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Why do I need a Marketing Plan?

Provided by IFC, adapted from Business Edge® workbook, “Introduction to Marketing Concepts"

One of the fundamental components of successful marketing is a well thought-through marketing plan that outlines how the company will achieve its marketing objectives. Your company’s marketing strategy should serve as a foundation for creating your marketing plan.

A marketing plan focuses on the company’s chosen products and markets, and consists of the detailed marketing activities for achieving product objectives in a target market. It is the central instrument for directing and coordinating your marketing efforts.

During the course of the year, you may have new ideas that result in various scattered activities. They may or may not compliment your end goal. Having a comprehensive marketing plan will help your company stay focused and meet its overall objectives.

There are several major benefits from developing and using a marketing plan. Here are some of them:

  • It examines the competitive landscape of your company. A good marketing plan starts with an understanding of your positioning in the market and analysis of your competitors. Which companies compete for your clients’ attention and money? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Answering these questions will help you determine your own strengths and weaknesses before you define your target audience.  
  • It helps to anticipate your business’ journey. You should have a destination in mind before you set off on your journey. Share your marketing plan with your employees and give them a chance to be excited about where you would like to company to go and new challenges you wish to introduce. This will only motivate them if they have a vision in mind and an idea of what they want to accomplish as an end result. 
  • It outlines the key steps needed for your company to get to where it wants to be. Now that you have a destination in mind, plan out steps to get you there. It is easy to get derailed and leave plans behind. Having a weekly action plan will help you and your team stay focused and pinpoint responsibilities for action.
  • It helps your company to establish a realistic timeline for reaching your goals. A well written marketing plan is your game plan; it establishes activity schedules and is there to remind you and your team on what you have agreed to achieve within a certain timeline.
  • It helps to determine what is needed to fulfill your company’s objectives.

A certain amount of resources is needed to reach your marketing goals. It is a good idea to determine the resource requirements early on, to be able to carry on with your marketing activities throughout the year. Your marketing plan will provide the framework for establishing a budget.

Your marketing plan is essential to your company’s success. It is your opportunity to bring together the ideas of your team and create a document to be used every step of the way. Using a marketing plan will help you stay focused on your objectives and how you plan to achieve those objectives. 

Ready to build a marketing plan for your business?

Check out our article Create your Marketing Plan and these Marketing Plan Samples from other SMEs.

To create your own Marketing Plan use this Marketing Plan Template.

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