How to Write an Executive Summary
of a Marketing Plan + Examples

Written by Dave Lavinsky

marketing plan executive summary

In this article, we will break down the key elements of and how to write a marketing plan executive summary for your business effectively.


Marketing Goals and Objectives

In order to create the most concise summary, you have to first define your goals and main objectives. Marketing goals are what you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts, such as building brand awareness or improving customer service. Marketing objectives define how you hope to accomplish those goals.

For example, if your marketing goal is to increase awareness of the brand’s story by 10% within the next quarter, one of your marketing objectives could be “increasing traffic on our website by 20% through advertising on social networks.” These two pieces of information combined will give your audience a better idea of what they can expect from your marketing plans.

Now that you understand goals and objectives, you can begin to write your marketing plan executive summary.


What is an Executive Summary in a Marketing Plan

An executive summary in a marketing plan is a concise overview articulating the core essence of your marketing plan and explaining its main concepts, ideas, and strategies. An executive summary marketing plan entails writing down what your marketing plan is all about and explaining its main concepts, ideas, and strategies.

This marketing tool typically only takes one page, so it should be easy enough to read through quickly yet remain clear enough for people who aren’t as marketing savvy as you might be. A marketing plan executive summary is a good way to provide a brief overview of the marketing plan, making it easier for people to get an idea of your goals and how you plan to achieve them. It’s a marketing tool that’ll help you market your product or service by spelling out how marketing will be carried out and carried on throughout different stages, including the strategies that are meant to be implemented at certain key points.

How to Write an Executive Summary for Your Marketing Plan

Typically, the marketing plan executive summary can be broken down into three sections: introduction, promotional strategy, and action plan. It should be a one-page in length but still give out the most important information so that anyone can understand the overall goal of your entire plan and how you expect to achieve it.

These are some of the key components that should appear in your marketing plan executive summary:

  1. Introduction – What Your Marketing Plan Entails
    • What product or service is being marketed?
    • What is the product or service used for?
    • Who is the product or service intended for?
    • How does this solve your target audience’s problem/need?
    • What are your marketing goals?
  2. Promotional Strategy – How You Plan to Carry Out Your Marketing Plan
    • What marketing channels will be implemented?
    • What is the marketing budget?
    • Which marketing objectives are going to be focused on?
    • How is marketing going to achieve the goals?
  3. Action Plan – How Your Marketing Plan Will Be Carried Out By When
    • What is the timeline for the execution of your complete marketing plan? Include the:
      • Milestones you hope to achieve along the way
      • Deadlines for executing parts of the marketing strategy
    • What are the specific tasks that need to be completed? Include the:
      • Due dates for each task to be completed
      • End result that you want to be achieved by that date

The marketing plan executive summary outline above is meant as a guide, not hard and fast rules. Above all else, your marketing plan executive summary should be written with your target audience in mind. See the examples below for two different variations of the marketing plan executive summary outline above.

Bonus: Download our marketing plan template here and complete a comprehensive marketing plan today.


Marketing Plan Executive Summary Examples

Example # 1

Hipster Heart (E-commerce Etsy Store)

Hipster Heart is a locally-owned small business providing handmade goods through its Etsy shop. Hipster Heart collects donations of old clothes from people who want to support a worthy cause, then makes them into cute purses and other accessories! This marketing plan is meant to increase awareness for Hipster Heart and to increase online sales of Hipster Heart’s handmade goods.

Hipster Heart is a small business that provides handmade fashion accessories made out of recycled clothing donations from its customers and supporters. The Etsy shop offers purses, hats, and wallets made by the owner and founder Bree Davenport.

Hipster Heart is looking to increase sales of its goods online by marketing itself as a fun and socially conscious fashion brand that cares about the environment. Hipster Heart wants to be seen as an environmental outlet for people who want to support their favorite small business while doing good at the same time.

For marketing purposes, Hipster Heart will begin with marketing actions such as advertising on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter as well as marketing shop items through Etsy’s promotional emails. Hipster Heart aims to grow its target customer base through marketing activities that target both existing customers and potential new customers.  

