How Does a Marketing Plan Differ from a Business Plan?

Dear M & M:

How does a marketing plan differ from a business plan?

–Bill

Dear Bill:

A marketing plan is a part of every business plan. A typical business plan would cover many more topics that would indirectly be related to a marketing plan but not necessarily be covered in a marketing plan. For example an organizational chart is an integral part of a business plan. In a marketing plan one might be interested in who is doing what in the marketing division or department of the company but, would not necessarily include who is in charge of plant or operations unless your marketing plan would affect them.  One could argue that every part of a good business plan interacts with every section in a business plan. I would have to agree. However, remember a business plan and marketing plans are two separate things. In the financial section of your marketing plan you would be concerned with the costs of action plans implemented due to marketing activities and measuring results. One would usually not include the costs of utilities incurred in the storage of materials to make the final product in the marketing plan. You would be more interested in describing the costs to communicate your messages to get the consumer to purchase your products or services. Keep in mind everything is related and part of any marketing plan includes price. One would have to know the final costs of goods or services for sale in order to develop a pricing strategy as part of your marketing plan. Looking at the outlines of a marketing plan and a business plan one could identify areas each tool is set to accomplish. In general, a business plan is a document laying out a roadmap of how you will run your whole business. A marketing plan is more geared to how you will “put the right product in the right place at the right time” as E.J. McCarthy defined the marketing mix in 1960 using the 4 P’s (Product, Place, Price, and Promotion) in marketing that we are still using today. A marketing plan should show how you are going to place your product or service in a place people are likely to buy at a price they are willing to pay at a time they are ready to purchase. A business plan is a written document detailing how a company will attain the company’s mission. A business plan can be written for a specific purpose (how you will payback a loan for a piece of equipment or what steps will you take to launch a new company) Source: Mindtools; http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_94.htm

-M&M

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation (EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org .

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