40+ Best Sample Marketing Plan Formats & Templates
Benefits of Planning Your Marketing Actions
When considering and planning your marketing plans of action, it is essential for you to think of the strategies that you will incorporate in your every move. You have to be tactical when marketing your business brand and all your product and service offers so you can emerge as a successful business entity within the marketplace where you would like to be known as one of the market leaders.
There are times when you can feel overwhelmed by market trends, customer demands, and existing stakeholder impressions that you tend to lean on what these entities want alone rather than considering other factors and elements that can contribute to the successes of your marketing efforts. Planning your marketing actions accordingly with regards the specified matter can be very beneficial to your business as it allows you to narrow down your activities and programs to only what is necessary.
If you want to properly plan your marketing moves; action plans; and strategies, you can utilize a comprehensive sample marketing plan. This planning document can heavily and positively impact the development and actual implementation of your marketing activities.
What Is a Marketing Plan?
Not all marketing efforts can work for the advantage of your business. Especially in cases where you implemented a poorly-thought-of marketing activity, the chances of getting positive results are slim. This is the one of the main reasons why it is imperative for you to create a marketing plan before making your marketing program realized. More so, it is important for you to first be aware of what a marketing plan is before you put yourself in the position of developing the specified marketing organization tool. To help you become more knowledgeable of how a marketing plan functions, a standard marketing plan can be defined as follows:
A marketing plan is a business planning tool that can support the appropriate and organized plotting of your marketing activities, strategies, and tactics: As we have mentioned above, you can utilize a marketing plan for organizing purposes. You need to have a system and a flow of marketing planning so you can be focused on the things that are truly important in relation to achieving your desired marketing milestones.A marketing plan is a document that can serve as your guide during the implementation of your marketing activities, programs, and processes: Even if a marketing plan is created way before your marketing strategy implementation, you have to keep in mind that you can use the document during the actual marketing events and programs that you have only once planned. Refer to the marketing plan to see if you are doing the right marketing actions and if you are guided in the appropriate direction that leads to the materialization of your marketing vision. A marketing plan can be used to improve the flow or scheduling of your marketing events and other related endeavors: Since you already have a marketing planning document at hand, it will be easier for you to know the activities that you have to prioritize first so you can follow your marketing timeline of events. With the usage of a marketing plan, you can easily and efficiently take note of important schedules; marketing meetings; time frames; and other relevant marketing processes.A marketing plan is a detailed presentation of desired marketing procedures and efforts within a given time duration: Using a marketing plan can help you measure the scope and range of your marketing efforts. This document can also set the limitations of the marketing actions that you should execute so you can take care of the brand, market position, and/or image of your business.
Major Elements of a Marketing Plan
When making a marketing plan or any other marketing and business documents, it is important for you to know all the elements that are necessary to be seen by anyone who will have access to whatever document it is that you are making. A comprehensive marketing plan filled with relevant elements and informative content can enable your marketing team and business management to use the final document output accordingly. Below is a list of the major document elements that are always needed to be included in the marketing plan document content.
1Marketing goals and objectives: All the marketing plan documents that your business will come up with must be goal-oriented. Listing down the things that you would like to achieve with the help of your marketing plan can make all involved stakeholders aware of how they can contribute to the materialization of your desired marketing output or results.2Market identification: You have to know who your target audience is. Once you are already aware of the market segment or niche that you would like to have a hold of, what you can do is to further research their activities so you can let them see how your products and services can improve their lifestyle or relevant choices. Always keep in mind that a marketing plan can most likely work for your advantage if you know to whom your marketing actions are for.3Marketing schedule and timeline: The timeliness of your marketing activities should always be considered. Ensuring the timely execution of your marketing action plans can give you higher chances of successfully getting more sales through your marketing activities or reaching a wider market due to your marketing endeavors.4Marketing budget allocation: Your marketing plan should be measurable especially when it comes to the financial resources that you need to utilize so you can execute your plans of action. Always present your marketing budget to the business management so they can see whether they can allocate the amount that you have specified for the marketing activities of the company.5Marketing product and/or service offers identification and presentation: your marketing plan needs to highlight or give focus to what you can offer as a business entity. Marketing your business products and services is a great way to showcase how you can relate to the lives of your target market. Also, promoting and advertising your offers in association with your business brand can help you to have a commendable marketplace presence.6Marketing SWOT analysis: The external and internal factors that can affect the full implementation of your marketing plan should be highly looked into and observed by your marketing team. Look for the marketing strengths that you can utilize, the weaknesses that you can improve on, the opportunities that you need to take for business growth, and the threats; hazards; and risks that you should eliminate.7Marketing strategies, tactics, and action plans: Of course, your marketing plan will not be complete without the listing of you marketing action plans as well as the strategies that you will incorporate within your business marketing operations. Be particular with the presentation and discussion of these items so you can guide your stakeholders or anyone who will review the marketing plan with what you really want to implement for the betterment of the marketing, sales, and operational conditions of your business.
