Marketing Plan

Updated on March 19, 2024
Article byPrakhar Gajendrakar
Edited byPrakhar Gajendrakar
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a blueprint for advertisement, promotion, and branding. It is subdivided into various marketing strategies. Every firm irrespective of its size and nature, requires a marketing plan and a fixed marketing budget.

Marketing Plan

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Depending on a firm’s specific business needs, the blueprint can be detailed or cover all aspects within a one-page plan. Marketing plans need to keep up with time and innovation. Trends like social media marketing are replacing traditional methods.

Key Takeaways

  • A marketing plan refers to the whole structure of actionable plans and strategies that a company develops to promote and market its products and services.
  • Not every plan needs to be a success; there are high chances of risk and potential loss if a marketing campaign flops.
  • Even a good product or service will not achieve sales unless the customers know about the product. Marketing blueprints are especially crucial for smaller firms and manufacturers of rare products.
  • Small companies often create marketing plan covering three phases—lead generation, follow-up, and closing of the deal. Such plans mostly relate to sales companies with high targets; they require fieldwork and client servicing.

Marketing Plan Explained

The marketing plan definition implies a blueprint for the advertisement and publicity of products and services. No matter how good a product or service is, customers can buy it only if they know about it. Manufacturers, therefore, need a plan to inform the customers. These strategies are especially challenging for smaller firms and manufacturers of rare products. In a capitalistic market, almost every company has a marketing team. Investment in marketing constitutes a significant chunk of total earnings.

This blueprint cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. Marketing objectives differ from firm to firm. Based on specific needs, businesses prioritize different aspects like sales, brand awareness, brand recall, goodwill, information, promotional activities, etc.

Many small companies create one page marketing plan covering three phases:

  • Lead generation
  • Follow-up
  • Closing the deal

Such plans mostly relate to sales companies with high targets; they require fieldwork and client servicing.

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How To Create A Marketing Plan?

The marketing blueprint template comprises follows the following steps:

#1. Setting Marketing Goals

Companies first define what they want to achieve—the objectives. Objectives could be generating sales, building a brand image, informing customers about a discount, or publicizing a new acquisition.

#2. Research and Analysis

Research is based on primary and secondary data; good research help business owners make better decisions.

#3. Determining the Marketing Plan Budget

Every company has a marketing team; a set budget is allocated for marketing purposes. It is important for the marketing department to work under budget boundaries and not overspend. Marketing budget should be based on business needs and not on their ability to afford them.

#4. Building Strategies and Campaigns

Once the budget is set, the team starts working on the campaigns and strategies—based on objectives and budget. A marketing plan is subdivided into multiple marketing strategies—scheduled either one after another or all at once.

#5. Scheduling Implementation

Despite having a fixed schedule for each campaign and strategy, marketing teams often realign and reschedule. This is based on feedback, whether or not a particular strategy is delivering the expected results.

#6. Monitoring and Evaluation

There is a long-term evaluation of each strategy. Based on the analysis, the firm highlights room for improvement, errors, growth opportunities, and whether the strategy succeeded or not.

Example

Charlie opens a new café where people can spend time reading books. He included a small reading area, hoping the customer would stay longer and order more coffee and snacks. Initially, the footfalls were less. Upon analysis, Charlie manages to identify the problem—nobody in the town knows about his café.

To solve this problem, Charlie needs a marketing plan—advertisement and promotion. He allocates a budget and publishes ads in a local newspaper. In addition, Charlie requests his initial customers to tag the café on social media. He encourages customers to take as many pictures as they want—to post online.

Then, Charlie hires a digital marketer. The marketer creates a website—the café now has a digital presence. Slowly people start recognizing Charlie’s café, and the footfalls increase; within three months, Charlie makes a reasonable profit. Eventually, people from different parts of the town also started visiting the café.

Importance

A specific marketing strategy is essential for the following reasons.

  • Even when a product or service is exceptional, sales targets cannot be achieved if customers do not know about it.
  • Every firm needs a structured blueprint to achieve advertising, promotion, brand image, and brand recall.
  • Social media advertising campaigns can reach a wider audience and create a successful digital presence. It triggers communication and can resolve issues.
  • It often helps companies collect information through surveys and door-to-door marketing activities.
  • Organizations that offer rare products and services need to inform people about their products and services.
  • Often firms make the mistake of spending big on advertising. Spending more does not always equate to results. Firms need thorough research to spend on the right aspect—based on specific needs.
  • Marketing is a dynamic process. It is not enough to just create a strategy. Based on real-time feedback, the marketing team has to tweak the strategy and ensure results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to make a marketing plan?

A marketing plan template comprises the following steps.
1. Setting objectives.
2. Defining marketing budget.
3. Plan strategies and campaigns
4. Execution.
5. Monitoring and regulating.

2. What is a strategic marketing plan?

It is an in-detail ploy that is goal oriented and based on detailed data collected, recorded, studied, and analyzed to create a foolproof action plan. The process extends from the setting up of goals to implementation, and everything in between.

3. What are the seven elements of the marketing plan?

In “Managerial Approach,” author Jerome McCarthy introduced the 4Ps of marketing, which was later expanded into the following seven elements:
1. Product
2. Price
3. Promotion
4. Place
5. People
6. Packaging
7. Process.

This has been a guide to What is Marketing Plan and its definition. We explain how to create it, its importance, and example. You can learn more about it from the following articles –

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