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What is a Marketing Plan & How to Write One [+Examples]

Clifford Chi

Published: December 08, 2022

For a while now, you've been spearheading your organization's content marketing efforts. Your team's performance has convinced management to adopt the content marketing strategies you’ve suggested.

marketer writing a marketing plan with inspiration from an example

Now, your boss wants you to write and present a content marketing plan, but you've never done something like that before. You don't even know where to start.

→ Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template

Fortunately, we've curated the best content marketing plans to help you write a concrete plan that's rooted in data and produces results. But first, we'll discuss what a marketing plan is and how some of the best marketing plans include strategies that serve their respective businesses.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic roadmap that businesses use to organize, execute, and track their marketing strategy over a given period. Marketing plans can include different marketing strategies for various marketing teams across the company, all working toward the same business goals.

The purpose of a marketing plan is to write down strategies in an organized manner. This will help keep you on track and measure the success of your campaigns.

Writing a marketing plan will help you think of each campaign's mission, buyer personas, budget, tactics, and deliverables. With all of this information in one place, you'll have an easier time staying on track with a campaign. You’ll also discover what works and what doesn't. Thus, measuring the success of your strategy.

Featured Resource: Free Marketing Plan Template

HubSpot Mktg plan cover

Looking to develop a marketing plan for your business? Click here to download HubSpot's free Marketing Plan Template to get started .

Keep in mind that there's a difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan

A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular goal or mission. This includes which campaigns, content, channels, and marketing software they'll use to execute that mission and track its success.

For example, while a greater plan or department might handle social media marketing, you might consider your work on Facebook as an individual marketing strategy.

A marketing plan contains one or more marketing strategies. It is the framework from which all of your marketing strategies are created and helps you connect each strategy back to a larger marketing operation and business goal.

For example, your company is launching a new software product, and it wants customers to sign up. This calls for the marketing department to develop a marketing plan that'll help introduce this product to the industry and drive the desired signups.

The department decides to launch a blog dedicated to this industry, a new YouTube video series to establish expertise, and an account on Twitter to join the conversation around this subject. All of this serves to attract an audience and convert this audience into software users.

To summarize, the business's marketing plan is dedicated to introducing a new software product to the marketplace and driving signups to that product. The business will execute that plan with three marketing strategies : a new industry blog, a YouTube video series, and a Twitter account.

Of course, the business might consider these three things one giant marketing strategy, each with its specific content strategies. How granular you want your marketing plan to get is up to you. Nonetheless, every marketing plan goes through a particular set of steps in its creation. Learn what they are below.

How to Write a Marketing Plan

1. State your business's mission.

Your first step in writing a marketing plan is to state your mission. Although this mission is specific to your marketing department, it should serve your business's main mission statement. Be specific, but not too specific. You have plenty of space left in this marketing plan to elaborate on how you'll acquire new customers and accomplish this mission.

For example, if your business's mission is "to make booking travel a delightful experience," your marketing mission might be "to attract an audience of travelers, educate them on the tourism industry, and convert them into users of our bookings platform."


Need help building your mission statement? Download this guide for examples and templates and write the ideal mission statement. 

2. Determine the KPIs for this mission.

Every good marketing plan describes how the department will track its mission's progress. To do so, you'll need to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) . KPIs are individual metrics that measure the various elements of a marketing campaign. These units help you establish short-term goals within your mission and communicate your progress to business leaders.

Let's take our example of a marketing mission from the above step. If part of our mission is "to attract an audience of travelers," we might track website visits using organic page views. In this case, "organic page views" is one KPI, and we can see our number of page views grow over time.

These KPIs will come into the conversation again in step 4.

3. Identify your buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a description of who you want to attract. This can include age, sex, location, family size, and job title. Each buyer persona should directly reflect your business's current and potential customers. Therefore, all business leaders must agree on your buyer personas.


Create your buyer personas with this free guide and set of buyer persona templates. 

4. Describe your content initiatives and strategies.

Here's where you'll include the main points of your marketing and content strategy. Because there is a laundry list of content types and channels available to you today, you must choose wisely and explain how you'll use your content and channels in this section of your marketing plan.

A content strategy should stipulate:

5. Clearly define your plan's omissions.

A marketing plan explains the marketing team’s focus. It also explains what the marketing team will not focus on.

If there are other aspects of your business that you aren't serving in this particular plan, include them in this section. These omissions help to justify your mission, buyer personas, KPIs, and content. You can't please everyone in a single marketing campaign, and if your team isn't on the hook for something, you need to make it known.

6. Define your marketing budget.

Your content strategy might leverage many free channels and platforms, but there are several hidden expenses a marketing team needs to account for.

Whether it's freelance fees, sponsorships, or a new full-time marketing hire, use these costs to develop a marketing budget and outline each expense in this section of your marketing plan.


You can establish your marketing budget with this kit of 8 free marketing budget templates . 

7. Identify your competition.

Part of marketing is knowing whom you're marketing against. Research the key players in your industry and consider profiling each one.

Keep in mind not every competitor will pose the same challenges to your business. For example, while one competitor might be ranking highly on search engines for keywords you want your website to rank for, another competitor might have a heavy footprint on a social network where you plan to launch an account.


Easily track and analyze your competitors with t his collection of ten free competitive analysis templates . 

8. Outline your plan's contributors and their responsibilities.

With your marketing plan fully fleshed out, it's time to explain who's doing what. You don't have to delve too deeply into your employees' day-to-day projects, but it should be known which teams and team leaders are in charge of specific content types, channels, KPIs, and more.

Now that you know why you need to build an effective marketing plan, it is time to put on the work. Starting a plan from scratch can be overwhelming if you haven’t done it before. That’s why there are many helpful resources that can support your first steps. We’ll share some of the best guides and templates that can help you build effective results-driven plans for your marketing strategies.

Ready to make your own marketing plan? Get started using this free template.

Build out your marketing plan with this free template.

Fill out this form to access the template., types of marketing plans.

Depending on the company you work with, you might want to leverage various marketing plans. We compiled different samples to suit your needs:

1. Quarterly or Annual Marketing Plans

marketing plan examples: forbes

Forbes published a marketing plan template that has amassed almost 4 million views. To help you sculpt a marketing roadmap with true vision, their template will teach you how to fill out the 15 key sections of a marketing plan, which are:

If you're truly lost on where to start with a marketing plan, this guide can help you define your target audience, figure out how to reach them, and ensure that audience becomes loyal customers.

