How long should a marketing plan last?

We’re developing our first marketing plan and wondered how long it should last? A marketing plan addresses many different issues [see marketing planning] and when you have conducted a through review of your competitors, you may not need to do this again unless there is a significant change. In the meantime you may set up a plan to monitor competitors and add to the information already gathered. A comprehensive review is probably needed every 2 years, depending on your industry sector. In terms of your objectives, when developing a plan for the first time you may set objectives for the first and second years only. These need reviewing after 12 months to see where you are. Strategies should be more enduring, for example, if your pricing policy is charging a premium price for a premium product or service, this may not be something you would change every year. Review and reflect and if it still works, don’t change it. We like to think of a marketing plan as the current situation with a set of future aims and actions. When the aims have been achieved and actions successfully completed, it’s time to start again.

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