Marketing Plan Format

A lot of business owners get stuck not knowing the best marketing plan format to use. Here are some simple guidelines you can easily follow to put together a marketing plan outline that will deliver successful marketing strategies to drive your business to the next level.


What Marketing Plan Format Should I Use?

Typically, you will want to use a word processing or text editing program to write your marketing plan. For example, you can use Microsoft Word or similar software.

If you are a more visual person, and are comfortable with a presentation program like Microsoft Powerpoint, then you can also use that format to build your marketing plan. This can be especially useful if you want to use or build your marketing plan in a collaborative way with a group, or if you are a more visual person.

If you're an analytical type person who enjoys lists and "running the numbers", you can also supplement your marketing plan with a spreadsheet where you can track your marketing activities, analyze what's working and what's not, etc.


What's the Best Marketing Plan Outline to Follow?

Your marketing plan should include some standard components that will help you align you marketing activities with your business goals, following this marketing plan outline:


Executive Summary

Every marketing plan should begin with an executive summary, which is basically a one- or two-page summary about your company, your market, and the main points of your marketing plan.

This should include:

  • Company and Product Overview
  • Management Overview


Market Competitive Analysis

The first thing you need to do in the marketing plan is to define your market (what is your industry, who are your customers, and who are your competitors?). Any of your marketing efforts must start with an understanding of your market and your competitive landscape.

  • Industry description and outlook
  • Target market information:
  • Market size, demographics, trends

  • Evaluation of the competition:

    Market shares, competitor strengths & weaknesses


Marketing Strategy

Once you have defined your market, you can then define strategies that will help you achieve you business goals within that defined market. Strategies should be the broad brush strokes - your overall goals and objectives that you want from your marketing efforts.

  • Target Customer(s) and Segment(s)
  • Customer Buying Decision Process
  • Customer Pain Points addressed
  • Value Proposition
  • Evaluation of your Company/Individual Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Product / Price / Promotion / Place (Distribution)


Marketing Tactics & Approach:

Marketing tactics are the specific marketing activities that you will engage in. Each marketing tactic must support the marketing strategies that you defined above.

  • Marketing Mix
  • Channel
  • Budget & Timeline
  • Sales Strategy
  • Unique Selling Proposition
  • Sales Approach
  • Summary
  • Appendix

    • References (relevant articles or sites)
    • Competitor detail information
    • Any other market research detail information


How Do I Get Started Writing the Marketing Plan?

To get started using this marketing plan format, follow these easy guidelines for writing a marketing plan.

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