Need a Marketing Plan Table of Contents?

Use this template to create your own outline! If used in a marketing plan doc, no attribution needed. If published on a webpage online, you must link to this page.

Need a Marketing Plan Table of Contents?

Use this template to create your own outline!

If used in a marketing plan doc, no attribution needed. If published on a webpage online, you must link to this page.

Short version:

Executive Summary – p. 2

Market Environment & Analysis – p. 2-3

Market Conditions – p. 2

Market Shifts & Growth – p. 2

Competitor Analysis – p. 3

Strategic Objectives – p. 4

Goals Strategy – p. 5-6

Target Market & Positioning – p. 5

Pricing & Distribution – p. 6

Marketing Execution– p. 7

Operational Plan – p. 8

Organizational Structure – p. 9

Performance Evaluation – p. 10-11

Review & Supporting Documents – p. 12

Short version:

Executive Summary – p. 2

Market Environment & Analysis – p. 2-3

Market Conditions – p. 2

Market Shifts & Growth – p. 2

Competitor Analysis – p. 3

Strategic Objectives – p. 4

Goals Strategy – p. 5-6

Target Market & Positioning – p. 5

Pricing & Distribution – p. 6

Marketing Execution– p. 7

Operational Plan – p. 8

Organizational Structure – p. 9

Performance Evaluation – p. 10-11

Review & Supporting Documents – p. 12

Long version:

Executive Summary – p. 2

Market Environment – p. 3-15

Present Market Conditions – p. 3-4

Market Shifts – p. 5-6

Market Expansion – p. 7-8

Strengths-Weaknesses Analysis – p. 9-12

Competitor Analysis – p. 13-15

Goals and Challenges – p. 16-18

Short-term Objectives – p. 16

Long-term Objectives – p. 17

Key Challenges – p. 18

Marketing Opportunities – p. 19-21

Growth Strategy – p. 22-34

Purpose and Vision – p. 22

Target Market Strategy – p. 23-24

Positioning Strategy – p. 25-26

Pricing Strategy – p. 27

Distribution Channels – p. 28-29

Promotional Strategy – p. 30-31

Financial Budget – p. 32

Strategic Initiatives – p. 33-34

Operational Plan – p. 35-37

Operational Requirements – p. 35

Resource Allocation – p. 36

Timeline – p. 37

Organizational Structure – p. 38-39

Evaluation and Control – p. 40-42

Performance Metrics – p. 40

Review Schedule – p. 41

Adjustment Strategies – p. 42

Appendices and Supporting Documents – p. 43-45

Long version:

Executive Summary – p. 2

Market Environment – p. 3-15

Present Market Conditions – p. 3-4

Market Shifts – p. 5-6

Market Expansion – p. 7-8

SWOT Analysis – p. 9-12

Competitor Analysis – p. 13-15

Goals and Challenges – p. 16-18

Short-term Objectives – p. 16

Long-term Objectives – p. 17

Key Challenges – p. 18

Marketing Opportunities – p. 19-21

Growth Strategy – p. 22-34

Purpose and Vision – p. 22

Target Market Strategy – p. 23-24

Positioning Strategy – p. 25-26

Pricing Strategy – p. 27

Distribution Channels – p. 28-29

Promotional Strategy – p. 30-31

Financial Budget – p. 32

Strategic Initiatives – p. 33-34

Operational Plan – p. 35-37

Operational Requirements – p. 35

Resource Allocation – p. 36

Timeline – p. 37

Organizational Structure – p. 38-39

Evaluation and Control – p. 40-42

Performance Metrics – p. 40

Review Schedule – p. 41

Adjustment Strategies – p. 42

Appendices and Supporting Documents – p. 43-45

Does a marketing plan actually need a table of contents?

Typically an official marketing plan will include a table of contents (TOC).

The TOC isn’t just a formality; it organizes the document and makes it easier for stakeholders to navigate through different sections — especially in detailed plans.

This is vital in a corporate setting or when the plan is intended to be shared with investors or higher management, who might not have time to sift through pages. They can jump straight to the parts they’re most interested in, like the budget or growth strategy sections.

When you might want a TOC:

For a comprehensive annual marketing plan or when you’re presenting to stakeholders who need to review specific elements of the plan quickly, a TOC is essential. It enhances readability and accessibility, allowing readers to locate information efficiently without unnecessary flipping through pages.

When you might not need a TOC:

In less formal scenarios, such as a quick internal review or a brief update meeting, you might skip the TOC.

If the document is only a few pages long or highly specific—like an update on a particular campaign’s performance—a TOC might overcomplicate the presentation or simply be unnecessary. In these cases, the goal is to get straight to the point without formalities.

Quick tips for creating one:

Remember, the key is to keep things moving. Don’t get bogged down creating a detailed TOC for every minor document if it doesn’t add value. Use your judgment to determine if including a TOC will facilitate better communication and understanding. If it does, include it. If it feels like overkill, it probably is. Keep it streamlined and functional—there’s no need to dress up every internal document as if it’s a pitch to the board of directors.

Not sure if a TOC is necessary? Consider the document’s scope and the your supervisor’s or company’s needs. For extensive plans, a TOC can be a navigational tool that adds professionalism and enhances the reader’s experience. In simpler terms, it’s about matching the formality of your document to the situation you’re heading into.

If you’re preparing a marketing plan with a TOC, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep it Clear and Concise: Your TOC should be straightforward, reflecting the organization of the document without clutter. Use clear section titles that accurately describe the contents, making it easy for readers to find specific information.
  • Consider Digital Friendly Features: If your marketing plan is in a digital format, consider incorporating hyperlinks in your TOC for easier navigation. This makes it extremely user-friendly, allowing stakeholders to click directly to the section they are interested in without scrolling.
  • Tailor to Your Audience: Customize the TOC based on who is reading the document. For higher-level stakeholders, you might highlight key areas like ROI, budgets, and strategic goals upfront. For team members, detailed sections on tactical implementations might be more relevant.
  • Balance Detail with Overwhelm: While it’s important to be thorough, avoid letting the TOC become too granular. If every sub-item is listed, the TOC can become overwhelming and counterproductive. Aim for a balance where major sections are outlined, but minor items are grouped together.
  • Feedback is Your Friend: After using the marketing plan, gather feedback on the TOC’s effectiveness. Ask if it helped stakeholders find the information they needed and how it could be improved. This input can be invaluable for optimizing future documents.

Keep in mind — the decision to include a TOC should be driven by the principle of utility: Does it serve a functional purpose? If yes, then it’s worth the effort to design it well and keep it updated. If not, it’s better to streamline the document and focus on content quality and direct communication. This pragmatic approach ensures that your marketing plan is both professional and practical, fitting the needs of its audience perfectly.