When asking Marketing professionals it is clear that marketing is the key to the success of a business. Sure, you can have the best product known to man but if nobody knows about your product essentially it does not exist. A marketing plan outlines the specific actions you intend to carry out to interest potential customers and clients in your product and/or service and persuade them to buy the product and/or services you offer. To be most effective, the plan has to be formalized, usually in written form, as a formal "marketing plan." The essence of the process is that it moves from the general to the specific, from the vision to the mission.
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Marketing Plan Development

In today's very competitive marketplace a strategy that insures a consistent approach to offering your product or service in a way that will outsell the competition is critical. However, in concert with defining the marketing strategy you must also have a well defined methodology for the day to day process of implementing it. It is of little value to have a strategy if you lack either the resources or the expertise to implement it.

In the process of creating a marketing strategy you must consider many factors. Of those many factors, some are more important than others. Because each strategy must address some unique considerations, it is not reasonable to identify 'every' important factor at a generic level. However, many are common to all marketing strategies. There is a certain approach and building-block process to developing a Marketing Plan. The place to start is analyzing your Industry: its current state; who the major participants are; changes in the industry; opportunities, economic modeling forecasts; and examining who else may enter the industry. With that completed, move on toward determining how distribution works in your industry and how technology affects its distribution systems.

A formal, written marketing plan is essential; in that it provides an unambiguous reference point for activities throughout the planning period. However, perhaps the most important benefit of these plans is the planning process itself. This typically offers a unique opportunity, a forum, for information-rich and productively focused discussions between the various managers involved. The plan, together with the associated discussions, then provides an agreed context for their subsequent management activities, even for those not described in the plan itself.
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  How Critical Is A Marketing Plan
Marketing Plan Goals & Objectives
Perhaps the most important factor in successful marketing is the "Corporate Vision". Surprisingly, it is largely neglected by marketing textbooks, although not by the popular exponents of corporate strategy - indeed, it was perhaps the main theme of the book by Peters and Waterman, in the form of their "Superordinate Goals." "In Search of Excellence" said: "Nothing drives progress like the imagination. The idea precedes the deed."  The marketing objectives must usually be based, above all, on the organization's objectives.