Therefore, a marketing plan, according to Kotler, is a "written document, which includes the objectives, strategies and action plans regarding the elements of the marketing mix which facilitate and enable compliance with the strategy dictated at the corporate level".
Marketing Research will be the first component for your marketing plan. You may be doing this in house or you may elect to hire a top marketing agency, a marketing consultant, or maybe a specific marketing research firm. You need to obtain and capture all data about your business along with your products and services to help you properly facilitate any potential marketing problems. You may also be able to get some marketing data from an industry trade association or from other businesses within your specific industry.