, such as advertising campaigns, public relations efforts, and promotional events, as well as a budget and a timeline. 

6. Outline Strategies

Strategies are the specific actions and tactics that will be used to achieve your marketing goals.

It could be a product or service strategy that outlines the features and benefits of your products or services, as well as how they meet the needs of your target market. 

It could also be a pricing strategy where you outline the prices of your products or services, including any discounts, promotions, or bundled offers that will be used to attract customers.

You also have to think about how you will communicate the value of your products or services to your target market, including through advertising, public relations, and sales promotions. 

Or how you will make your products or services available to your target market. Are you going to put up a brick-and-mortar store or set up an online store within minutes, even without coding skills?

To reach and interact with your target market, you also need to consider the various digital platforms, including social media marketing , email, and online advertising.

Whatever your strategy may be, it should be aligned with your overall marketing goals and your specific target market.

importance of marketing plan: setting your marketing budget

7. Set Your Marketing Budget

Having a strategy is not enough. It’s important to have a clear implementation plan that includes a budget and a timeline.

Now that you have an idea of the marketing efforts that you will make, you can estimate the costs associated with each effort. 

The costs can include things like advertising space, production costs, website development, staff salaries, and more.

It’s important to consider both fixed and variable costs when creating your budget. 

  • Fixed costs – expenses that do not change regardless of the level of production, such as rent, salaries, and insurance. 
  • Variable costs – expenses that change with the level of production, such as materials, commissions, and travel expenses.

When establishing your marketing budget, you should also take your overall business goals and financial status into account. It’s important to balance your marketing efforts with the resources that you have available. 

A realistic budget will help you achieve your marketing goals without overextending your business.

What is the purpose of a marketing plan?

The key objectives of marketing plans are to identify a company’s target audience, share departmental goals, and establish a reasonable budget. A well-crafted marketing plan can help you implement strategies that reach a wide target audience while also aligning with your business goals.

Final Thoughts

A marketing plan is an essential tool for any business that wants to achieve its marketing goals and stay ahead of the competition. It helps them identify and target their ideal customers, differentiate themselves from competitors, allocate resources effectively, and measure progress.

Each of the steps mentioned above is important and should be given adequate attention and resources. By following them, you can create a well-crafted marketing plan that will surely take your business to the next level.

Further reading:

  • Important Tips on How to Sell Online in the Philippines
  • How to Connect With Customers on a Deeper Level?
  • Budgeting Tips for a Small Business in the Philippines

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In fact, we are super passionate about helping Philippine MSMEs we’re giving you a free account forever! 

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The importance of a marketing plan for your business.

  • April 14, 2021
  • Posted by: Funmilola Sanya
  • Category: Sales & Marketing

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Marketing is highly regarded as one of the most important activities of a business. It is not just a business function; it is the bridge that connects the producer to potential consumers and it is what sustains your business for a very long time. The success stories of major corporations hinge on good marketing strategies. So whether you’re a one-man business, a co-founder of a big corporation or you’re just starting, everyone should have a marketing plan.

In today’s article, we cover the definition of a marketing plan, purpose, types, and reasons you need one for your business.

What a marketing plan is

It is a detailed operational document that outlines your marketing or advertising strategy to generate leads for the coming month, quarter, or year. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as the “activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” It is a guideline for delivering your products and services to your potential customers.

A marketing plan should include :

  • An executive summary and description of your business
  • An analysis of your business’s current marketing position
  • Your marketing goals and business objectives
  • A timeline of when marketing strategies will be implemented and tasks within the strategy will be completed
  • A description of your business’s target market, customer needs, and delivery plan
  • Your business’s unique selling proposition and tactics
  • Tracking and evaluation of key performance indicators (KPIs)

The purpose of marketing

Marketing is primarily responsible for making sales easier and more profitable for a business owner. It shouldn’t be considered as a business function that consumes revenue, rather a function that creates revenue for the business. In the article ‘ Marketing is Everything ‘, Regis McKenna stated that “marketing today is not a function, it is a way of doing business”. He stated further that “marketing is not a new ad campaign or this month’s promotion. Marketing has to be all-pervasive, part of everyone’s job description, from the receptionists to the board of directors. Its job is neither to fool the customer nor to falsify the company’s image. It is to integrate the customer into the design of the product and to design a systematic process for interaction that will create substance in the relationship.”

The purpose is to own the market, thereby becoming a dominant force in the market. This can be achieved when the company is able to make the customer aware of its willingness to ensure that its product or services fit into the customer’s requirements and needs. This is the only way to create substance in the relationship between the producer and the consumer as Regis McKenna stated.

The importance of marketing

Marketing is important for the success of your business, both now and in the future. If you’ve tried to scale your business through different functions and have failed, you have a clear signal that you need a proper marketing plan. A good marketing plan helps you target your ideal customers in a smarter way, connect to them through the right mediums at the right time, and increase your chances of converting leads to sales. It is the glue that connects everything together and it is what helps you keep pace with the ever-changing tastes of your customers.

Types of marketing plans

There are different forms through which your product or services can catch the attention of your potential customers:

  • Social media marketing : Using different social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat
  • Paid/digital marketing : Pay-per-click (PPC), banner ads, influencer, sponsorships, social media ads, and ad retargeting
  • Content marketing : Using original content to showcase a product or service
  • Time period marketing : Campaigns used over a specific period
  • New product/service : Plan to showcase a product or service launch

Reasons why you must have a marketing plan for your business :

  • It allows you to make decisions based on fact, analysis, and experience.
  • It enables you to plan and manage your resources effectively
  • It helps you to organise your time and priorities 
  • You’ll be able to create a set of measurable and achievable goals
  • It will help you establish your position in the market
  • It provides transparency and ensures consistency
  • It puts everybody in the team on the same page
  • It will help you provide better customer service
  • It provides clarity of what you are doing and what’s expected of your business
  • It will help you ensure your marketing is proactive and organised

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Why a marketing plan is important for your business

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Setting up and launching a new business can be an exciting and busy time, so it’s tempting to jump right in to the middle of things, without properly planning your actions.

