How to Format a Marketing Plan Outline in APA Style

by Carl Hose - Updated September 26, 2017

A marketing plan is essential to ensuring your business reaches the optimum consumer audience in order for it to grow. The APA (American Psychological Association) outline style is perfect for structuring not only research papers, but business plans as well. Its structure allows you to define marketing strategies in a clear, precise format that features main outline headings and subordinated material. Developing an outline in this format is not difficult and will help streamline your marketing efforts. Here's how you can format a marketing plan in an APA outline that will ensure your marketing efforts stay on target toward achieving your company's goals.

Choose your main headings. Start each with with a strong verb. Ensure that the headings are parallel. This means each of the main headings should begin the same way, ideally with a strong present-tense verb. Use Roman numerals to indicate main headings.

Coordinate main headings. Each heading should have equal importance and contain information that covers a wider general area than subheadings.

Indicate subheadings with uppercase letters. Subheadings should be coordinated with each other, but the information contained in subheadings should be less significant than that in main headings.

Write your main headings to encompass a wide topic. Use the subheadings to note more-specific information pertaining to the main headings. An example for a business marketing plan might be:

I. Find Visual Media Advertising Avenues II. Find Alternate Advertising Avenues

A. Call TV Stations and Newspapers
B. Place Ads with Local Radio Stations


Always make sure you have at least two main headings and two subheadings in an APA outline.

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About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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