2. Social Media Marketing Plan

This type of plan highlights the channels, tactics, and campaigns you intend to accomplish specifically on social media. A specific subtype is a paid marketing plan, which highlights paid strategies, such as native advertising, PPC, or paid social media promotions.

Shane Snow's Marketing Plan for His Book Dream Team is a great example of a social media marketing plan

A successful book launch is a prime example of data-driven content and social marketing. Using data to optimize your social strategy spreads more awareness for your book, gets more people to subscribe to your content, converts more subscribers into buyers, and encourages more buyers to recommend your book to their friends.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

Snow wrote a blog post about how the waterfall's content strategy helped him launch his new book successfully. After reading it, you can use his tactics to inform your own marketing plan. More specifically, you'll learn how he:

You can use Snow's marketing plan to cultivate a better content strategy plan, know your audience better, and think outside the box regarding content promotion and distribution.

3. Content Marketing Plan

This plan could highlight different strategies, tactics, and campaigns in which you'll use content to promote your business or product.

HubSpot's Comprehensive Guide for Content Marketing Strategy is a strong example of a content marketing plan

marketing plan examples: hubspot content marketing plan

At HubSpot, we've built our marketing team from two business school graduates working from a coffee table to a powerhouse of hundreds of employees. Along the way, we've learned countless lessons that shaped our current content marketing strategy. So, we decided to illustrate our insights in a blog post to teach marketers how to develop a successful content marketing strategy, regardless of their team's size.

Download Now: Free Content Marketing Planning Templates

In this comprehensive guide for modern marketers, you'll learn:

4. New Product Launch Marketing Plan

This will be a roadmap for the strategies and tactics you'll implement to promote a new product. And if you're searching for an example, look no further than Chief Outsiders' Go-To-Market Plan for a New Product

marketing plan examples: chief outsiders

When you're looking for a marketing plan for a new product, the Chief Outsiders template is a great place to start. Marketing plans for a new product will be more specific because they target one product versus its entire marketing strategy.

→ Download Now: Free Product Marketing Kit [Free Templates]

After reading this plan, you'll learn how to:

5. Growth Marketing Plan

Growth marketing plans leverage experimentation and data to drive results, like we see in Venture Harbour’s Growth Marketing Plan Template

marketing plan examples: venture harbour

Venture Harbour's growth marketing plan is a data-driven and experiment-led alternative to the more traditional marketing plan. Their template contains five steps intended for refinement with every test-measure-learn cycle. The five steps are:

Download Now: Free Growth Strategy Template

This is a great option if you want to experiment with different platforms and campaigns.

Marketing Plan Examples

1. Visit Oxnard

marketing plan examples: visit oxnard

This marketing plan by Visit Oxnard, a convention and visitors bureau, is packed with all the information one needs in a marketing plan: target markets, key performance indicators, selling points, personas, marketing tactics by channel, and much more.

It also articulates the organization’s strategic plans for the upcoming fiscal year, especially as it grapples with the aftereffects of the pandemic. Lastly, it has impeccable visual appeal, with color-coded sections and strong branding elements.

2. Safe Haven Family Shelter

marketing plan examples: safe haven family shelter

This marketing plan by a non-profit organization is an excellent example to follow if your plan will be presented to internal stakeholders at all levels of your organization. It includes SMART marketing goals , deadlines, action steps, long-term objectives, target audiences, core marketing messages , and metrics. The plan is detailed, yet scannable. By the end of it, one can walk away with a strong understanding of the organization’s strategic direction for their upcoming marketing efforts.

3. Wright County Economic Development

marketing plan examples: wright county

It includes key information such as marketing partners, goals, initiatives, and costs. The sections are easy to scan and contain plenty of information for those who’d like to dig into the details. Most importantly, it includes a detailed breakdown of projected costs per marketing initiative — which is critical information to include for upper-level managers and other stakeholders.

4. The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

marketing plan examples: cultural council of palm beach county

This marketing plan presentation by a cultural council is a great example of how to effectively leverage data in your plan, address audiences who are new to the industry, and provide extensive detail into specific marketing strategies. For instance, an entire slide is dedicated to the county’s cultural tourism trends, and at the beginning of the presentation, the organization explains what an arts and culture agency is in the first place.

That’s a critical piece of information to include for those who might not know. If you’re addressing audiences outside your industry, consider defining terms at the beginning, like this organization did.

5. Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau

marketing plan examples: carrabus county

Carrabus County’s convention and visitors bureau takes a slightly different approach with its marketing plan, formatting it like a magazine for stakeholders to flip through. It offers information on the county’s target audience, channels, goals, KPIs, and public relations strategies and initiatives. We specially love that the plan includes contact information for the bureau’s staff members, so that it’s easy for stakeholders to contact the appropriate person for a specific query.

6. Visit Billings

marketing plan examples: visit billings

Visit Billing’s comprehensive marketing plan is similar to Carrabus County’s in that it follows a magazine format. With sections for each planned strategy, it offers a wealth of information and depth for internal stakeholders and potential investors. We specially love its content strategy section, where it details the organization’s prior efforts and current objectives for each content platform.

At the end, it includes strategic goals and budgets — a good move to imitate if your primary audience would not need this information highlighted at the forefront.

Sample Marketing Plan

Let’s create a sample plan together, step-by-step.

Follow along with HubSpot's free Marketing Plan Template . 


1. Create an overview or primary objective.

Our business mission is to provide [service, product, solution] to help [audience] reach their [financial, educational, business related] goals without compromising their [your audience’s valuable asset: free time, mental health, budget, etc.]. We want to improve our social media presence while nurturing our relationships with collaborators and clients.

For example, if you wanted to focus on social media growth, your KPIs might look like this.

We want to achieve a minimum of [followers] with an engagement rate of [X] on [social media platform].

The goal is to achieve an increase of [Y] on recurring clients and new meaningful connections outside the platform by the end of the year.

Use the following categories to create a target audience for your campaign.

For more useful strategies, consider creating a buyer persona in our Make My Persona tool .

Our content pillars will be: [X, Y, Z].