Whilst this may work in the short term, to have the greatest chance of success, it’s important to take time to plan what you want to achieve as your business progresses.

Part of your work will be marketing your product or service to potential customers and there’s several benefits to putting together a marketing plan to help you achieve your goals. We’ve put together some of the main ones below, just in case you need a little more convincing! 

Helps you understand your customer

Taking the time to put together a marketing plan allows you to think about the attributes of your ideal customer. Once you know and understand this, it makes it a lot easier to plan your marketing activity and how best to reach your target audience with your product or service. 

Allows you to set measurable goals and objectives

Having a marketing plan in place will give you the chance to write down your goals and objectives, which in turn will keep you more aware of meeting them and how to achieve this. If your business is more than just you, it also allows everyone to be on the same page and be clear about what you are trying to achieve. 

Prevents rushed decisions

Having a strategy and structure for marketing in place means there’s less chance of going off in the wrong direction, chasing the latest new trend that may not help to actually meet your business goals. It helps to keep everything on track, and allows you to plan your activity to align with key events of the year, which may be relevant to your business. You will likely have limited time and budget to complete marketing, so you want to ensure you’re spending it on worthwhile actions. 

Helps to keep track of your successes

Writing down your marketing actions ensures you keep a clear record of what has been done and means you can also monitor your successes, and those things that didn’t work quite so well! This in turn means you can assess your activity against return on investment and plan effectively for future years, knowing what does and doesn’t work for your business.

These are just a few of the benefits of having a marketing plan, whether you’re a small business or a larger corporation. If you would like any more help or advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

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10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

The importance of a business plan

Business plans are like road maps: it’s possible to travel without one, but that will only increase the odds of getting lost along the way.

Owners with a business plan see growth 30% faster than those without one, and 71% of the fast-growing companies have business plans . Before we get into the thick of it, let’s define and go over what a business plan actually is.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a 15-20 page document that outlines how you will achieve your business objectives and includes information about your product, marketing strategies, and finances. You should create one when you’re starting a new business and keep updating it as your business grows.

Rather than putting yourself in a position where you may have to stop and ask for directions or even circle back and start over, small business owners often use business plans to help guide them. That’s because they help them see the bigger picture, plan ahead, make important decisions, and improve the overall likelihood of success. ‍

Why is a business plan important?

A well-written business plan is an important tool because it gives entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as their employees, the ability to lay out their goals and track their progress as their business begins to grow. Business planning should be the first thing done when starting a new business. Business plans are also important for attracting investors so they can determine if your business is on the right path and worth putting money into.

Business plans typically include detailed information that can help improve your business’s chances of success, like:

  • A market analysis : gathering information about factors and conditions that affect your industry
  • Competitive analysis : evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
  • Customer segmentation : divide your customers into different groups based on specific characteristics to improve your marketing
  • Marketing: using your research to advertise your business
  • Logistics and operations plans : planning and executing the most efficient production process
  • Cash flow projection : being prepared for how much money is going into and out of your business
  • An overall path to long-term growth

10 reasons why you need a business plan

I know what you’re thinking: “Do I really need a business plan? It sounds like a lot of work, plus I heard they’re outdated and I like figuring things out as I go...”.

The answer is: yes, you really do need a business plan! As entrepreneur Kevin J. Donaldson said, “Going into business without a business plan is like going on a mountain trek without a map or GPS support—you’ll eventually get lost and starve! Though it may sound tedious and time-consuming, business plans are critical to starting your business and setting yourself up for success.

To outline the importance of business plans and make the process sound less daunting, here are 10 reasons why you need one for your small business.

1. To help you with critical decisions

The primary importance of a business plan is that they help you make better decisions. Entrepreneurship is often an endless exercise in decision making and crisis management. Sitting down and considering all the ramifications of any given decision is a luxury that small businesses can’t always afford. That’s where a business plan comes in.

Building a business plan allows you to determine the answer to some of the most critical business decisions ahead of time.

Creating a robust business plan is a forcing function—you have to sit down and think about major components of your business before you get started, like your marketing strategy and what products you’ll sell. You answer many tough questions before they arise. And thinking deeply about your core strategies can also help you understand how those decisions will impact your broader strategy.

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2. To iron out the kinks

Putting together a business plan requires entrepreneurs to ask themselves a lot of hard questions and take the time to come up with well-researched and insightful answers. Even if the document itself were to disappear as soon as it’s completed, the practice of writing it helps to articulate your vision in realistic terms and better determine if there are any gaps in your strategy.

3. To avoid the big mistakes

Only about half of small businesses are still around to celebrate their fifth birthday . While there are many reasons why small businesses fail, many of the most common are purposefully addressed in business plans.

According to data from CB Insights , some of the most common reasons businesses fail include:

  • No market need : No one wants what you’re selling.
  • Lack of capital : Cash flow issues or businesses simply run out of money.
  • Inadequate team : This underscores the importance of hiring the right people to help you run your business.
  • Stiff competition : It’s tough to generate a steady profit when you have a lot of competitors in your space.
  • Pricing : Some entrepreneurs price their products or services too high or too low—both scenarios can be a recipe for disaster.

The exercise of creating a business plan can help you avoid these major mistakes. Whether it’s cash flow forecasts or a product-market fit analysis , every piece of a business plan can help spot some of those potentially critical mistakes before they arise. For example, don’t be afraid to scrap an idea you really loved if it turns out there’s no market need. Be honest with yourself!

Get a jumpstart on your business plan by creating your own cash flow projection .

4. To prove the viability of the business

Many businesses are created out of passion, and while passion can be a great motivator, it’s not a great proof point.

Planning out exactly how you’re going to turn that vision into a successful business is perhaps the most important step between concept and reality. Business plans can help you confirm that your grand idea makes sound business sense.

A graphic showing you a “Business Plan Outline.” There are four sections on the left side: Executive Summary at the top, Company Description below it, followed by Market Analysis, and lastly Organization and Management. There was four sections on the right side. At the top: “Service or Product Line.” Below that, “Marketing and Sales.” Below that, “Funding Request.” And lastly: “Financial Projections.” At the very bottom below the left and right columns is a section that says “Appendix.

