What is a Marketing Plan? Definition and Examples

If you want to be sure that your company will grow, you should have a marketing plan, i.e., a marketing strategy for your products or services for the next year, half year, or quarter.

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A marketing plan is an outline or document in which all your marketing and advertising efforts for a given period are laid out in detail.

Your marketing plan should contain an overview of the marketing and advertising goals of your company. It compares your current marketing position with where you would like to be at a given time in future. It also details how you plan to get there.

Marketing Plan – Timeline

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A six-month or twelve-month marketing plan, for example, contains a timeline which shows when certain tasks will be carried out.

At various points during that period, you should include a description of how you will measure the success of your actions.

According to the Corporate Finance Institute:

“A marketing plan is a document that lays out the marketing efforts of a business in an upcoming period, which is usually a year. It outlines the marketing strategy, promotional, and advertising activities planned for the period.”

The Marketplace, Rivals, and Market Research

Your marketing plan can help you and other employees gain a better understanding of the marketplace and and the behavior of your main rivals. It shows you which way to move forward, i.e., which direction to take for future tasks.

Before creating your plan, you will need to gather and analyze vital information, which market research can provide.

Marketing Plan Includes Your Goals and Objectives

You must specify what your goals are, such as boosting market share from 10% to 15%, plus how you plan to get there.

How you plan to get there, i.e., what you will do each month, are your objectives. The ultimate aim – to reach 15% market share – is your goal. Hence the term, goals and objectives.

Marketing Budget

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It is not possible to have a six- or twelve-month plan without working out how much it will all cost. Make sure you include a detailed outline of your company’s allocation of financial resources for marketing activities, i.e., you need to have a marketing budget.

It is also important to keep within the stated budget – don’t overspend.

A good marketing plan can help your business grow solidly. It can help you reach your goals, and will give you a clearer view of not only what needs to be done, but also why.