What Are Marketing Plans?

A marketing plan defines the ways in which a team will achieve its marketing strategy.

Written by Matthew Urwin
Published on Dec. 16, 2021
What Are Marketing Plans?
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Shelby Bolinger | Aug 11, 2022

Marketing plans often include a variety elements including details about the campaigns that are planned to achieve targets. Often produced as a written document, a marketing plan outlines how a team will present and market a company’s brand. By following this approach, businesses can better understand how to portray themselves and produce successful marketing campaigns.

What are the elements of a marketing plan?

  • While many components make up a marketing plan, teams should dedicate their energy toward developing a campaign calendar with goals for reaching their target audience.

The major element of a marketing plan is to have a calendar of campaigns that will run throughout the year that allows marketers to effectively reach their target audience and achieve the goals they have put in place. This plan includes reasoning for why certain campaign elements will garner audience attention and interaction while also including documentation of other key projects that will improve operations, tech stack, lead flow, etc., helping the team operate more efficiently and improving the execution of campaigns. Each individual campaign will then be scrutinized to develop a deeper understanding of who is being targeted, what they care about, where the audience spends time, budgeting needs and promotion channels.

The campaign of calendars is the first documentation of how teams plan to activate its strategy. Additionally, marketers must also create an overarching budget and method of determining how to measure campaign results. As long as teams keep these marketing plan essentials in mind, they can conserve resources while implementing campaigns that stay with audiences long after their initial exposure.

What are the steps of a marketing plan?

  • Marketing plans help teams learn how to navigate the relationships between their brands, potential customers, and the competition.

A customer-first approach requires companies to define their target audience and shape their strategy around audience traits. By focusing on the customer, businesses can explain their mission statement and products in terms of how they serve people. Additionally, knowing where consumers spend their time enables companies to pinpoint ideal marketing channels, which is crucial knowledge in a digital age full of options. 

Studying the larger field also expands a team’s understanding of what competitors are doing and how to make their own products and services stand out. Once marketers handle these variables, they can determine concrete methods for measuring success and monitoring data collection. With these steps in mind, marketing teams can craft campaigns that are more relevant to consumers and more insightful for their businesses.

How do you write a marketing plan outline?

  • A marketing plan outline lays out a foundation by summarizing brand guidelines, campaign goals and other factors.

A marketing plan is only as organized as the thinking behind it, which is why teams take the time to develop a thorough outline. Every outline includes an executive summary, serving as a narrative to explain how the company will stand out and connect with its target audience. To develop a more tailored and substantial campaign, teams can craft a mission statement, develop SMART goals, and conduct a strengths and weaknesses analysis.  

Managing these minutiae will help teams better understand their brand and audience and what they need to accomplish, which makes it even easier to decide on campaign success metrics. However, teams shouldn’t view this outline as something set in stone. Keeping a flexible mindset will help organizations adapt on the fly and make changes when a marketing campaign heads in an unexpected direction.

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