An effective marketing plan is the bee’s knees of a competitive business because it guides strategy, identifies customers and provides valuable insights into the current market.

Typically, the marketing plan is the platform on which brand awareness and identity are enhanced and the business goal and marketing tactics aligned.

So what are the must-have components of a marketing plan?

Executive Summary

This is the section where a brief overview goes. The section includes the plans for reaching the target market, the firm and the team description and an intro to the products.

Brand Messaging

Brand messaging follows after the overview.

This is your company’s brand voice, mission statement, vision and core values. Your company’s value proposition or key differentiation (what makes you different from others) goes here.

Target Market and Buyer Personas

The section provides a general overview of the target buyer.

Who are they, what’s their motivation and what do they want? The insights gained from the data help create a fictional profile of the buyer, with background info, challenges, motivations and identifiers.

Situational Analysis

An overview of the current market status and insight into your business’s health are vital to the marketing plan. The section can include the following:

  • A competitive analysis
  • Core competencies
  • SWOT analysis

Goals and Objectives

The template must also have the annual marketing and sales goals. How much traffic are you targeting on the landing page? How many webinar signups and podcast listeners?

Marketing Strategies

This section explains how you’ll market the products and achieve the marketing goals. Include the tactics you’ll use for promotion, pricing, distribution and conversion.

Financial Projections

A breakdown of the expected expenses and results is necessary to determine success and gain insights into what works.

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