A critical component of your business plan is the market research section. Market research can offer deep insight into your customers, your competitors, and your chosen industry. Not only can it enlighten entrepreneurs who are starting up a new business, but it can also better inform existing businesses on activities like marketing, advertising, and releasing new products or services.

Want to prove there’s a market gap? Here’s how you can get started with market research.

5. To set better objectives and benchmarks

Without a business plan, objectives often become arbitrary, without much rhyme or reason behind them. Having a business plan can help make those benchmarks more intentional and consequential. They can also help keep you accountable to your long-term vision and strategy, and gain insights into how your strategy is (or isn’t) coming together over time.

6. To communicate objectives and benchmarks

Whether you’re managing a team of 100 or a team of two, you can’t always be there to make every decision yourself. Think of the business plan like a substitute teacher, ready to answer questions any time there’s an absence. Let your staff know that when in doubt, they can always consult the business plan to understand the next steps in the event that they can’t get an answer from you directly.

Sharing your business plan with team members also helps ensure that all members are aligned with what you’re doing, why, and share the same understanding of long-term objectives.

7. To provide a guide for service providers

Small businesses typically employ contractors , freelancers, and other professionals to help them with tasks like accounting , marketing, legal assistance, and as consultants. Having a business plan in place allows you to easily share relevant sections with those you rely on to support the organization, while ensuring everyone is on the same page.

8. To secure financing

Did you know you’re 2.5x more likely to get funded if you have a business plan?If you’re planning on pitching to venture capitalists, borrowing from a bank, or are considering selling your company in the future, you’re likely going to need a business plan. After all, anyone that’s interested in putting money into your company is going to want to know it’s in good hands and that it’s viable in the long run. Business plans are the most effective ways of proving that and are typically a requirement for anyone seeking outside financing.

Learn what you need to get a small business loan.

9. To better understand the broader landscape

No business is an island, and while you might have a strong handle on everything happening under your own roof, it’s equally important to understand the market terrain as well. Writing a business plan can go a long way in helping you better understand your competition and the market you’re operating in more broadly, illuminate consumer trends and preferences, potential disruptions and other insights that aren’t always plainly visible.

10. To reduce risk

Entrepreneurship is a risky business, but that risk becomes significantly more manageable once tested against a well-crafted business plan. Drawing up revenue and expense projections, devising logistics and operational plans, and understanding the market and competitive landscape can all help reduce the risk factor from an inherently precarious way to make a living. Having a business plan allows you to leave less up to chance, make better decisions, and enjoy the clearest possible view of the future of your company.

Understanding the importance of a business plan

Now that you have a solid grasp on the “why” behind business plans, you can confidently move forward with creating your own.

Remember that a business plan will grow and evolve along with your business, so it’s an important part of your whole journey—not just the beginning.

Related Posts

Now that you’ve read up on the purpose of a business plan, check out our guide to help you get started.

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

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10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Marketing Plan

10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

Everything you need to know about marketing plan. Marketing planning is the starting point of any business activity. Planning is deciding at present what is to be done in the future.

It involves not only anticipating the consequences of decisions but also predicts the events that are likely to affect the business.

The marketing plan draws on the broader perspectives outlined in a firm’s business plan. The business plan states how a company will take a product idea and transform that into a commercially viable proposition.

The marketing plan focuses on issues related to the four Ps – product, price, promotion and place.

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Learn about:- 1. Introduction to Marketing Plan 2. Definitions of Marketing Plan 3. Scope 4. Characteristics 5. Importance 6. Components 7. Approaches 8. Areas 9. Essentials 10. Difficulties.

  • Introduction to Marketing Plan
  • Definitions of Marketing Plan
  • Scope of Marketing Plan
  • Characteristics of Marketing Plan
  • Importance of Marketing Plan
  • Components of Marketing Plan
  • Approaches of Marketing Plan
  • Areas of Marketing Plan
  • Essential Requirements of Marketing Plan
  • Difficulties in Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan – Introduction

A marketing plan clarifies the key marketing elements of a business and maps out directions, objectives and activities for the business and its employees.

Marketing planning is the starting point of any business activity. Planning is deciding at present what is to be done in the future. It involves not only anticipating the consequences of decisions but also predicts the events that are likely to affect the business.

The primary aim of Marketing Planning is to direct the company’s marketing efforts and resources towards present marketing objectives like growth, survival, profit maximisation, service to customers etc. However the marketing activity and objectives are the deciding factors on which all other activities of a company are based. Thus the entire activity of a company is actually based on the premise of the marketing plan.

According to MacColm H. B. Me Donald, “Marketing Planning is a logical sequence of activities leading to the setting of marketing objectives and formulation of plans for achieving them.”

In the words of Wendell R. Smith, “Marketing Planning is the exercise of analysis and foresight to increase the effectiveness of marketing activities.”

In a nut shell any Marketing Planning is a managerial function that determines the future course of marketing action based on the analysis of past events so that the marketing objectives can be achieved. It is basically concerned with the allocation, development and future use of the marketing resources.

Marketing Plan – Definitions Provided by William H. Newman, M.E. Hurley and Louis A. Allen

Marketing planning is the action programme designed to achieve the company’s marketing objectives. It should be a written programme for two very good reasons.

First, writing forces one to engage in clear thinking and it ensures that no important part of the programme has been overlooked. Putting plans in writing where they can be objectively scrutinised provides an important discipline for the planner.

Second, in an organisation of any size plans should be available to a number of people both within and without the marketing department so that each person knows what is expected of him at a certain time. The advertising agency should have a copy of the marketing plan; in fact the agency should participate in development of plans.

The marketing manager’s position description points out that the marketing manager is responsible for both short-and long-range planning. Short-range planning usually covers time periods up to one year. Long- range covers periods up to five, ten, or even fifteen years in the future.

There are similarities in short- and long-range planning, but there are also obvious differences. The short-range plan must concentrate on maximising profits from the current line of products and services and from new products and services that are scheduled for introduction during the company’s upcoming fiscal year.

The long-range plan concentrates on the actions that must be taken over a longer period to ensure future profitable growth.

