What is the main purpose of a marketing plan?

One of the first things Marketing Corner will do when looking at how to improve the marketing of your business is create a comprehensive marketing plan with you.

A vital roadmap for any business, however big or small they are, this plan will add structure to your marketing output and ensure you have the means to track impact and investment.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”    

So in this blog we’ll look in more detail into the ‘marketing plan’, so that when it comes to doing yours you’ll hopefully have a better idea of what to expect…

What is a marketing plan?                                                    

So a marketing plan is different to a marketing strategy. While your marketing strategy will be an overarching vision for the business, its values and the customers it wants to focus on getting more of; the marketing plan is a proposal on how to achieve those things in practice.

Using your marketing strategy the plan will detail how your business is going to achieve the goals it has set itself, usually over a year, looking at all of the activity that is scheduled to take place.

Why does my business need a marketing plan?

The main purpose of a marketing plan is to ensure the effectiveness of the activity you are undertaking, tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and sticking to budgets. A marketing plan will support your business in delivering the results it’s hoping for, giving a timetable of actions, as well as focus and visibility to the business’s marketing objectives.

How do I create a marketing plan?

At Marketing Corner we’ll work with you to create a bespoke marketing plan that fits the needs of your business. Each plan is unique, both to each business and for each year, as there are so many variables that affect how it is structured; such as how big your marketing team is and the stage your business is at e.g. a start-up will need to concentrate more on brand awareness whereas an established business on customer retention.

Included will be the marketing objectives of the business; the target market for your brand; some analysis of your market, customers and competitors; and the results of your SWOT analysis.

Then you need to include the marketing channels you’ll be using, thinking about which best serve your target market. And of course the budget you can put behind each of those channels.

When do I create a marketing plan?

There’s no perfect time to create your marketing plan – if you don’t already have one in place then there’s no time like the present. However many companies find it easier to link their plan to their financial year, so it’s reviewed at the same time as new budgets and created with spending for the coming 12 months in mind.

Remember though that plans can change. If there’s one lesson that marketers have learnt over the past 18 months it’s that flexibility is key. For example businesses who planned in 2020 to invest thousands in physical marketing like brochures, quickly changed tack to channel their investment and time into digital marketing instead because of Covid-19.

So while it’s great to have a plan that means your team is singing from the same hymn sheet, don’t be afraid to adapt that plan based on the results and influences you’re witnessing as you go through the year.

At Marketing Corner developing the strategy and planning behind highly effective, results-driven marketing activity is what we do best. So give our freelance marketing manager a call on 07929 905 229 for a no obligation chat, or sign up to our newsletter for marketing news and insight delivered straight to your inbox for free.

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Jessica Morris-McKenzie Red Dress

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