What is a Marketing Plan?

 Introduction to Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan is a document that oulines the marketing efforts of a business in a determined period (generaly 1 to 5 years).

I- What is the purpose Marketing Plan?

Usually, The purpose of a marketing plan includes the following:

  • To clearly define the marketing objectives of the business that align with the corporate mission and vision of the organization. The marketing objectives indicate where the organization wishes to be at any specific period in the future.
  • State and review the marketing mix in terms of the 8Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, Physical Evidence, and Performance.
  • The marketing plan usually assists in the growth of the business by stating appropriate marketing strategies, such as plans for increasing the customer base.
  • Strategies to increase market share, enter new niche markets, and increase brand awareness are also encompassed within the marketing plan.
  • The marketing plan will contain a detailed budget for the funds and resources required to carry out activities indicated in the marketing plan.
  • A marketing plan fosters the review and analysis of the marketing environment, which entails market research, customer needs assessment, competitor analysis, PEST analysis, studying new business trends, and continuous environmental scanning.
  • A marketing plan integrates business functions to operate with consistency – notably sales, production, finance, human resources, and marketing.

II- Elements of a Marketing Plan

A good Marketing Plan will typically includes eleven elements, which are:

1- Marketing objectives of the business

The objectives must be "Measurable" and "Attainable", which are associated with two objectives of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

2- Current business marketing positioning

An analysis of the state of a business, concerning its Marketing Positioning.

3- Market research

Detailed research about consumer needs, market trends, industry sales volumes, and expected direction.

4- Outline of the business target market

Demographics that are targeted by the business.

5- Marketing activities

A list of any actions concerning marketing goals that are scheduled for the period and the indicated timelines.

6- Key performance indicators

KPIs to be tracked

7- Marketing mix

A combination of factors that can influence customers to purchase products. It will largely be centered on the 4Ps of marketing  (product, price, promotion, and place).

8- Competition

Identify the business competitors and their strategies, while finding ways to counter competition and gain market share.

9- Marketing strategies

The development of marketing strategies to be used in the coming period. These strategies will include promotional strategies, advertising, and other marketing tools at the disposal of the business.

10- Marketing budget

A detailed outline of the business's allocation of financial resources to marketing activities. They will need to be carried out within the marketing budget.

11- Monitoring and performance mechanism

A plan should be in place to identify if the marketing tools in place are bearing fruit or need to be revised based on the past, current, and expected future state of the company, industry, and the overall business environment

III- The Structure of a Marketing Plan

A Marketing Plan can be sectioned to the following:

1- Marketing Plan Objectives

the marketing plan must be with clear, realistic, and attainable objectives. It contains specific targets and time frames. It should also contain metrics, such as target market share, the target number of customers to be attained, penetration rate, usage rate, sales volumes targeted, etc.

2- Market Analysis/Consumer Analysis

Market analysis contains market definition, market size, industry structure, market share and trends, and competitor analysis. While Consumer analysis includes the customers demographics and what influences their buying decisions.

3- Target Market

This defines the target customers by their demographic profile (gender, race, age, and interests). This will aide in the correct marketing mix for the target market segments.

4- SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis will look at the business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It includes the following:

a- Strengths

They are the business's advantages that are not easily duplicated. They represent the skills and expertise that a business possesses over its competitors.

b- Weaknesses

They are problems found in the operations of a business, and they stifle growth. These can include outdated machinery, inadequate working capital, and inefficient production methods.

c- Opportunities

They are prospects for growth in the business through the adoption of ways to take advantage of the chances. They could include entry into new markets, adopting digital marketing strategies, or following new trends.

d- Threats

They are external factors that can affect the business negatively, such as a new powerful competitor, legislative changes, natural disasters, or political situations.

5- Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy covers actual strategies to be included according to the marketing mix. The strategy centers on the 4P’s of marketing – product, price, place, and promotion.

The correct marketing mix is determined by the target market. The most expensive options are advertising, sales promotions, and PR campaigns. Networking and referrals are less costly.

6- Marketing Budget

The marketing budget or projection outlines the budgeted expenditure for the marketing activities documented in the marketing plan. The marketing budget consists of revenues and costs stated in the marketing plan in one document.


The marketing plan should be revised and adapted to changes in the environment periodically. The use of metrics, budgets, and schedules to measure progress towards the goals set in the marketing plan is a continuous process by marketing personnel. It is a crucial document for both start-ups and big companies, and it should be done throughly so that no losses occur during the year.

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