What Should Be Included in a Marketing Plan? A Complete Guide

Ready to create a marketing plan that actually works? Learn more about what a marketing plan is, its purpose, and all the steps you need to create one. Table of Contents

A marketing plan is an essential document that outlines your strategy for promoting your business, product, or service. It serves as a roadmap to help you achieve your marketing goals.

But what exactly should you include in a marketing plan? This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the key sections and components to incorporate

First, start with an introduction that provides a high-level overview of your marketing plan Summarize the goals you hope to accomplish and provide context on your business’s current situation

Briefly explain what challenges or opportunities prompted you to create this new marketing plan. This background information will help readers understand the reasoning behind your strategy.

Executive Summary

After the introduction, include an executive summary that concisely outlines your entire marketing plan.

Aim for 1-2 pages that cover:

  • Your business goals
  • Target audience
  • Value proposition
  • Key marketing strategies and tactics
  • Projected costs and ROI

The executive summary previews the main components of your plan so readers can quickly become oriented before diving into the details.

Situational Analysis

Next, provide a situational analysis that assesses your company’s internal and external marketing landscape. This section should cover:

Internal Analysis

  • Your current marketing goals
  • Existing marketing strategies and tactics
  • Data and metrics on your sales performance, web traffic, ad results, etc.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of your marketing efforts

External Analysis

  • Market overview and size
  • Customer demographics, psychographics, behavior
  • Competitor landscape and market share
  • Opportunities or threats in your industry

Conducting this analysis will reveal gaps and opportunities for your marketing plan to address.


Clearly define the goals you want your marketing plan to achieve. These could relate to:

  • Revenue growth
  • Acquiring new customers
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Growing website traffic
  • Improving lead conversion rates

The goals provide focus for your marketing strategies and help you measure the plan’s effectiveness. Make sure to highlight how these goals align with your overall business objectives.

Target Audience

Identify your target audience and ideal customer profiles. Outline relevant demographics like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income level
  • Education

Also include psychographic details, such as:

  • Values
  • Interests
  • Pain points
  • Behavior patterns

Defining your audience is crucial for developing messaging and strategies that will effectively resonate with them.

Positioning Statement

Craft a positioning statement that succinctly conveys your brand’s identity and differentiates you from competitors.

It typically follows this basic structure:

For [target audience], [your brand] is the [your product category] that [key benefit statement].

This drives home the unique value you provide to customers.

Marketing Strategies

This section forms the core of your marketing plan. Go into detail on the key campaigns, channels, and strategies you will use.

For each initiative, outline:

  • Objective – What is the specific goal?
  • Tactics – How will you execute the strategy?
  • Timeline – When will tactics be implemented?
  • Budget – What are the costs involved?
  • KPIs – How will you measure success?

Some examples of marketing strategies to potentially include:


  • New product development
  • Product improvement


  • Discounts or bundles
  • Penetration or skimming pricing


  • Distributing through new channels
  • Improving logistics and availability


  • Advertising – PPC, print, TV, etc.
  • PR and media outreach
  • Events, tradeshows, and sponsorships
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Affiliate and referral programs


  • Developing core brand identity and assets
  • Refreshing visual brand identity
  • Brand guidelines and training


Calculate your marketing budget by tallying the costs for each of your planned initiatives.

Factor in expenses like:

  • Advertising spend
  • Website hosting fees
  • Email marketing software costs
  • Staffing and freelancer fees
  • Event budgets
  • Design and production

Establishing your budget prevents overspending and keeps the plan grounded in achievable actions based on available resources.


Define the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will track to measure the effectiveness of your overall marketing plan and each individual strategy.

Relevant metrics may include:

  • Sales revenue
  • Leads generated
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Cost per lead
  • Traffic channels
  • Webpage views
  • Social media followers and engagement
  • Email clickthrough rate

Monitoring these KPIs will reveal what’s working so you can double down on successful initiatives.


Create a detailed timeline for when you will execute each component of your marketing plan.

This could be outlined in:

  • Quarters
  • Months
  • Weeks

The timeline should sync up with your budget and resources to keep the plan on track.

Ongoing Optimization

Explain that your marketing plan is a living document that will evolve over time based on results.

Outline how you will:

  • Continuously monitor KPIs
  • Identify low-performing areas
  • Test new strategies
  • Shift budgets and resources accordingly

This process of ongoing optimization will ensure your marketing adapts to changing market dynamics.

Wrap up your marketing plan with a conclusion that reiterates the importance of your strategies and tactics for achieving your stated business goals.

Summarize the key takeaways you want readers to remember and inspire them to take action on executing the plan.


Optionally, you can include an appendix with supplemental materials or data to support your plan:

  • Brand style guide
  • Competitor analysis charts
  • Audience personas and segmentation data
  • Historic sales and marketing metrics
  • Market research reports
  • Testimonials and customer feedback
  • Sample marketing deliverables

Providing this additional information gives readers full context about your marketing plan.

Putting It All Together

Follow this comprehensive framework when assembling your next marketing plan, and you’ll have a strategic document that drives results.

Remember to keep examining your KPIs and optimizing based on learnings. By continually evolving your marketing initiatives, you can boost your conversion rates, revenues, and brand growth over time.

what is included in a marketing plan

Step 11: Review & Report

The review and reporting phase involves sharing the campaign results with stakeholders, including executives, shareholders, and employees.

Based on the information gathered and the initial steps taken in the previous step, this step helps define the actionable steps that will be taken on future initiatives and will vastly improve the efforts moving forward. It will also provide a written document that can be used to benchmark all campaigns.

The final step in the marketing planning process is to use the knowledge gained from the retrospective analysis and stakeholder feedback to iterate on future campaigns. This could involve refining the marketing strategy, adjusting messaging, or changing tactics to reach the target audience.

At CoSchedule, we use our knowledge-sharing platform, Guru, to share all changed processes or integration steps after every campaign. This enables all team members to stay up-to-date on the new policies in one centralized location that can be accessed anytime.

It is important to note that the marketing planning process is not linear, and each step is interconnected. As such, marketers should be flexible and adapt their approach as needed based on feedback and results.

The marketing planning process is a comprehensive approach to developing and executing successful marketing campaigns. Following the steps outlined in this section, marketers can develop effective campaigns that achieve their objectives, enhance their brand , and increase revenue. The key to success is to remain agile and adaptable, using feedback and data to inform future campaigns and improve results over time.

What Are The 5 Elements Of A Marketing Plan?

The 5 elements of a marketing plan typically refer to the 5 Ps of marketing, also known as the marketing mix: product, price, place, promotion, and packaging.

How to Create a Marketing Plan | Step-by-Step Guide

What are the components of a marketing plan?

You’ll want to make sure your marketing plan includes multiple supporting activities that all add up into a powerful marketing machine. Some marketing plan components include: Knowing where your consumer base spends the most time is significant for nailing this step.

What information should be included in a marketing plan?

It also includes information like target market, value proposition, proposed marketing campaigns, and success metrics. To create a successful marketing plan, you need to conduct thorough market research. This helps you understand your market, target audience, competitors, and industry trends.

What is a marketing plan?

Simply speaking, a marketing strategy presents what the business will do in order to reach a certain goal. A marketing plan outlines the specific daily, weekly, monthly or yearly activities that the marketing strategy calls for. As a business, you can create a marketing proposal for the marketing strategies defined in your company’s marketing plan.

What is an example of a marketing plan?

General marketing strategic plan / Annual marketing plan This is a good example of a marketing plan that covers the overarching annual marketing strategy for a company: Another good example would be this Starbucks marketing plan: This one-page marketing plan example from coffee chain Starbucks has everything at a glance.

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