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How to create a marketing plan template and why it matters

What is a marketing plan template?

A marketing plan template is a detailed roadmap that defines your campaign goals, tasks and deadlines. It outlines the repeatable steps your team can take to execute your overall strategy. It may also include an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, your target market and your budget allocation for each piece of your marketing efforts.

Why use a marketing plan template?

Marketing plan templates allow teams to save time by making sure they’re allocating resources and efforts correctly. They create consistency both in campaign creation and content quality while streamlining your marketing processes.

Marketing plan templates tell your team how they need to complete tasks, when they need to complete the work‌ and what the overall goal is. These templates also define what channels you’re targeting, which helps teams customise messaging and strategies. 

Try this free marketing plan template

Here’s a free marketing plan template. Or you can create your own template:

Create a marketing plan in 5 easy steps

1. Perform a market analysis

A market analysis helps you understand how your business fits into the existing market. You can see how your business compares to competitors and discover potential opportunities.

Creating a SWOT analysis — assessing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — can help you understand where you can improve and define steps for doing so. 

Market research should also help you identify your ideal customer profile. This is an essential part of creating a strong marketing plan, as you want to create all campaigns with your target audience in mind. 

2. Identify specific objectives and targets

Your marketing goals should support your business goals, whether that’s increasing brand awareness, generating more leads or expanding the business itself.

Set SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. This tells your team how you’ll assess progress and when you want to reach the target goal. SMART goals may also help you realise that your team needs more resources to achieve the desired outcomes. 

3. Plan your marketing strategy

A marketing strategy explains what you'll do to demonstrate how your products or services meet customer expectations. 

If you haven’t already defined your target audience, now is the time to do so. Many businesses have multiple audiences they’re targeting, and those audiences may have distinct needs. Create audience segments and buyer personas that'll help guide the tone of your content and messaging.

Next, determine how to reach those audience segments. For example, a budgeting app may reach more people through sponsored placements on a finance blog than in a Facebook ad. The sponsored placement can increase visibility and trust, which is important for financial apps.

Your marketing strategy should have multiple components, including unique campaigns across different channels that complement each other. You might, for example, use Google Ads to capture high-intent traffic and social media ads for retargeting. 

4. Set a budget for marketing

Evaluate your marketing budget every quarter, making sure you’re investing in campaigns that contribute to your marketing goals. You may need to reallocate funds to accommodate new goals, or invest in technology that supports your marketing efforts. 

5. Update your marketing plan

Marketing plans change over time. You may try to reach a new audience or develop a new unique selling proposition (USP). Evaluate your marketing campaigns regularly, watch out for new marketing opportunities and trends, and update your plan accordingly.  

Marketing plan FAQs

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a roadmap that helps businesses organise, implement and track their marketing strategy. A marketing plan template should include the objectives, tasks and deadlines to achieve the target goals. 

What is the difference between a marketing plan vs. a marketing strategy?

The main difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy is that a marketing strategy is a broad objective, whereas a marketing plan defines the specific actions to achieve that objective.

For example, your marketing strategy might be, “Raise awareness of our brand,” and your marketing plan may include actions such as:

  1. Create engaging content for Facebook

  2. Encourage followers to share content

  3. Foster engagement by sharing user content

  4. Grow audience by 100 followers per month.

Why is it important to make a marketing plan?

Creating a marketing plan is essential because it creates a clear path to achieve your goals. A marketing plan sets objectives and details who you want to reach and how you’ll do it. Everyone on the team can better understand the reasoning behind the work they do and how it contributes to the business' growth.

What are common types of marketing plans?

Social media marketing plan

Social media marketing plans describe the channels, campaign types and tactics you plan to use. These plans may include paid advertising campaigns, influencer marketing and free organic marketing. 

Content marketing plan

Content marketing means creating content that builds relationships with your target audience over time — it’s not primarily about selling products. A content marketing plan defines the types of content you’ll create, where you’ll share content and who the audience is for each piece. 

Product launch marketing plan

Product launch marketing plans define the strategies and platforms you’ll use to promote new products. It may involve a go-to-market strategy, which means researching whether your product meets a need and how successful it could be. 

SEO marketing plan

An SEO marketing plan defines strategies for increasing your business’ visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Tactics often include link-building, on-site optimisation and keyword research for targeted content writing. 

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