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What is a Marketing Plan?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Marketing plans are detailed strategies of how to go about successfully marketing a product or products and earning a projected amount of return from the effort. A comprehensive marketing plan will consider such important elements as distribution costs, production costs, advertising expenses and any expense related to identifying and marketing the products to the consumers in the targeted markets. The marketing plan may focus on strategies related to the upcoming twelve-month period, the next calendar year, or include a span of three to five years into the future.

While this is not always the case, companies tend to develop a marketing plan by calling upon the services of a marketing specialist. Marketing specialists may be associated with the public relations firm hired by the company to build a viable advertising campaign, or be an employee of the company. In both scenarios, the specialist will work with others within the corporate structure to develop a plan that efficiently attracts advertisers and consumers alike, while earning the greatest degree of return possible within the time frame of the marketing plan.

A truly solid marketing plan goes beyond defining broad goals. Often, the plan is highly detailed by moving past broad objectives to identify specific goals that are met all through the life of the marketing plan. Along with setting these specific goals, an escalation list or a list of action items is also spelled out for each goal. This helps the marketer to not only know what the goal happens to be, but also how to go about achieving the goal.

The development of a proper marketing plan involves information collected from several different sources. Opinions of advertisers on the product line are very important. Corporate executives provide information involving the manufacturing process and costs associated with creating the products. Marketing executives identify consumers who are most likely to buy the product, define the characteristics that apply to this consumer base, and how the product line will meet their current needs and wants.

While there are templates available for marketing plans, it is usually difficult to simply fill in the blanks of a form and come up with a workable plan. However, these guidelines and templates can help lay the foundation for a plan that is specifically geared to the products that will be marketed and to the consumers who will purchase the products. The creation of a viable marketing plan is not a task that is accomplished overnight, even for a small business. Generally, at least three to six months is needed to work out the details that will lead to the formation of a marketing plan that has a good chance for success.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By comfyshoes — On Jan 23, 2011

Crispety- I just wanted to add that there are many organizations that can help a new business owner develop an appropriate marketing plan online.

The nonprofit organization called SCORE offers valuable advice on starting a business as well as developing appropriate channels of advertising your business.

They can offer you marketing plan samples so that you can develop your own business marketing plan. These counselors are retired business executives and business owners who want to mentor other entrepreneurs.

By Crispety — On Jan 22, 2011

Sneakers41- I have heard of those berries. They are supposed to be really large and delicious.

I know that radio advertising is very effective, but it can also be expensive. It really depends on the market that you are advertising in as well as the time slot or program you choose to advertise on.

Many new companies cannot afford radio advertising rates and should focus instead on an online marketing plan first.

The internet also reaches a lot of potential customers and devising a sales and marketing plan including this market is essential.

By sneakers41 — On Jan 21, 2011

A strategic marketing plan allows you to advertise to the right segment of the population and ensure the highest return on your advertising dollar.

Some sales and marketing plans include radio advertising in conjunction with an aggressive sales promotion.

For example, the company Shari’s Berries advertised exclusively on the Rush Limbaugh radio program. Because the target audience for Rush listeners was affluent and college educated the company chose this program in which to advertise its products.

In addition, the program yields twenty million listeners daily which allowed the company to sell 50 million sets of berries within its first year.

The aggressive radio advertising along with the promotional price of $19.99 helped this company generate amazing revenues.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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