Page 2: What is a marketing plan?
A business needs to set its overall direction for the company through a business plan. This plan sets out how the company is to achieve its aims. The aims and objectives of a business inform and shape its business plan. A vital part of the overall business plan is the marketing plan. The relationship between the two plans is shown in the diagram.
Marketing involves identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer needs. A marketing plan takes the stated aims and objectives and then puts in place a series of marketing activities to ensure those objectives are achieved. Marketing plans can cover any time period, but normally set out activities for the next one to five years at either a business or brand level.
The main sections of the plan cover:
- SWOT and competitive analysis to assess where the business or brand is currently and what competitors are doing
- objectives what the plan needs to achieve
- the marketing strategy how the objectives will be achieved
- sales forecast by how much sales are likely to increase
- budget how much the marketing activities will cost and how the plan will be financed
- evaluation how outcomes will be monitored and measured.
There is no set model for a marketing plan. The structure of the plan and the amount of detail will depend on the size of the brand, the timescale involved and how the market and economy is behaving. However, NIVEA's marketing plan for the relaunch of NIVEA FOR MEN follows closely the outline described here.