How to Write a Marketing Plan Executive Summary - (2023)

A marketing plan is essential when you are launching a new business or product, as it helps you outline your overall marketing goals. This plan guides your marketing activities, which can include building brand awareness, establishing your competitive advantage, growing your customer base and attracting new leads.

Marketing plans can be complex documents, because they provide a lot of detail about your overall marketing goals and supporting activities. That’s why it’s important to also write an executive summary for your marketing plan.

What is an executive summary?

As the name suggests, an executive summary provides a brief overview of your marketing plan. In one or two pages, it describes the key results of your marketing research and provides an overview of your brand objectives, marketing goals and related activities. Its purpose is to outline the most important information for your short-term and long-term marketing plans.

How to Write a Marketing Plan Executive Summary - (1)FYI: An executive summary is usually one or two pages that provides an overview of the marketing plan.

Importance of the executive summary in a marketing plan

A marketing plan has several benefits:

  • It helps you understand the needs of your target audience.
  • It enables you to market your products to meet your customers’ specific needs.
  • It determines what content you should produce to support your marketing efforts.
  • It describes your competitive advantage and unique selling points.

The marketing plan is your guide to marketing your business effectively. The executive summary highlights the most important goals, actions and research results of your marketing plan. It is designed to grab readers’ attention and ensure they quickly understand where your business is going and how it plans to get there.

What to include in a marketing plan executive summary

The executive summary should cover the main parts of your marketing plan, as well as information about your company and brand, your products or services, the market, and your overall direction. While the marketing plan is typically written in sections separated by subheadings, the executive summary is usually written as a series of paragraphs, with each paragraph focusing on one section of the marketing plan.

(Video) How to Write an Executive Summary |

In addition to your company’s name, location and contact information, include the following information in your executive summary:


Your executive summary should begin with an introduction that briefly explains what the reader can expect. It provides valuable context and will make the subsequent points easier to understand. Briefly explain the project, the purpose of your marketing plan and the key benefits to potential customers. Keep the introduction simple, short and direct.

Example: This plan is presented for XYZ Company, which sells widgets for the IT industry. We’ve created a new widget for the healthcare industry, and our marketing plan will show that we have a unique opportunity to expand into a new market.

Description of your company and team

Briefly describe your business, including its history, structure, customer base and sales figures. List the main people involved with the business, including their positions and responsibilities, their respective skills and experience, and their responsibilities with respect to achieving your marketing goals. Include relevant external service providers (e.g., accountants, marketing experts and suppliers).

Example: XYZ Company has been around since 2010 and is based in Anaheim, California. We sell widgets for the IT industry, which are designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

Description of market factors and trends

Describe the marketplace and industry sectors in which you sell your products and services, and the main trends that affect them. List the factors that influence the market, the innovations that are taking place and the main drivers or players involved.

Example: There are several large companies and a few smaller specialty companies that sell similar widgets to the IT industry. Innovations in this market can cause disruptions but only when they provide significant benefits in cost savings or efficiencies.

(Video) How to Write an Executive Summary - (Step by Step)

Description of products or services being marketed

Describe your products or services, and explain their key features and benefits. Outline your products’ or services’ unique selling propositions to show how they differ from or are better than competitors’ offerings.

Example: We’ve created a new widget for the healthcare industry, which is outside our current market. This new product provides healthcare companies with greater efficiencies and cost savings not currently offered by existing products. There are similar products designed for other industries, but there are currently no widgets designed specifically for the healthcare industry.

Description of your customer base and related marketing activities

Describe the key aspects of your target audience, as well as how you identify those customers. Briefly explain where you find your target customers and how you will reach them. Outline your promotional strategy, including its main objectives and related timelines. Describe your key marketing priorities and how they relate to specific business activities (e.g., entering a new market, creating new products). Explain what methods you will use to distribute your products or services.

Example: Our target market is large healthcare companies, including hospitals, clinics and manufacturers of healthcare devices. We plan to do a marketing campaign through direct sales and social media marketing.

Summary of financial planning and projections

Clearly define key financial information related to short-term and long-term marketing activities. Provide line-by-line budget details for individual activities and related metrics to determine their success.

Example: Our marketing budget for the year is $100,000, which will be spread over the following marketing activities.

