What’s a Marketing Plan and What Does It Cover?


Are you looking for information on what a marketing plan is and how to create one? You came to the right place. If you don’t know any details about marketing plans or building a strategy, don’t worry – we all start at some point. Even though I have been dipping my toes in marketing here, there, and everywhere, I only joined a dedicated marketing role as a marketing manager at a company about a year ago. This is why I want to share my findings with you, so you can start right away and don’t need to spend your whole day looking for all sorts of resources to tackle your tasks whether you work with an external marketing agency or keep all the work in-house without outsourcing.

Every part of a business should have a strategy to succeed, and that includes marketing. A marketing plan is a document or concept that outlines the strategies and tactics necessary for the successful promotion of your product or service. It’s an essential tool for any business looking to gain market share and increase sales. A well-crafted marketing plan should include an analysis of the current market situation, detailed objectives, budgets, and timelines, as well as research into your target audience. By understanding what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts—and how you will get there—you can lay out a roadmap that will help guide your team toward success.

How can a marketing plan support your business and why should create one?

A well-crafted marketing plan can help you increase your sales, reach new customers, and establish a strong brand identity. It is your roadmap for success – it lays out how you will get from point A to point B in terms of growing your business. With a comprehensive marketing strategy, you can create awareness about your products or services, build trust with potential customers, and establish your competitive edge. Additionally, a marketing plan is essential for staying organized, budgeting efficiently, and tracking the progress of your campaigns. Creating a specific plan helps you identify what strategies are working and which ones need to be adjusted or replaced entirely. Ultimately, having a solid marketing strategy in place will help drive your business to success.

What is the purpose of making a marketing plan?

The purpose of making a marketing plan is to lay out a roadmap for success in growing your business. A comprehensive marketing strategy will help you create awareness about your products or services, build trust with potential customers, and establish your competitive edge. Additionally, having a marketing plan allows you to stay organized and budget efficiently while tracking the progress of campaigns. Having a plan in place ensures that you have the resources and tools necessary to develop an effective marketing strategy. This helps with selecting the right software like email newsletter tools or CRM solutions just as well. By understanding your goals and objectives, you can create campaigns tailored to reach your target audience and move them along the sales funnel. Additionally, tracking progress allows you to measure success more efficiently and make tweaks or adjustments as needed.

What should a marketing plan consider and include?

A marketing plan should include a comprehensive analysis of your target audience, competitive landscape, and goals. Additionally, it should outline the strategies and tactics to be used to reach those goals including budgeting and resources required. Once these elements are in place, you can build out specific campaigns that are tailored to each unique segment of your audience. Here’s an overview of areas that should not be ignored.

Market research

Market research should be an integral part of any successful marketing plan as it provides invaluable insights into the needs, desires, behavior, and preferences of potential customers. Gathering this data allows marketers to create more effective campaigns that will resonate with their target audience. Market research can also help identify gaps in the competitive landscape, allowing businesses to develop unique selling points to differentiate themselves from their competition.


When creating a marketing plan, it’s essential to understand the competitive landscape and how your products or services are different from those of your competitors. By examining your competition, you can uncover opportunities for growth in terms of positioning and messaging that will help set you apart. Additionally, research into competitor activities can offer insight into effective approaches for engaging customers and reaching target markets. Understanding what works, and what doesn’t, with regard to pricing, promotions, and product offerings can help guide you when determining strategies for success.

Market plan strategies

When creating a marketing plan, it is important to consider the overall strategy as well as the tactics used to implement it. The strategy should focus on how your products or services are different from those of your competitors and how you can effectively engage customers in order to reach target markets. Tactics, on the other hand, involve practical steps that need to be taken in order to achieve success with regard to pricing, promotions, and product offerings. By understanding what works best for each area of focus, you can create a comprehensive market plan that will give you an edge over your competition. Of course, you can use existing methods like creating a SWOT analysis in order to simplify this process.

SWOT analysis matrix with its four elements in a 2x2 matrix
Image: Xhienne / Wikimedia Commons

Marketing plan budget

A marketing plan budget can help you reach your goals by providing a clear allocation of resources and outlining the efforts, money, and time needed to complete tasks and objectives. Having a budget can provide you with a roadmap, allowing you to track the progress of the plan while avoiding any costly mistakes. It also takes into account that time is an important resource and can help to ensure you reach your goals in the most cost-effective manner. A well-crafted marketing plan budget will also help you set realistic expectations and objectives while providing insight into what it takes to succeed and where improvements are necessary.

