What is a marketing plan?

Marketing planning is a systematic exercise aims at formulating marketing strategies. Marketing plan is also called  a business plan.  A company needs to develop its marketing plan in order to steer its activities towards achieving desired goals. The marketing plan needs to be participatory, realistic and result oriented for its effectiveness and efficiency. The marketing  plan is a dynamic instrument responding to the needs and requirement of the changing environment and technology overtime.

Composition of a marketing plan

A typical marketing plan contains the following:

Executive summary

A marketing plan should contain an executive summary highlighting the major goals, outputs, interventions and recommendations. A table of contents page should be added after the executive summary.

Situation analysis

The situation analysis should be carried out in order to gather information regarding the macro environmental conditions including the competitors, markets and marketing channels, price situation, supply and demand situations and other relevant factors affecting the company.

SWOT analysis

The SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis should be done carefully involving external and internal situations affecting the company. The necessary problem analysis and objectives analysis will add value to this SWOT analysis process as well.

The <em><strong>marketing strategy should follow the SWOT analysis and the problem and objective analysis. The desired goals and output levels; major activities; bench-marks-targets; risks and assumptions, etc., should be incorporated in the marketing strategy.

Action plan

The marketing strategy should be further elaborated into action programs for achieving the marketing goals and objectives. The time-frame, specific responsibilities, details of sub-activities should be determined in the action plan for marketing.

Financial plan

Once the marketing strategy and the action plan are prepared, the detailed financial plan is worked out and formulated. This financial plan often called as budget takes into consideration the costs and revenues, price, fore-casted sales and distribution. The profitability of the marketing operations is the focal point for this financial plan.

Monitoring and control

Monitoring and control is an integral part of any marketing plan. An effective monitoring and control system is able to track the proper implementation and control of the marketing plan leading to smooth and effective implementation of the marketing plan.


The above discussions reveal that the effective marketing plan is a comprehensive planning document which is essential for implementing successful marketing operations. It helps to focus on future in a systematic way. Marketing planning serves as a reference framework for review and improvement overtime. This implies that this marketing plan should be designed and formulated with due care and competencies in order to derive maximum benefit out of it.

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