The broad purpose of a marketing plan is to advance the exposure of your product or company, depending on the specific goal of that plan. When you develop your marketing strategy, it is important to understand the various roles a marketing plan fills when it is in effect. By understanding the roles of a marketing plan, you are better equipped to create an effective strategy.


Your marketing strategy identifies the strengths of your product, according to the business experts at the Microsoft website. Part of your marketing plan's purpose is to explain, in detail, the many benefits of your product and how your customers can realize some sort of return by using your product. For the customer, that return could be in the form of saving money, or it could be a competitive advantage that grabs more market share. The marketing strategy also identifies the ways in which your product is superior to the competition, and the reasons why your customers should consider your product over the competition.


One important role of a comprehensive marketing strategy is a detailed description of the target audience, according to marketing expert Michael Goodman writing on the Intel website. In order to create effective marketing campaigns, your strategy needs to identify important details about the customer demographic that you have determined to be the best fit for your campaign. Some of those details include age group, median income, geographic location and the advertising medium that would best be used to reach that target buying group.


In order to develop an effective marketing campaign, your marketing strategy needs to offer a detailed description of the competition, according to the small business experts at the Center for Business Planning website. The role of the marketing strategy is to give historical information on how the competition has advertised products in the past, the target market the competition goes after and the product features that the competition offers. Other factors such as competition pricing, the competition's distribution network and the sales methods of the competition are also part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.


A marketing strategy is used to determine the revenue that the campaign will deliver. All of the parts that go into determining revenue, including the budget allotted to the campaign, product cost, selling price and the life span of the product, should all be part of the marketing strategy. The revenue goal can be measured against the actual revenue, and that information can be used to create future marketing strategies that are more successful.