Marketing Plan Basics

The basics of a good plan.

A good plan, just like any good map, has a clear destination in mind. From your goals spring strategies…from strategies spring actionable steps. Then, step-by-step…you reach your Goal.

  • Business Goals
  • Marketing Objectives
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing Tactics

Business Goals, Marketing Objectives and Marketing Strategies

Marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use to meet a business Goal. This simple framework can help you create a actionable marketing plan that will lead you to your destination.


A good plan starts with a SMART goal, one that is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-Bound

  • Specific – Goals should be as specific as possible.
  • Measurable – How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?
  • Attainable – Is this goal something you have time and resources to attain?
  • Relevant – Is the goal relevant to what your business needs to succeed?
  • Time-Bound – Goals without deadlines are just dreams.

In other words, a bad goal is, “Grow sales next year.” A SMART goal is “Grow sales of vacuum cleaners by 10% by December 31, 2022.”


An objective is a thing you seek to do. A marketing objective is how you plan to use marketing to meet your business goal.

For example, if your goal is to grow vacuum cleaners by 10%, a marketing objective would include the 5P’s of marketing.

  • Product- What product lines have the most growth potential?
  • Price – What price will yield the highest profitability in volume versus margin?
  • Placement – What distribution channels have the most growth potential?
  • Promotion and People come later in the planning process.

A clear marketing objective would be to sell Dyson Vacuums at a high-end price online.


A strategy is a plan to reach your Goal. Choosing the right strategy takes market knowledge and customer research. However, you can simplify the strategy creation process with two elements: Who and Why.

  • Who – Who is willing to buy high-end vacuum cleaners online? Who should be as specific as possible and contain many demographic groups?
  • Why – Why would they be compelled to buy your vacuum cleaners online? The why should be specific to each demographic group.

An example of one strategy would be to sell high-end vacuums to men, age 30-55. Why, because research shows men are typically willing to spend more for quality, and more men are making household appliance decisions with few products marketed towards them.

Marketing Tactics – How are you going to do it?

If you consider Goals, Objectives and Strategies your What, When, Who, and Why. Tactics are your How you get from your current state to your desired state.


The magic to success and the most confusing part of any marketing plan is the HOW. How do you get from your current state to your desired state.

Understand where you are now.

  • Understand your brand, who knows you and what are you known for.
  • Understand your business strengths and which of those are most important to your customers.
  • Understand your weaknesses and what you need to improve or compensate for

You can’t create a map to where you want to go if you don’t know where you’re starting from.


Clearly understand your desired state. If you know exactly where you are and where you want to go.

If your weakness is your brand and your desired state is a stronger brand, than you’ll have different tactics than if your strength is your brand and you want to expand your brand into a new market.

  • How could you logically get from point A to point B?
  • If you worked backwards from where you want to be, how could you get to each milestone?

Tactics should be a roadmap from where you are to where you want to be and every step in between.


When it comes to choosing where to focus your time and attention, start at the foundation and look for the most effective and efficient idea.

Not all great ideas are effective.

  • When it comes to advertising tactics start small and grow over time.
  • Focus on finding the best reach and frequency you can achieve for your budget.
  • Choose actions that can meet multiple objectives at once.

Want help creating a marketing plan? Start with a free digital audit to understand where you’re starting from.

Want to get started on a marketing plan today?

Request our free digital audit and we’ll summarize where you are now, and how you can reach your destination.