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Foundations of Marketing: How to Build a Modern Marketing Plan

Discover the tools and techniques you need to analyse the marketing environment and develop strategies for the real world.

A happy business woman having meeting with her 2 colleagues in a meeting room

Develop your understanding of the extended marketing mix

Marketing is everywhere, with every business utilising it in some form. A critical part of successful marketing is understanding the marketing mix and knowing how to adapt it to your specific environment.

On this four-week course from Sentinel|9, you’ll learn all about the marketing mix and how to manage the marketing function. You’ll also examine current marketing practise in a diverse range of contexts, explore a wide array of marketing tools, and discover how to develop a marketing plan.

Learn the tools to analyse the marketing environment

In order to properly analyse the marketing situation, there are a number of tools and techniques that you can utilise.

You’ll be guided through a range of marketing theories to lay the foundation for designing plans for a variety of marketing situations. You’ll then explore tools such as PESTLE, five-forces, SWOT analysis, and Porter’s value chain, which will allow you to successfully conduct and assess situational and macroenvironmental analyses.

Discover how to design real-world branding strategies

Through case studies, you’ll examine the various aspects of marketing strategies with real-world examples. You’ll look at Nespresso to assess creating competitive advantage before analysing the positioning and branding failures of the Amazon Fire phone.

Build and execute a marketing plan

Once you’ve explored the relevant marketing tools, channels, and functions, you’ll pull your new skills together to look at how to formulate and execute a marketing plan.

You’ll learn the individual components of the plan and how to tie it into the overarching business plan. Then, you’ll explore target audiences, positioning, and the different metrics to use, before developing an action plan to execute your strategies in real-world contexts.


  • Week 1

    Marketing and the firm

    • Course welcome

      Welcome to the this course on Marketing. Let's get going!

    • Marketing and the firm part 1

      In this activity you will cover the basic principles of marketing and touch on the definition of marketing. You will also explore the definition of marketing and learn about marketing exchange.

    • Marketing and the firm part 2

      In this activity, you will explore the concepts of competitive advantage and BCG's advantage matrix model.

    • End of Week 1 wrap up

      A review of what's been covered and looking forward to next week

  • Week 2

    Situational marketing analysis

    • Weekly welcome

      Find out what's happening this week.

    • Situational marketing analysis

      Situational analysis includes competitor analysis, external market place and environmental factors, internal firm analysis, customer analysis, and marketing-related testing and consumer preference.

    • End of Week 2 wrap up

      A review of what's been covered and looking forward to next week

  • Week 3

    Microenvironments - industry and market

    • Weekly welcome

      Find out what's happening this week.

    • Industry and market analysis

      We explore the internal factors within which a firm functions. Let's begin with industry and market analysis.

    • Enterprise value chain and competitor analysis

      We will explore value-chain analysis and competitor analysis as useful tools to provide value to customers and to maximise profit.

    • End of Week 3 wrap up

      A review of what's been covered and looking forward to next week

  • Week 4

    Formulating and executing the marketing plan

    • Weekly welcome

      Find out what's happening this week.

    • Formulating a marketing plan part 1

      In this first part, we explore the essential components of formulating a marketing plan.

    • Formulating a marketing plan part 2

      In this second part, we continue to explore how to formulate the marketing plan.

    • Executing the marketing plan

      Now that we know how to formulate a marketing plan, we explore the support tools and practices that assist the firm in executing the marketing plan.

    • End of course wrap up

      It's the end of the course. Look back at what you've covered and consider what to do next.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Evaluate internal and external marketing environments, and stakeholder and customer relationships in a diverse range of marketing scenarios.
  • Design research to understand marketing theories, concepts, and techniques for designing marketing and risk management plans in a variety of marketing situations.
  • Design competitive positioning, branding and marketing strategies for real-world events.
  • Develop a high-level mastery in marketing skills and professional conduct required for market planning in diverse marketing contexts.
  • Evaluate and synthesise information from a wide range of sources to demonstrate research skills, and demonstrate the capacity to document research outcomes in marketing with sound analysis and recommendations.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for business professionals, new and aspiring line managers, or companies that want to provide employees with marketing skills.

Who developed the course?


Sentinel|9 is an education content provider. They provide university-level content independently to offer a different pace of learning for individuals and institutions. They have a dynamic content library and Learning Management System (LMS) which is suitable for online, blended and face-to-face delivery.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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