Here we go – it’s that time of year again, and boy does it come round fast. You need to assess where your business has been, where it is now and where it’s going in the future – the not-too-distant future too.
With that in mind, it’s time to deal with all of your business or brand marketing and put into place a plan for the coming months, perhaps even years. It may seem like a monumental task, but it needn’t be.
Sit down, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to focus because we are going to help you.
Now you are at your desk (or sitting on the sofa, or wherever it is that you like to be to engage your brain!), you are ready to create your marketing strategy and get your marketing mix perfected to grow your business or brand. In order to do so, you know that you need a quality digital marketing plan template to kick off this very important project.
One Document With All The Important Points Kept Together
As part of your marketing strategy, if you are currently trying to build your entire marketing plan with all of your marketing objectives and marketing goals, then you already know that you need a document to keep everything in one, easily accessible place.
Creating a marketing plan document need not be a challenge, and if you have never written one before, you might wonder how best to lay it out and what ingredients you need to put in it. Let’s move on.
Guide to Creating a Quality Marketing Strategy
you need to clearly define your target market. Who are you trying to reach with your product or service? What needs do they have that your business can address? Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can begin to develop strategies for reaching them. This might include traditional advertising channels like television or print ads, or more modern methods like buy insta likes buy Facebook ads.
We have put together a useful guide on creating a quality marketing strategy template to help with your marketing strategy, so you reach your marketing goals.
Building a Marketing Plan for Your Business or Brand
Within this guide, you will find out how to build your own solid marketing plan for your business or brand and this will help you with your marketing campaigns. We will also discuss what is best to do marketing-wise for your business and to help you, we have also included a handy, one-page effective marketing plan template.
We Have a Template To Help You
The template is easy to follow and helps you to get started. Feel free to add or remove areas and customize it to fit your business or brand to perfection to help you develop your digital marketing campaign and raise brand awareness.
In simplistic terms, a comprehensive marketing plan document is really a marketing roadmap for your business to follow to reach your end goals and part of your marketing strategy.
Let’s get started…
Starting With A Solid Marketing Strategy
No matter what type of business you have, or industry sector, or even size of business, you need a solid, thorough marketing strategy. This will help you to steer your business in the right direction and help you to drive success.
Your Marketing Strategy Should Include Online and Offline Marketing
Your marketing strategy should include bother online marketing and offline marketing. Big businesses may well put into place a five-year marketing plan, or a 12-month marketing plan presentation. Remember, your inbound marketing plan is fluid, so no matter how long it is for, it can change and evolve as you move through your desired time period.
There is No Time Rule – Your Marketing Plan Could be 3, 6 or 12 Months+
However – even though we have mentioned a twelve-month time period for your marketing, you should never feel restricted to devising a 12-month marketing plan. There is no rule of thumb, and that means your marketing plan could be as short as three months, four months, six months, 9 months, 12 months or even longer. As we’ve said, there is no specific rule when creating your marketing strategy for your business.
Of course, buy Instagram views if you’re looking for immediate results, a shorter timeframe may be more appropriate. However, if you’re aiming for long-term brand awareness or customer loyalty, a longer plan will give you the chance to really make an impact.
The Key Is Your Marketing Plan Helps You Reach Your Business Goals
The key is that having a really good and effective marketing plan will help you to reach your business goals.
Your marketing plan should cover all of your business campaigns and detail (briefly) your own marketing campaigns. It should also clearly set out your business objectives and be able to measure your business’ growth over the coming period (for example, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months as we’ve discussed above etc.).
Your marketing plan is the key to your business success. It helps you figure out how to buy followers on Instagram, what type of product or service you offer, and how to price it. Marketing plans also include a budget and a schedule.
What Is Your Marketing Budget (Or Marketing Spend)?
Another reason why you need a good marketing plan in place is to track all of your marketing activity. Without a quality marketing plan for your business, it is impossible to follow your marketing tactics.
Within all of that you need a marketing budget – even if it’s $0! We’ll talk more about low-budgets below.
