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Definition

Marketing plan

A marketing plan is a written document that summarizes what the marketer has learned about the marketplace and indicates how the firm plans to reach its marketing objectives. It contains tactical guidelines for the marketing programs and financial allocations over the planning period.

A marketing plan is one of the most important outputs of the marketing process. It provides direction and focus for a brand, product, or company. Nonprofit organizations use marketing plans to guide their fund-raising and outreach efforts, and government agencies use them to build public awareness of nutrition and stimulate tourism.

The marketing plan focuses on how the business will market and sell its product or service. It deals with the nuts and bolts of marketing in terms of price, promotion, distribution, and sales. For example, Greatcall, the firm that makes cell phones for older users, may have a great product, a well- defined target market, and a good understanding of its customers and competitors, but it still has to find customers and persuade them to buy its product. The marketing section communicates your specific plans for meeting these objectives.

The best way to describe a company’s marketing plan is to start by articulating its marketing strategy, positioning, and points of differentiation, and then talk about how these overall aspects of the plan will be supported by price, promotional mix and sales process, and distribution strategy. Obviously, it’s not possible to include a full-blown marketing plan in the four to five pages permitted in a business plan for the marketing section, but you should hit the high points as best as possible.

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