The owner of a small business should be heavily involved in the preparation of his company’s annual business plan, including the marketing plan section. As the company grows, he might delegate the preparation of the marketing plan to his marketing or sales manager, who then presents or “pitches” the plan to the owner and other members of the management team. The owner should communicate what information he wants to see in the pitch so the meeting can be as positive and productive as possible.

Discuss the current environment. Outline the economic climate of the industry the company operates in and the general economy. This information forms the backdrop for the presentation -- providing the business owner with an idea of whether it is possible to achieve significant revenue growth in the upcoming year or whether the company will be battling a sluggish economy and slowly growing industry. Discuss the competitive environment, focusing on whether current competitors are expected to get stronger and whether new competitors are likely to enter the market.

Illustrate how the marketing plan will contribute to the achievement of the owner’s vision for the company. Talk about new target markets, new distribution channels and other important changes to the way the company markets its products or services. Present the major goals to be achieved, including revenue increases, which could be shown by product category, by region or both.

Explain how the marketing department intends to reach the goals it has set. Outline the strategies and tactics that will be deployed. Strategies show the methods to achieve revenue growth, such as online advertising and trade show attendance. Tactics are the specific, highly detailed steps to implement each strategy. Advertising tactics would include the media selected and the frequency of ad placement.

Include a table that summarizes the monthly projected revenues and marketing expenses for the upcoming year. Justify why additional resources -- people and money -- are needed to achieve the forecast revenue results.

Close the pitch on an enthusiastic note. Express excitement about the company’s growth prospects for the upcoming year and how committed the marketing staff is to reaching the revenue goals included in the forecast.


During the pitch, the information is often presented using slideshow software. In addition, the complete marketing plan document should be made available to the participants in the pitch meeting. This document contains detailed explanations of the points covered in the pitch, along with statistical information backing up the conclusions.


Leave time for questions and be prepared. The business owner and other managers in attendance likely will have questions about the information presented in the pitch -- particularly about any proposed increases in expenditures and about proposed changes in strategy. It is important that the marketing manager know the details of her plan almost to the point of memorization, so that she will be able to answer the questions without difficulty.