You Must Have a Marketing Spend
Budget and your pricing strategy though, is key to all of your marketing tactics. You must apply a budget to your marketing activity. This marketing spend will help you to divide your marketing up and apportion your budget to each activity. So, you will easily determine where you want your big marketing spend to be allocated to, as well as where you want your smaller spends.
Small Budget? No Problem!
Budget is a frightening word for small businesses and start-up brands, but it needn’t be. So, like we said, there are lots and lots of different types marketing activities you can do at low-cost. Just think outside of the box. For example, Google pay per click (PPC for short) can be very cheap.
Believe it or not, running your social media doesn’t need to cost a penny as long as you know how to navigate each one of your social media platforms and you have a creative streak.
You don’t have to spend big, but you do have to have some marketing activities in place to grow your business, increase your audience and reach new prospective customers. Without a quality marketing plan in place for your business or brand you will absolutely be missing out on gaining more customers and finding a bigger audience.
As we have already discussed, all marketing plans are fluid. Just because you have written something down on your marketing plan template, it does not mean that you can’t change it. Anything on your marketing plan can easily change and it’s best if your marketing plan does evolve because fresh marketing ideas constantly spring to mind.
Your Marketing Plan Is A Very Important Point of Reference
Your marketing plan document is a very important point of reference for everyone in your company and should be shared amongst your marketing team in your marketing department (if you have one). Any changes to your marketing activity, however small, should be carefully communicated so everyone knows what marketing activity is going on and when it has to happen.
So, with all of the above in mind, we have put together some useful information to help you know what your business needs to include in your strategic marketing plan template. Additionally, we have provided you with some useful links to plenty of well-designed marketing plan templates that you can download and use to plan out your own marketing activity.
Quick Marketing Plan Template to Download
To get started, one of the best product marketing plan templates is from HubSpot and you can download a copy of it here.
once you’ve got your plan together, be sure to buy cheap Instagram likes to give your social media presence a boost. With our help, you’ll be able to reach more people and grow your business faster than ever before.
Creating The Ultimate Marketing Plan Template
We know that every industry is different and that means that marketing strategy templates vary, depending on the sector you are in, the size of your business and the scope of your marketing. However, as a good starting point, every business or brands’ marketing plan must include the following important elements to make sure that you cover all of the salient points off.
What Elements To Include in Your Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan template needs to include a quality business summary often also referred to as an executive summary. A business summary (or an executive summary) is an overall summary of your company and should include the following information:
- Your company name.
- Your company address.
- Company mission statement.
The Initiatives of Your Business
You should also include your business initiatives. Why is that? Well, importantly your business initiatives helps you to formulate your business goals.
Don’t worry, you do not have to go into large amounts of detail regarding your business initiatives, but these should always be specific to marketing.
Within your business initiatives section, describe each of the goals of each marketing initiative and how you will measure the success.
To conduct quality marketing, you obviously need to know your customer and to do so, you need to conduct your customer analysis, get some customer feedback if possible and provide an overall summary of results on your business plan.
Within your customer analysis you should include any market research that you have conducted to date and if you haven’t done any yet, we urge you to do so. It isn’t hard, a simple questionnaire via email or sent out through social media marketing could gain a lot of interesting information that will help you to steer your marketing. Even just conducting a few polls on social media could help.
You should also include your future market research plans (if any) for the upcoming marketing plan period. Really, any business, regardless of size should regularly conduct market research to make sure that it is responding to the needs of its customers.
We would advise doing market research twice a year, or at the very least, once every twelve months.
Other things that you need to consider for your customer analysis exercise are as follows:
- Understand your customers’ age.
- Your customers’ locations.
- Customers’ pain points.
- Customers’ triggers.
- What makes your customers decide on their purchasing decisions.
Within this area, you need to assess your competition. So, to do a thorough analysis of your competitors, you should consider what they do well, the areas where they could do better and identify any gaps in the market and areas of opportunity for your company.
This will help you to ultimately gain the competitive advantage that you want, your unique selling proposition – and ultimately, grow your business or brand accordingly.