Summary of overall objectives and related strategies

Briefly describe the project’s goals and the strategies that will be involved in achieving those goals. Conclude with a couple of sentences that will encourage the reader to review your marketing plan.

(Video) How to Write an Executive Summary for your Business Plan?

Example: We’ve developed a marketing plan that will help us to quickly reach key stakeholders in the healthcare industry and become the main provider of widgets to this market. We will use our experience in selling to the IT industry to showcase the benefits of our widget.

Tips for writing an executive summary

These tips should help you create an effective executive summary of your marketing plan:

Write the executive summary last.

The executive summary is a brief overview of your marketing plan. Write the complete marketing plan before providing a summary of that plan. Once you have all of the information for your marketing plan, you can decide what’s important enough to include in the executive summary. Tell your story.

Whoever reads the executive summary should come away with a complete understanding of your marketing goals. Tell your story. Explain what your company does and why you chose to do what you do. Talk about what matters to you, the people who are helping you meet your goals and what you want to achieve with your marketing.

How to Write a Marketing Plan Executive Summary - (2)Bottom line: Telling your story will get readers interested in your company and encourage them to read the full marketing plan.

Take notes.

Make note of whatever stands out when you’re creating your marketing plan. This could include interesting statistics, memorable moments, key findings about your competitors, anecdotes from leadership, ideas to support promotion and newsworthy events. Check out what your favorite brands are doing, note anything interesting you’ve read in a blog or article, or recall an interesting tool or technology that you can apply to your business. These ideas can be inspiration for your executive summary.

Do your research.

Your executive summary must contain key data and findings, including an analysis of the market and your competition, and budgetary and financial considerations. Your marketing plan will provide more details, but the executive summary should contain important research data to get your reader interested in your marketing plan.

(Video) How To Write An Executive Summary Investors Pay Attention To

Watch your language.

An executive summary is a professional document, so you should write in a professional manner. However, it should also reflect who you are as a person and as a company.

Your executive summary tells your story. What is your style? What is your audience’s style? The tone of this document should match the tone of your marketing material and your company.

Avoid clichés and hyperbole, as they come off as inauthentic and can rub readers the wrong way. Clichés tend to not match the reality of your situation, as they can overpromise on what you can actually deliver. Is your company the best in its category among all competitors? What determines “best”? Ensure any claims you make are specific and measurable.

Remember the marketing.

The executive summary is a part of your marketing plan, so remember that its purpose is to market your business. Think about how you can position what you’ve written in the marketing plan in a concise way that will compel the reader to continue reading. Include a brief explanation of the most important and interesting information, as well as the key takeaways, that will matter to the reader.

Keep it current.

Your marketing plan should change over time, and so should your executive summary. Include any updates to your products, services or technologies, or any significant changes in your market and competition. For example, COVID-19 forced many companies to change their marketing strategies and business practices. Your executive summary should reflect the changes your company has made to its marketing plans to deal with the changes in the market.

Marketing plan executive summary templates

These templates will help get you started on drafting your marketing plan’s executive summary:

A marketing plan executive summary gives readers an overview of your company’s market opportunity and how you intend to pursue your target audience, in detail and with financial projections whenever possible. With these tips and templates, you can put together a detailed marketing plan executive summary that articulates the value proposition of your business and a clear plan to turn leads and prospects into customers.

(Video) How to Create an Executive Summary for a Business Plan


What is the executive summary of a marketing plan used for? ›

The executive summary will contain the key findings of the market research, the company's objectives, marketing goals, an overview of the marketing trends, the description of the product or service being marketed, information on the target market, and how to financially plan for the marketing plan.

What is included in the executive summary of a business plan? ›

What should you include in an executive summary?
  • Objective.
  • Target audience.
  • Products and services.
  • Marketing and sales strategies.
  • Competitive analysis.
  • Funding and budget allocation for the processes and operations.
  • Number of employees to be hired and involved.
  • How you'll implement the business plan.
14 Sept 2022

What are 6 things you should include in an executive summary? ›

What to include in an executive summary
  • The hook. The first sentence and paragraph of your executive summary determine whether or not the entire executive summary gets read. ...
  • Company description summary. ...
  • Market analysis. ...
  • Products and services. ...
  • Financial information and projections. ...
  • Future plans.
14 Sept 2020

What are the 4 main components of an executive summary? ›

What is included? An executive summary should summarize the key points of the report. It should restate the purpose of the report, highlight the major points of the report, and describe any results, conclusions, or recommendations from the report.