Content pillars should be based on topics your audience needs to know. If your ideal clients are female entrepreneurs, then your content pillars can be: marketing, being a woman in business, remote working, and productivity hacks for entrepreneurs.

Then, determine your omissions.

This marketing plan won’t be focusing on the following areas of improvement: [A, B, C].

5. Define your marketing budget.

Our marketing strategy will use a total of [Y] monthly. This will include anything from freelance collaborations to advertising.

6. Identify your competitors.

Use the following questions to clearly indicate who your competitors are:

7. Outline your plan's contributors and their responsibilities.

Create responsible parties for each portion of the plan.

Marketing will manage the content plan, implementation, and community interaction to reach the KPIs.

Sales will follow the line of the marketing work while creating and implementing an outreach strategy.

Customer Service will nurture clients’ relationships to ensure that they have what they want. [Hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations].

Project Managers will track the progress and team communication during the project. [Hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations].

Get started on your marketing plan.

These marketing plans serve as initial resources to get your content marketing plan started. But, to truly deliver what your audience wants and needs, you'll likely need to test some different ideas out, measure their success, and then refine your goals as you go.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2019, but was updated for comprehensiveness.

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Outline your company's marketing strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

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7 Inspiring Marketing Plan Examples


Navigating uncharted territories without a compass is impossible. The same is true for companies that try to overcome market challenges without a marketing plan. And yet: 50% of small and medium business owners don’t have one, according to Search Engine Journal . 

We get it—creating a marketing plan can be a real challenge, especially if you’re starting from scratch. What needs to be in there? What doesn’t matter? 

We took real-world and hypothetical examples to show how to write your marketing plan.

How to approach marketing plan creation

What your marketing plan looks like will depend on the size and type of your business. Looking at examples from companies in the same industry or same size and status should be your North Star. 

That said, you can always find great frameworks that you can apply to your marketing plan, no matter the industry. You need to adjust the approach to fit your business and continue building from there.

Decide on the complexity based on your purpose

A marketing plan can vary from a few pages to a detailed roadmap that covers every aspect of the business. To decide on the scope, you need to ask yourself: What is the purpose of my marketing plan? 

For some businesses, it’s outlining a specific marketing strategy with concrete actions. For others, it’s setting up benchmarks to assess results. There are also businesses trying to attract investors, so they need a comprehensive marketing plan to depict the company’s future.

Having the purpose in mind is the best way to determine what should be included in your marketing plan.

Use examples as pointers, not rigid rules

The marketing plan you create should give answers to the questions: Who are my target customers? How do I reach them? How do I retain them? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Each business is unique, so consider what resonates with your goals and your target customers instead of following some template blindly. 

Remember: use marketing plan examples as a map rather than GPS coordinates.

Examples for every element in a marketing plan

Executive summary, mission statement, marketing objectives, swot analysis, market research, market strategy.

To help you include the essential aspects, we’ve dissected the core elements of a marketing plan, highlighting the key takeaways and best practices with plenty of examples. Think of these elements as stepping stones toward your goal.

First things first: you should start with a synopsis of the marketing plan. This section includes the basic business information and an overview of what you have done, what you plan to do, and how you plan to get there. 

The purpose of an executive summary is not to provide detailed information but to set the stage and pique readers’ interest. All the sections in the executive summary are a top-level view of the information you will elaborate on in your marketing plan later. Although this is the first section in a marketing plan, it is usually written last.

Here’s a great example from  Palo Alto Software . The executive summary in this sample marketing plan for an organic bakery is short and straightforward. At this point, you want to give readers context and set expectations.


Image source: Palo Alto Software

A mission statement is a sentence describing your business goals and philosophies. This action-oriented statement lets customers know your company’s purpose. 

The modern customer values more than price alone. According to Stackla , 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. 

The outdoor clothing and gear brand Patagonia is committed to protecting the environment. And it’s more than words. Aside from the durable products that can be recycled, the brand donates 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the environment.

Patagonia's mission statement reflects its commitment: “We’re in business to save our home planet.” 

When writing a mission statement, spotlight your business’ ethos. This is not an illusory sentence. It’s the core belief of your company. The best way to approach it is to ask yourself, why are you in business, and what problems are you solving?


Image source: Patagonia

You can’t have an effective marketing plan without clear objectives. They show the direction in which your business is moving. When deciding on your marketing objectives, you should follow the SMART framework—define specific , measurable, attainable , relevant , and time-based objectives. 

Setting marketing objectives involves specifying expected results so you can measure performance and take action if needed. By defining the objectives, you should answer the following questions: 

In this example from MPlans , the event planning company sets SMART objectives that can be easily measured and tracked.


Image source: MPlans

Understanding the full potential of your business requires having a clear picture of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you may encounter. Using SWOT analysis , you can identify all internal and external factors that affect the success of your business. 

The strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that you can control to some extent, while the opportunities and threats are external factors that come from the environment surrounding your business. 

However, being aware of the conditions in which your business operates gives you insights to make informed decisions about your marketing plan and your business in general. 

Here’s a SWOT analysis example for a perennial farm that grows a variety of botanical medicinal plants. While it produces high-quality plants and has business development and horticultural experience, it is faced with a lack of funding and threats from similar-sized farms. However, the opportunity lies in the growing market and customers’ need for a long-term relationship with one botanical vendor. 

Based on the information from the SWOT matrix, you can identify the next steps and the best way to reach your goals.


Image source: Bplans

The next step is thorough market research. This section should give an overview of the industry, define your buyer persona, prepare a competitive analysis, and conduct customer surveys and interviews. 

Start by analyzing your market. Keeping a finger on the industry's pulse will help you understand the needs and the potential. 

Answer the following questions: 

Next, you should decide on the target audience . If your product is good for everyone, it means that it’s good for no one. Having a target audience leads to focused marketing effort and higher conversion. 

Even though every customer is unique, you can create buyer persona profiles with characteristics common to your target audience. Here, you should define information such as demographics, location, interests, purchase intent, and everything else relevant for your target audience. 

In this example from  Cyberclick , you can see all the essential information, goals, pain points, research methods, and tools used during research, but also how the company can address customers’ needs.


Image source: Cyberclick

Competitive analysis is an important part of market research. Keeping an eye on your competitors gives you an overview of their strategy and lets you prepare accordingly. 

