In the marketing plan, the analysis, the strategies and the resulting decisions are specified. These proposals for plan study, implementation and control do not follow a strict order but are an iterative, circular and sequential process.
In the planning stage, the analysis is carried out, the strategy is chosen, and the plan is formalised. It is a model for guiding the completion of a task.
- It facilitates the coordination of marketing activities. In this plan, we will develop a campaign, and it allows the organisation to indicate sequences of activities for the marketing policy.
- It expresses the company’s value system, and we are going to write down the company’s values.
- It reflects the initial situation and the choices made.
- It facilitates the follow-up of the actions undertaken.
- It increases the capacity to react to adverse situations due to strategic reflection. It allows a more rigorous organisation and management, as we will know who is responsible for the campaigns and each part of the project.
The marketing plan’s idea is simple and easy to understand, but it isn’t easy to implement in practice as it requires prior assimilation of all the concepts. It is precisely because it is easy to understand that certain disadvantages arise, such as the following:
- Difficulty in finding the relevant information. We may not have collected the information or have collected too much or too little information, which leads us to have problems with any analysis.
- Disorder or misuse of the information.
- Incomprehension of many managers and tendency to operate as if it were an extrapolation of the past.
- The difficulty for managers to commit to long-term objectives and plans.
Despite the drawbacks, the advantages of developing a marketing plan are greater. The major benefit is that it forces managers to reflect on the company’s strategic issues.
Elements of a marketing plan
- Starting situation
- Situation analysis
- Analysis of the relevant market
- Marketing objectives and goals
- Choice of a marketing strategy
- Programming of marketing tactics
- Financial overview
- Budgeting of actions, financial plan (financial forecasts).