Marketing goals

Having a clear marketing plan with defined goals and objectives is essential in order to achieve success. High-level marketing goals should be established upfront, with the understanding that they will need to be broken down into smaller tasks in order to reach these milestones. Defining high-level marketing goals can help you focus on what needs to be done and prioritize resources accordingly. Knowing exactly what you want your team or campaign to accomplish – whether it’s increasing revenue, boosting customer engagement, or creating brand awareness – will make the process of defining individual tasks much easier. By breaking down each goal into smaller, more manageable chunks, you’ll have an actionable plan that everyone involved can follow in order to reach their desired outcomes.

Marketing mix

Should you use Internet marketing services? Leverage text message marketing? Or what is the state of the art right now? A marketing mix is essential for any business looking to reach its high-level goals. From innovative software, social media, and thought leadership campaigns, to creative advertising opportunities and influencer partnerships – there are numerous ways you can promote your brand and grow your customer base. Additionally, emerging technology like augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and automation offers some of the most innovative approaches to engaging customers across different channels. By embracing these new trends in marketing today, businesses can gain a competitive edge in their industry. With a well-crafted marketing mix that incorporates both traditional tactics as well as cutting-edge tools, companies can achieve their lofty targets more quickly than ever before.

Monitoring of the results

Once a business has implemented its marketing plan, it is essential to monitor the results to ensure that activities are effective in achieving the desired goals. As such, businesses should use key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify areas of success, as well as areas needing improvement. These KPIs can include customer acquisition rate, customer retention rate, time-on-site, page views, and other metrics that can help businesses measure their performance. By tracking the numbers and making data-driven decisions based on these figures, businesses can ensure marketing efficiency and further increase ROI.

Should you intervene if something goes wrong?

Finally, it is important for businesses to recognize when their marketing plan is not performing as expected. If the set goals are not being achieved, it is time to intervene and make changes. Doing so will help ensure that the business can get back on track, saving both money and effort in the long run. Making sure to revisit the strategy periodically can help ensure that the marketing plan remains effective and up-to-date in today’s ever-changing digital landscape.

This is why tracking metrics like customer acquisition rate, customer retention rate, time spent on the website, page views, and other performance indicators can be so important for businesses. By continually monitoring these values, businesses can quickly detect when something is not working as expected and make changes before the problem causes any serious losses. To succeed in today’s digital economy, it is essential for businesses to be agile and able to respond quickly to customer needs.

The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a framework for how to categorize metrics from the tactical to strategic
Image: Zithan / Wikimedia Commons

By knowing when their marketing plan is failing and making necessary adjustments, businesses can ensure that they stay competitive. You don’t need to stick to the plan until the next annual review if you can recognize negative results from what you’re doing and take corrective action. It’s important that businesses don’t make assumptions about what is driving their success or failure—it’s essential to have the data and insights to back up any decisions. That brings us to the next point.

How often should you update your marketing plan?

It depends on the industry, the product or service being sold, and the competitive landscape. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to review your marketing plan at least every quarter or so and at least annually if not quarterly. This can help you spot opportunities to improve performance or identify potential problems before they become serious issues. Additionally, keeping an eye on market trends and customer feedback can help you stay ahead of the curve.

Finally, make sure to document any changes made to your marketing plan so that everyone involved remains on the same page. This will help ensure that all stakeholders are aware of how business decisions are being made and what strategies are in place for success. With the right data, insights, and strategy in place, businesses can succeed in even the most competitive markets. Of course, executing a successful marketing plan requires more than just well-developed strategies. Companies need to have the right resources and personnel available to carry out their plans effectively.

Frequently asked questions about setting up a marketing plan

Beyond these general points aimed at informing you about the concept and theory of a marketing plan, we also found some questions that we wanted to address as part of this article.

How to set the key objectives in a marketing plan?

An important part of any successful marketing plan is setting key objectives. These objectives should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When setting your objectives, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve in the long term as well as how these goals will be achieved within the set timeframe. Consider questions such as: Who is the target audience for your marketing plan? What message do you need to communicate? And how will you measure success? It’s also important to consider how each objective ties into the overall strategy of the marketing plan and that they are achievable within the necessary resources and budget.

What tools could be used to create a marketing plan?

Creating a successful marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Utilize tools such as a business model canvas or a virtual whiteboard to collaborate and create an effective plan that will take your business in the right direction. After setting SMART objectives, you’ll need to hone in on who is the target audience for your plan, what message needs communication, and how success will be measured. Don’t forget that each objective should tie into the overall strategy of the marketing plan while taking resources and budget into account.