Not sure what  competitive analysis  looks like? Here’s an example of the elements you should include and differentiate from your competitors.


Another important market research segment is mapping out your customers’ journey from the first contact to making a purchase. The best way to gather information is by conducting customer surveys or interviews.

Explore the sources and channels your target audience uses during research, analyze their steps at each stage of the buyer journey, and understand what motivates them to make a purchase.

Now that you’ve set the foundation, it’s time to dive deeper into defining the strategy. If you’re selling products, you should specify the marketing mix through the 4Ps: product, price, place, and promotion.

Service-oriented businesses should define the 8Ps of marketing: product, price, place, promotion, people, process, physical evidence, and performance. 

Let’s take a look at Warby Parker’s marketing strategy. The direct-to-consumer eyewear company started with a simple goal in mind: to solve the problem of expensive glasses. 

From custom-designed cellulose acetate to ultra-lightweight titanium, Warby Parker uses premium materials for its frames. The glasses and lenses range from about $95 to $295, which is generally lower than the competition. 

While it started as an online-first business in 2010, Warby Parker opened its first store in 2013. Today, it has more than one hundred brick-and-mortar stores. 

Its strategy heavily relies on PR, user-generated content, and a mobile app packed with user-friendly features, such as virtually trying on frames using augmented reality.


Image source: Warby Parker

Preparing a marketing budget can seem challenging—especially for small businesses. However, to execute the projects outlined in your marketing plan, you need to allocate enough resources. 

The marketing budget should encompass all different facets of marketing—from brand and creative to product marketing, digital, content, events, and much more. 

While you can have separate plans for each segment, using this Master Marketing Budget template from HubSpot , you can compile individual budgets and determine the overall marketing cost. 


Image source: HubSpot

To give you an idea of how a complete marketing plan looks, we’re sharing seven more examples and templates that give you a step-by-step explanation of the essential elements of an effective marketing plan.

7 marketing plan examples and templates

1.  visit baton rouge.

Baton Rouge positions itself as “An Authentic Louisiana Experience” by fostering a rebirth of local passion and enthusiasm. From a detailed SWOT analysis to a well-defined target audience, there are plenty of takeaways you can apply to your marketing plan.


2. University of Illinois

In this high-level overview of the marketing strategy for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and its 2021 recruitment cycle, the University of Illinois maps out a detailed marketing plan. One thing that stands out in this marketing plan is the approach of defining objectives, tactics, and success metrics for every segment. 


 HubSpot’s template includes sections for business summary, business initiatives, target market, market strategy, budget, marketing channels, and every other important aspect of a marketing plan.


4.  Monday.com

If you want to put together a plan that already lives in a project management tool, this one from Monday.com can come in handy. Using this template, you can track all of your marketing initiatives, strategies, business goals, budgets, and marketing campaigns. The best part is you can transform data with a variety of data visualizations, including kanban, calendar, timeline, gantt, map, form, workload, and more.


5. Evernote

Evernote is another great example that can help you outline your marketing plan and keep track of your progress. The template is broken down into seven main sections: Details, Research, Goals & Objectives, Buyer Persona, Calendar, Evaluation, and Sign Off. For each section there is an explanation to lead your next step.


This guide from G2 takes you step by step through creating a marketing plan, with well-defined sections and examples to ease the process. It covers every critical aspect of a marketing plan, and you can easily edit and customize it for your business.


7. Smartsheet

With this pre-built marketing plan template from Smartsheet, you can outline the purpose of your business, its strategic goals, its target market, and its standards of performance, ensuring you have a thorough plan of action. If you want a detailed marketing plan, this editable PDF will guide you through the process.


Get started with your marketing plan today

There you have it—examples for the core elements of a marketing plan, plus seven complete examples and templates to help you create your own. 

By taking a page from some of these examples and relying on the best practices, we’ve mentioned in this article, you’re one step closer to creating an effective marketing plan that will pave the way to accomplishing your business goals.

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38 Marketing Plan Examples, Samples, & Templates To Outline Your Own Plan

Looking to create a marketing plan ? Here are 38 marketing plan examples from real-life brands and hypothetical companies to help you map out your goals , strategies , and successes.

The following marketing plan samples break down the outlines from these plans. The intent here is to help you select the components and elements that will make the most sense in your own marketing plan as you discover their actual use in these examples. Enjoy!

1. Visit Baton Rouge Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Example  – Visit Baton Rouge

Visit Baton Rouge put together this marketing plan to increase awareness of and visitation to the Greater Baton Rouge area.

Marketing Plan Elements Outline:

Example of a SWOT analysis

2. Naperville Park District Strategic Marketing Plan Example

Strategic Marketing Plan Example  – Naperville Park District

Naperville Park District’s strategic marketing plan spans multiple departments – from sales to PR – to promote a consistent brand image and increase revenue.

Example of strengths and weakness from a SWOT analysis

3. Wisconsin Public Library Systems Marketing Cohort Marketing Plan Template

Marketing Plan Template for Libraries  – Wisconsin Public Library Systems Marketing Cohort

Wisconsin Public Library published a template for libraries to use to plan, execute, and monitor their marketing activities.

Example of the cycle of true marketing

4. Agricultural Extension Service Marketing Plan Example

Developing A Marketing Plan Example  – Agricultural Extension Service at the University of Tennessee

This marketing plan outlines what’s involved in a successful marketing plan and walks readers through the steps using a hypothetical brand as an example.

Example of a marketing plan with tips

5. University Of Illinois Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Example  – University Of Illinois

The University of Illinois’ marketing plan offers a high-level overview of key strategies to increase student interest and admissions.

Variety of different demographic maps of the United States

6. Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network Marketing Plan

The Marketing Plan  – Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network

Massachusetts’ Small Business Development Center has created a marketing plan to help small businesses map out and execute their efforts.

Example of a marketing plan outline

7. ProfitWorks Small Business Marketing Plan Template

Small Business Marketing Plan Template  – ProfitWorks

ProfitWorks’ marketing plan template helps small businesses plan their strategy, from positioning to product and pricing.

Example of a current demographics bar graph

8. Business.com Small Business Marketing Plan Template

Small Business Marketing Plan Template (direct Word document download)  – Business.com

This downloadable template from Business.com lets business owners fill in their own information to create a marketing plan.