Cross-compare what you do in comparison to your competition and look at where your competition is positioned in the market, what are they offering their customers? What is their pricing structure like? Are they more expensive than you – or perhaps cheaper? What types of discounts, coupons or offers do they provide to their customers and what types of marketing promotions? What’s worked well for them – what do they do that you don’t do (and could do?)? What don’t they do – these could be those gaps and areas of opportunity that you could grab hold of and capitalize on!
This area covers off your business’ strengths and the areas where you are weak and helps with pinpointing your KPIs (key performance indicators). Additionally, conducting thorough SWOT Analysis identifies those areas of opportunity for your business and they also display any potential threats to your business. Deal with those threats before they become bigger issues and turn into problems.
You cannot do your SWOT Analysis until you have completed your competition analysis and customer research so cover those two areas before you attempt this.
Formulate Your Market Strategy
Next, you have to formulate your market strategy but again, you cannot do this until you have completed all the steps above. So, before you attempt your market strategy, check off everything we’ve mentioned so far.
Done all of that? Good, you’re ready to move forwards.
Your market strategy should clearly set out where you are different to your competitors and what marketing planning you are going to do that will set you apart from your competitors, so you stand out from the crowd.
You will need to cover off various elements such as the following in order to formulate your market strategy:
- Physical evidence.
What is Your Budget?
Next, you need to determine your overall marketing budget or marketing spend and allocate that budget to your different marketing initiatives as described above.
Remember that your marketing budget covers more than just your marketing activity. It also covers off using freelancers, agencies, Influencers, KOLs (key opinion leaders), marketing software, paid promotions, online advertising and event marketing – really, anything that relates to your marketing activity.
Of course, you may not want to do all of those marketing activities – they are just examples of what you might use and where you need to allocate your budget.
What Marketing Channels Do You Plan To Use?
You also need to detail the type of marketing channels that you plan to use to promote your business or service. When we talk about marketing channels, we mean your social media networking platforms, all of your online marketing (website, PPC, blogging, podcasts, search engine optimization SEO strategy, press releases, webinars, e-books, content marketing, social media posts, email marketing etc.), offline marketing (TV, radio, billboards, events, press releases, printed marketing, direct mail etc.).
What Are Your Financial Projections?
As well as your marketing channels, budget, customer research, competitive analysis and SWOT Analysis, you must provide the detail on where you expect to see your ROI (return on investment).
Once you have done this, you will be able to see where you see your bottom line growing and you can also determine any areas of business you want to shrink. There might be areas where you don’t perform well enough to warrant putting in the effort. These are the areas that you will want to plan for shrinkage.
One thing that you must remember is that your financial projections at this stage will never be 100% accurate. It is only a forecast and therefore you only need to apply approximate figures.
Preparing Your Marketing Plan Template
Now you know what’s involved in preparing your marketing plan for your business or brand let’s move on to actually creating your marketing plan template document. This is not as hard as you might think and with so many effective marketing strategy templates available online, there are lots of tools out there to help you build your marketing plan.
In order to build your marketing plan, there are a few other essential ingredients that you must concentrate on. Let’s get on and examine the finer detail below.
Conduct a Situation Analysis
When you have completed above, the next area to focus on is reviewing your current business situation.
What we mean is that you need to ask yourself some big questions!
Here’s some information on what you need to consider:
- What are your business’ strengths?
- What could your business do better?
- What are the opportunities to go after?
- What are the threats to your business?
- What do you want to grow?
- What do you want to shrink?
Lots of this will have been answered through your SWOT Analysis (as discussed earlier in this marketing plan guide). So it is simply a process of revisiting your SWOT Analysis and extracting the answers to the information.
Of course, as you have completed your competitors’ analysis, you should also thoroughly understand the market which makes a big difference. Be absolutely honest with how you compare to the market, especially your main competitors.
Again, you should carefully consider the following questions:
- What do your competitors do well?
- What do they offer and compare it to what you offer – are there any gaps in your offering or theirs?