According to William H. Newman, “Generally speaking, planning is deciding in advance what is to be done.” In the words of Philip Kotler, “Planning is deciding in the present what to do in future. It comprises both the determination of a desired future and the necessary steps to bring about. It is the process whereby companies reconcile their resources with their objectives and opportunities”.

M.E. Hurley defines Planning in these words— “Planning is deciding in advance what is to be done. It involves the selection of objectives, policies and procedures and programmes from among alternatives”. Louis A. Allen considers, Management Planning involves the development of forecasts, objectives, policies, programmes, procedures, schedules and budgets.

Marketing Plan – Scope: Long Term Planning, Short-Term or Annual Marketing Planning

The marketing planning can be divided into two categories, based on the time period.

1. Long Term Planning:

It involves developing the basic objectives and strategy to guide future company efforts. It provides the framework within which the other plans of the company are prepared. Long-term plans involve a time horizon of five or more years, sometimes extending up to twenty years. These plans are formulated by top management with the help of specialised planning authorities.

Philip Kotler had suggested the following steps in a long-term marketing planning process:

(i) Diagnosis:

The planning process starts with an attempt by the company to size up the present market situation and the factors responsible for it. The current situation of where the company stands and the reasons behind it are diagnosed.

For this, data about the sales volume of the company, market value of shares, product and territory-wise performance, etc. is needed. Supplementary data on marketing costs, plant utilisation, profit levels and other variables are also required.

(ii) Prognosis:

In prognosis, the company estimates how it will perform if the present market trend continues: What would be the volume of sales and profits in the long run?

A systematic sales and profit prognosis consists of five steps:

(a) Projection of industry sales over the planning period.

(b) Forecast of company sales.

(c) Forecast of company revenues, costs and profits.

(d) Forecast of investments.

(e) Forecast of rate of return on investment (ROI).

(iii) Objectives:

If the prognosis indicates a bright future for the company should the current conditions prevail, then steps should be taken to further strengthen the present policies. The strong points of the policies should be identified and the policies should be updated periodically in accordance with the changing market environment.

On the other hand, if the prognosis does not look good, then the current policies should be reviewed and the weaknesses pin­pointed. The marketing manager should revise the objectives and formulate newer policies and plans which would help the company to face the future challenges.

(iv) Strategy:

This is the long range plan which lays down the broad principles by which the company hopes to secure a competitive advantage over competitors, achieve a higher market share and optimally utilise the company’s resources.

Marketing strategy involves the following steps:

(a) Identify the areas where the company has a competitive advantage.

(b) Define the target market.

(c) Describe the features of the products and services which would make them appealing to the target customers.

(d) Determine the advertisement and sales promotion methods to be used.

(v) Tactics:

While strategic planning is long range planning, tactical planning is of shorter range. Tactical plans are made to facilitate achievement of strategic plans; therefore they should be aligned with the strategic plans. All the activities under tactical plans are undertaken to move closer to the attainment of goals defined under the strategic plans. In tactical planning, the strategic plans are divided into specific, short- term actions and plans.

(vi) Follow-Up:

Long range plans are made on basis of certain future assumptions which are subject to change. Thus it is not enough to formulate and implement these plans. Once a plan has been implemented, it is necessary to appraise its effectiveness from time to time.

Follow-up action should be provided to see that the programmes and procedures are being carried out in accordance with the plans. The actual results of the plans should be compared with the desired standards from time to time. If the results are not up to the mark, then the plans should be analysed and corrective measures taken to increase the efficiency.

2. Short-Term or Annual Marketing Planning:

In addition to long-term strategic plans, companies need to prepare short-term or annual marketing plans every year. The short-term plans are formulated in the context of the company’s long range plan.

These plans should be so designed that they facilitate the achievement of the long range goals of the business. They should reflect the progressive implementation of the company’s marketing strategies.

Steps in Annual Marketing Planning:

(i) Conduct market research to collect information regarding past year’s sales, profitability, consumer demands, etc.

(ii) Determine the goals to be achieved in the upcoming year in context of the market research.

(iii) Describe the products and services which will be sold at the market.

(iv) Identify the target market.

(v) Develop short-term marketing plans to achieve these goals.

(vi) Prepare a month-wise schedule of marketing activities for the year.

(vii) Implement the plans and monitor their progress on a monthly basis.

Marketing Plan – Characteristics: Planning should be Simple, Planning should be Practical, Planning should be Selective and Adaptive and a Few Others

The primary purpose of marketing planning is to increase managerial effectiveness. Planning is nothing but a systematic approach for the management to consider the possible alternatives it faces. In recent years, planning has become more formalised. There is a well-established procedure for management to follow for marketing planning.

However a procedure that provides a technique should have the following characteristics or essentials:

Characteristic # 1. Planning should be Simple:

The planning process or procedure should be simple. The planned programme works, only if the average manager is capable of using it in spite of the day to day work pressures that he has to face and in the absence of intensive training. In today’s business world that is becoming more and more complex and competitive, it is very important that simplicity be maintained in planning. However simplicity should not be at the cost of producing results.

Characteristic # 2. Planning should be Practical:

The planning process should be practical. It should be such that every manager at whatever level he may be benefits from it. If the benefits of planning accrue only to the top level managers then the lower level ones will extend only reluctant compliance and this will be followed by unwanted resentment. Thus it is very essential that planning be practical and beneficial to all. To make planning beneficial even to the average manager, the marketing manager should develop a practical process and should provide background information, training and technical assistance.

Characteristic # 3. Planning should be Selective and Adaptive:

The planning process must be so selective and adaptive that all the managers are covered. An eligibility to participate must not force the participants to use planning more than it is required especially in his area so that different areas of planning of each manager can be coordinated and consolidated.

Characteristic # 4. Planning should be Flexible:

The planning process must be so flexible that it should be possible to change any portion of planning conveniently, with least cost, if anything happens warranting a change.

Characteristic # 5. Planning should be Precise:

Future planning should be precise in terms of goals and objectives. In fact the future cannot be predicted with a high degree of accuracy, and the further into the future you try to predict the less accurate you are. However there are three ways of expressing expected results namely general, specific and dynamically quantified. The third is the best way as it is the way in which a precise statement is made so that the problem can be easily recognised. It facilitates quick and easy identification, detection and measurement of possible deviations.