Variables to Factor in When Creating a Marketing Plan
Have you already created a marketing plan? If so, you may already be aware that there are certain variables that are imperative to be given focus with if you want your marketing plan to work the way you would like it to. If this is the initial or only time that you have been tasked to make a marketing plan document, here is a short list of the things that you have to look into once you begin the creation of your company’s marketing plan:
The capability or ability of your business and management to financially and realistically support your marketing proposals: The decision makers of your business have the final say on whether to approve your marketing proposal or not. With this, your marketing plan must be considerate of your business finances. You can look into the previous marketing budget of the business or you can first ask the management about the range of marketing budget that they can provide for the next operational year.The specification of desired marketing deliverable: You have to know what you would like to achieve with the help of your available resources. This can help your marketing plan to become more directed, specific, and transparent. Know the labor, time, effort, and other kinds of resources that are needed so you can actually realize your marketing plan. The attainability of your marketing action plans especially in relation to time pressure and labor requirements: Your marketing plan can only be deemed effective and outstanding if actual results are already observed. Consider the deadlines of your marketing activities and ensure that it is within the time frame that you are given with. Through this, you can thoroughly prepare the execution of your marketing strategies and tactics with your marketing team.The availability of technically-skilled workforce: The people that will execute your marketing plan should be identified. The level of their knowledge areas, capabilities, and skill sets can impact the effectiveness of your marketing plan. Make sure that you are working with professionals who are fully-aware of what they are doing and what they should accomplish.
6 Steps for Developing an Effective Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan is actually an easy process if you will focus on the basic steps of its development. You can be more in-depth and intricate with your marketing plan drafting as you go through the procedures of making the document. Below is a step-by-step guide that you can use as a process reference if you want to start creating an outstanding marketing plan that can surely be relevant and effective as a planning document for your marketing team and entire business:
1Download an editable marketing plan template: Begin the creation of your marketing plan on the right foot. Use a printable and downloadable marketing plan template so you can format your planning document with ease. Ensure that you will look at the pre-formatted features of your chosen template so it will be faster for you to identify the things that you need to modify.2Provide standard marketing plan content: As specified, you have to edit the content and layout of the template that you have selected. Ensure that the standard marketing plan details will be properly allocated or placed in the document layout. Some of the most common marketing plan information include your business header or the header of your marketing team, the title of the document, the specification of the entities who made the document, the marketing plan introduction, and the time duration in which the marketing plan is deemed effective for implementation.3List all of your marketing action plans alongside your tactics and strategies: Once you have already listed the basic marketing plan details, you can already begin listing the marketing initiatives; plans; and programs that you want the business to have. Provide a brief yet informative and detailed discussion of each marketing action plans so you can explain or present why you have included them in the marketing plan document of your company.4Present the budget and schedule that you need to use for your marketing endeavors: To ensure the management that your marketing plan can be done in time, give an idea about the scheduling of your marketing activities. More so, present the budget amount that you need so you can effectively execute your marketing strategies within the given time frame. Try to have a side-by-side presentation of the business plan and marketing plan to make sure that your stakeholders can appreciate the timeliness of your desired marketing activities.5Provide any additional content as long as these are necessary for your marketing activity planning: If there are reminders; suggestions; disclaimers; specifications; and additional notes that you want to present, feel free to include these in the marketing plan as long as they are aligned with your marketing plan discussion. You can have a footnote at the end of the marketing plan so you can have a detailed presentation of these additional matters.6Refine marketing plan document details, features, and layout structure: Never forget to finalize the marketing plan. Have an output that is comprehensive and highly-usable. Do this by checking the document for a number of times so you can still change or remove any items that can lessen the quality of the final marketing plan that you will use.
How to Optimize Marketing Plan Usage
Maximizing the benefits that you can get from using a marketing plan is very important if you truly want to take advantage of the document that you have developed. Optimizing a marketing plan can also make all your planning and brainstorming efforts worth it, since you have surely allotted a lot of time and other resources to perfect the content and layout of the specified planning document. Here are some ways on how you can make the most out of your marketing plan’s actual usage:
Consult with your stakeholders and other marketing professionals prior to using the marketing plan.Align your marketing plan with the business plan of your company or establishment.Compare your current marketing plan with the previous marketing plans used by your business.Ensure proper marketing work and responsibility designation.Prepare a marketing gap analysis.
Marketing Plan FAQs
Even if you are already aware of the activities within the marketing industry for quite some time, there may still be questions in your mind that are left unanswered. Also, if you are new to the field of marketing, you may be curious about certain matters that are aligned with the processes and transactions that are happening between marketing professionals and corporate entities. There is nothing wrong with asking questions as this allows you to get the answers that can clarify all your concerns and grey knowledge areas about marketing and related subject matters. Below, we answer the frequently asked questions regarding the development and usage of an outstanding marketing plan.
Why do you need a marketing plan?
A marketing plan serves as the foundation or blueprint of your marketing activities. Hence, this document or tool can be used to ensure the systematic and smooth flow of the implementation of your marketing-related efforts and endeavors. If you want to have an organized transaction with all your marketing team members and stakeholders during the execution of your marketing action plans, then creating a marketing plan document must be on top of your priorities.
How can I ensure the success of a marketing plan’s usage?
Though you cannot specifically measure the potential success of your marketing plan, ensuring the proper and well-planned development of the document can give you an idea about the possible advantages that you can get out of its usage. Your marketing plan can be successfully used by your business if you will ensure that it is realistic, attainable, timely, measurable, and concise.
Use marketing plan template samples if you want to have the best marketing plan documents. With the usage of the appropriate and suitable marketing plan template, you can create a high-performing marketing plan that can enable you to bridge the gap between your current marketing conditions and the level of marketing performance that you would like your business to be at. Download any of the editable marketing plan templates listed above so you can have a reference that you can look into and browse through any time of the day.