Marketing Plan Outline

Developing an effective marketing plan requires time and expertise. Here is a simple outline to help get you started. Please contact us if you think you can use some professional marketing help.

Executive Summary

A brief overview of the proposed plan for management.

Marketing Situation

Relevant background data on the market, product, competition, distribution, and market trends.

  • Market Situation: Defines market size, growth and key segments
  • Product Situation: Provides sales, profit, trends, cogs, spend, and distribution history by product
  • Competitive Situation: Major competitors’ size, share, strategies, spending, and comparisons
  • Distribution Situation: Distribution channel and its relative importance in terms of percent of total sales, volume, distribution costs, growth potential, and competitive status
  • Target Market Situation: End-users in demographic, psychographic, and lifestyle terms; actionable information such as buyer wants, needs, attitudes, perceptions; segment growth or decline and why
  • Macro‐market Situation: Demographic, economic, technological, political, social, and cultural trends that have a direct impact on the company

Marketing Situation Analysis

External opportunities and threats, internal strengths and weaknesses, and issues facing the organization. This typically includes a SWOT analysis and Market Opportunity Analysis.

Marketing Objectives

The goals of the plan in the areas of sales, market share, and profit. Marketing objectives may include sales revenue, sales volume, market awareness, distribution channels, and average price. Financial objectives may include gross sales, cost‐of‐goods, gross margin, net profit, cash flow, and return on investment.

Marketing Strategy

The approach to how the marketing objectives will be achieved. Descriptions of target markets, segments and customers, product lines, distribution/sales channels, unique positioning/messaging, pricing, marketing/promotional spend, research and development and market research plans.

Marketing Programs

The details of what will be done, who will do it, when it will be done, and how much it will cost. Projected Profit-and-Loss Statement The expected financial outcomes of the plan.


Indicates how the plan will be monitored, measured, and refined.

© 2001‐2010 Sagefrog Marketing Group, LLC. All rights reserved. Based on “Contents of a Marketing Plan” from Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, Implementation, and Control. © 1988, 2009 Prentice Hall by Philip Kotler of the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.