How to Create a Marketing Plan | Templates Included

April 5, 2024
15 Minutes
Modified on:
April 5, 2024
Written by:
Swati Bucha
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A strong marketing strategy is the foundation of every scalable business, whether a budding startup or an established enterprise. Marketers strategize and organize complex campaigns integrated into various digital and real-world platforms.

That's why creating a marketing plan, including templates, will help you track your marketing goals, strategies, and expenses while maximizing your marketing budget. Knowing where to begin is frequently the most difficult aspect of planning, which is where this guide comes in. 

This guide explores how to create a marketing plan and provides templates that can inspire you to draft your marketing strategy. With this marketing plan, you can ensure you stay within budget and stay on course for another year of innovative ideas and creative campaigns. 

Basic Elements That Should Be a Part of Every Marketing Plan 

Although a marketing plan will vary depending on your company's type and industry, several basic elements usually remain the same in every strategy. The following elements should be part of your marketing plan:

Executive Summary

The executive summary provides an overview of the marketing plan's main components, focusing primarily on product, pricing, promotion, and placement. It highlights the company's offering, including employees, the service delivery process, physical evidence (which helps potential clients visualize the service), and philosophy (by which the product reflects the organization's core values).

Situation Analysis

The situation analysis examines each perspective that could affect a company's sales. It examines the microenvironmental elements that directly impact the firm and the macroenvironmental aspects that impact numerous firms within the environment.

  • Purpose: The situation analysis aims to highlight the company's organizational and product positions and overall chances of surviving in its immediate environment.
  • Understanding competition: Consider where your business stands with its competitors. Do you lead the industry, or are you the new kid on the block? This should have a major effect on your year-long plans.
  • Evaluate past efforts: Examining the past is a component of this analysis. What you aim to achieve in the upcoming year depends highly on what happened (or did not happen) in the previous year. Think about whether you have met your lead objectives. Has your sales team met their targets? Has your business met its revenue targets? 
  • Talk with other teams: Discuss the year's events with other teams, particularly the sales team.


A good strategy always begins with objectives. Reaching your goals is simpler when you know exactly where you want to go. All of the other objectives you have for the year will be guided by these primary goals, which should align with your organization's initiatives. Therefore, start your marketing plan by stating your goals for the coming year. List your primary marketing goals, which might include some or all of the following:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Increase sales
  • Expand into a new market
  • Increase profit
  • Target new customers
  • Develop brand affinity and loyalty.
  • Grow digital presence
  • Launch new products or services.
  • Grow market share

Once your general goals are established, you may create daily sub-goals to help you stay on track.

Marketing Strategy

It is good to know what needs to be done and what resources you have available, but unless you have a plan outlining how to use these resources to achieve your goals, you risk running back and running out of resources before your goals are reached. The plan's strategy must be compelling enough to attract investors to invest in the business or project.

Businesses must consider various marketing methods to gain market share and stay relevant. Any specific marketing approach can inform a target market about a product's qualities and advantages.


Next, consider the marketing budget you would like to spend. Take into account a few factors while determining your marketing budget.

  • Which sector do you work in? What must you pay to compete, and how much do your competitors spend?
  • Should you outsource SEO or any other aspect of your strategy to free up resources? Do you have the necessary funds?
  • What goals do you have in mind? Do you need to spend more money than you typically do to develop or grow?
  • What is your annual revenue as a whole? What portion of your earnings would you like to give up to marketing?

Brand Messaging

The core of marketing is messaging. One of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy should be creating insightful, knowledgeable content that will create an excellent connection with potential clients. Invest your time and think of the following things to create a robust marketing plan: 

  • Mission statement
  • Brand promise
  • Tone and voice
  • Unique selling propositions
  • Key terms

Consider the three viewpoints important to your brand when you create or edit these parts.

  • Customer Perspective: What you display to prospective consumers, clients, and buyers.
  • Internal Perspective: Your internal team's presentation and the motivation behind their work.
  • Market Perspective: Consider what sets you apart in your industry and differentiates your offerings.

Target Audience

Good marketing aims to connect with a limited number of clearly defined and particular audiences rather than trying to reach everyone. Ensure the target audience descriptions you write or edit are precise and consistent as you develop your marketing plan.

Describe the psychographic and demographic characteristics of your target audience with:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Marital or family status
  • Gender
  • Ethnic background
  • Income level
  • Education level
  • Personality
  • Lifestyle
  • Behavior
  • Worldview
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Interests and hobbies

Next, go a step further and use the demographics to inform the creation of a few buyer personas, which are fictitious accounts of your ideal clients. 

Marketing Tactics

Once you have the framework, viewpoint, and rules to regulate your marketing strategy, plan out your strategies. Your sales techniques may fall under content, digital, or traditional marketing. Spend a portion of your marketing budget on the tactics that best serve your objectives and company.

