Marketing Communications Plan ~ Basic Elements


[Note: This template was created for the Pacific Asia Museum.]



          When you dont know where youre going, it doesnt matter which way you go!

          An organization often continues with activities (e.g. attend an exhibition or reprint a leaflet) Because weve always done it, or Because our competitors do it. These are not good enough reasons, and illustrate a lack of planning.

          The most successful, efficient, and profitable organizations are those that have a very clear vision of what they are trying to achieve and how they will achieve it.

          An organization that does not invest the time and energy to create a plan may continue to invest large amounts of money on methods of promotion that is inappropriate for its business goals.



1. Mission

What are the business goals of the organization? Do you want to:

        Build corporate identity awareness?

        Demonstrate or sell products or services?

        Build stronger relationships?

        Provide education and information?

        Conduct public relations activities?

        Increase your customer service and support functions?


2. Objectives

        Explain what you are trying to achieve (usually over the next year)

        All objectives must be specific and measurable. Note: Objectives are not goals! Goals are broad, intangible, and cannot be validated objectively. Objectives, however, are precise, tangible, and can be objectively validated. e.g. Your goal might be to strengthen your market share in Los Angeles. An objective would be to achieve a 30% increase in sales of Widget A within 5 years.

        If these objectives are successfully communicated within the organization then everyone is pulling in the same direction and has the same end in mind.


3. Target Audiences

        Need to clearly specify whom you're targetingit might be the same audience segment that you've been addressing for years, or the target may have changed.

       The target audience for the traditional media portion of your marketing and that of your online initiatives may be different.


4. Marketing Communications Integration

       Briefly outline the elements of your marcom plana synopsis of media selection and placement, scheduling overview, message platform, creative approach, etc. e.g. One element might be a single ad run repetitively for a month in a single publication, or a multiple media campaign in multiple markets running three or more months.


5. Strategies

        Outline your strategy for the given mission, objective, audience target, and marcom integration- this will tie in closely with the tactics below.

        What resources need to be applied to achieve these objectives?

        Explain any special offers you will have

       What type of creative execution will you use?



        Which elements in the available marketing mix are most appropriate?

        These are the specific media you will utilize, the public relations activities you will develop, the direct mail programs you will create, the web presence you will have, the collateral materials you will produce, the publicity events you will hold, and the channels you will explore to accomplish objectives.

       Need to send fully controlled messages to your target audiences through these activities and materials that are appropriate for the company as a whole. A failure to do this will result in a campaign that is not integrated and that sends mixed messages to the customer.


7. Logistics

        This is the down and dirty implementation and execution of the tactics.

        How will we do it? How will these vehicles be made available or distributed?

        What are the technical requirements?

        Do we have the database capabilities to implement the tactic? If not, how can we acquire it?

        Do we have the staffing, capabilities, and competencies for this tactic? If not, how will we address any shortcomings?

        Will we require external consultants, service bureaus, or developers?

        Who will handle emails that result from the campaign?

        How quickly can we respond to inquiries, etc.?

       Note: If Service Level Agreements havent been created for the organization, they should be addressed here.


8. Metrics

        You cannot manage what you cannot measure!

        Metrics must be meaningful, and serve as the basis for action. There is little point to capturing metrics that do not guide organizational policy/ decisions.

        What data will you want to track? How will this data be turned into meaningful information?

        What measurement criteria will you use to determine the success of your tactics?

        Indicate reporting methods to be used, and frequency.

        How will the metrics be collected and analyzed?

       What do you need to do to prepare to gather this data?


9. Budget

        Provide an overview of the various costs associated with implementation.

       If applicable, be sure to include creative costs for rework of materials, costs to develop original copy/content or to license content for use, fees for external developers, programmers, and consultants, and costs related to the execution of the tactic (e.g., service bureau fees, database services, list cleaning, etc.).


10. Timeline

        Indicate timeframe for development and implementation of the plan and its elements.

        Set up specific dates to serve as milestones.