Marketing plan – what is it and how to write it?

Table of content

For a company to grow effectively, it must meet a number of conditions. One of them is a well-thought-out marketing plan that allows it to select effective promotional activities. We explain how to write it in this article.

Marketing plan – what is it?

A marketing plan is a document that defines the advertising strategy that a company will use to sell its products or services (James Chen).

The plan specifies, among others, the details of marketing activities, the specificity of the target market, the benefits of the offer and measurable campaign effectiveness indicators.

Elements of a marketing plan

The exact structure of the marketing plan depends on the individual concept of each company. Formal design requirements may also have an impact if the marketing plan is part of, for example, a grant application or business plan.

Nevertheless, we can distinguish key aspects that are inherent elements of every strategy. These include:

  • Setting marketing goals,
  • Analyzing the market (including competition),
  • Specifying the target group,
  • Determining the promotional budget,
  • Preparation of a schedule of promotional and control activities.

Features of a marketing plan

A marketing action plan is a unique document for every company, but its quality depends on several constant requirements. It is worth taking care of them to maximize the predictive value of the chosen strategy.

Coming to the point – we say that a company’s marketing plan is solid if:

  1. is specific – stays away from the zone of abstraction, focusing instead on practical activities. He avoids generalities such as “I will build a large website”, but sticks to specifics such as “I will post an article on the blog every Tuesday and Thursday”.
  2. is measurable – it refers to numbers and other determinants of the assumed goal. It does not present empty information such as “I want to increase website traffic”, but emphasizes measurable results, e.g. “the goal is 300 unique users per month”.
  3. is realistic – its assumptions are dictated by a reliable analysis of opportunities and threats. He avoids impressive successes and focuses on the actual opportunities within the company’s reach. It turns dreams into predictions, plans into actions, bravado into reason.
  4. is flexible – it must assume its own fallibility, thus declaring readiness to change. The complexity of the world excludes the perfect accuracy of any long-term strategies, which is why a marketing plan should not be identified with an oracle, but rather with a backbone of activities, the details of which are in constant motion.
  5. is creative – in other words, does not follow a well-trodden path. It assumes innovation, unconventionality and full use of the company’s individual capabilities, not to share the results achieved by many, but to reach for higher, juicier fruits.

Marketing plan – example

There is no ready-made marketing plan that will provide results for all companies, which is clear from the first part of the article. The detailed elements of the strategy are too individual to constitute a fertile ground for every company. Therefore, instead of providing a template or template for a marketing plan, let’s consider a specific example.

  • Summary: The company intends to promote its new product on the market, which is a mixture of health-promoting herbs supporting weight loss.
  • Marketing goals: Reaching 20,000 unique users per month using website positioning to increase the number of potential customers. With the current conversion rate of 4%, this will translate into an income of N 3,000, 000 net per month.
  • Market analysis: The demand for this type of funds is constantly increasing; Keyword phrases see an increase in searchability by an average of 5% per month. The competition responds to this demand – there are 48 brands with a related offer, of which 11-12 are actively involved in positioning, obtaining most of the traffic from the search engine.
  • Actions: To obtain the necessary result in positioning, in accordance with the SEO specialist’s recommendations, the company will publish 800 articles on weight loss, which is 120 more than the top competitor, and will also enrich the website’s link profile with 2,000 incoming links, surpassing the above-mentioned. competitive company with 540 links. The implementation period is 6 months, during which competitive companies will publish 35-50 articles and acquire 120-150 links, assuming the current development rate. Copywriters are contracted and ready to work.
  • Budget: After taking into account bidders’ bids, the company needs to invest N 30,000,000 in articles and N 70,000,000 in inbound links to achieve the necessary resources. Therefore, after finalizing the investment, the target rate of return is around 33 months.

We have just considered a simple example of a marketing plan that focuses on achieving a specific, stated goal. Thanks to market analysis, the project clearly defines the conditions necessary to achieve results.

The above marketing action plan can be expanded with a number of other information, such as the audience group (which will indicate who the articles are addressed to and how to formulate the content), opportunities arising from the investment (e.g. the possibility of promoting other products at the same time), as well as threats (i.e. . faster development of competitive websites).

Marketing plan - Q&A

We answer the most frequently asked questions.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a document that defines a business goal and the means necessary to achieve it.

How do you create an effective marketing plan?

Generally speaking, you should take into account the specific nature of your business to adapt your goal to your capabilities. Each strategy is strictly individual because it is based on various concepts, resources and needs.

For this reason, the marketing plan of a service company will be different from that of a manufacturing, transportation or construction company. If we add other variables, such as the target group or budget, we get a unique document that can be used in one specific company.

What should you avoid when creating a plan?

It’s definitely easier to talk about what to avoid in your marketing plan. First of all – too long and complex forecasts. The social world is a complex and dynamic creation, immersed in a thick soup of unstable emotions.

When creating forecasts in such an environment, based on fragmentary knowledge, one is easily exposed to presumption, cognitive and logical errors of the ‘petito principii’ (begging the question) type. As a rule, the more complex the mental structure, the more it rests on feet of clay.

Is it worth preparing a marketing action plan?

Of course, an appropriate strategy is an extremely valuable support when conducting marketing projects. While we have determined that it cannot act as an infallible guide, it can serve as a flashlight to help you avoid operating in the dark.


  1. Writing a marketing plan is strictly individual, but it always requires specifying the goal and the resources needed to achieve it.
  2. Elements of a marketing plan include information about the target group, the company’s strengths and weaknesses, budget setting and competition analysis.
  3. When writing a plan, you should focus on facts and figures, and allow for course corrections by establishing update procedures.
  4. Establishing a strategy allows you to plan, track and maximize the results of your actions.

Lordson Okpetu

I'm many things rolled into one; I'm an ex-journalist, a content strategist, digital marketer and 'rockstar' direct response copywriter. I've written tons of copies to sell thousands of products and services across diverse industries in Nigeria. In my occasional spare time, I play chess or spend time with my family. I am the Chief Operating Officer of Content Writer, Nigeria.

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