Characteristic # 6. Planning should be Based on Reliable Information:

For planning to be sound there is a requirement of reliable information on a continuous basis. The future estimate is neither a forecast nor a prediction but a temporary hypothesis regarding an important, probable future development that could not be predicted with accuracy. The planner needs to have continuous feedback of information so that he can revise the estimate whenever there is a significant deviation.

Characteristic # 7. Planning should be Synthesising and Synchronising:

The planning process should be such that it co-ordinates and integrates all types of plans and planning. In each functional area there should be perfect synchronisation and synthesisation of functions. If planning does not co-ordinate and integrate all the sub functions in each area the firm will have to pay a high price for time, effort, confusion, resistance, resentment and frustration.

Characteristic # 8. Planning should be Motivating:

Planning in order to be effective needs the active participation of the managerial personnel. Planning will encourage people to participate provided they are motivated.

Any properly designed planning process will motivate the personnel because it will result in the following:

(a) It gives the workers’ a real sense of participating in the planning for their own future.

(b) It relieves apprehension by converting the unknown to known,

(c) It provides security as to their position in the organisation,

(d) It develops pride amongst the personnel to be part of an organisation that knows where it is, where it wants to go and how to get there.

Characteristic # 9. Planning should be Accompanied with the Least Amount of Paper Work:

An effective planning system is one which gets all the work done with the least amount of paper work. All planning should not be reduced in writing. In fact the writing work can be reduced by following discussions and outlining, giving only the information that is required and avoiding duplicacy of information by providing common information from a common source.

Characteristic # 10. Planning has to have a Direction:

In order for the planning process to be most efficient a special director for planning should be appointed whose only job will be not to do planning but only to oversee how it is working and show it should work. He should be a planning specialist and should dedicate all his time only to ensure that successful and efficient planning takes place, and is properly implemented.

Marketing Plan – Importance

1. It gives direction to an Organization and its departments. Example- Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has been successful in competing with multinational companies in the Indian market for many years.

2. It helps to predict the future and control uncertainties. Example- The Tata Group has made path breaking decisions in predicting the future. A good example is the ‘Tata Nano’ car.

3. Helps all the departments in an organization to work towards a common goal, that is, customer satisfaction.

4. Reduces unwanted costs in marketing activities

5. A good marketing plan help an organization to achieve its goals and objectives

6. It allows for good flow of communication between various departments

7. It removes doubts and fears, if any, from the minds of employees

8. A good marketing plan enhances coordination and control

9. Marketing planning helps in continuous improvement of marketing activities

10. A good marketing plan leads to product innovation and new product development. Example – Apple Inc. an American MNC has been very successful in new product development and innovation.

11. It helps to leverage brand image and build brand equity. Example- Amazon has managed to leverage its brand image around the world and also in India in spite of stiff competition.

Marketing Plan – 3 Basic Components: Objectives, Policies and Programmes 

Marketing planning is composed of three basic components.

1. Objectives,

2. Policies, and

3. Programmes.

1. Objectives:

The first component of a marketing plan is the marketing objective. The objective is the end towards which all marketing activities are directed. The marketing objectives usually answer the question where are we heading? Or what are we aiming at. In order to facilitate understanding marketing objectives may be divided into three parts, namely basic objectives; goals and targets. The basic objectives define the long range fundamental purpose of the company’s marketing operations. They are not bound by time, nor are they quantifiable.

Some examples of basic objectives are given below:

i. To develop and maintain product leadership;

ii. To win the loyalty and co-operation of dealers;

iii. To improve and strengthen the company’s long range profit outlook.

The marketing objectives may also be expressed as goals and targets. The marketing goals and targets are specific and not vague or philosophical like the basic objectives. The marketing goals are statements of specific, achievement standards whereas targets are the quantified expressions of these standards to be achieved within a given time frame. The basic marketing objectives, goals and targets are closely inter-related; the basic objectives shape goals which in turn shape targets.

2. Policies:

Marketing policies are broad guidelines which guide the marketing personnel in decision making. Policies are general statements or understandings which guide or direct the thinking and decision making process of the subordinates. A policy limits the area of action.

The examples of marketing policies include statements like the following:

i. We will be competitive in price but not be a price cutter.

ii. Our after sale service will be most comprehensive.

iii. Wholesaler-retailer channel of distribution will be the king-pin of our distribution system.

3. Programmes:

A marketing programme is a sequence of pre-determined marketing actions made after taking into accounts the time and resources available. A programme has to be formulated within the limits of the policies of the organisation and it should be designed in such a manner that it achieves the marketing objectives. A marketing programme is made up of procedures, rules and budgets.

Marketing Plan   – Approaches: Sales Volume Planning, Target Profit Planning and Profit-Optimisation Planning 

We now are ready to contrast three approaches:

1. Sales volume planning,

2. Target profit planning, and

3. Profit-optimisation planning—used by product managers to develop their plans.

Approach # 1. Sales Volume Planning:

In this system, the product manager is told the target sales volume for the coming year. Higher management sets the sales goal on the basis of the economic outlook, the competitive picture, and the desire to run the plant at near capacity. Sales volume planning is typically found in capital-intensive industries such as – steel, autos, and chemicals where the task is to keep the equipment operating as much as possible and find ways to sell all of the output.

The product manager may not even have much to say about the price that will be charged. In a few cases, the product manager will not even propose the marketing budget necessary to do the job, in that top management will develop a budget based on a conventional percentage of marketing expenditures to planned sales.

The manager’s main discretion comes in dividing the marketing budget among various elements of the marketing mix, such as – advertising, sales promotion, and marketing research. He or she also determines or proposes how to allocate these expenditures among the different geographical and end-use markets for the product.

Approach # 2. Target Profit Planning:

In many companies, the product manager is responsible for proposing a marketing plan that promises to deliver a stated target level of profit. In some cases, the target profit level is set by higher management and it is the product manager’s job to build a plan to achieve this level of profits.