- What could you do that your competition don’t do and capitalize on?
- What don’t your competitors do well and where could you capitalize on the opportunity?
- What gives them the competitive advantage?
- What gives you the competitive advantage?
Do You Understand Your Audience?
For any business to succeed it is absolutely paramount to understand its market and your potential buyers as well as your existing customer base. We are sure that you know who your customers are, but we urge you to check again because often, the demographic changes.
The best place to start is to develop your buyer personas. These are your “ideal” customers as well as your existing customers. You may have more than one, often businesses have quite a few.
First, sit down and imagine your buyers. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself in order to develop a buyer persona – or several buyer personas. Name each one so you know which buyer persona you are talking about. These buyer personas are core to your business.
- What gender is your customer (it could be both!)?
- What age is your customer?
- Where do they live?
- Do they own their own home, still live at home or rent?
- What job do they do?
- What hobbies do they enjoy?
- Where do they go on vacation?
- What job do they do?
- What is their job title?
- Are they married, single, dating, divorced?
- Do they have kids?
- Do they have pets?
- What is their income?
- Do they drive?
This list is not exhaustive, and you might have your own questions you want to apply to the buyer persona exercise. Doing this type of exercise helps you to really identify your audience and what drives them to buy something or book your service.
You should also identify their pain points and make sure that you are responding to them as a business.
Regularly Revisit Your Buyer Personas
We would advise regularly revisiting your buyer personas as you will find that over time, it evolves, especially as you add products or services to your catalog.
Write Down your Goals
Your marketing plan template should have all of your goals clearly set out.
Your goals should be the following:
Your goals should also be very easy to understand and specific. With each goal, add a deadline for when you want them completed.
Let’s use an example:
Let’s say you want to get more Instagram followers, perhaps increasing your ig followers count by 10% in just two months. This is a marketing goal and should be documented.
Write a list of all of your marketing goals and put them clearly onto your marketing plan template.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but you must be realistic with what you believe you will be able to achieve over a twelve-month period (or whatever period you have allocated for your marketing plan).
How You Will Approach Your Marketing Goals Using Analysis
To align marketing goals, you need to analyse how you’re going to approach each individual goal.
Let’s look at the above example again which is to grow your Instagram following by 10% over a period of two months. How are you going to approach that goal?
You might host a live event with a discount code or create a competition for sharing your posts inviting everyone to share your post to enter but as long as they follow your account.
Or you might decide to speed up the process and for more Instagram likes, buy them instead? Don’t forget that every time you write down a new marketing tactic, you must consider the impact to your budget and stick to it. However, you might find that you need to re-allocate your budget and take some of your marketing spend from another area to bump up your spend somewhere else.
More on setting your marketing budget below.
As we said, your marketing plan does not have to be set in stone. It can be extremely fluid and it should be as things change rapidly!
Allocating Your Marketing Budget
Let’s talk about allocating your marketing budget and it need not be anything to worry about! Some people find this area of building a marketing plan the most challenging, but it need not be.
Marketing plans don’t have to be expensive. Of course, huge global brands spend $millions on their marketing but not everyone has access to that amount of money! You might even have $0 to spend – especially if you are a sole-trader or a start-up but some marketing doesn’t cost anything.
For example, having a couple of social media networking accounts doesn’t cost you anything (other than electricity and WIFI!). All it costs is you coming up with innovative ideas to market your business using your social media networking channels and perhaps sending out discount codes, special offers, birthday treats or hosting LIVE on Instagram for instance!
So – even a business on zero budget can do marketing – it’s about getting creative.
If you do have a marketing budget, however small, you need to estimate what you want to spend on each area.
Let’s look at an example.
Perhaps your first quarter (or month) is going to be all about focussing your efforts on growing your social media presence online, using a sound social media marketing strategy.
To allocate your marketing spend you place an amount here. It might be to hire an Influencer (or Micro Influencer, key opinion leader, blogger etc.) to talk about your brand (Influencer marketing).
