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The Basic Difference Between a Marketing Plan and a Business Plan

Updated on August 20, 2010

Writing A Marketing Plan Can Be Simple

The Difference Between a Marketing Plan and a Business Plan

When writing a business plan, one tends to visualize and understand their entire enterprising goal as a whole. The company design and purpose is exposed and therefore better to implement.  But when developing the marketing plan, the intention is to amplify your salesman or sales woman skills and mission.  To further explain the difference between a business plan and a marketing plan, I will have you envision the grand purpose of each.

The mission of the business plan is to ensure virtual organization. You, a lender, or anyone reading the proposition should be able to see how a venture will smoothly operate and churn out a profit daily, annually or for years to come by merely reading the document.  It is telling the story of the life of your company from obtaining the product to putting gross profits in the bank. The business plan gives the company life. It transforms it from a name and words into a tangible entity. This is important because if you are seeking financial assistance, no lender wants to extend monetary backing without seeing the success of an institution on paper first.

The basic business plan can be as short and simple as you would like or it can be long and specialized as needed.  The general sections may have different names but they all have the same objectives.  One of the simple outlines is a follows.
1.    Executive Summary
2.    Company Description
3.    Product or Service
4.    Market Analysis
5.    Strategy and Implementation
6.    Internet Planning Details
7.    Management
8.    Financial Analysis

The marketing plan, however, concentrates on one particular section of the business plan.  It can be divided into at least two sections called the objective and the strategy. But its specific job is to etch out the path of how you will grab the attention of the public and charm with your “brand”. Overall, it is the biography of survival; internet and physical.  It explains in a nutshell how and when you will get the world to purchase your wares.

To accomplish the marketing plan goal, some questions you may ask are:
1.    What are my or my company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)?
2.    How will I overcome the SWOT or work effectively with them?
3.    Exactly what is the product or service?
4.    Who is the target and where will you find them? 
5.    How will I keep customer interested?
6.    Who or What is the competition?
7.    What is product pricing?
8.    What tools will be used to woo potential customers?
9.    What soft or hard publications will be used to persuade them?
10.  What methods are more beneficial than others?
11.  What is the budget?
12.  How will the product get from point A to point B on a regular basis and keep it going like clockwork.

If you are precise with your plot, then you will be consistent in making a profit annually. Be prepared to change your plans and roll with the economic punches and any other problems that could arise. In keeping with the standards, the elements of the Marketing Plan could vary, but the below is the essence of an outline.
1. Executive Summary

2. Current Standing
3. Competitor Analysis
4. Marketing Objectives
5. Marketing Strategy
6. Action 
7. Budget
8. Measures

9. Stats, Documents, Data

If you are a small or new business entrepreneur who is bootstrapping your way to success, then you may not be concerned with big budget productions or producing a money margin that will impress lenders. So make a marketing plan that concentrates on the best way to impress and dazzle your customers. Show how you will keep up with overhead, paying general bills and meeting the salary marker you set for yourself and/or employees. If you prefer, you can hire a professional business and marketing plan maker.  But remember there is plenty of information on the internet that will answers many of your questions.  A couple of favorite links for marketing plan guidelines are:

1.    Write a Simple Marketing Plan

2.    How to Write a Marketing Plan


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