What is a marketing plan: definition, structure

One of the significant components of a business plan is a marketing plan. A well-structured and well-prepared marketing plan briefly summarizes your marketing strategies.

As a business owner, it is not enough for you to set up a shop and wait for people to find you! Instead, you must have a marketing plan in order to capture a broad base of target customers. As a successful business owner, you just always focus on continually promoting and marketing your business in the hopes of getting more attention to your products and services.

Let’s start and look at the marketing plan definition, marketing plan structure, marketing plan template, and many more things.

What is a marketing plan?

If we talk about marketing plan definition, then in simple words, it can be described as a roadmap for introducing and delivering your products and services to potential customers. A perfect marketing plan must not be long enough, and it should not have to cost you a lot of money to get it completed successfully. While drafting a marketing plan, you need to perform some research. 

A good marketing plan outlines the specific marketing techniques and strategies of your business. Moreover, it involves concrete actions that must be taken along with the anticipated results. The marketing plan serves as a perfect roadmap for businesses to execute and measure their marketing efforts and results over a specific period of time. 

Basically, a marketing plan involves the following:

  • A complete overview of the marketing and advertising goals of your business
  • A description of the current marketing position of your business
  • A deadline of when tasks within your strategy will be accomplished
  • A description of your business’s target market and customer needs
  • KPI’s you want to track

How to create a marketing plan?

From documenting your business goals and budgets to building your activity plan, all the below mentioned steps would surely help you create a successful marketing plan project for your business.

Document your business goals and budget

The first step is to document your business goals and budget. You must ask the team leads to define business goals for the next 1-3 years. The goals must be focused both internally and externally. 

While developing the business goals, write them in a SMART goals format that ensures utmost accountability. SMART here stands for:

Conduct a SWOT analysis

The next step is to conduct — SWOT Analysis. SWOT analysis involves the analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your business organization. A perfect way to achieve all your business goals is to use a smart and unique marketing approach that builds a marketing strategy and execution plan aligned perfectly to your business goals and starts with a SWOT analysis of your current marketing program.

Identify your target personas

After defining the goals and conducting the SWOT analysis, now it’s time for you to identify your target personas. It is important for you to make sure who your target audience is! If you already have buyer personas, this step will simply mean to refine your current personas, and if you don’t have a buyer persona, you should immediately create one. This may require you to conduct market research. The buyer persona must involve all the demographic information such as your age, income, and gender.

Develop your marketing goals

After all the above-mentioned steps, now you are all set to develop your marketing goals. Forming and developing the marketing goals is critical to narrowing your focus, aligning your marketing organization, and setting your overall marketing strategy. Your marketing goals must involve all the things that you want to achieve through your marketing plan.

Build your activity plan

Finally, as you have created your marketing goals and specified a budget, it’s time for you to build your activity plan. One of the most influential and workable ways to convert your marketing strategy into an execution plan is by following a campaign structure. Campaigns are simply a bucket of activities that are focused on a common goal or theme. Now, you are all set with your own marketing plan, which is highly focused on your business’s marketing goals.

Now, let’s move further and look at some of the examples and templates of a perfect marketing plan.

Marketing plan examples and templates

You can find out a lot of great marketing templates available on the internet. Great sources for inspiration are Venngage and Coschedule articles with ready-made templates and examples that cover different goals.

A marketing plan is your business’s foundation, which helps your business grow and thrive with time. Every step you pursue will have a significant impact on your business. Invest a great deal of time crafting the best marketing plan with the assistance of the steps mentioned above. 

The included examples and templates will also prove to be a great help for your upcoming marketing plan. So, without wasting much time, start creating your own marketing plan now and grow your business like never before!