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Marketing Plan: Definition, Examples & How to Create It

Last updated: Nov 28, 2023

Marketing Plan: Definition, Examples & How to Create It
Cover image: Illustration of marketing plan that allows a business to plan and manage marketing activities.

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A marketing plan is an essential aspect that contains a strategic guide to help businesses plan concrete steps in achieving marketing goals.

With this plan, you can carry out all marketing efforts based on a well-structured and planned guide. Conversely, without a strategic marketing plan, businesses often find it more challenging to reach sales targets and other marketing objectives because they lack a clear direction and guide.

To better understand what is marketing plan, its benefits, examples, and how to create it for businesses in various niches, you can read the following guide.

What is Marketing Plan? 

Illustration of a Marketing Plan to Support Business Marketing
Figure 1: Illustration of a Marketing Plan to Support Business Marketing

Have you heard of what is marketing plan? In broad terms, it is a strategically prepared document that allows a business to plan and manage marketing activities.

In the fiercely competitive business world, it becomes a compass that can help you navigate what, when, and how to implement the right strategies in specific situations.

If you are still unsure about this marketing concept, here is the definition of what is marketing plan is according to experts.

Definition of Marketing Plan According to Experts

To help you better understand this term, consider the explanations from experts below:

  • According to Walker (2003): It is a written document that details customer analysis, competitor analysis, and the external conditions that contain opportunities or risks related to marketing objectives and actions.
  • According to Strauss & Frost (2012): It is a dynamic blueprint that consists of various elements such as situational analysis, strategic planning, marketing objectives, implementation plans, budget, and evaluation plans.

Why Is a Marketing Plan Important for Your Business?

It is important as it is a business guide that can steer a company toward achieving marketing objectives within a specific timeframe. 

The presence of a structured business plan can support B2B or small and large-scale enterprise marketing strategies.

With a well-organized plan, your business can focus on dynamic and solution-oriented strategies while simultaneously measuring the progress and effectiveness of these strategies.

This document also aids businesses in various niches in understanding their market share better, enabling them to make intelligent, strategic, and sustainable decisions in the long term.

What Does It Contain? 

In general, this document contains crucial information to support the success of a business's marketing activities. It typically includes:

  • Market research findings
  • Market competition analysis
  • Executive summary
  • Marketing strategies
  • Marketing budget
  • Marketing goals
  • Marketing results

Marketing Plan Benefits

This document is needed to optimize the marketing strategy of an online business. Here are other benefits of a business plan for various industries:

1. Identify Business Opportunities or Threats

When a business can plan its marketing strategy carefully, they have the opportunity to recognize missed opportunities and potential threats that could disrupt its operations. 

The plan provides detailed data, including market opportunities, consumer trends, dominant search queries, and even analyses of shifts in customer preferences. 

2. Efficient Resource Management

Effective resource management is a hallmark of a successful business. In this regard, this document plays a crucial role in helping businesses achieve their goal. 

Through marketing planning, various business resources, including time, budget, workforce, and company assets, must be managed efficiently to ensure that the business successfully improves its ROI within a specified timeframe.

3. Guide Businesses in Achieving Goals

This document can also guide businesses toward success, whether in terms of revenue, brand awarenessdomain authority, or other business goals. 

With this plan, businesses can identify target audiences and develop strategies tailored to the buyer personas of potential consumers. 

Furthermore, this plan can support performance evaluation efforts to measure the success of strategies or design additional plans as needed.

4. Improving Operational Efficiency

Businesses with structured planning management are more likely to succeed in achieving their goals and improving operational efficiency since they can identify and prioritize elements in a marketing strategy. 

By determining priorities in terms of operations, the marketing team can enhance coordination and collaboration among team members in determining which steps should be prioritized.

5. Enhancing Swift Responses to Changes

Developments in the modern business world often lead to fluctuations influenced by various changes, such as consumer behavior, trends, or unforeseeable external factors like government regulations. 

Within this context, the business plan can help businesses identify signs of change and take early action to respond to these changes.

6. Understanding Tools or Services Needed for the Business

With this business plan, the marketing team can simultaneously identify the tools or services required to support the performance and goals of the business in the future. 

The sales and marketing team can determine whether a business needs to optimize its website, produce SEO-friendly articles, or maximize the use of online marketplaces to boost business revenue. 

For example, if a business is working to establish or enhance online visibility, then SEO Services by cmlabs can assist in designing and projecting a comprehensive strategy.

How to Make Marketing Plans

Illustration of a Marketing Team Making a Marketing Plan
Figure 2: Illustration of a Marketing Team Making a Marketing Plan

After learning the definition and benefits, you may be curious about how to make marketing plans that align with your business niche. To do that, follow the following steps and strategies comprehensively:

1. Define Business Goals, Vision, and Mission

The first step is to determine your business goals, vision, and mission. With a clear vision, mission, and goals, you can build a marketing strategy that is appropriate and focused. 