Original Business Model Canvas Poster Download
Image: Strategyzer / Wikimedia Commons

What to measure for a marketing plan?

When creating a marketing plan, it’s important to measure your progress toward each objective. This could mean tracking specific metrics such as website visits, conversion rates, or social media engagement. You should also track goals related to brand awareness and sales in order to ensure that your objectives are being met. Additionally, set targets for the cost of production and distribution in order to maintain a healthy budget. Monitoring the progress of your plan is an essential step in order to assess its success and making changes when necessary. The data collected from these measurements will also provide valuable insights for future marketing strategies. With the right metrics in place, you can determine which campaigns are working and which need improvement.

How to measure the results?

Once you have set your objectives and chosen the metrics to track, it is important to collect data regularly. This can be done through survey tools, focus groups, or analytics software. Analyzing this data helps to identify trends that can then influence decisions regarding future marketing strategies. The key is to use the data available in order to ensure that your campaigns are as successful as possible. It is also important to monitor the results of each campaign and compare them to your initial goals. This helps to identify which elements are performing better or worse than expected, allowing you to make changes accordingly.

By regularly adjusting your campaigns based on these insights, you can be sure that they achieve their desired objectives in the most cost-effective manner. Finally, it is important to keep track of your competitors and their marketing strategies. By understanding what techniques they are using, you can inform your own decisions and ensure that you remain ahead in the marketplace. Doing this requires staying up-to-date with industry trends as well as regularly researching competitor strategies.

What are some of the most common objectives?

One of the most common objectives of a marketing plan is lead generation. This involves attracting potential customers and encouraging them to take an action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. Lead generation helps to increase the number of leads and customers, which can then be nurtured into long-term relationships. Another common objective is brand awareness. This involves increasing visibility and familiarity with a brand so that it stands out from the competition.

Marketers use a variety of techniques to achieve this, such as launching campaigns on social media or using content marketing. Finally, another common objective is customer retention. This means creating an experience that keeps customers coming back for more and encourages them to spread the word about a product or service. Marketers use loyalty programs, personalization, and engaging content to achieve this. All these objectives depend on one another in some way, and it’s important to understand how they fit together in order to create an effective lead-generation strategy.

Do I need to create personas to define my target audiences?

Creating personas in marketing can be a powerful strategy for understanding and targeting specific customer segments. Personas can provide insight into the interests, motivations, and behaviors of different groups, allowing marketers to craft more effective campaigns. One of the main pros of creating personas is that it provides a better understanding of customer behavior and preferences.

This information can help marketers tailor their messages and craft content that resonates with particular groups. Personas can also provide valuable insight into how customers communicate and interact with your product or service. This understanding can inform the design of effective touchpoints, such as landing pages, ads, emails, and more. With this knowledge in hand, you can craft messages that are tailored to the needs of each customer segment.

What does the structure between a goal and the tasks look like?

To give you an example, imagine you set an improvement to your lead generation KPI as a goal. So now you need to think of the steps you need to undertake in order to work towards achieving this goal. So for instance, to achieve an improvement in generated leads, you can consider tactical items such as SEO on your website, improving your social media presence and community management, as well as making experiments and A/B tests.

Closing thoughts about marketing plans

A marketing plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the necessary steps for achieving a set of marketing goals and objectives. The key points of your plan should include the target audience, customer segments, content, and messaging, as well as tactics and experiments to drive the desired result. By taking the time to develop an effective marketing plan, you can ensure that your team is working towards achieving tangible results on a consistent basis.

It is important to remember that a marketing plan is not a static document and should be adjusted based on feedback, customer trends, market conditions, and other factors. As you move forward with your plan, don’t forget to measure performance against goals as well as analyze and iterate where necessary. All of this will help ensure the plan is successful and can be adjusted to take advantage of new opportunities.

Having a good understanding of your target audience, customer segments, content, and messaging is essential for any successful marketing plan. To ensure these elements are effective, it’s important to research the platforms you’re promoting on as well as create detailed buyer personas. With the right information in place, you’ll be able to better craft your message and tailor it to reach the desired audience and goal.

YouTube: How To Create A Marketing Plan | Step-by-Step Guide (Adam Erhart)

Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Brittany Gisclair. The diagrams and infographics in the body of the article are credited directly beneath the same.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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