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A marketing plan is a business document outlining your marketing strategy and tactics. It's often focused on a specific period of time (i.e. over the next 12 months) and covers a variety of marketing-related details, such as costs, goals, and action steps.
Many business owners create a marketing plan and then set it aside. However, your marketing plan is a road map providing you with direction toward reaching your business objectives. It needs to be referred to and assessed for results frequently.
While some small business owners include their marketing plan as part of their overall business plan, because marketing is crucial to success, having a comprehensive, detailed marketing plan on its own is recommended. If you don't want to make a mini-plan as part of your business plan, you can attach your full marketing plan to the business plan as an appendix to the business plan.