A marketing plan and business plan is an essential part of any business.  Most medium to large size businesses have a plan in place.  This plan is your road map to success.  Your plan should outline important aspects of your marketing model including your mission, goals, competitive set, strategies, tactics, channels and platforms.  A great plan will be lengthy and time consuming to

create, but is absolutely vital in the success of a business.

Although both are important, the latter is a much more comprehensive plan that should

outline every aspect of your business, not just marketing.  The difference between the two is

the marketing plan will focus just on marketing, but a business plan will include operational

efficiencies, capital projects, and economic forecasts, assumptions, and any other area that

is important to your business.  Every business is different, so the plan should be customized

to your business, but the plan should still include key components. 

A business plan should be very comprehensive as the plan is going to give you a road map

on how to operate and market your business, product and/or service over the next year,

at least.  Several plans that I have written included multiple years.  There should be short

and long term goals in the plan.  The strategies, tactics, and goals should be measurable. 


The plan should include the following components:

  • Mission/Positioning statement
  • Review of market or industry performance
  • Economic outlook, forecast and/or assumptions
  • Summary/analysis of competitive set and analysis of competitors and their products
    • Include top industry performers and some of your direct competition
  • Summary/analysis of your company/product/service
  • Operational strategies and efficiency goals
  • Operating budget
  • Research and development (R&D)
  • Research and development budget
  • Sales goals and objectives
  • Sales strategies and tactics
  • Sales budget
  • Marketing and advertising objective summary
  • Marketing and advertising (with KPI's)
    • Advertising strategies, tactics and goals
    • Promotional strategies, tactics, and goals
    • Pricing strategies, tactics, and goals
    • Digital marketing strategies, tactics and goals
  • Marketing and advertising budget
  • Capital projects with target implementation timelines
  • Current annual operating performance data (including forecast)
  • Current Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) charts


There is obviously a lot more that needs to go into your plan, especially within the marketing

sections, but this provides you with a good starting point. The plan should definitely break out

each area of marketing in depth and include a sound digital plan or road map, with KPI’s, within the overall plan.  The digital marketing section should include e-mail, social media, SEO, SEM, and identify strategies by individual digital marketing platform.


















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