What 8 things need to be addressed in the executive summary? ›

You can learn more about that one-page business plan format and download a template here.
  • A description of your product or service and the problem your business solves. ...
  • Financial Overview. ...
  • Your Team. ...
  • Funding Needs. ...
  • Evidence of early success. ...
  • Future Milestones. ...
  • Evidence of Financial Stability.

What should not be included in an executive summary? ›

You will want to avoid these common mistakes when writing your summary:
  • Do not get too lengthy or wordy - keep it to 3-5 pages.
  • Do not cut and paste information.
  • Avoid excessive subtitles and lists.
  • Do not get too technical.
  • Do not use passive or imprecise language.
26 May 2021

What are 3 things a good summary includes? ›

A good summary should be comprehensive, concise, coherent, and independent. These qualities are explained below: A summary must be comprehensive: You should isolate all the important points in the original passage and note them down in a list.

What are the 3 most important parts of summary? ›

Know the three essential characteristics of a summary

A good summary has three basic characteristics: conciseness, accuracy, and objectivity.

How do you start an executive summary? ›

In general, there are four parts to any executive summary:
  1. Start with the problem or need the document is solving.
  2. Outline the recommended solution.
  3. Explain the solution's value.
  4. Wrap up with a conclusion about the importance of the work.
2 May 2022

What are 4 things to avoid in a summary? ›

Common Mistakes
  • Misunderstanding of key concepts and ideas that stand in the way of understanding meaning.
  • Reading only parts of an article or reading it to quickly.
  • Paraphrasing and presenting the abstract or conclusion as a summary.
  • Picking whole sentences from the source text and stringing them together.
22 Jun 2021

How detailed should executive summary be? ›

Your executive summary should be thorough, but it should not reveal everything. Your audience should be encouraged by the summary to read the remainder of your report if they want the full story.

What are the three things that should not be included in a summary? ›

A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary. Identify in order the significant sub-claims the author uses to defend the main point.

How long an executive summary should be? ›

A good executive summary should usually be between 5-10% of the length of the completed report (for a report that is 20 pages or less, aim for a one page executive summary).

What 5 parts do we need in a summary? ›

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:
  • Read the text.
  • Break it down into sections.
  • Identify the key points in each section.
  • Write the summary.
  • Check the summary against the article.
23 Nov 2020

Should executive summary be at beginning or end? ›

Typically, you'll want to include the executive summary at the beginning of your business document. This is because the sole purpose of the executive summary is to provide an overview of the following document – similar to an abstract in an academic paper.

Why is executive summary written first? ›

Writing Your Executive Summary Before Other Parts of the Business Plan. An executive summary is meant to sum up the main takeaways of the business plan. Focusing on writing an executive summary before you've outlined the rest of your business plan can be a mistake if you're not able to summarize the business accurately ...

What is the primary goal of an executive summary in a marketing research report? ›

The primary goals of the executive summary are to provide a condensed version of the main document, such as a business plan, and to grab the attention of the reader(s).

What is the main goal of the executive summary section of a marketing plan Group of answer choices? ›

An executive summary of a business plan is an overview. Its purpose is to summarize the key points of a document for its readers, saving them time and preparing them for the upcoming content.

What components should be avoided in an executive summary? ›

If you try to include too much information and context from your full business or research document in the summary, the details may overshadow the impression you want to leave on the reader. The background becomes an introduction, and you risk losing the attention of your reader - especially an online audience.

What does a good executive summary look like? ›

An executive summary should summarize the key points of the report. It should restate the purpose of the report, highlight the major points of the report, and describe any results, conclusions, or recommendations from the report.

What 5 main things are needed in a marketing plan? ›

The style is up to you, but it should include the following elements.
  • Marketing Goals and Objectives. ...
  • Define Your Target Audience. ...
  • Research Marketing Tactics. ...
  • Plan Your Marketing Tactics. ...
  • Develop Your Timeline and Budget.
12 Jan 2021

What are the 7 elements of a marketing plan? ›

It's called the seven Ps of marketing and includes product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence.


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