The marketing goal listed above will be achieved through focusing on one marketing objective at a time, marketing current and past supporters of Hipster Heart’s Etsy shop to increase online sales. Marketing will focus on marketing the handmade fashion accessories through marketing activities such as social media promotion and marketing through Etsy promotional emails.

Marketing actions will begin with the marketing strategies listed above before moving on to other strategies such as marketing through local business directories and word-of-mouth advertising. In order for this marketing plan to be successful, it is important that advertising and marketing efforts are implemented gradually throughout the first stage of the marketing plan; we don’t want to overdo it or we’ll attract unwanted attention and won’t get any customers!

Hipster Heart’s budget dedicated towards advertising is $500 per month; to keep costs low marketing tactics will be implemented gradually throughout the marketing plan.


Example #2

XYZ (Marketing Software Company)

XYZ is an innovative marketing software company that will increase product X sales by 20% within the first quarter, and continue to grow in sales in 5% increments each consecutive quarter for a total of 15 months. XYZ was launched in 2013 and has gained large amounts of traction through social media campaigns and websites that highlight specific features for this new marketing tool. This marketing plan outlines the specific strategies, tactics, and tools used to accomplish our goals.

During the first 6 months, we will be focused on building trust with our target market. This will be accomplished by sharing industry knowledge, providing consistent and high-quality customer service, showcasing how their voice can make a difference while also driving traffic over to their website. Social media marketing will be used for this marketing plan (which is where XYZ has garnered success, including Facebook ads and Twitter contests to draw in new customers). To boost sales, XYZ will implement strategies to create positive awareness along with an email marketing agenda that will grow exponentially at the beginning of stage two.

In stage 2, during the last 6 months of the year will focus on specific tactics aimed at increasing conversions online through website optimization, search engine marketing campaigns (including pay-per-click ad campaigns), social media engagement/referral marketing programs, and viral marketing through influencers. This stage of the marketing plan also focuses on bringing awareness into brick and mortar throughout the country by partnering with other marketing companies that have a marketing reach within XYZ’s target audience. 

This marketing plan is broken up into several marketing strategies with marketing objectives to complete each stage of the marketing plan in order to accomplish the goals set forth by the company.

We will implement social media campaigns (that provide target customers with regular updates on industry news, new product releases, and opportunities for engagement) along with email marketing (where customer databases are built through sign-ups at events/trade shows/and partnerships). During this time period, XYZ will also schedule an online marketing workshop series aimed at teaching its customer base best practices on how to get the most out of their investment in marketing tools like website design, SEO and other digital marketing strategies, advertising tools, etc. This marketing plan also uses the knowledge gained from the online marketing workshops by hosting monthly webinars for current subscribers to get their marketing questions answered in an informal Q&A format.

In order for the marketing plan to be successful, XYZ’s marketing strategy requires a consistent flow of email marketing that aims at building trust and rapport with potential customers, educating them on the value of marketing tools, and ultimately increasing conversions and sales. 


Tips for an Effective Executive Summary for Your Marketing Plan

  1. Be Personable – Write as if you were talking to the reader directly. Get them excited about your product or service, especially if it’s a potential investor for your business.
  2. Be Concise – Keep it simple and don’t go off on tangents. Each paragraph should contain only a few sentences. You want these your reader’s attention, not their boredom.
  3. Include Key Takeaways – Make sure that this summary conveys the ‘big picture’ of what is entailed in your actual plan, but also let the reader know what they should take away from this plan and how it will benefit them and/or the company.
  4. No Jargon – Stay clear of industry jargon, buzz words, or acronyms unless you define them first or include a separate glossary at the end.
  5. Highlight Your Strengths – Let your readers know what makes your product or service special, different, and/or better than the competition (i.e., your competitive advantage and any unique selling points).
  6. Prove It – Conclude with facts that support your marketing plan’s goals and objectives. It’s not enough to say you will do something; show how it will be done.


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