Example of a marketing goals template

9. CoSchedule Marketing Strategy Template

Marketing Strategy: How to Plan Yours in 12 Steps With a Template  – CoSchedule

CoSchedule’s template includes a handy guide that walks businesses through the steps they need to create a successful marketing strategy.

Outline of a SWOT analysis from CoSchedule

10. Evernote Marketing Plan Template

Marketing Plan Template  – Evernote

Evernote’s marketing plan template allows business owners to jot down their marketing ideas and store them in one central place.

Example of a SWOT analysis outline

11. Buffer Content Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Steps  – Buffer

Buffer’s marketing template doubles up as a guide businesses can use to ensure they implement all the right strategies.

Example of a content matrix outline

12. Dream Team Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Example  – Dream Team via Contently

Dream Team’s marketing plan walks businesses through the steps to plan and execute a marketing strategy for a book.

Example of a marketing plan

13. Contently Content Strategy Waterfall Example

Content Strategy Waterfall Example  – Contently

Contently’s template specifically tackles content marketing with its waterfall method and highlights critical questions brands should be asking themselves.

Example of a waterfall marketing plan

14. AddThis Marketing Plan Template

Marketing Plan Template  – AddThis

AddThis gives business owners access to a Google Doc they can duplicate and edit to include their own information.

Example of a pricing strategy template

15. Palo Alto Software Sample Plan

Sample Plan  – Palo Alto Software

Palo Alto automatically creates a default business plan outline for companies that use its software. Owners can drag and drop their own details and ideas into the document.

Example of a sample plan

16. Houghton Mifflin Company Sample Marketing Plan

Sample Marketing Plan  – Houghton Mifflin Company

Houghton Mifflin’s marketing plan walks business owners through the marketing strategy of a hypothetical company to see how they can implement key sections.

Example of a sample marketing plan

17. Smartsheet Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Example  – Smartsheet

Smartsheet’s template is a comprehensive document that business owners can work through in their own time with handy prompts and fillable boxes.

Example of a marketing plan cover page

18. HubSpot Marketing Plan Template Generator

Marketing Plan Template Generator  – HubSpot

HubSpot’s marketing template generator takes business owners through the critical steps involved in creating a successful plan.

Landing page of the marketing plan generator from HubSpot

19. Uber Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Sample  – Uber

This unofficial marketing plan for Uber shows how the rideshare brand could map out its marketing strategies for the year ahead.

Example of an organizational structure

20. Dell Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan of Dell  – Marketing Mixx

Marketing Mixx’s unofficial marketing plan for Dell maps out how the company could increase its market share and maintain positive sales growth.

Example of target markets and industry trends

21. Serena Capital SaaS Marketing Plan Template

SaaS Marketing Plan  – Serena Capital

Serena Capital’s marketing template aims to help SaaS founders build their marketing plan alongside a detailed step-by-step roadmap.

Example of a SaaS marketing plan

22. Smart Insights Digital Marketing Plan Template

Digital Marketing Plan Example  – Smart Insights

Smart Insights offers a downloadable structured plan that business owners can work through to highlight their goals and put action points in place.

Example of a digital marketing plan

23. NerdyMind Sample Internet Marketing Plan

A Sample Internet Marketing Plan  – NerdyMind

NerdyMind has put together a sample marketing plan that outlines what business owners should focus on each month.

Example of an internet marketing plan example

24. Coca-Cola Content 2020 Initiative Strategy Example

Initiative Strategy Example  – Coca-Cola

This illustrated video showcases how Coca-Cola transitioned from an advertising strategy to a content marketing strategy with a detailed plan.

25. Dunkin Donuts Marketing Plan Sample

Marketing Plan Sample  – Dunkin Donuts

In this unofficial marketing plan published by Ivory Research, a marketing researcher lays out an example of how the company could double its number of stores in the U.S.

Example of an executive summary

26. McDonald’s Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Example  – McDonald’s

In this unofficial marketing plan sample published from Ivypanda, business analysts dissect the marketing approach of the global fast-food chain.

Example of a SWOT analysis from McDonald's

27. FedEx Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Example  – FedEx

A business analyst identifies how FedEx could run its marketing to increase awareness and market share in this unofficial marketing plan.

Example of a SWOT analysis from FedEx

28. Adidas Marketing Plan Example

Marketing Plan Sample  – Adidas

In an unofficial marketing plan by IvyPanda, marketers outline a strategy sportswear brand Adidas can use to launch its new product, Adidas Score.

Example from the Adidas Marketing Plan

29. Disruptive Advertising Marketing Plan Sample

Marketing Plan Sample  – Disruptive Advertising

Disruptive’s marketing plan sample walks business owners through a marketing template for a hypothetical business looking to scale its efforts.

Example of a buyer persona

30. Forbes Marketing Plan Template

Marketing Plan Template  – Forbes

Business publisher Forbes has put together a step-by-step guide to creating a successful marketing plan for brands of all sizes.

Example of an online marketing strategy from Forbes

31. Vital Design Marketing Plan Template

Marketing Plan Template  – Vital Design

Vital Design’s marketing plan sample provides access to several marketing templates alongside a guide to creating a successful marketing plan.

Example of a buyers' buying cycle

32. QuickMBA Marketing Plan Outline

Marketing Plan Outline  – QuickMBA

QuickMBA’s marketing plan outline is a simple guide of the necessary sections brands should include in their marketing plan.

Example of a marketing plan outline

33. Nancy And Kivi Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template  – Nancy And Kivi

This marketing plan template provides the key sections a non-profit might need in its marketing plan.

Example of a nonprofit marketing plan template

34. BizAmmo One-Page Marketing Plan Template

One-Page Marketing Plan  – BizAmmo

BizAmmo’s one-pager provides a bite-sized template that brands can use to fill in their information to create a personalized marketing plan.

Example of a one-page marketing plan

35. BusinessTown Sample Multichannel Marketing Plan

Multi-channel Marketing Plan Example  – BusinessTown

BusinessTown’s sample marketing plan helps brands map their strategies for several channels. It includes hints and tips for each section.

Example of a multi-channel marketing plan

36. Chief Outsiders’ Go-To-Market Plan Steps

Go-To-Market Plan Steps   – Chief Outsiders

In this plan, a growth acceleration expert highlights the fundamental steps needed in a marketing plan for a company that’s ready to go to market.

