A marketing plan explains how to put your business strategy into action. It will set marketing budgets and deadlines, but it will also describe how you're going to interact with your target customers - whether that's through advertising, online through your website or social media, via networking or trade shows, through direct marketing, for example.
Choosing the right marketing method is vital to ensure you reach customers you want.
Crucially, it will also tell you when to talk to your customers. Timing your activities to fit their buying cycles will save money and maximize sales.
Finally, your marketing plan should look to the future: it should outline how you follow up to retain your sales and customers and what you're doing to develop your relationship with them.
As with any plan, progress should be regularly measured and reviewed to see what's working and what isn't, so you can set new targets as your market changes.