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Marketing plan

This page provides answers to a list of frequently asked questions.

Why, How...

List of answers to typical questions

Marketing plan

This page provides answers to a list of frequently asked questions.


Marketing plan

Establishing a marketing plan requires :

  • a thorough analysis of your company’s internal and external environment. You need to identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, marketing risks, and business opportunities in your market,
  • to define a clear strategic direction. It must take into account your company’s vision, your values, your market positioning, your target markets, and your marketing objectives. Among other things, marketing objectives can be related to increasing your sales, your company’s reputation or simply to retaining your customers,
  • the implementation of a marketing mix strategy and the definition of your marketing budget,
  • the creation of a detailed and precise schedule. It should clearly indicate the timeline of key tasks to be completed and the deadlines for each action to be taken. The schedule must also indicate the control program. These allow you to take a step back, see how effective the marketing plan is or isn’t and adjust it if necessary.

Developing a marketing plan improves business management. It allows you to take stock of :

  • your past marketing efforts and the results already achieved,
  • the new marketing objectives to be achieved.

You must have a marketing plan, because it allows you to:

  • analyze the internal and external environment of your company,
  • study the business opportunities and the risks associated with them,
  • reflect on the best marketing strategies to adopt,
  • better plan the chronology of the actions you will undertake,
  • control your marketing budget,
  • monitor your company’s progress in relation to the marketing objectives set.

In general, the marketing plan should contain distinct elements:

  • the situation of the company, i.e. the internal and external environment of the company. This first step is crucial because it allows you to determine the direction to take to find the most attractive markets,
  • the strategic orientation or direction of the company and its marketing: the marketing plan must clearly specify the company’s vision, mission, positioning, values and ethics, and social responsibility. This document must also make it possible to know the company’s target markets and its marketing objectives,
  • the action plan, i.e. the fundamental strategies and the marketing mix strategies put in place. In addition, the marketing plan must also specify the budget allocated for the creation of these strategies,
  • Execution: This element encompasses the organizational structure, implementation, and monitoring of the plan.

The marketing plan plays a key role in the overall management of the company. A true roadmap, it allows the company to know where it is going in the short, medium and long term. It allows you to set realistic goals, keep them in sight and put in place the most relevant strategies to achieve them. It also allows you to have a better understanding of the environment and to adequately prepare for any possible changes. When done properly, the marketing plan allows for a better coordination of marketing efforts.

To develop a marketing plan, you must go through 4 essential steps.

Step 1: Analyze the internal and external environment of your company. You need to identify the weaknesses and strengths of your company’s marketing to better exploit them. You must also identify the business opportunities and risks you face in your market.

Step 2: Choose your strategic direction based on your company’s identity, your values, but especially your marketing objectives. These objectives consist, for example, of an increase in your company’s turnover, your e-reputation or your market share.

Step 3: Implement a marketing mix strategy. You must clearly define the actions you will take to position yourself in your market. The marketing mix is based on 4 main means of action: Product, Price, Distribution and Communication. It is at this stage of the plan development that you should also define your marketing budget.

Step 4: Create your execution schedule. The schedule includes the list of actions to be carried out, the execution dates for each operation, and the control program.

The marketing plan is not set in stone. It can be modified at any time to better adapt to your company’s marketing situation.

Any marketing plan worthy of the name must address one main issue, that of ensuring the profitability of the company. Each marketing effort must be thought out to allow the company to remain profitable in the short, medium and long term. A careful study of the target market is therefore essential.

The marketing plan must also provide strategic positioning for the brand.a The term positioning refers to the position of a product or brand in the minds of consumers, compared to its competitors.

The development of a marketing plan must go through 9 main steps. The steps may vary from one company to another, but in general, it is essential to :

  • Framing the company’s overall mission: it is essential to place the marketing plan within the overall framework of the company’s mission and general short and long-term objectives,
  • Conduct a diagnostic analysis – internal and external – to identify key findings. The external analysis identifies the company’s threats and opportunities. The internal analysis makes it possible to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the company,
  • set quantitative and qualitative marketing objectives. These must be quantified, prioritized, realistic and coherent,
  • Determine the most relevant marketing strategies to effectively achieve the set objectives,
  • Translate the chosen marketing strategies into action plans for the different elements of the marketing mix, i.e. product, price, communication and distribution,
  • Assign a budget, a person in charge and a timetable for completion to each of the defined actions,
  • move on to the actual writing of the marketing plan,
  • Communicate, sell and disseminate the plan within the organization,
  • Conduct regular monitoring, evaluation and, if necessary, revision of the marketing plan.

The marketing plan is an operational document developed to plan a project or a job. It describes in detail the marketing strategies planned by the company to achieve its objectives over a given period. A true roadmap, it makes it easy to manage the company’s marketing efforts.

The marketing plan includes a study of the different environments surrounding the new project or project. It also includes an analysis of the various objectives set by the company.

The marketing plan is to be differentiated from the business plan and the company plan.