For standard marketing strategies, the following information should be taken into account:

  • Traditional Marketing: Determine which marketing channels would benefit your company most.
  • Digital Marketing: Determine your areas of weakness or improvement in the following regard:
  1. Website and online presence
  2. Social media
  3. SEO
  4. Paid search
  5. Email Marketing
  6. Retargeting
  • Content Marketing: Despite having certain connections to digital marketing, content marketing can be categorized separately.


Putting the marketing plan's objective into practice involves presenting an action plan that outlines the precise steps that must be performed. It also identifies the division or individual inside the company executing the task. Create a calendar with significant dates on it. Organizing as much as possible for the upcoming year is ideal, but be prepared to roll with the punches because making an organized timetable can be challenging. 

Start with the essentials, such as upcoming announcements, new product releases, or events you know you'll be attending this year. Then, determine your required resources, including press releases, newsletters, emails, and supporting materials. 


Your marketing plan will wrap up with exhibits, which provide the specifics to support the points you made in the document's body.

Nobody knows what will happen in the upcoming year. Starting with a strategy and schedule will help you fulfill the goals you set out to accomplish.

Different Types of Marketing Plans

You may develop multiple marketing strategies, depending on the business you work with. Here are the different types of marketing plans to meet your demands:

1. Quarterly or Annual Marketing Plans

These plans outline your strategies or initiatives over a specific period. A marketing strategy template that Forbes released has received nearly 4 million views. Their template will show you how to complete the 15 essential elements of a marketing strategy, which will assist you in creating a marketing roadmap with a true vision:

  • Executive Summary
  • Target Customers
  • Unique Selling Proposition
  • Pricing & Positioning Strategy
  • Distribution Plan
  • Your Offers
  • Marketing Materials
  • Promotions Strategy
  • Online Marketing Strategy
  • Conversion Strategy
  • Joint Ventures & Partnerships
  • Referral Strategy
  • Strategy for Increasing Transaction Prices
  • Retention Strategy
  • Financial Projections

2. Social Media Marketing Plan

This plan outlines the social media-specific channels, strategies, and campaigns you want to run. One particular subtype is a paid marketing plan, which focuses on paid techniques like PPC, native advertising, and sponsored social network promotions.

3. Content Marketing Plan

This plan could outline various approaches, actions, and initiatives that you'll employ to market your company or item through content. Whether your team is one person or one hundred, this is an excellent resource for content teams of all sizes. It covers what marketing tools you'll need, how to hire and organize a content marketing team, what kind of content to produce, and even what metrics to monitor to analyze campaigns. 

4. Growth Marketing Plan

Growth marketing strategies depend on data and experimentation to produce desired outcomes. Five steps make up the part of the plan, which is meant to be improved with each cycle of test, measure, and learn. The following are the five steps:

  • Goal
  • Projection
  • Experiments
  • Roadmap
  • Insights

How to Create a Winning Marketing Plan?

The following steps are usually involved in creating a marketing plan:

Step 1. Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Focus on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats:

  • Strength is the factor that allows you to stand out in the market. It could include proficiencies, abilities, and skills that are difficult for competitors to copy, as well as lower production costs brought about by better technology.
  • Weaknesses are factors like uncertain delivery or outdated production equipment that make it harder for you to accomplish your goals.
  • Opportunities are ways through which your company can expand and turn a profit. These could involve utilizing new technologies or breaking into emerging markets.
  • Threats are factors like labor shortages or unfavorable political or economic events that could hurt your company in your main markets.

Step 2. Profile your Customers

Divide your present client into three or four primary groups based on things like transaction size or industry. Next, dive deeper into the characteristics that distinguish the clients in those categories, including their identity, preferences, spending patterns, and the data they utilize to guide their purchases.

This is your chance to show that you are an expert on your client base. Get a complete picture of them by including details about their age, gender, occupation, degree of education, and location. Understanding the driving forces behind their purchases is also important. Consider the reasons behind their selection of your offerings and the factors that could entice them to avoid competitors.

Step 3. Set Clear Objectives

With your marketing plan, what goals do you hope to achieve? Verify if the objectives are reasonable and reachable. Smaller business owners frequently have the same goals for both marketing and business. In other words, you can use the following sales targets from your business plan for this step:

  • Market share
  • Total number of clients and rate of client retention
  • Average purchase size

Remember that not all your objectives need to be financial.

