Marketing Plan Writing

Marketing Plan – A Suggested Outline

written by Tim Berry of Palo Alto Software

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The exact nature of your plan, and your marketing situation, dictates its contents. You add detail or take it away to suit your needs.

In the real world you’ll want to customize your outline according to whether you are selling products or services, to businesses or consumers, or you’re a nonprofit organization. If you are in an class environment the outline for the plan will reflect the learning experience.

The following outline represents the one example of content of a marketing plan. Although the outline does change in some respects from business to business, this is a good standard example outline for a basic marketing plan.

Example outline for a marketing plan

1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Situation Analysis
2.1 Market Summary
2.1.1 Market Demographics
2.1.2 Market Needs
2.1.3 Market Trends
2.1.4 Market Growth
2.2 SWOT Analysis
2.2.1 Strengths
2.2.2 Weaknesses
2.2.3 Opportunities
2.2.4 Threats
2.3 Competition
2.4 Services
2.5 Keys to Success
2.6 Critical Issues
2.8 Macroenvironment

3.0 Marketing Strategies
3.1 Mission
3.2 Marketing Objectives
3.3 Financial Objectives
3.4 Target Marketing
3.5 Positioning
3.6 Strategy Pyramids
3.7 Marketing Mix
3.7.1 Services and Service Marketing
3.7.2 Pricing
3.7.3 Promotion
3.7.4 Service
3.7.5 Channels of Distribution
3.8 Marketing Research

4.0 Financials, Budgets, and Forecasts
4.1 Break-even Analysis
4.2 Sales Forecast
4.2.1 Sales Breakdown 1
4.2.2 Sales Breakdown 2
4.2.3 Sales Breakdown 3
4.3 Expense Forecast
4.3.1 Expense Breakdown 1
4.3.3 Expense Breakdown 2
4.3.3 Expense Breakdown 3
4.4 Linking Sales and Expenses to Strategy
4.5 Contribution Margin

5.0 Controls
5.1 Implementation Milestones
5.2 Marketing Organization
5.3 Contingency Planning

This outline was created using Marketing Plan Pro v9 software. To see three different outlines, based on the Duct Tape Marketing System, as used in Marketing Plan Pro v11 read Outline for a Marketing Plan, also here on

Tim Berry

about the author

Tim Berry

Founder and President of Palo Alto Software and a renowned planning expert. He is listed in the index of "Fire in the Valley", by Swaine and Freiberger, the history of the personal computer industry. Tim contributes regularly to the bplans blog, the as well as his own blog, Planning, Startups, Stories. His full biography is available at Follow Tim onGoogle +


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