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What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a document created for operational purposes, which outlines a proposed marketing strategy that a particular organization will implement. It contains details that focus on the outreach, advertising and public relations (PR) campaigns that should be undertaken by the organization over a certain period of time, this includes a detailed account of how the organization will measure how these initiatives affected their target market.

Marketing planning can be used as a tool and a vital aid in helping assert the organisation in the marketplace. It has important information necessary in making well-grounded decisions, and this information assists in managing your decisions. It is important to note that a marketing plan should be based on the organization’s overall marketing strategy. This plan gives a detailed strategy that the organization will use to market their product or service to customers. It identifies the proposed target market, it gives the value position of the product or service, provides campaigns that will be initiated, and lastly provides useful metric helping assess the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives. The metric also helps the organization adjust their marketing plan to efforts that prove to have more impact.

What is included within this plan?

Market planning provides market research that would help support organisation’s prices decisions and its entry into a new market. It gives tailored messaging, which targets intended demographics and geographic areas. Helps determining which platform will be selected for the product or service promotion (e.g. Internet, digital radio, trade magazine/or mixture of platforms). Marketing plan provides a metric that helps organizations measure the results of their marketing efforts and provides a reporting timeline.

In summary, the marketing plan describes the organization’s activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a specified period. A marketing plan also includes an outline of the present market positioning and marketing activities of an organization, a description of the target market, as well as relevant current market share of the organization and an outline of the marketing mix that an organization will use to realize their marketing goals. A marketing plan has a formal structure but is often used as more of an informal document making it very flexible. It contains historical data, future predictions, and methods or strategies to guide the organization in realizing the marketing objectives. Marketing plans always start with the identification of the customer needs through an in-depth market research.

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