Your marketing plan is the same as your business plan, right? Wrong. A business plan details products and services, distribution, research and development, necessary capital, size and type of market development, and profit and cost projections over a given period. It is provided to banks or investors to determine whether a fitness facility has a chance of succeeding. After being accepted, your business plan is moved to the side, and your marketing plan takes over.

In his book Crisis Marketing, Joe Marconi defines marketing as “packaging, positioning, pricing, promotion, distribution and selling of a product or service.” A marketing plan outlines how to do this. A successful marketing plan acknowledges that market factors change, so it must be flexible to accommodate this change.


A marketing plan should be structured while remaining flexible. The structure of a marketing plan should include the following:

Situation analysis. Use your research to determine what you know about your product, market, customer and competition. Evaluate the positives and negatives.

Objectives. What do you want to accomplish? Increased sales? Name recognition? Deadlines should be set and goals should be realistic.

Strategy. How will you achieve your objectives? How will you increase new memberships or retain current ones?

Tactics. What will your strategy require you to do? Advertise your product? Research new trends? Promote your newest programs? The different functions should work together to meet the same goals.

Evaluation. Measure whether your tactics are working and are on schedule. If they are not working, were the objectives realistic, or have factors in the market changed? Reevaluate and be flexible.

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