A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan. Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, a marketing plan without a sound strategic foundation is of little use.
A marketing plan is a comprehensive blueprint which outlines an organization’s overall marketing efforts. A marketing process can be realized by the marketing mix, which is outlined in step 4. The last step in the process is the marketing controlling.
The marketing plan can function from two points: strategy and tactics (P. Kotler, K.L. Keller). In most organizations, “strategic planning” is an annual process, typically covering just the year ahead. Occasionally, a few organizations may look at a practical plan which stretches three or more years ahead.
Behind the corporate objectives, which in themselves offer the main context for the marketing plan, will lie the “corporate mission,” which in turn provides the context for these corporate objectives. In a sales-oriented organization, the marketing planning function designs incentive pay plans to not only motivate and reward frontline staff fairly but also to align marketing activities with corporate mission. The marketing plan basically aims to make the business provide the solution with the awareness with the expected customers.
This “corporate mission” can be thought of as a definition of what the organization is, or what it does: “Our business is …”. This definition should not be too narrow, or it will constrict the development of the organization; a too rigorous concentration on the view that “We are in the business of making meat-scales,” as IBM was during the early 1900s, might have limited its subsequent development into other areas. On the other hand, it should not be too wide or it will become meaningless; “We want to make a profit” is not too helpful in developing specific plans.