It may be that you want to do some social media advertising or social media marketing. Or perhaps you think you want to spend your money promoting your business or brand on Google using Google AdWords pay per click (PPC)?
You might want to launch a blog and allocate your social media marketing spend here.
Or – you might want to do all of the above, so allocate your spend accordingly, and list your priorities to work out which needs the biggest spend. Sometimes, the biggest area doesn’t need as much as a smaller area. Think carefully about allocating your marketing budget.
How Big Should Your Marketing Plan Template Be?
All of the above is a lot to take in. We recommend breaking it down into bite-size chunks to digest it properly.
While we have covered off a lot of information in this marketing plan template guide, despite what you might think, you do not need one, huge document. Imagine – if it becomes pages and pages long, it will be really tough reading and quite daunting! It can be one or two pages. You could place more detail on separate documents if you need to.
However, if you have stakeholders, a descriptive marketing plan is important but for ease, you can also summarize everything into a one-page marketing plan template.
Share it with all of your marketing team members and use it as your marketing bible! Every time a change is made, the document should be re-shared so there is no confusion.
Information Required for Your One-Page Marketing Plan Template
For your one-pager, you should add the following important information:
- Your business summary with your company name, list of all people involved and your mission statement.
- Your business initiatives, with a clear summary of your goals and initiatives as well as all of your planned marketing strategies.
- Information on who your target audience, target market and target customers are.
- Your overall marketing budget and where you’re spending it (clearly noted alongside each marketing activity).
- The channels you want to use to conduct your marketing activity and meet your goals, for example, social media networking, Google PPC, email marketing, event marketing, blogging, online press releases, webinars, e-Books etc.
Download a One-Page-Marketing Plan Template
For a one-page marketing plan template, we’d recommend conducting a Google search to find one online or look at the template we linked for you above. Alternatively, create your own marketing plan template.
Here’s a good website for marketing plan templates and marketing plan examples, you can access it here.
Need a Longer Marketing Plan Template?
If you find that you need a longer or more in-depth and thorough marketing plan template document for your business or brand, then we would recommend that you take all of the ingredients discussed above and list them out clearly.
Do not be afraid to go into more detail (just don’t go overboard as a document that is overly long can be tiresome to read and the key components and key points could get missed).
Our best advice to you would be to keep it simple and if you can, use bullet points. This makes it much easier for anyone in your company and your stakeholders to view.
You could also choose to do a combination of both ideas and have both. Your short marketing plan template document will be a useful reference point when you (or a marketing team member or stakeholder) needs a quick overview.
The longer marketing plan template document will be useful for when you, a marketing team member or stakeholder wants to revisit the detail.
Breaking It Down Even Further
Of course, you can break your marketing plan template document down even further.
Here’s what you could do:
Take the ingredients from your marketing plan and create separate, smaller marketing plan documents. For example, you could have a marketing plan template document solely for your social media strategy.
You could also have a separate document for all of your offline marketing.
Simply apply the same formula that we have discussed and detailed above and write a separate document for each area. Many big companies and brands have an overall marketing plan that is inline with their business plan. Underneath that, they have separate, smaller marketing plans for each area of their business (social media, web marketing, TV marketing, radio, print, email, direct mail etc…). It’s a little like a marketing family tree! Each element has its own separate branch.
Once you’ve got to grips with writing and executing a marketing plan, you might want to try breaking it down into different marketing channels, but this is probably unnecessary if you’re a small business or a start-up situation.
Final Words on Marketing Plan Templates
Hopefully, all of the above information will help you with what you need to do to build your own winning marketing plan template document. It is an excellent and important exercise for every business to do as it helps to keep you focussed on all of your marketing activity, and each individual tactic too.
As advised, don’t feel you must write a marketing plan template document for 12 months. In fact, if you’ve never done one before, just do it for 3 months first. As your business grows and you grow in confidence with regard to conducting your marketing efforts, you can shift it up and create a document that covers a longer time period. There is no rule!
So, what are you waiting for? Go and create your first marketing plan document template and you’ll be sure to achieve marketing success!