Example of a go-to-marketing plan

37. Lush New Market Marketing Plan Sample

New Market Marketing Plan  – Lush Cosmetics

Lush Cosmetics’ comprehensive marketing plan deep dives into every aspect of the brand as it attempts to grow its customer base in Portugal.

Example of SWOT analysis from Lush

38. Content Marketing Institute One-Page Content Marketing Plan Example

Content Marketing One-Page Plan  – Content Marketing Institute

The Content Marketing Institute simplifies the marketing plan process by walking business owners through creating a one-page plan to fit their needs.

Example from a one-page marketing plan

How Do I Create A Marketing Plan?

Create a marketing plan by first laying out your goals and objectives – what do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Then, identify your audience and the channels you will use, and build a marketing calendar to outline when you’ll execute critical tasks and strategies.

What Are 5 Examples Of Marketing?

Marketing is everywhere. This article  highlights five successful marketing examples and why they work so well.

What Are The 4 Main Components Of A Marketing Plan?

The four main components of a marketing plan are:

There are other elements you can include depending on your aims and the type of business you run. For example, you might include an executive summary, a values matrix, a budget, and your biggest challenges.

What Are The 5 Elements Of A Marketing Plan?

The 5 elements of a marketing plan are:

These are the primary elements that every marketing plan needs, but you can add more information, including budgets, challenges, key stakeholders, and an executive summary.

marketing plan examples in business plan

Marketing Plan Example – Sample Marketing Plan Template

marketing plan example - sample marketing plan template free download

Use this marketing plan example to generate sales for your small business. This document is a sample marketing plan template that will help you create your own strategy quickly. It contains text, charts and graphs to help you model your own plan. You can also download this marketing plan example in Microsoft Word or Google Docs format to edit it and create your own marketing plan.

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Table of Contents

How to Use This Marketing Plan Example

Here’s how to use this sample marketing plan template to generate leads and sales:

Sample Marketing Plan

1.0 executive summary.

Mobile News Games LLC (MNG) develops mobile games relating to current news events. This marketing plan example illustrates our market segments. It also discusses the strategies we are employing to get customers and create a solid revenue stream. We are not just any mobile game developer. Our unique focus on creating games with a new twist gives us an advantage over our competitors by giving customers a new outlet to enjoy mobile games. This fills a real need for traditional gamers. It also expands our reach to people who would normally not play mobile games yet are amused by the comical angle we use.

We will fund development of our own games by providing consulting services to create similar games for corporations who are looking to create mobile games for promotional purposes. These consulting assignments will come from advertising sponsorship relationships. We will market to companies who are interested in embedding their brand and offers inside our games. We will also target those who would like something more custom to offer as their own game. In the first 3 years of the business, we expect consulting to constitute a large portion of our revenue stream. We will attract clients using the top SEO ranking factors and SEO strategies.

Sales By Year

Our vision is to provide people with a brief escape of fun over the course of their normal day. We do this by providing them with timely interactive games that they can access on their mobile devices. We make games that are easy to play and have some connection with current pop culture news.

MNG leverages our team’s software development experience to create timely games quickly. As highlighted in this marketing plan example, our primary challenge is to attract visibility quickly. We intend to accomplish this by leveraging a multi-pronged approach that involves social media, email marketing and search engine optimization strategies to gain market share. As we gain traction in the marketplace, word of mouth will lift our game downloads significantly.

1.2 Objectives

2.0 Target Markets

Our ideal customer is between the ages of 13 and 25 who enjoys playing video games and has a mobile Android or Apple smartphone. They often have an Xbox, Wii, Playstation or other TV-based video game unit at home. They may also have a portable gaming unit such as the DS/DSi and other portable gadgets such as an iPod.

Customers are typically single and male and own or have access to a home computer, PC or Mac. They have a wide range of disposable income. Some are teenagers living at home. Others are college students or those who have joined the workforce in the last 5 years.

Our ideal game design consulting customer is the VP of marketing or equivalent position of a medium to large organization. They are looking for creative promotional methods for their products and services.

plan 183 2

2.1 Market Definition and Segmentation

We target two segments in this sample marketing plan: mobile game users and organizations that want to reach them. In both of these segments, customers are computer and mobile phone savvy and enjoy creative experiences.

1. Mobile Game Users

There are two types of customers that define the demographics of mobile gamers: teens (including pre-teens) and young adults. For the purposes of this marketing plan example, we include teenagers age 18 and above as young adults. The primary difference between the two demographic segments is who provides the money for game purchases.

Free mobile games:

Paid mobile games:

Games are available via instant download on their appropriate mobile platform (i.e., Apple’s Appstore for the iPhone).

2. Organizations That Want to Reach Youth and Young Adults

There is one type of customer who purchases custom mobile game development services: VP of Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer.

Their intent is to promote their brand and products to the demographic that overlaps with mobile game users.

2.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Our strategy in this marketing plan example focuses on developing an initial set of libraries containing game attributes that are combined to create new games. Once we launch our first set of games, we will stay in touch with our customers via social media and email marketing. After creating these libraries and games, we will be able to market fast-turnaround consulting services to organizations who would like their own promotional games.

2.3 Target Market: Mobile Game Users

Our mobile games have a timely connection to current news events. We release new games within two weeks of major news stories. For example, if a politician is involved in a scandal, we can leverage one of our current game architectures and customize it with the names of people involved in the scandal.

We can even make a comical interactive spoof out of events. If a celebrity makes a foolish comment, we can quickly create a game that pokes fun at the celebrity. The mobile game user market enjoys interacting with games that give them a sense of power and excitement, allowing them to live vicariously through the game.

2.3.1 Needs and Requirements

Mobile game users get tired of games quickly and are constantly looking for new games to play. With the plethora of news events always in circulation, we will target the news media. For the purposes of this marketing plan example, the goal here is to get the media to discuss games related to the stories they are covering. Our games relate to stories covered by media outlets who target the same demographic as we do.

The users in this segment also have limited financial capacity. Teens typically get their money to make game purchases from their parents. This money comes from gifts or allowances, or from low paying jobs. Older teens and young adults also have limited financial capacity. Yet they choose to spend part of their disposable income on games as one of their sources of entertainment.

Very frequently, these customers talk to each other about which games they enjoy. These dialogs include strategies for playing and winning. They also participate in online forums and discussion groups to gather tips and other information to help them play or to find new challenges.

