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How to structure a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic document that specifies
your organization target markets, marketing objectives,
programmes and activities to achieve them, timescales
and the resources to be utilized, according to defined

The purpose of marketing plan is to define strategies to
engage audiences in order to achieve businesses, the
scope of a marketing plan is typically annual and for the
whole business. In larger organization , its focus will

change, depending on the type of organization. A
separate marketing plan might be;
➢Geographically based
➢Product based
➢Business unit based
➢Focused on segmentation

Type of plan Purpose Scope and content
business Define strategies
for growing
profitability over a
long term period

Annual to 3 yearly
• New product
• Revenue sources
and cost

marketing Define strategies

to engage
audiences to
achieve business

Typically annual

Brand marketing Define audience
engagement to
achieve brand

Typically annual

Digital Define how to Typically annual

marketing plan

complete more
effectively with
digital marketing

Transformation plans
may be longer

• Review digital
• Define digital
• Define resource
requirements for


A long term
plan for using
different digital
media to hit lead
or sales target.

Annual plan
• Engaging
• Content
• Integrated
media schedule
of always on and

campaign plan

A shorter term
plan for using

Shorter term plan
• Engaging
• Content

different digital
media to hit lead
or sales targets.

• Integrated
media schedule

90 day

A shorter term
plan of activities to
review and
optimize activities
need to hit targets
for other plans.

Review of actions
➢Covers always
on and

When to use a marketing plan?
The process of marketing planning within an organization
will differ, depending on whether a strategic marketing
plan or an operational marketing plan is utilized. Here
are the differences between the two:
➢A strategic marketing plan outlines the overall
strategy within a market, connecting customers,
competitors and what the organization is capable of
achieving. It is typically created at divisional or
company level.
➢An operational marketing plan outlines the
marketing mix strategy that will be used to gain an

advantage in the market. It typically focuses on
products; market segments and how marketing
communications and campaigns achieve targets
defined in the strategic marketing plan. It usually has
separate sections covering tactics for customer
acquisition and retention which will sometimes be
covered in separate plans in larger organizations.

In an organization’s planning process, marketing

➢Customers’ needs and wants
➢Competitor value proposition and actions
➢Strategic direction
➢Organizational objectives

How should it be structured?

A marketing plan should include :

  1. The current position, priorities, and directions of
    your organization.
  2. Its position in relation to external environmental
    3.A critical analysis of you organization’s strengths,
    weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  3. Clearly defined objectives and away to benchmark
    their success.
  4. The means by which to achieve those objectives.
  5. Relevant and timely actions and responsibilities by
    function, product or service, and market segment.
  6. The finances and resources required and forecasted
  7. Regular measurement of progress and outcomes
    against benchmarks.

A solid marketing plan has:
➢Clear, realistic goals which you can be confident of
➢The best strategy to achieve these goals against your
➢Sufficient details of the tactics and actions needed to
translate the strategy into action
➢A method to check you are on track with your plans.

Structure of a marketing plan
The structure of a marketing plan can include the
following sections:

Marketing plan objectives
This section outlines the expected outcome of the
marketing plan clear, concise, realistic and attainable
objectives. It contains specific targets and time frames.
Metrics such as target market share, the target number
of customers to be attained, penetration rate, usage
rate, sales volumes targeted, etc. should be used.

Market research- market analysis/ consumer analysis
Market analysis includes topics such as market definition,
market size, industry structure, market shares and
trends, and competitor analysis. Consumer analysis
includes the target market demographics and what
influences their buying decisions- e. g. loyalty,
motivation, and expectations.

Target market
This defines the target customers by their demographic
profile, such as gender, race, age and psychographic
profile, such as their interests.
This will assist in the correct marketing mix for the target
market segments.

SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis will look at the organization’s
internal strengths and weaknesses and external
opportunities and threats.
SWOT analysis includes the following:

• Strengths are the organization’s competitive
advantages that are not easily duplicated. They
represent the skills, expertise, and efficiencies
that an organization possesses over its

• Weaknesses are impediments found in the
operations of an organization, and they stifle
growth. These can include outdated machinery,
inadequate working capital, and inefficient
production methods.
• Opportunities are prospects for growth in the
business through the adoption of ways to take
advantage of the chances. They could include
entry into new markets, adopting digital
marketing strategies, or following new trends.
• Threats are external factors that can affect the
business negatively, such as a new powerful
competitor, legislative changes, natural
disasters, or political situations.

Marketing strategy
The marketing strategy section covers actual strategies
to be included according to the marketing mix. The
strategy centers on the 8Ps of marketing. However, fine

are also at liberty to use the traditional P’s of marketing-
product, price and place.

Marketing budget
The marketing budget or projection outlines the
budgeted expenditure for the marketing activities
documented in the marketing plan. The marketing
budget consists of revenues and costs stated in the
marketing plan in one document.
It balances expenditures on marketing activities and
what the organization can afford. It’s a financial plan of
marketing activities to be carried out – e. g , promotional
activities , cost of marketing materials and advertising,
and so on. Other considerations include expected
product volume and price, production and delivery costs,
and operating and financing costs.

Performance analysis
Performance analysis aims to look at the variances of
metrics or components documented in the marketing
plan. These include:
• Revenue variance analysis

• Market share analysis
• Expense analysis

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