In other cases, the product manager proposes a target profit level that he or she believes will satisfy higher management, given the corporation’s overall profit goals and the expected capacity of the product to contribute to profits.

Approach # 3. Profit Optimisation Planning:

Profit optimisation requires that the manager give explicit recognition to the relationship between sales volume and the various elements of the marketing budget as represented in the sales equation. We shall use the term sales response function to describe the relationship between sales volume and a particular element of the marketing mix.

Specifically, the sales response function forecasts the likely sales volume during a specified time period associated with different possible levels of a marketing-mix element, holding constant the other marketing-mix elements.

It should not be thought of as describing a relationship over time between the two variables. To the extent that managers have a good feel for the relevant sales response functions, they are in a position to formulate more effective marketing plans.

Marketing Plan   – Areas: Corporate Planning, Long-Term Planning and Short-Term Planning

Marketing planning is a systematic disciplined exercise to formulate marketing strategies. Marketing planning can be related to the organization as a whole or strategic business units (SBUs). Marketing planning is a forward looking exercise which determines the future strategies of an organization with special reference to its product development, market development, channel design, sales promotion, profitability, etc.

There are three broad areas of marketing planning within the corporate planning:

1. Corporate Planning:

Corporate planning is planning for the total enterprise. It is a term used to denote a formal, comprehensive and systematic appraisal of external and internal environment to achieve organizational objectives. It lays down the basic policies, plans and strategies of the enterprise as a whole on the basis of allocated resources. It is systematic as it covers the whole planning process in a logical and sequential manner. Corporate planning plays a vital role in defining mission, objectives and goals.

2. Long-Term Planning:

Long term planning is the process of planning for long term goals. It defines the broad directions in which the organization seeks to steer in future. In the words of Peter Drucker, “Long range planning is the process of making current risk taking decision with the best possible knowledge of the future consequences.”

Long term plan formulation involves the following steps:

i. Assessing what has been done in the past.

ii. Sizing up of the critically evaluated strengths.

iii. Organizational objective fixation.

iv. Forecasting.

v. Evaluating the performance of strategic activities.

vi. Implementing strategies in the long range plan and bridge the gap.

vii. Developing the time span for the long range plan.

3. Short-Term Planning:

Short term planning is also known as annual planning. Short-term plans are specific, measurable and detailed. They provide form and content to long-range plans. They are worked out within the framework of existing resources. A short range plan is an attempt to break down a long range plan into specific action programmes.

Short term planning is action-oriented and specific. Short term planning provides the basis for day-to-day operations. Programmes, budget, schedule etc.; are the main elements of short term planning.

Marketing Plan   – Essential Requirements: Planning should be Simple, Planning should be Practical, Planning should be Flexible and a Few Others 

The primary purpose of marketing planning is to increase ‘managerial effectiveness’. Planning is nothing but a systematic approach for the management to consider the possible alternatives it faces. In recent years, planning has become more formalised. There is a well-established procedure for management to follow for marketing planning.

1. Planning Should be Simple:

The planning process or procedure should be simple. The planned programme works, only if the average manager is capable, of using it in spite of the day to day work-pressures that he has to face and in the absence of intensive training. In. today’s business world that is becoming more and more complex and competitive, it is very important that simplicity be maintained in planning. However simplicity should not be at the cost of producing results.

2. Planning Should be Practical:

3. Planning Should be Selective and Adaptive:

The planning process must be so selective and adaptive that all the managers are covered. An eligibility to participate must not force the participants to use planning more than it is required specially in this area so that different areas of planning of each manager can be co-ordinated and consolidated.

4. Planning Should be Flexible:

The planning process must be so flexible that it should be possible to change any portion of planning conveniently, with least cost if anything happens warranting a change.

5. Planning Should be Precise:

Future planning should be precise in terms of goals and objectives. In fact the future cannot be predicted with a high degree of accuracy, and further into the future you try to predict the less accurate you are. However there are three ways of expressing expected results namely – general, specific and dynamically quantified. The third is the best way as it is the way in which precise statement is made so that the problem can be easily recognised. It facilitates quick and easy identification, detection and measurement of possible deviations.

6. Planning Should be Based on Reliable Information:

For planning to be sound there is a requirement of reliable information on a continuous basis. The future estimate is neither a forecast nor a prediction but, a temporary hypothesis regarding an important, probable future development that could not be predicted with accuracy. The planner needs to have continuous feedback of information so that he can revise the estimate whenever there is a significant deviation.

7. Planning Should be Synthesising and Synchronising:

The planning process should be such that it co-ordinates and integrates all types of plans and planning. In each functional area there should be perfect synchronisation and synthesisation of functions. If planning does not co-ordinate and integrate all the sub function in each area, the firm will have to pay a high price for time, effort, confusion, resistance, resentment and frustration.

8. Planning Should be Motivating:

Any properly designed planning process will motivate the personnel because; it will result in the following:

i. It gives the workers’ a real sense of participating in the planning for their own future density.

ii. It relieves apprehension by converting the unknown to known,

iii. It provides security as to their position in the organisation,

iv. It develops pride amongst the personnel to be part of an organisation that knows where it is, where it wants to go and how to get there.

9. Planning Should be Accompanied With the Least Amount of Paper Work:

An effective planning system is one which gets all the work done with the least amount of paper work. All planning should not be reduced in writing. In fact the writing work can be reduced by following discussions and outlining; giving only the information that is required; avoiding duplicacy of information by providing common information from a common source.

10. Planning has to Have a Direction:

In order for the planning process to be most efficient, a special director for planning should be appointed whose only job will be not to do planning but only to oversee how it is working and show how it should work. He should be a planning specialist and should dedicate all his time only to ensure that successful and efficient planning takes place, and is properly implemented.

Marketing Plan   – Problems Faced by a Marketing Planner: Corporate Inflexibilities, Loss of Initiatives, The Cost of Planning, The Problem of Work Pressure & a Few Others

The planning process described above is a logical and rational way of determining the future course of marketing action in any company. It analyses the past, considers the present and projects the future so as to facilitate the marketing management of a company. However the process of planning is not without its problems.

