What is Marketing Plan? Definition of Marketing Plan, Marketing Plan Meaning and Concept
The marketing plan is a document that companies prepare when planning a particular job, project or business. It outlines how they intend to achieve their marketing objectives and thus facilitates and manages marketing efforts.
It is one more element of the business plan, the main objectives sought with this work are indicated and the economic and technical aspects of this investment are delimited prior to its launch.
Through the drafting of a marketing plan, companies study the environment that will surround the new project, so that it can face and anticipate its characteristics and evolution. For this reason, it is of great importance for them to have one when preparing a new job.
Through the marketing plan, the current situation is presented in the form of an analysis of the objectives established by the company. These will be pursued by employing different marketing strategies operated by the company.
How to develop a marketing plan?
In this document, different processes or phases on which to base planning are specified: analysis of the situation, determination of objectives, preparation and selection of strategies, action plan, budget establishment and control methods.
Before its preparation, the market must be analyzed in order to capture everything learned in the marketing plan. The steps to be followed in the project by its creators and what is expected of these phases in terms of costs, possible benefits, time spent on the project and the resources that should be used for this purpose are detailed. With the help of the preparation of this plan, a clear vision of what is to be achieved with this project and the path to follow is achieved. It is therefore necessary to know the current situation of the company and the actions that must be undertaken to achieve these objectives.
It is a basic management tool that companies that want to be competitive must have. Through the study and collection of data from the environment (market, competitors...) we will be able to define the phases of the plan and the company's resources to dedicate to each of them.
The variables that the marketing plan will take into account are the product, distribution, price and communication. In other words, the marketing plan will assume the so-called marketing mix to develop a series of plans through which your project ends up being carried out. That is, the specific marketing variables are detailed.
Therefore, all the instruments of the Marketing mix are integrated and coordinated to achieve the strategic objectives of the company, resulting in the Marketing Plan.
Phases in the elaboration of the marketing plan
In the elaboration of the Marketing Plan, a systematic process must be followed that consists of a series of stages that must be covered sequentially. Each of these phases or stages can be defined with a specific question to which each of the stages of the plan must answer:
- Diagnosis: Where are we today? Why? What are the current trends and market needs?
- Forecast: If this continues, where will we be in the future? What hypotheses can be formulated for the future of the company?
- Objectives: Where do we really want to be in the future? What profitability, benefits or sales volume is expected to be achieved?
- Strategy: What is the best way to achieve the objectives? What are the critical factors for success?
- Operational: What specific actions should be taken? For whom? When?
- Control: What measures should be taken to detect if the plan is developing as planned?
For a plan of this type to be successful, it must be as realistic and practical as possible, since when setting goals it will be necessary for them to be well defined so that the working methods in terms of marketing are realistic. Also, because today's environments are more changeable than ever, it will be important for planning to be flexible.