How Marketing Plans Work


Your task now is to translate all of your objectives into a specific advertising message to meet your goals. Your advertising strategy (aka creative strategy) will need to address not only the awareness-building requirements of your plan, but also attitudes and actions you want to provoke in your audience. Set your advertising strategies to portray exactly what you are going to communicate in your message. This should be based on the positioning you've established and should be tested and refined until it says exactly what you need it to say. It has to portray your product in the right light and bring to mind the right image.

For this section of your marketing plan, clearly describe the creative strategy. Include the following:


  • Advertising promise - The promise you are making to your audience in your advertising
  • Support for the promise - Bulleted statements that support your claims
  • Advertising tone - The emotional images conjured by your message that are appropriate for both the product and your audience
  • Rationale - Statements referring back to your product/market research that back up your creative strategies

The actual finished creative effort typically comes after (or else during) this exercise and should be detailed in your product's Advertising Plan.

You will also need to identify which types of media you will be using to carry your message. This is referred to as your Media Plan (another separate document) and can include magazines, newspapers, billboards, Web banners, radio spots, TV spots, sponsored TV and radio programs, product packaging and inserts, movie trailers, posters and flyers, directory listings, and in-store displays.

When writing this advertising section of your marketing plan, keep your strategies clear and focused on what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you know you are introducing a new product in nine months, then one strategy could be to announce the product with a series of ads in a trade publication. Tie in your display advertising strategies with your other media strategies to form a cohesive chain of communication to your target audience.

We'll go over reach and frequency, impression rates, and how to select specific media vehicles within each category on the next page of this article.