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How To Create a Marketing Plan + Templates

A marketing plan, also known as a business plan, is a document that delineates how your company's marketing strategy will be executed within a specific timeframe.

What should a Marketing Plan include?

  • An executive summary. Hint: You should write this last.
  • A mission statement.
  • A situation analysis. This also includes USPs (unique selling propositions), best practices, market research, competitor analysis, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.
  • Your market share, target market, and target customers, as well as more detailed buyer persona.
  • Marketing objectives, business goals, and KPIs. The SMART goal approach is often used here.
  • A pricing strategy.
  • Distribution and promotion strategies. Your distribution plan will determine the distribution channels you want to use and your promotion strategy will establish how those distribution channels are used. Note: Distribution channels refer to everything from publicity, to Google, general search engine marketing & SEO, to content planning & e-mail marketing, to offline events & trade shows, to social media, to community building! You won't have any shortage of options, that's for sure.
  • Marketing budget & financial projections.
Pro Tip: Consider including business and product-specific strategies such as potential joint ventures & partnerships, referrals strategies, social media marketing plan, and customer retention strategies.

The benefits of having a Marketing Plan

Going without a marketing plan is a huge mistake. Why? Well, a marketing plan...

  • Gives your marketing initiatives direction and strategy. Marketing is a waste of time and money if there's no strategy to it. It's an incredibly competitive world out there and simply paying for ads isn't enough anymore. You need to be aware of your business's marketing goals and have a clearly established marketing plan in place that consistently works towards them. A marketing plan will do that for you!
  • Helps with budgeting. Many companies establish marketing budgets based on guesswork and end up overspending. Since a marketing plan delineates a business's specific marketing plan within an established timeframe (usually a year), it makes determining a marketing budget much easier and more accurate. Business plans have also been shown to save money and increase conversions... what's not to love?
  • Drives growth. It's as simple as that. Establishing clear business goals and the marketing tactics you need to implement to reach them will help take your business to the next level.

How to create a Marketing Plan in 3 steps

Get started customizing your marketing plan template by:

Step 1: Stablish the Context

In order to determine the best marketing strategy for your business and the roadmap to get there, your marketing team must be acutely aware of their context. It's impossible to effectively market your product or service if you don't have a good understanding of the marketing environment you're working with.

Here, you should be thinking about your business's strengths and weaknesses, general brand awareness, competitor analysis, situation analysis, USPs, and market share.

Don't leave this step too late. This information is key to starting your marketing plan outline.

Step 2: Determine Key Players

It's vital to establish the most important people involved in a given marketing strategy right off the bat. Make sure to determine team leaders, marketers, managers, contributors, stakeholders, and key marketing channels as early as possible. Whether you're working with a small business or a large organization, this is crucial.

Pro Tip: Your marketing team may need to be divided into subgroups depending on your marketing strategy. Ask yourself questions like: "Will we require a specific content marketing strategy? What about a social media marketing strategy?"

Step 3: Know Your Customer Base

If you think you know your target audience, get to know them better. In fact, they should feel like your best friends by the time you're done with your marketing strategy.

Even if you already have an established target market and buyer persona, refine them further. Your marketing tactics need to speak directly to these people.

Get to know more than your ideal customers' demographics... undertake market research to discover their personal goals, pain points, and social media habits. Most importantly, discover what would drive them to buy your product.

...there you have it! You're on your way to taking your business to the next level with an effective marketing plan template.

Slite's free marketing plan template

Putting together an effective marketing plan is no easy task, and that's exactly why many businesses put it off or don't make one at all. Don't fall into that trap!

Having a great marketing strategy is the best way to ensure that your team's marketing efforts really pay off. The time and effort that your team puts into their marketing plan will ultimately balance out in terms of time and resources saved, as well as the return on investment of their marketing activities.

Slite's got your back! Our collaborative marketing plan template makes the whole process easy and straightforward while giving you a strong base to start from.

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