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Creating a Marketing Plan

This guide is meant to assist students in writing, preparing, and presenting marketing plans.

What is marketing?

Before you begin the process of creating a marketing plan, you must understand the concept of marketing.  According to McDonald et al. (2011), marketing is the process of matching a company's abilities and the needs of their consumers to reach their goals, while satisfying the consumer.  Successful marketing requires a "win-win" situation for both the company and the consumer, which is when both parties benefit from each other.  This typically means that consumers receive a product or service that they like, while the company makes a profit from providing the product or service.  In other words, marketing makes up the following process (McDonald et al., 2011):

  • Defining target markets (see Research Starter on target markets).
  • Identifying customer needs.
  • Determining the value of meeting different customer needs (see Research Starter on consumer behavior).
  • Communicating these values to the company.
  • Delivering the values in the form of communication to consumers.
  • Determining the value that was actually delivered to consumers (see Research Starter on customer satisfaction).

What role does marketing play in business?

Marketing play a role in business in the following ways (McDonald et al., 2011):

  • Ensures that a product or service matches the needs of their target audience.
  • Defining and implementing operational efficiency within an organization.
  • Encouraging a culture that allows employees to think creatively from an entrepreneurial perspective.
  • Reminds an organization that everything is about the consumer.

There are always financial, political, social, and legal factors that determine the role marketing plays in an organization.  Therefore, marketing departments must abide by any policies in place that apply to their organization (McDonald et al., 2011).

You can learn more about conducting research in marketing by viewing our research guide below, or by checking out DragonQuest's Research Starters on marketing and business.