Some of the major problems faced by a marketing planner are highlighted below:

Problem # 1. The Problem of Accuracy in Projecting the Future:

One of the major problems in marketing planning is to accurately project the future on which the whole structure of planning is based. As far as projecting the future is concerned problems arise on two accounts. First and foremost there is a lack of reliable data and applicable tools on whose basis sales and other marketing results are forecast. Secondly the market forces whose behaviour is to be predicted are very dynamic. In India reliable market information is not available and the facilities to process it are inadequate.

As a result of this reliable and timely future predictions become difficult. This makes marketing planning problematic. However two alternatives have been suggested to overcome this problem. First the management may develop alternative sets of premises and alternative plans based on them so that major changes in future events may be readily reflected in action. And, second, management should be ready with detours in planning to allow for unforeseeable events. However, both the alternatives need flexibility of plan.

Problem # 2. Corporate Inflexibilities:

Another problem faced by a marketing planner is the inflexibilities built in the corporate working. Corporate inflexibilities refer to rigidities and resistance of persons and systems operating in the company with regard to the changes contemplated by the marketing plan. These may be both internal-as well as external. Internal inflexibilities refer to the mental frame, attitudes, perceptions and behaviour of marketing and other personnel. The behaviour of the personnel may be so conditioned over a period of time that they may develop inflexibility and resist changes which a plan has envisaged.

This is particularly so in old and established business houses. Similarly marketing systems policies, procedures, and rules tend to become so secure that there is an aversion to any change in them. Even investments made can act as impediments in marketing planning for e.g., the management may be very keen to recover the investment made in training of a particular salesman and may resist a marketing plan that writes of this training.

Apart from this internal inflexibilities marketing planning is plagued by external inflexibilities also. The external inflexibilities are rooted in the external environment of a company over which the marketing management has little or no control. These inflexibilities arise from the changes taking place in the culture and behaviour patterns of society, political climate, labour organisations and technological frame within which the organisation operates.

Problem # 3. Loss of Initiatives:

A closely knit comprehensive marketing plan stifles initiative because the participants are strictly tied to the set goals, targets, authorities and responsibilities. This discourages working with a free and open mind and therefore diminishes innovations in the marketing operations.

Problem # 4. The Problem of Work Pressure:

One of the important problems faced by marketing planners is that marketing personnel are so much preoccupied with execution of marketing functions and solving day to day problems that they are not left with sufficient time and energy to think and plan marketing operations. Such job pressures are normally caused by enlarged span of control, non-­delegation of authority, and reluctance to plan. It is a problem which encourages management by crisis and does not let planning take off the ground.

Problem # 5. The Cost of Planning:

In order to come up with an effective marketing plan the company has to spend in terms of time, money and talent. The specific and logical steps required in marketing planning, all consume a good deal of money, time and talent. With all this the benefits of marketing planning are not available immediately. It has its own payoff period which is usually quite long. This discourages firms from undertaking marketing planning in the most systematic and scientific way. In spite of the above problems the relevance of marketing planning cannot be denied and no company should attempt action without a plan.

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Politics latest: Rwanda plan suffers successive defeats in Lords - as Galloway criticised for 'repulsive' Holocaust comparison

Jeremy Hunt is hinting at tax cuts in Wednesday's budget, as the Tories bid to shift the dial as they languish in the polls. Meanwhile, George Galloway is back in Westminster after being sworn in as Rochdale's MP - and the House of Lords is battering the government's Rwanda plan.

Monday 4 March 2024 18:30, UK

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  • Coming up on Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge at 7pm
  • Lords deal successive blows to Rwanda plan
  • Jon Craig: What thumping defeat means for asylum plan
  • Corbyn takes legal action against Farage
  • Galloway criticised for Holocaust remark after being sworn in
  • Tamara Cohen: New MP's fiery claims a sign of things to come
  • Budget 2023 : What to expect  | How to watch  | Why Hunt's willing to sacrifice public spending |  Podcast: Are tax cuts a vote winner?
  • Live reporting by Ben Bloch and (earlier)  Faith Ridler

Welcome to budget week.

A week of endless speculation and then endless analysis… a week of rabbits, hats, red boxes, and red books.

The expectation is Jeremy Hunt will cut taxes on Wednesday, but I've got another prediction for you today.

On Wednesday afternoon, or maybe on Thursday morning, once the dust has settled, we'll have a much better idea about when the election will be.

Think about it: if this is the last budget before a spring general election, then it's one of the last levers the government can pull. 

So we should expect a blockbuster budget, with policies they hope could swing an election.

If the prime minister is planning on hanging on until autumn, or even winter, then other things come into play: economic credibility, fiscal responsibility, leaving cash in the bank to fund a pre-election giveaway.

There's so much speculation in Westminster about when the election will be, but nobody really knows. 

On Wednesday, we'll get some cold hard facts… some important intelligence to feed back for analysis.

It's not an exact science, but I reckon by the end of the week, we'll have a better idea of spring or autumn. 

If you promise not to hold me to it, I'll let you know my thoughts.

The government has lost the third vote of the night in the House of Lords regarding its Rwanda plan.

The previous amendment to pass was to ensure that Rwanda is not declared a safe country until the conditions of the accompanying treaty - signed in November - are fully implemented and provide for a monitoring mechanism to establish this.

This amendment establishes the mechanism to determine that the treaty has been fully implemented in order for Rwanda to be declared safe and flights to take off.

The result of the vote was:

  • Contents: 277
  • Not contents: 167

That means the government lost by a majority of 110 - bigger than the previous two defeats this afternoon.

Why is Jeremy Hunt preparing to cut taxes and rein in public spending growth when polls suggest the public - by a clear margin - think this is the wrong way round?

Sky News' Voters Panel, an online community of 2019 Conservative voters, holds the answer.

For two weeks, Sky News has convened dozens of voters who supported Boris Johnson's Tories to probe more deeply than possible with an opinion poll into what motivates their views in this election year. 

And while it is true that the overall British population swings one way (YouGov polling finds 55% of voters overall say spare cash should go to public services against only 30% wanting tax cuts), our key electoral demographic sees things differently. 

