Module 2: A good marketing plan
Unit 1: The Marketing Plan


To water the field, a farmer was forced every day to draw water from the well and bring it up to the irrigation canal.

To do this he used a bucket which, however, was a sieve. So, when it came to the irrigation canal almost all the water had been lost along the way.

Day after day, he went back and forth drawing water with a bucket with a hole.

A friend pointed out that the bucket was broken.

"Sure, I know, I'm not blind," said the farmer.
"Why not fix it?"
"I have no time. I'm too busy to draw water."

Sufi story - The finger and the moon

Keep in mind

"It’s all Greek to me"
idiomatic expression from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
"Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark."
Richard Cushing
“It’s not the plan that’s important, it’s the planning.”
Dr. Gramme Edwards
“Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us”
Richard I. Winwood

«What’s the use of planning? On the farm, things are carried on by just me and my wife / brother / partner. We can talk without writing anything down ...»

This section is about planning, and specifically about two very important plans for a business: the business plan, and the marketing plan, which is a special section of the business plan.

So, what’s the use of a marketing plan?

  1. None of the 4 Ps we have analysed in the previous section has to be forgotten. The marketing plan helps you avoid forgetting. It helps you focus on each issue, and reminds you to pay due attention to each.
  2. The plan helps you reach a clear agreement between you and your partners (or between different ideas inside your mind) before starting a project. It states what you want to do, how, and why.
  3. Should you need to involve other persons, or institutions (e.g. a retail store selling your products, an investor, a bank for a loan, employees, associations, public authorities ...) it gives you a good presentation of your project, which shows that you have duly thought about it, you have the necessary know-how, you have done realistic estimations of what the project’s performance could be. When employees are involved, a clear project, and the fact that you are sharing it with them, adds motivation to their work, and helps them accept possible changes to their tasks, or peak workloads.

A marketing plan index and template

In the following pages, you will find a possible index for your marketing plan and a template for you to complete your personal plan. To make it more understandable, most sections will be divided into two sections: an empty space to be filled in, on the left, and questions to be answered – or an example - on the right.

Even if you do not have a particular project in mind at the moment, you can invent one as an exercise, or else you think of a previous project you have launched, put its key elements in, and use the template as a check.

Although simplified, the index might prove a bit too complex if you have a very small business. It has been done for completeness, but you can skip the section that are not relevant to you.

Important definitions, to be read before going further
PEST Analysis of the Political, Economic, Social and Technological environment
STP Segment, Target, and Position
SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This communication (website) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.