Developing a marketing plan for the year allows companies to properly manage their resources and reasonably determine their medium-term objectives. A marketing plan that runs for too long risks creating unrealistic expectations and team goals that are not aligned with those of the company. On the other hand, a one-year marketing plan fits in with the company’s fiscal plan and budget.

By opting for an annual marketing plan, companies can re-evaluate their marketing strategies at the end of each year. They can distinguish the most successful actions from those that were not successful. This way, they can regularly evolve their offers and, above all, perfect their marketing plans accordingly for the following year.

To move from the marketing plan to the customer plan, the company’s marketing objectives and strategies must be focused on the customer. In this perspective, it is essential to have a perfect knowledge of the customer and his path. You must therefore equip your company with a powerful CRM to collect and organize a maximum of relevant data on your customers. Properly processed, your customer data will allow you to perform effective customer segmentation and properly track your customers’ lives and journeys.

To determine the “right” objectives for your customer plan, you can map the customer journey. This approach will allow you to precisely identify the points of contact and the moments that are conducive to communication with your customers. To finalize your customer plan, it is essential to align your various marketing actions with a marketing calendar. This document materializes the highlights for your different actions and marketing scenarios. Generally speaking, there are 3 main types of highlights:

  • brand” moments: these are important events for your brand: launch of a new collection, opening of a store… These moments will be of great help in scheduling the series of campaigns to be deployed,
  • commercial moments: these are annual events that are conducive to launching a communication campaign: sales, Christmas, Valentine’s Day…
  • Customer” moments: these are the events related to the customer journey of each consumer: cart abandonment, first purchase, etc. You can easily automate them with your CRM.

To succeed, a franchise must adopt a marketing plan that is adapted to its outlet and that is in line with the franchisor’s marketing strategy. It is up to the franchisor to define the broad outlines of the marketing plan. However, local actions are the responsibility of the franchisee. In general, a franchise’s marketing plan should include:

  • a reminder of the general marketing strategy of the franchise,
  • a detailed description of the product range, the corresponding customer segmentation and the marketing methods adapted to the segmentation,
  • a list of the different marketing objectives: sales objectives, communication objectives, distribution objectives and customer objectives,
  • a list of marketing strategies to be implemented to achieve the objectives,
  • the budget allocated to the marketing strategies to be implemented,
  • a clear and precise planning of the actions to be carried out during the year,

The export marketing plan highlights both your objectives and your export strategy. Concise and perfectly structured, it helps you focus on the actions you need to take. To develop your export marketing plan, you must accurately determine:

  • the main characteristics of the market you are targeting: market trends, competitors’ weaknesses and strengths, etc,
  • the major characteristics of your typical customer: his needs, his buying and consumption habits,
  • your goals. Are they about gaining more market share? To improve your positioning?

When developing a marketing plan, you should always think about the 4Ps: Price, Promotion, Product and Place. If the marketing plan is to be applied in the international market, you will need to think about 9 other P’s. These are:

  • Payment,
  • Personnel,
  • Planning,
  • Papers,
  • Practices (in terms of crops and business practices),
  • Policies,
  • Partnerships,
  • Positioning,
  • Protection (of the company against market risks).

The marketing plan allows SMEs to stay focused on their short, medium and long term objectives. If written perfectly, the marketing plan allows SMEs to:

  • better understand the state and potential of the market in which it operates,
  • to improve its visibility and its positioning on its market,
  • have more information about their competitors,
  • learn more about their customers to build loyalty.

Regardless of the size of the business, creating a good marketing plan is essential. It contributes to the development and sustainability of the SME’s activities.

The marketing plan is essential to better manage your business. It allows you to accurately determine your marketing objectives and establish an action plan to better achieve them. As a business owner, you will know exactly which way to go and how to get there.

Developing a marketing plan has several advantages. It allows you to :

  • to study precisely the internal and external environment of your company,
  • Identify the problems, threats, strengths and weaknesses of your business,
  • Identify more easily the business opportunities that come your way,
  • Establish appropriate marketing strategies,
  • plan the best marketing actions you will undertake.

A well-established marketing plan is also essential to keep your marketing budget under control.

The marketing plan is intended for marketing and sales personnel. Everyone involved in implementing and monitoring the marketing plan should be involved in its development. Among other people, we can mention: the manager of the company, the marketing manager, the communication manager and the sales department manager.

To achieve a proper marketing plan, you need to:

  • Determine precisely the geographical area in which you will develop the marketing plan. You must define the products to be offered in this area. They must specifically address the needs of the targets within them. It is at this stage that you must also determine the time frame for the plan,
  • define marketing objectives. These objectives must be linked to the products and be achieved within the time frame specified in the plan,
  • Establish short and medium term marketing strategies. You need to identify the most dynamic markets and the best strategies to increase your market share,
  • Analyze the competitive positioning of your company within these attractive markets,
  • Decide when to allocate marketing objectives to the relevant markets,
  • define a marketing action plan,
  • Budget the implementation of the marketing action plan.

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