Read more below:

The House of Lords is continuing to debate amendments to the government's bill to rescue the embattled Rwanda scheme after it suffered its first defeat an hour ago ( more here ).

Peers have just held their second vote, which was on an amendment about whether parliament can declare Rwanda a safe country after the Supreme Court ruled that it is not.

The amendment, proposed by crossbench peer Lord David Hope, would ensure that Rwanda is not declared a safe country until the conditions of the accompanying treaty - signed in November - are fully implemented and provide for a monitoring mechanism to establish this.

  • Contents: 282
  • Not contents: 180

That means the government was defeated by the same majority of 102 as it was an hour ago.

Our weeknight politics show  Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge  is live on Sky News from 7pm.

The fast-paced show dissects the inner workings of Westminster, with interviews, insights, and analysis - bringing you, the audience, into the corridors of power.

Tonight, Sophy will be speaking to Tory MP Paul Scully , who announced today that he will stand down at the next election. It also follows a backlash to comments last week declaring a part of Birmingham and London "no-go zones", for which he has since apologised .

James Daly , a deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, will also be on the show ahead of the budget on Wednesday.

And she will also hear from Daniel Kebede , general secretary of the National Education Union.

On Sophy's panel tonight are:

  • Ben Bradshaw , Labour MP and former cabinet minister;
  • James Starkie , former Tory Home Office adviser.

Tune in to watch on Sky News from 7pm, with live updates right here in the Politics Hub.

Watch Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge Monday to Thursday on Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 602, Freeview channel 233, on the  Sky News website  and  app  or on  YouTube .

During a news conference earlier this afternoon, George Galloway launched a vigorous defence of his decision to make the Israel-Hamas war a centrepiece of his Rochdale by-election campaign ( read more in the 15.54 post) .

It came not long after he was sworn in as an MP ( see 14.34 post ).

During that statement, he made a Holocaust comparison, saying: "If the by-election had been in February of 1940 or 41, would anyone seriously have condemned me for putting the crimes of the Holocaust at the centre of my election campaign?"

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of antisemitism lists "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" among its examples.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism hit out at the new Rochdale MP, saying he "knows exactly where the line is and purposely strides over it".

They added: "Diminishing the Holocaust through this appalling comparison is repulsive, although at this point we should expect nothing less from Britain's newest MP."

Parliament's newest MP – who points out he has done more time on the green benches than most of his other colleagues – has been making fiery remarks to journalists outside parliament ( see 15.54 post )

George Galloway, who declared on Friday when he won the Rochdale by-election that his win was "for Gaza", vowed he would have plenty more to say about the international situation, as well as his new hometown of Rochdale, at the first opportunity.

With customary modesty, he predicted he would "add to the political intelligence" in the Commons.

But you could see in this exchange - even as he ridiculed journalists' questions and threw accusations at all quarters - why he is viewed with deep apprehension as a charismatic speaker who other parties fear will sow division at an already fragile time.

He started with an offensive comparison between the war in Gaza, triggered by the 7 October attacks, and the Holocaust, saying he would not have been condemned for "putting the crimes of the Holocaust at the centre my election campaign" in "1940 or 1941" – ironically, years before those atrocities were recognised by parliament.

Challenged on that assertion by Sky News, he doubled down.

Galloway accused Rishi Sunak of trying to "whip up Islamophobic, racist fervour" as an election tactic, and called his speech on tackling extremism outside Number 10 on Friday evening an "embarrassing impromptu performance".

He claimed Keir Starmer would be unlikely to "defend the democratic rights of the British people, including its religious and ethnic minorities".

"The next election will be about Muslims and will be about the taking away of civil liberties in this country," he said. "It's Sunak's last hope. I pray for social peace of our country that it's a forlorn hope."

He suggested this tactic would allow independent candidates like himself to pick up "potentially millions of votes" in other diverse constituencies such as that of Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner – to "make sure Keir Starmer doesn't win".

Given Labour's commanding position in the polls, and the fact the party could not stand a candidate against him in Rochdale, most Labour figures will see this as hot air.

But Galloway is determined to use the Palestine issue to put as much pressure as possible on the Labour leader – and there will be a lot more of this sort of rhetoric to come.

As the country gears up for the general election, Wednesday's budget may be the last before the voters go to the polls.

Hailed as "a budget to save the Tory party", speculation has been mounting that the chancellor will cut taxes as a last-ditch attempt to boost the Conservatives' plunging support.

To afford the move, funding to public services could be slashed - but Jeremy Hunt has insisted any cuts will be done "responsibly".

On today's episode, Sophy Ridge looks ahead to the budget. She's joined by deputy political editor Sam Coates and pollster Scarlett Maguire to unpack whether cutting taxes really is the way to a Conservative election win.

Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts

We've just been hearing from our chief political correspondent Jon Craig  on the Lords inflicting a defeat on the government over the Rwanda bill (see previous post).

Asked how significant this defeat is, he replied: "What's significant is the size of the defeat because it's a thumping defeat."

He pointed to the majority of 102 in favour of the amendment that would mandate that the bill, if passed, maintain "full compliance with domestic and international law".

Jon explained that there will be a series of votes today and over the coming days on amendments to the bill, and that at a certain point, Labour will throw up its hands up and let it pass.

"They're not going to block it altogether in the long term," he said.

"But for now, the government is getting a real spanking in the House of Lords."

Watch Jon's full analysis here:

The government has just suffered a sizeable defeat in the House of Lords on its bill to rescue the embattled Rwanda scheme.

Peers are voting on a series of amendments to the government's legislation this afternoon.

This one was proposed by Lord Vernon Coaker, a former Labour MP, and it would mandate that the bill, if passed, maintain "full compliance with domestic and international law".

It would effectively kill the central purpose of the bill to limit the impact of international law and allow appeals against deportation to Rwanda to be severely limited.

The result was: 

  • Content: 274
  • Not content: 172

The means a majority of 102 voted in favour of the amendment.

This does not mean the amendment will make it into the final bill that passes into law, as there will be a parliamentary "ping-pong" between the Lords and the Commons to come up with a final version.

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10 importance of marketing plan in business plan

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