What is a Marketing Plan?

Looking for a simple definition of what is a marketing plan and what is its purpose?

Confused about the difference between a marketing plan, marketing strategy, marketing mix, and marketing communications plan?

Bottom line: the marketing plan is a written document which describes all the marketing tactics and activities that the business will focus on, usually including a marketing budget and timeline. Often, the marketing plan includes a section on the marketing strategy also. Take a look at a sample marketing plan outline here.

The picture on the right is the simplest way to think about it, starting at the bottom:

  • Start with your business goals: these are the highest-level objectives of the business, or mission statement.
  • Next comes the marketing strategy: your strategies are the high-level rules that will govern what marketing activities you focus on. Take a look at our marketing strategy planning article for more.
  • After you’ve defined your marketing strategy, you will define the marketing mix: plans for Product, Pricing, Place (Distribution), and Promotion.
  • Then the final step is to write the marketing plan, which will describe the specific, detailed marketing activities that you plan on engaging in to achieve the marketing strategies and business goals.

Now you Know What is a Marketing Plan...

It's time to get started by visiting the marketing strategy planning section.  Make sure you have your business goals/mission statement in hand.