Update your marketing plan for 2024 using this one page template.

Traditionally, creating a marketing plan can be a long and involved process. But it doesn’t need to be. We’ve created a one-page marketing plan template to help you organise your marketing efforts for the year ahead.

Download your FREE marketing plan template below.

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What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a tool that can help you to identify what you need to do to achieve your marketing goals and objectives. It usually spans over a specific time period, most typically a year, with periodic deadlines set against key tactics to measure the success of your campaigns.

Our one-page marketing plan compiles all the necessary details on a page, in the style of a storyboard, so you can create a clear roadmap to achieving your marketing objectives.

RELATED: How to segment your audience for maximum impact.

The difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan.

Marketing strategy and marketing plan are two important concepts in business. A marketing strategy outlines the specific actions a business will take to achieve its goals and objectives. This includes identifying the marketing campaigns, content, channels, and software that will be used to execute the mission and measure its success. For example, if a company’s social media marketing is handled by a different team or department, then working on Facebook as an individual marketing strategy can be considered.

On the other hand, a marketing plan is a comprehensive document that includes one or more marketing strategies. It serves as a framework that guides the development and implementation of all marketing strategies. In addition, it helps businesses align each strategy with a larger marketing operation and overall business objective.

RELATED: Content marketing strategy [TEMPLATE].

How to create a marketing plan.

Start by downloading your one-page marketing plan template. Before you begin filling it in, let’s walk through each step of the process with relevant examples, so that you have a clear understanding of what’s involved.

Step 1: What makes you, you?

Outlining your overarching business goal is a great place to start.

Let’s say you run a gym. If your business’ mission is ‘to make fitness fun’, your marketing strategy might be ‘to attract an audience of fitness enthusiasts, educate them on different ways of working out, and convert them into members of your fitness gym community’.

Step 2: What’s your target audience?

If you’re creating a marketing plan, it’s likely that you already have a clear understanding of your business’ audience so this step should be a relatively quick one. The different buying personas of your business should reflect current or potential customers, and may include things like age, sex, location, occupation and who they live with.

Step 3: SWOT analysis.

An analysis of your marketing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) is an effective way to evaluate how you compare to your competition. It also helps business owners to plan ahead and look beyond the ‘now’.

Here you can think about:

  • Strengths – How do you exceed your competition?
  • Weaknesses – How does your competition exceed you?
  • Opportunities – What market area could you tap into if you were to modify your business?
  • Threats – What could threaten your current position in the market?

Step 4: What are your SMART marketing objectives?

SMART is a common framework used by marketers to set realistic objectives for their businesses. So, what does it stand for?

  • Specific – Be clear and distinct in what you want to achieve
  • Measurable – The success of your objectives must be quantifiable
  • Achievable – Is this a realistic goal for you to achieve within this given time frame?
  • Relevant – Your marketing objectives must link back to your business objectives
  • Timely – Each objective must have a time frame attached to it in order to be measurable.

An example of a vague marketing goal may be to ‘increase traffic to your website via social media’. To ensure this is a SMART objective, we would tweak this to ‘increase Instagram click-through rate by 15% in 12 months’.

Step 5: Why are your objectives important to your business?

Let’s focus on the ‘R’ or ‘Relevant’ in SMART. Your marketing objectives need to link back to your broader business objectives to ensure their relevance.

As an example, if your company’s marketing mission is to engage an audience of fitness enthusiasts, then creating a goal to increase your click-through rate on Instagram makes a relevant objective to set.

Step 6: How will you achieve your objectives?

What tactics will you use in order to achieve your marketing goals? Use the same SMART framework to make sure the tactics you choose are attainable.

You may choose to use existing strategies that are already contributing to your marketing growth. For example, if your goal is to increase Instagram click-through rate by 15% in 12 months, which happens to be the same growth you saw in the past 12 months, your tactic may be to continue what you’ve been doing: i.e. re-optimise calls-to-action for impact.

Step 7: When will you perform these tactics?

Assigning deadlines to the tactics you have set in the previous step will create structure and help you to achieve your marketing goals.

For the example above, you could trial different call-to-actions such as ‘Get a call’, ‘Buy now’, or ‘Get a quote’ every 3 months. Setting incremental periods within your objective’s set time frame (in this case 12 months), will help you to keep on track for success.

Step 8: How will you remain on budget?

Setting a marketing strategy to remain on budget is a key part of your marketing plan, particularly if cost and return is how you measure success within your business. This may involve setting a budget aside for each individual tactic in your marketing plan.

Once you’ve visually mapped your marketing budget out, you may decide that you are investing too much in one specific area and then shuffle things around until you are happy with the result.

Step 9: How will you measure success?

For each tactic in your marketing plan, you will need to determine how you will measure success. Setting a key performance indicator (KPI), a metric to measure the elements of your marketing efforts, will allow you to set short-term goals to remain on track to achieving your long-term objectives.

If the marketing objective was to increase Instagram click-through rate by 15% in 12 months, the KPI would be click-through rate, and you would measure the growth of this metric via analytics tools over time.

RELATED: How to measure returns on your digital marketing investment (ROI).

Feeling prepped and ready to go? Download your FREE one-page marketing plan template to get started.

Download template

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