Why a Marketing Plan is Essential
A formal marketing plan provides a clear reference point for activities throughout the planning period. However, perhaps the most important benefit of these plans is the planning process itself. This typically offers a unique opportunity, a forum, for information-rich and productively focused discussions between the various managers involved. The plan, together with the associated discussions, then provides an agreed context for their subsequent management activities, even for those not described in the plan itself.
In essence, a marketing plan:
- Makes the marketing team look at their past decisions and understand their results;
- Makes the marketing team look at the environment in which they operate;
- Establishes a future direction that everyone in the organization should both understand and support;
- Helps get funding for future initiatives.
Marketing plans are included in business plans, offering data showing investors how the company will grow and what kind return on investment they will receive.
Thus, marketing plans are written to:
- Fulfill the requirements of the yearly planning process within the marketing department;
- Describe the strategy for a new product or to solve an existing problem;
- Gain funding from outside investors.
Ultimately, marketing plans serve a purpose both inside and outside of the company.