Vision may encompass a long-term vision of the future you desire, while the mission includes the core business objectives that include specific values and principles.

2. Perform a SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. These four components play a significant role in analyzing a business's efforts in resource allocation. 

A SWOT analysis can be used to identify the extent to which a business can maximize its strengths and potential and overcome existing challenges. Here's an example of a simple SWOT analysis within the scope of a business:

a. Strengths

  • Strategic business location
  • High-quality products and wide appeal across various age groups
  • A long-standing presence in the industry

b. Weaknesses

  • Limited service/menu options
  • Insufficient online visibility in search engines

c. Opportunities

  • Developing content marketing strategies
  • Maximizing social networks through website optimization and SEO-based marketplace strategies
  • Forming partnerships with reputable service providers

d. Threats

  • Limited budget for marketing activities
  • Fluctuations in raw material prices that can reduce profitability

3. Identify Consumer Segmentation

Market segmentation refers to the strategy of breaking down the market into smaller, homogenous groups based on relevant characteristics. 

This strategy aims to help businesses identify consumer groups with similar needs, preferences, and behaviors, allowing for more effective and personalized marketing plans.

4. Identify Unique Selling Points (USPs) of the Business

USPs are essential elements that should be detailed in this document. In this case, the marketing team can outline what unique products or services a business offers that differentiate it from competitors. 

You can include company values, expert staff in each division, and a business's competitive advantages.

5. Develop Strategies Based on the AIDA Model

The next step is to formulate strategies based on the AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action). 

This concept helps you design steps that focus on the customer journey from first encountering a product to taking action to purchase it. 

AIDA aims to enhance brand awareness, generate interest in the minds of consumers, entice the target audience to learn more about the product, and prompt consumers to take action through calls to action (CTAs) such as purchases, subscriptions, and more.

6. Analyze Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measures used by companies to monitor marketing strategies. It enables the company to regularly monitor the activities and effectiveness of marketing strategies. 

KPIs also facilitate internal and external communication. The marketing team can clearly communicate progress and achievements to other team divisions or external parties.

KPIs in a marketing plan can include various metrics, such as sales, website traffic, conversion rates, retention rates, and marketing campaign ROI.

7. Determine Marketing Platform 

You also need to analyze and determine which platforms will be used throughout marketing activities. 

Selecting marketing channels is a crucial step in reaching the target audience and making a positive impact on the business. Some marketing channel options to consider include:

  • Content marketing: Producing informative and relevant articles or blogs for the target audience.
  • Email marketing: Communicating with the target audience or customer base with personalized exclusive offers.
  • Social media: Direct communication with the target audience through surveys or the production of digital campaign content.
  • Direct marketing with booths or exhibitions: Enhancing brand awareness through direct participation in events with similar niches.

8. Designate Person in Charge (PIC)

When developing this plan, you can also designate the team and individuals responsible for each marketing activity.

9. Analyze Budget

The next step is to evaluate and allocate funds for marketing activities. By analyzing the budget, businesses can manage financial resources wisely and efficiently, covering paid ads, promotions, and other financial projections.

10. Improve Website Performance

One of the strategies that need to be prioritized is optimizing website performance; improving bounce rates, incorporating SEO principles, and maximizing UI and UX elements on the website. 

You can start this step by researching competitor websites on the first page of SERP and finding out what elements you need to display on your website to maximize customer experience.

Marketing Plan Example

Here is a marketing plan example to give you an idea of how it can support business success:

  • Company Type: Online media agency and news portal.
  • Vision: To become a leading and authoritative source of news in the digital space.
  • Mission: To produce high-quality news, maintain journalistic integrity, and compete with the latest trends.
  • Target Market: All population, ranging from millennials to professionals.
  • Competitors: News portals A, B, C, and several social media accounts.
  • AIDA Objectives: Attract the target market with informative, current, and factual news.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator): Increase the number of daily news subscribers by 1,000 subscribers per month.
  • Budget: Rp50,000,000.
  • Person in Charge (PIC): Digital marketing team and editorial team.

That concludes a comprehensive explanation of what is marketing plan, its benefits, and how to create it to maximize your business marketing strategies.

Remember that this plan should also be tailored to the specific conditions and needs of the business.

For instance, if your business goal is to improve visibility on search engines, then the strategies should include empowerment and SEO optimization, establishing backlinks through authoritative media, and much more.

If you want to support your business plan with a backlink strategy, Media Buying Services by cmlabs can help you gain authority and positive exposure from renowned media in Indonesia.

You can also use SEO Services from cmlabs for overall website projection and optimization, as well as SEO Article Writing Services to help you produce informative, exclusive content validated by experts on a scheduled basis. For inquiries, contact the cmlabs Marketing Team now!

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