What is a Marketing Plan? - Definition & Sample

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  • 0:00 What Is a Marketing Plan?
  • 0:18 The Purpose of the Plan
  • 0:40 Marketing Plan Outline
  • 2:30 Marketing Plan Example
  • 4:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Mckinney

Paul has been in higher education for 17 years. He has a master's degree and is earning his PhD in Community College Leadership.

In this lesson, we will learn what a marketing plan is and why it is so important for a business to have one. We will cover the specific strategies the plan should have in order to help the organization achieve its goals.

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a business document written for the purpose of describing the current market position of a business and its marketing strategy for the period covered by the marketing plan. Marketing plans usually cover a period of one to five years.

The Purpose of the Plan

The purpose of a marketing plan is to clearly show what steps or actions will be taken to achieve the plan goals. For example, a marketing plan might have a strategy to increase the organization's market share by ten percent. The plan would then outline the goals that need to be achieved in order to reach a ten percent increase in market share.

Marketing Plan Outline

The plan should be based on where the organization needs to be at some point in the future. Let's take a look at some of the most important things to consider when developing a marketing plan.

Market Research

Collect and organize data about the market the organization is currently in. Look at market dynamics, patterns, customers, and the current sales volume for the industry as a whole.


The marketing plan should describe the organization's competition. The plan should describe in detail how the organization will stand out from its competition and what it will do to become a market leader.

Market Plan Strategies

Develop the marketing and promotion strategies that the organization will use. Strategies to consider are such things as advertising, direct marketing, training programs, trade shows, website, etc.

Marketing Plan Budget

The strategies can be limited based on the budget. Top managers need to review what they hope to accomplish with the marketing plan, review their current financial situation, and then allocate funding for the marketing plan

Marketing Goals

The marketing plan should include quantifiable marketing goals. For example, one goal might be to increase your client base by 500 over a 6-month period.

Monitor the Marketing Plan Results

At some point, the marketing plan should call for analyzing the current position of the organization. The organization needs to identify the strategies that are working and those that are not working.

By researching markets, competition, and determining the organization's unique positioning, the organization is in a much better position to promote and sell its product or service. By establishing goals for the marketing plan, the organization can better understand whether the efforts are generating results through ongoing review and evaluation.

Marketing Plan Example

The Miller Company, which manufactures bricks for home construction, has decided to develop a new marketing plan. Let's review the short version of their marketing plan based on the outline we discussed earlier.

Market research: The Miller Company paid an outside firm to do the market research. It collected data on customer wants and needs and current market trends.

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