Step 4. Address the “Four Ps” of Marketing 

It's time to decide strategically how you'll accomplish your goals once you've determined who you want to reach and your objectives. Use the "four Ps" of marketing to evaluate how best to respond to the needs of each of your target segments:

  • Product: Which product or service best suits their requirements? Will you need to modify your current product to make it more unique in the market?
  • Pricing: What is the price that you will charge? Is there any way you could improve your pricing to have a greater competitive edge? Pricing is usually determined by the profit margin you want to achieve and the costs associated with producing, marketing, distributing, and selling a product.
  • Place: In what locations do buyers look for, choose, purchase, and utilize your product or service? Are your products available where they're most likely to be found by customers? Be careful to take into account real and virtual locations.
  • Promotion: How will you communicate with and pitch your clients? When most people think of "marketing," they typically think of email marketing, social media marketing, public relations, in-person sales, advertising, and other promotional strategies.

Step 5. Create a Budget

What is the estimated cost of implementing each strategy you have identified? Consider everything that could be required, including customer relationship management (CRM) tools, email marketing, copywriting, and graphic design.

For many companies, the most difficult aspect of marketing planning is typically creating a budget, particularly if they have never done it before. Most industries typically have a minimum marketing spend of 1% of topline sales.

Templates for Building a Marketing Plan

Let’s take a look at some of the best templates that you can use for creating your marketing plan: 

1. Marketing Project Plan Template

This marketing plan template summarizes all the important points and aspects of your comprehensive marketing plan. With this simple template, you have a clear view of the process and know where to start. The best part of this template is that it stores all the steps, documentation, progress, and conversation around the work in the same place. So, it acts as a central source of truth because everyone knows who’s doing what and when.


2. GTM Template

The Go-to-Market Strategy template makes it easy for different teams to collaborate, coordinate on the project, and keep up with the status updates. It is designed to create, organize, and manage the GTM strategy in real-time. By creating this template in your project management tool, your team can easily view the strategy at a high level, customize the template per specific launch, and shift the due dates as required. 


3. Digital Marketing Plan Template

This is a perfect template to represent and create a digital marketing plan. With this detailed template, you can plan an actionable marketing strategy covering all the digital channels. This template flaunts a classy design and layout and features key headings like an executive summary, a SWOT analysis, KPIs, and a table of contents. 


4. Editorial Calendar

Content marketing is an essential part of maximizing the potential of your digital marketing efforts. Whether a blog post or a social post, posting and publishing content helps you connect with your target audience. However, keeping track of your upcoming content is a tedious task, and this is where the Editorial Template comes in handy. This template helps you monitor different types of content, produce assets for multiple channels, and coordinate work between the teams. It is a reusable calendar that can track all the blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and other types of content your team produces. 


5. Creative Requests Template

It is tough to keep track of all the creative requests you receive from emails, chats, and conversations, let alone prioritize them and get started with the work. Nonetheless, this template will help you sort through all the requests. It is designed to streamline your process of managing requests, prioritizing work, assigning tasks to the respective personnel, and collecting feedback - all in one place!



A marketing plan is a foundation to improve your online presence and help your target audience find you easily. While having a robust marketing plan in mind is essential, it is also necessary to have it written down somewhere. Having a plan written down lets you visualize the process and implement the strategy accordingly. 

Creating a robust marketing plan, especially a GTM one, is not a child’s play. It takes around 4-8 weeks to develop a vision, plan, and appropriate strategies to implement the plan. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you set up marketing goals? 

Companies widely utilize a goal management framework to establish marketing targets. Here are a few of them:

  • CLEAR (Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, and Refinable)

A CLEAR goal-setting strategy blends emotional and intellectual thinking. Its objectives emphasize emotionally involving individuals in their jobs and acknowledging the team's ability to produce exceptional outcomes while working together.

  • OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)

An OKR strategy defines goals for teams, companies, and employees. Three to five objectives are specified at every level and linked to important outcomes. Goals are typically established every three months and evaluated weekly.

  • SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound)

Setting goals using the SMART framework enables you to identify your objectives precisely and execute your plan.

2. What is the difference between a marketing plan and a strategy?

Your marketing plan serves as a road map that clearly outlines your course of action for your marketing campaigns. Conversely, the marketing strategy outlines the primary reason why your marketing initiatives will assist you in achieving your objectives.

3. What different KPIs can a business set in the marketing plan?

Possible KPIs that you could establish in your marketing plan are:

  • Getting X new leads
  • Decreasing bounce rate by X%
  • Writing X more articles per week/month
  • Reach X organic page views
  • Increase in retention rate by X% each year
  • Gain 100 new followers each month on Facebook/Twitter, etc.

4. How do you find the target audience for the marketing plan?

Describe your target market to find your target audience. Analyze their needs, requirements, and problems by focusing on different factors, such as demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and interests. As soon as you discover this information, update the profiles of your target audiences and use it to enhance current and upcoming initiatives.

5. What are some of the marketing channels to generate leads?

A website, blog, social media accounts, and email list are some marketing channels that can generate top-quality leads.

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