How To Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan Using Free Templates

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SoftwareSuggest

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: December 2, 2020

Your company’s annual marketing plan helps to set your overall marketing agenda on the right course and makes your organization’s business goals a reality. You can think of it as a high-level plan that leads your team’s campaigns, goals, and growth in the direction.

Looking for Marketing Planning Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of Best Marketing Planning Software solutions.

A good and well-thought-out marketing plan can help you compete and operate your business by defining the current market situation and your business goals. It also focuses on the future objectives you wish to achieve, and the strategies your enterprise must follow to achieve business objectives.

8 Marketing Planning Templates to watch out 

To help you easily create your effective marketing plan, we’ve put together a list of what to include in it, along with a few different planning templates that will quickly help you fill out the blanks.

Let’s get started!

#1.State Your Business Purposes

The first step in preparing a marketing plan is to create a quick overview of your business and the set goals you wish to achieve. You can begin by outlining your overall business strategy and detailing out your business’s internal and external environments.

Doing this will help you ensure your marketing approach is entirely in line with your overall business strategy.

If you are still figuring out, just try to answer the following basic questions:

  • How long have you been in this field of business?
  • What form of organization have you adopted?
  • What is the organizational structure of your business?
  • What kind of products or services do you offer?

#2. Conduct a Situation Analysis for Your Business

Once you have identified your business’s objectives, you need to know where your business currently stands.

In this phase, you will have to conduct a detailed SWOT analysis for your company. A deep understanding of your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will help you clearly analyze your business’ current situation.

Also, performing a SWOT analysis will help you assess the effectiveness of your business’s existing marketing strategies if any.

Even if your firm is a small startup, carry out a small SWOT test to understand the strong and weak points of the products or services you offer. The test will also help you identify the biggest jeopardies and opportunities for your business.

With the help of a SWOT analysis, you can design an effective marketing plan, which will clearly outline a comparison between your business and your competitors, along with highlighting some new feasibilities.

The following SWOT analysis template will help you in delivering effective results:

marketing swot analysis

#3. Define Your Target Audience

Once you have a clear understanding of your SWOT results, defining your target audience is the next step to follow. It is crucial for any organization to clearly specify the group of potential customers they intend to target.

We’re here to help you figure out anything and everything you need to know about your target customers.

Start by dividing the market into small groups based on the following:

Consumer Characteristics

  • Geographic (State, country, etc.)
  • Demographic (age, gender, etc.)
  • Psychographics (Lifestyle, buying behaviors, etc.)

Buying Situations

  • Buying conditions
  • Product usage
  • Desired benefits (features of the products)

Once you have all this information, select one or more segments you wish to target and set goals for them.

You can use this customer segment profile template to identify your target market:

Customer Segment Profile

#4. Know Your Competitors Well

After defining the target market, you need to know who you are competing against.

Businesses never operate in a vacuum, so you always have to worry about your competitors. If you are well-equipped with all sorts of information about your competitors, you will easily be able to find ways to differentiate yourself from them.

By knowing your competitors well, you can easily identify what they are doing right. You will also get the opportunity to defeat them by adapting effective strategies they are yet to adopt.

By performing competitive analysis, you can place competitors in the following segments:

  • Leaders
  • Challengers
  • Laggards
  • Contenders

This division will help your organization to:

  • Identify loopholes in the market
  • Identify areas where you can develop new products
  • Understand current market trends

The following template will help you conduct an effective competitor analysis:

Market Competitor Analysis

Alternatively, you can adopt the following template based on Porter’s 5 Forces model for conducting competitive analysis.

Porter's 5 Forces Market Analysis

#5. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Business

Once you have figured out your target market and potential competitors, start setting your organization’s marketing goals.

Your plan should include all the S.M.A.R.T. such as follows:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Setting goals will help you answer one of the most important questions- ‘Where do you want to lead your business?’

Make sure that the goals are quantifiable for you to measure easily. Additionally, it is important to decide the standards against which you plan to measure these set goals.

The following template will let you set marketing goals and ensure your entire team is moving toward a common set of objectives:

Marketing-Goals

#6. Define Your Marketing Strategy

After setting your S.M.A.R.T. goals, define your marketing strategy by including all the long-term activities you are planning to implement for achieving your set targets.

For defining the marketing strategy for your organization, we recommend preparing a marketing mix consisting of the following 10 Ps of marketing:

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • People
  • Packaging
  • Profit
  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Presentation

The following template will help you capture important information about how every element mentioned here contributes to a successful marketing strategy:

10Ps Marketing Matrix

#7. Set a Budget

Before implementing any marketing strategy, it is essential to know, define, and set your marketing budget. If you don’t have clarity on your budget, then executing all the well-planned strategies and aiming for desired results will not be a realistic expectation.

Make sure to answer the following questions while implementing your marketing strategies:

  • How much funding are you planning to spend on marketing your products or services?
  • Will the cost incurred generate sufficient earnings and ROIs for the organization?
  • How much will the new marketing strategies cost you?
  • How will you arrange the funds required for marketing and promoting your business?
  • How much funding are you planning to spend on promoting your products or services?

These are the essential questions you need answers to before going ahead with any strategy or plan of action. You can set either a simple marketing budget or a complicated budget that runs annually.

#8. Implementing the Plan

Once you’ve successfully set your business goals and strategies, all you need to do is put them all together with the resources required and implement your plan wisely to get the best results.

Top 9 Online Marketing Templates

Our templates list reveals the secret behind the best performing eBooks, videos, social media posts, blog posts, whitepapers, and more online.

  1. Social Media Image Template, HubSpot
  2. Email Template, MailChimp
  3. Marketing Persona Template, Buffer
  4. SEO Template, Brightpod
  5. Content Marketing Workflows Template, Kapost
  6. Content Mapping Template, CMI
  7. Reporting Template, DigitalSherpa
  8. Slideshare Template, Canva
  9. Infographic Template, Piktochart

Wrapping Up

Preparing a marketing plan is one of the most extensive jobs for any organization.

A marketing plan can be very basic or very complex, depending on the size of your organization or the type of business. But with practical implementation techniques, you can get the best results out of it.

You can use this pre-build marketing plan template to set goals, targets, measure performance, and ensure you are achieving all your objectives. These templates will ease your process and help you effectively develop a study, operational marketing plan.

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