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Essential Elements of a Business Marketing Plan

Marketing is one of the top issues on the minds of most CEOs, entrepreneurs and small-business owners. In fact, most business advisors and investors consider marketing the one area that can make or break a business plan, which is why the following pages are so important.

A marketing plan includes the following components:

  • Description of your market situation, including your customer profile and descriptions of changes affecting your customers, competitors, and business climate

  • Your marketing goals and objectives

  • Your company’s positioning and brand statements

  • Your marketing strategies, including plans for your product, distribution, pricing, and promotions, along with plans for retaining customers, gaining repeat business, and building loyalty

  • Your marketing budget

  • Your tactical and action plans

  • Your long-range plans

Detail all these essential topics in a marketing plan separate from your overall business plan. In your business plan — in the part where you discuss your company strategy — include a summarized version that provides the highlights.

Your business plan is mainly for external audiences — financial backers, business advisors, and key partners — so edit out details that people outside your business don’t really need to know and that you may want to hold close to your vest. These include your tactical and action plans and details of how you plan to allocate your marketing budget.

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