9 Elements Every Effective Marketing Plan Should Have

Mar 28, 2022 | Marketing

Building a yearly marketing plan is key to creating successful campaigns and maximizing growth.

Are you taking a good look at your business’ marketing plan every year? If you aren’t, you’re missing out on a valuable way to maximize your growth and success.

Why? Marketing plans shouldn’t be static things from year to year. Instead, they should be reviewed and updated to ensure your money is being spent where it will get you the best ROI – and keep generating relevant, quality leads. Your plan is essential in guiding your campaigns to meet your business’ goals, and for generating sustainable growth. 

Not every business will have the same marketing plan. A lot depends on your industry, goals, budget, and more. In general, however, every marketing plan should contain 9 essential elements to ensure your goals are clearly outlined. 

Marketing Plan Outline

The beauty of building a marketing plan is the flexibility to customize it to fit your business’ needs and goals. You can make yours extremely granular, or keep it more open to fluidity as the fiscal year progresses. In general, however, all marketing plans should include the following elements.

Business Summary

Starting out with a summary helps keep everyone on the same page, especially when it comes to new hires. It should include the company’s name, location (HQ if you have more than one location), and your mission statement.

Business Initiatives

This element should focus on breaking down your goals by the departments within your business. Leave out the big-picture, company-wide goals, which should instead be contained within your business plan. Here, you should be outlining marketing projects only, describing your goals and how you aim to achieve them during the year.

Customer Analysis

Basic market research is paramount in creating an effective marketing plan. After all, if you don’t know who your ideal customer is, how are you supposed to know how to reach and appeal to them? Customer analysis helps you to analyze data in order to create an ideal client profile. It should focus on traits like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Goals
  • Pain Points
  • Personal Challenges
  • Triggering Events
  • Title/Industry

Competitor Analysis

In order to be as competitive in your industry as possible, you need to know who your biggest competitors are, what they do well, and where they are lacking. Consumers always have choices, no matter how small your industry is, which means that you need to focus on trying to address their pain points better than anyone else. If your competitors are leaving gaps, this gives you the opportunity to fill them in order to be more appealing to customers on their buying journey.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It means diving deep into your business, where it performs the best and where there are areas for improvement. This information can be difficult for many businesses to analyze, but it should be based on your customer and competitor research, as well as your current marketing strategies.

Marketing Strategy

Here’s where you really dig into your strategy for the year. Your marketing strategy should be based on the information you’ve gleaned in the above sections. It should detail how you plan to approach your market, and how you’ll solve your ideal customer’s problems. Most marketing strategies can be broken down into the “seven P’s” of marketing in order to ensure you’re hitting all of the relevant points:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • People
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence


It should go without saying that every marketing strategy needs a defined budget, yet many businesses fail to outline their budget in a specific and granular way. Your marketing plan should describe how much money is in your budget for the year, and exactly where that budget will be allocated for each platform and tactic. Itemizing your budget helps you to see exactly where your money is going to better analyze performance and ROI.

Marketing Channels

Marketing channels are the place to educate consumers, generate leads, and build awareness. Outlining exactly where you plan to push your content in the coming year helps your team to see the big picture when it comes to the platforms you will be focusing on. It also helps you to outline how these platforms are going to help you to reach your goals.

If you are utilizing social media, be sure to identify which platforms you intend to use, and how. Are you utilizing one for advertising, and another for education? Make sure your plan makes note of this so that your team knows how to cater your content and creatives to suit your goals. If your social media plans are extensive, you may benefit from making a separate marketing plan focusing on it alone, so that you can get very detailed with your goals, plans, and budget.

Financial Projections

The last element that your marketing plan should have is your financial projections for the year. By laying out your goals and your budget in the rest of the plan, you should be able to generate some idea of what your financials should look like for the year. Setting goals is an important part of analyzing performance, so that you can see what is putting you on track to meet your financial goals, and what may be underperforming and thus holding you back. 

Get the Help You Need to Maximize your Marketing Plan

If you’re looking for help implementing your marketing plan for the year, we are here to help. Gulf Coast Web has decades of experience in managing digital marketing and web design services for business across all industries. Our staff consists of highly-trained web design and digital marketing professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. And unlike many other design agencies, we have a content writer with over 10 years of experience on-staff to handle everything from website copy to blogs to social media posts. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.