The Key Ingredient to Marketing: The Marketing Plan

Sep 4 09:18 2009 Kristie Lorette Print This Article

Find out what you need to know about the marketing plan and marketing strategy.

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You may have heard the term marketing plan, but do you really know what it is and how it helps lead a business toward success? The sole purpose of a marketing plan is to outline in writing the specific actions you plan to take in order to attract the attention of potential customers. Then the marketing plan goes a step further because it details out how you intend to persuade these potential customers into buying the product or services your company offers.

It’s about the strategy

In essence, the marketing plan is the guide you use to implement your marketing strategy. This means that the key ingredient to marketing your business is the marketing plan itself. This plan spells out what your business goals are and then draws you a road map on how to reach your goals.

There are two ways that a marketing plan can be developed. Some businesses have someone dedicated to their marketing efforts or they hire a third-party marketing professional to create it as a standalone document. Other businesses include it as part of the overall business plan. Either way, the marketing plan has the same intention; it’s the blueprint for communicating the value of your business to your customers.

The difference between marketing strategy and a marketing plan

People often confuse a marketing plan and the term marketing strategy. While marketing strategy is part of the marketing plan, there is a difference between the two. The marketing strategy involves the goals of the entire business including a definition of your business, a description of your products or services, a profile of your target market (current and potential clients) and a definition of your company's unique selling proposition (USP), which is what makes you different from your competitors.

While the marketing plan includes the strategy, the true part of the plan itself is the specific actions you're going to take to achieve the goals you’ve established with your strategy.

Some of the items your marketing plan includes are pricing (for each product or service), the sales and distribution plan and how you plan to advertise and promote your business.

So, can you have a marketing plan without a marketing strategy? No.

Can you have a marketing strategy without a marketing plan? You can, but it’s a complete waste of time. Again, the marketing plan is your roadmap to achieving your strategy. You wouldn’t go on a long road trip without first mapping out the route from you home to your destination, so why in the world would you have a business without a plan for marketing it and attracting business?

About the Author

Copywriter and marketing consultant, Kristie Lorette, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and businesses create copy and marketing pieces that sizzle, motivate, and sell. She is also the author of Action Marketing: A Step-by-step Guide to Launching Your Business Marketing Plan. For more information, visit http://wp.me/ptLrh-1.

 

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Kristie Lorette
Kristie Lorette


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