Before you even start to think about putting adverts in the paper, or investing in Google AdWords, you need to define what it is that you want your marketing plan to achieve - drive more sales, increased sales of your product or service, build your brand etc.
Your marketing plan must align with your business goals, which should be documented in your business plan. For example, if your goal is to increase your customer base by 10% within the next 12 months, your marketing plan will be focused on finding and acquiring new customers. Alternatively if it is about establishing a new brand, it may be around achieving x% advertising awareness within 6 months.
Remember, your objectives must be SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
When considering what you want to achieve, you’ll also need to balance that against how much you can realistically invest in marketing – both in terms of money and also time and effort by you and/or your staff in setting up and managing your marketing initiatives. Focus on those areas that will deliver the best bang for the resources you have available.