Additionally, they enjoy being listed as the “high score” when there is a public setting available for players. We intend to offer this public setting so customers can upload their score to our website for each game. The highest scores will be posted, giving the player worldwide “bragging rights”. As a result, the word of mouth potential for timely games is explosive.

2.3.2 Distribution Channels

iPhone games are distributed through the Appstore which is controlled by Apple. One of the obstacles we have to overcome, as part of our analysis in this marketing plan example, is the speed with which Apple approves applications for downloading. This is important since our games have a time-sensitive nature to them. They will be popular only as long as a news story is in circulation.

Google’s Android offers an open source model. We expect Android usage to surpass the iPhone in the number of applications downloaded. This also eliminates the need for review and allows us to post new applications quickly. As more applications come out for this device, it will gain market share. We want to be positioned so that we provide excellent games for this community.

2.3.3 Competitive Forces

There are many mobile game developers. However, few are actual companies. Most games are developed by one person who does not have the marketing savvy to integrate advertising sponsorships into their games as we have outlined in this sample marketing plan. Our unique twist on the types of games is also an advantage. This means that we will not have to spend as much time and energy thinking of the game themes. The news of the day will provide that fodder so our efforts can be concentrated on developing that real-life story into a game.

2.3.4 Communication Through Social Media

There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that dark social is having a dramatic impact on sales. Dark social refers to the influence on sales from social media posts, whether published by us or by customers who write reviews or participate in online discussions. These activities are difficult to trace, leading attribution tools to be less effective than they were once believed to be.

This marketing plan example will emphasize the use of dark social to attain greater visibility. We will leverage social media and word of mouth for the vast majority of our marketing using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. These platforms are widely used by the customers in our demographic market. We will make announcements via regular posts and updates to our pages on these social platforms.

The newsworthy component of our mobile games also makes it enticing for traditional media to publicize a game that is related to a trending news story.

We will use our email marketing list to send alerts when we release new games. We have segmented our email list so that we can send appropriate emails to media and different ones to actual gamers, our customers.

2.3.5 Keys to Success

There are many benefits of using social media to market our small business. Each of our postings to social media sites will include a trackable link. We need to know how many people click on each post. Using online tools like link redirectors (i.e., bit.ly, tr.im and others), we can also see how many of readers and followers repost or forward such links. We will also include trackable links within our email marketing messages.

Those who click to find more information about a game will be directed to landing pages. These are web pages containing more information about a specific game, including details and links to download the games.

We will optimize these landing pages for search engines (we have SEO, search engine optimization, expertise) so that when Internet users search on various keywords, our pages will rank highly in their search results. Our preferred SEO tool is SEMrush (affiliate link), which provides in-depth keyword discovery , search volume and ranking analysis.

Using online analytics tools, we will be able to see how many people click on various links in our media campaigns to go to the landing pages and how many click to download each game. However, online clicks cannot track users who use their mobile phone to download the apps directly, which may comprise the bulk of our downloads. For those, tracking of downloads is provided by the platform such as Appstore.

2.4 Target Market: Organizations Who Want to Reach Youth and Young Adults

Mobile game users consist of young people. Since the youth and young adult demographic is so large, it is also very lucrative. There are countless products targeting this demographic, from soda manufacturers to clothing designers to hair product companies. This segment can also consist of recruiters, which can be for military service or other jobs. Companies who already spend millions of dollars on marketing to this group are regularly looking for newer, more creative ways to reach this market to reinforce their brand and sell products.

2.4.1 Needs and Requirements

Organizations who want to reach males (and females, though it is a smaller proportion of our defined customer base) between 13 and 25 realize that this group has a lot of spending power. This age group is not yet used to saving money so they typically spend a lot of what they earn. Vice Presidents and Chief Marketing Officers of these organizations want to reach this market early and need to do so in catchy, creative ways. They will understand quickly the value of the educational sales content we intend to create in this marketing plan example.

Much to the dismay of an older generation, teens and young adults are reading less and spending more time in front of a screen, whether it be television, a computer or a mobile phone with a variety of applications. The VP or CMO needs to reach their target market where they hang out. They typically have large budgets to spend on marketing and are not afraid to try new things, as long as they show results.

The typical tenure of a VP or CMO is about 3 years so there is a good deal of industry churn. This is a good thing for us in the sense that when a senior executive like this leaves to go to another company and they have had a good experience with our products and services, they are likely to hire us to create similar results for them in their new position.

Our job is to make them look good to their superiors by getting them more entrenched with the demographic they are trying to reach.

2.4.2 Distribution Channels

Reaching senior marketing executives is typically done through a variety of means. Since we have limited resources and need to manage our finances very effectively, we will focus on two: advertising and networking. The advertising will primarily be online via search engine. This way, we can see the results within days instead of not knowing whether a print ad has any effect.

We have identified 4 trade shows and 3 conferences that these executives typically attend over the course of a year. Part of our marketing plan is to attend these events to network with these potential buyers. We also will submit responses to calls for papers to be speakers at some of the events when possible.

2.4.3 Competitive Forces

As with the mobile game user segment, there are a lot of software developers targeting organizations to build custom games. Some are developing games overseas at lower costs. Even some of the larger domestic companies outsource portions of their game development. In order to keep up with pricing pressures, we have established ties with two overseas organizations to help us with game development. That will enable our domestic staff to focus on marketing and project management. As a result, we can release new games and component libraries faster.

2.4.4 Customer Communications

In order to get these high-level executives, we will develop an online ad campaign with landing pages containing lead generation forms that visitors can fill out to get guides on using mobile gaming to attract customers. These guides explain how we can embed advertising within the games and examples of custom games we develop.

We also will network at major trade shows and conferences. We will get speaking engagements where we can discuss case studies to expose our concepts and strategies to the right level of buyer.

Additionally, we are creating a customer advisory board so that we can hear directly from clients about their experience with our service. This board will consist of 10 customers who will meet confidentially every quarter via Zoom. Our goal is to share our roadmap and solicit candid feedback about their experiences with us. We will also ask for input on new products and services they would like to see, which will help us refine our strategy in this marketing plan example.

