What is a Marketing Plan? Marketing Plan components, creation, objectives, and FAQs.

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What is a Marketing Plan? 

A marketing plan is a document that lays out the marketing and advertising strategy of a business for a year or quarter. 

It is a plan of action and a roadmap for all the marketing and customer targeting measures. All the promotional activities and campaigns that are to be undertaken for a phase of time are laid out in the marketing plan. 

To sell something is to market it. Thus the marketing plan aligns with the selling process or strategies of a business.

Marketing plan focuses on the value proposition of the business. All the promotional and marketing activities are based on what value the brand promises to the customer. Marketing plan highlights this through all the strategies.  

Components of a Marketing Plan 

The components of a marketing plan are the elements or checkboxes that ensure the plan of action doesn’t go off track. 

  • Thorough market analysis for accurate pricing, demographic and location analysis of the market. The market research report is a vital component of all the decision making process. 
  • A comprehensive layout of targets to achieve and the deadlines. 
  • Marketing budget. 
  • SWOT analysis report.
  • Tailored messaging for targeted marketing
  • Product report that clearly expresses the product’s performance, features and target market of the product. 
  • Platform for product promotion. Example- internet, radio, t.v., magazines, hoarding etc. 
  • Timelines for tracking the progress of the campaigns with respect to time and events. 
  • Outcome measurement metrics and key performance indicators (KPI). 

Creation of an effective Marketing Plan 

A marketing plan has a similar structure over varied types of businesses. 

A marketing plan can be prepared by using a marketing plan template. 

The following steps are to be followed while preparing a marketing plan for your business. 

  • Clearly express all your objectives. Prepare an executive summary that covers topics such as goals, deadlines, marketing position, etc.
  • Figure out the key performance indicators (KPI). 
  • Realise your target audience and market segments. Make use of buyer personas
  • Strategize content creation – how will you carry out your campaigns and advertising. What will be conveyed to the potential customers and how will it be conveyed. 
  • Market and competitor research, study their marketing strategies. 
  • Proper budgeting with cost analysis. 
  • Breakdown the core marketing strategies. 
  • Follow a collaborative approach by allocating specific roles to members who hold expertise in those specific fields

Objectives of Marketing Plan 

  1. To determine the marketing targets of the company which are oriented with the organisation’s perspective. It tells us where the company sees itself in a particular time phase in the timeline of the market. 
  1. A marketing plan supports the business growth. In fact, in business, all the key factors like marketing, sales, product development, user experience, etc are interrelated, one affects the other. So in this way, the marketing plan will directly affect the execution of marketing strategies, which in turn reflect on the market expansion, sales and brand equity, which goes on to affect the ROI, profit margins and other costs. 
  1. As mentioned in the previous point, it is needed to stress that how much the brand value and equity depends on the marketing strategies and thus, the marketing plan.

    A brand’s name, value, features all are amplified through marketing. A well made plan can help in customer acquisition and increase sales and the trust over the brand that results in increased brand value and profit margins. 
  1. It aids the marketing mix and it’s 4 Ps. 
  1. Supports expanding the market share. Also in exploring new markets.
  1. One of the most significant purposes of a marketing plan is to have an organised budget allocation for all the marketing activities. 
  1. Proper task allotment to avoid chaos. 
  1. A well defined plan helps in identifying and scoring on opportunities. 
  1. Planning your marketing activities with respect to time, opportunities and capabilities reduces the risk and losses associated with failure. 

FAQs 

Q: What are the six elements of a marketing plan?

A: Six fundamental marketing elements that are characterized in a marketing plan are product description, market study, goals and objectives, pricing, advertising strategy, and marketing budget. 

Q: What are the challenges in making a marketing plan? 

A: The challenges are faced in three major fields – Customer identification, Budgeting, and setting up Goals for marketing. Specifically identifying target customers and their segmentation require much effort. The budget can prove to be cutting and altering some or many of your strategies so it needs to be aligned with the process or the process needs to be aligned with the budget. On goal-setting, there can be conflicts between departments or individuals depending on who prioritizes what. 

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