The ability to write good, or even great, marketing plans is a critical skill for a marketer. This is because all the marketer’s key initiatives should be set out in, and guided by, a marketing plan. Great marketing that builds brands and produces long-term returns for the company will not result from poor marketing plans. Since this revenue-driving imperative is central to the business plan, many companies and CEOs regard the marketing planning and business planning processes as being more or less synonymous.
It is not easy to find a good source of information for preparing professional marketing plans, however. Too many websites and other sources offer simplistic solutions, frequently concentrating on specific aspects of the plan, or the planning process, often reflecting the author’s less than perfect grasp of the subject matter. These sources are often prepared by non-marketers or those versed in only one aspect of marketing (usually within communications). The planning solutions offered frequently use idiosyncratic language and do not use generally accepted definitions – such as would be taught for CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) qualifications.
At the other end of the scale there are more academic sources, incorporating the use of complex diagnostic tools which are usually only likely to be used in large corporations. These are frequently not very helpful in the preparation of straightforward, but robust, plans. Nevertheless, as the manager’s confidence increases, they can provide useful reference sources (in particular, Malcolm McDonald is widely recognised as the guru of marketing planning).
In summary, preparing good marketing plans is neither as simplistic as some would make out, but neither is it as complicated as a reading of some marketing texts would suggest. This site aims to clarify the essential elements required to produce good marketing plans and provide guidance and tips on creating them. Using the menu above you can access the ‘How to’ resource library, including downloadable templates and guides, a library of opinion posts and the most recent post.
Please contact me if you would like further help in developing your strategies and plans – I have long experience of the problems and issues encountered and the solutions to them.
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