A marketing plan is the plan of action that an organization uses to guide its revenue generating marketing efforts; it is the written details that revolve around a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy pertains to decisions that involve selecting a target market, producing a product, placement (distribution) of the product, pricing of the product, and promotion of the product. A marketing plan also addresses the very dynamic environmental factors that may cause an organization to adjust its marketing strategy.
The development of a high performance marketing plan begins with selecting a target market that an organization can serve at an extraordinarily high level. Accompanied with a very deep understanding of the target market, an organization can then begin to identify the core values of the brand that will deeply resonate and attract consumers. The core values are what a brand stands for; the brand identity! A brand’s core values are what marketers use to “position” the brand in the minds of consumers. With the core values in hand, a brand promise is then written. A brand promise very clearly communicates the value that an organization “promises” to deliver; value that is relevant to the customer’s life, and value that is distinctively different from value that is offered by competitors.
With a clear understanding of the target market and the core values that appeal to the target market, the marketing professionals then begin to creatively design the product, price, place (distribution) and promotion. All of these innovative design activities must be integrated in a manner that clearly communicates an organization’s brand identity to both internal and external audiences.