Marketing Plan Components

Marketing plans vary by industry, by size of company and by stage of growth. The form isn't as important as the process of preparing it. Preparing a marketing plan is a process that makes you think about your business goals and what your marketing strategy will be to achieve those goals.

This is an outline of a typical marketing plan. Your marketing plan may contain all or just some of these components, depending on your company type, stage of growth, and goals.

I. Executive Summary
Introduces your company and explains the major points of your plan

  • Briefly describe the nature of your business and the products or services you offer.
  • State your mission and company objectives
  • Describe your management and marketing team, and the structure of your organization
  • Summarize the marketing objectives and strategies contained in the plan

II. Current Situation
Provides information about your location, target market and competitive environment. Also, identifies key issues your company faces.

  • Describe your current or planned business location.
  • Describe you target market.
  • Include a brief competitor and issues analysis.

III. Competitor and Issues Analysis
The details.

  • Include information about other individuals or companies (competitors) who offer similar products and services as you.
  • List key business issues that are potential challenges, such as new legislation or the impact of an impending technological advance in your industry.

IV. Marketing Objectives
States your marketing objectives, including the time frame for achieving them.

V. Marketing Strategy
Describes how you plan on achieving your marketing objectives.

  • Product: Describes your product or service in detail, including product features and benefits.
  • Price: Describes your pricing strategy and payment policies.
  • Promotion: Describes the promotional tools or tactics you will use to accomplish your marketing objectives.
  • Place: Describes how and where you will place your product so customers have access to it and how you will make the sale.

VI. Action Programs
Describes what will be done, when it will begin or be completed, and who will accomplish the tasks.

VII. Budget
Lists the cost of the marketing activities you are describing in the marketing plan.

VIII. Measurements
Describes numerical targets that will measure the results of implementing your marketing plan, including time limits for achieving your goals. For example, increase sales by 10 percent in 12 months.

IX. Supporting Documents
Include any supporting documents referenced in other plan sections here, such as resumes of key personnel, spreadsheets, and market research results.