2.4.5 Keys to Success

The primary key to success is showcasing studies in which other companies leveraged the power of mobile games to reach their market. We track this using metrics such as the number of times a gamer clicks on an ad embedded into a game, the number of custom game downloads or an increase in sales of a promoted product. We can also track success  by industry buzz.

For example, several years ago fast food chain Burger King created a Facebook application that allowed users to earn points for “unfriending” one of their friends. The application would show the image of the friend burning. Upon burning 10 friends, the user would be entitled to a free burger. Word of this application spread very quickly and quite a few Facebook users enjoyed participating.

This marketing campaign did two things: generated traffic into restaurants and generated a tremendous amount of media buzz. It cost significantly less than a paid advertising campaign involving television time purchases.

3.0 Marketing Plan Strategy

Gamers like to share notes with other gamers. On our website, we will create a forum where people can post and respond to comments freely. We will also encourage them to provide suggestions for new games.

Forums will require registration and users who post more frequently will be rewarded with a special tag, a gold star, next to their avatar to show other users that they are a “super contributor” to the forums. For our demographic, this is a badge of honor that they try to attain proudly.

3.1 Emphasize Creativity, Service and Speed to Market

Since our games will be tied to current news events, we will emphasize our focus on creativity along with spectacular service and speed of development for our consulting clients. It is important for us to get to market quickly in order to capitalize on the news event that is associated with the game. An important note in this marketing plan example is that the longer the delay between game conception and game release, the less the penetration of that game.

3.2 Emphasize Fun

Our goal is to establish a reputation for games that poke fun at what many would consider humorous or ridiculous actions by well-known people. In order to cross-promote our games, each game will contain a link to our website. It will also offer an option to view the same information within the app itself. This allows users can find out about more games and subscribe to our email list and follow us on social media.

Additionally, to help promote games via word of mouth, each game has the option to notify a friend. So, a user can send a text message to a friend instantly to share their excitement or recommendation about the game.

4.0 Expense Budget Summary

Marketing expenses are mostly for staff required to do the marketing activities listed. Most of the tools we need, like analytics and landing page creation, are inexpensive. The exceptions to this are for specific tools like email marketing and forums.

4.1 Expense Budget by Month – Year 1

We do not expect an increase in marketing staff requirements during the first year. One person can actually do a lot of these activities. Once they have put marketing plan processes in place, the marketing activities upkeep becomes easier. Junior staff can then handle it. Below is a breakdown of marketing expenses by month for year 1.

Monthly Expense Budget

4.2 Expense Budget by Year

We anticipate second and third year marketing expenses to increase. This is mostly for covering the cost of additional staff for marketing activities. We expect sales and marketing expenses to be around 15% of total sales.

Annual Expense Budget

Table: Marketing Expense Budget

plan 183 6

5.0 Marketing Plan Example – Sales Forecast

In this marketing plan example, our sales will come from three sources:

Sales costs relate to the fees charged by our channel partners for carrying the games, such as Appstore. This marketing plan example also includes our estimated costs for staff to sell ad sponsorships or develop custom games.

plan 183 7

5.1 Sales Forecast by Month – Year 1

Below is our first year’s sales forecast broken down by product type, estimated unit pricing and costs:

plan 183 8

6.0 Progress Measurement and Monitoring

In order to make sure that we are on track, we have created a variety of key metrics for this marketing plan example. These may require adjustments and fine tuning as we progress. They are our best estimates based on currently available market research.

6.1 Key Marketing Metrics

We estimate that 1 of every 10 people who visit the landing page will download a game. Other metrics include the average sale price. In this marketing plan example, we estimate these numbers based on paid downloads as well as sales of advertising sponsorships and custom game development.

Table: Key Marketing Metrics

plan 183 9

Below is a breakdown of key marketing metrics measured by month for year 1:

sample marketing plan - key metrics

6.2 Other Marketing Plan Example Success Metrics

Other key metrics we will measure to monitor our success are as follows:

plan 183 11

In order to monitor our growth, we will track the number of followers on our social media accounts. Below is a breakdown of other success metrics by month for year 1:

marketing plan example - success metrics

7.0 Marketing Plan Organization

Even though Mobile News Games is a small company, we have high aspirations as this marketing plan example shows. Our management team is two unique individuals who have a solid background in mobile communications and marketing. Our team of local and international software development staff can launch many unique mobile games quickly.

Bill Philips, President, oversees the general management, including game development, of MNG. Prior to forming the company, he was Vice President of Products at a major wireless telecommunications provider for 5 years. He is also a member of the Mobile Marketing Association.

Donna Paster, VP Marketing, is responsible for all areas of marketing. She co-founded MNG with Bill Philips. Donna’s prior experience includes developing the key marketing plan that launched several mobile versions of games for a large video game producer. Donna will be assisted by 2 marketing interns hired from local universities as co-op students throughout the year. While Donna focuses on the key strategic relationships, these students will handle the more routine aspects of the marketing efforts.

Additional Marketing Plan Examples

Advice for Sample Marketing Plan Template

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How to create a winning marketing plan (with examples)

Molly Talbert contributor headshot

A marketing plan allows organizations to clearly visualize their marketing strategies through every channel. Leveraging your marketing plan with the right tools can be instrumental in seeing your marketing goals come to life. Learn the eight steps for creating a successful marketing plan and see some examples of marketing plans from world-class teams.

Marketing is essential to any business, and there are many benefits that come from it. For starters, marketing strengthens brand awareness, educates customers, and impacts your bottom line. 

quotation mark

Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.”

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines the different strategies a team will use to achieve organizational objectives. Rather than focusing on solely the end goal, a marketing plan maps out all of the steps you need to reach your destination. 

If you’re a marketer, you know that there’s never a shortage of great ideas and things to do when it comes to marketing. With a marketing plan, you’ll be given a framework to help you and your team effectively prioritize work—and then get that work done. Some elements of marketing plans include:

Current business plan

Business goals

Mission statement  

Target customers 

Audience personas 

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Competitive analysis 

Marketing budget  

Current marketing mix

What is the purpose of a marketing plan?

The purpose of a marketing plan is to grow the company’s consumer base and strengthen its brand while aligning with the organization’s mission and vision . The plan should analyze the competitive landscape and industry trends and then offer actionable insights that can create a competitive advantage. 

By documenting the steps of each strategy, you can see how your campaigns will work together in an organized way. 

Marketing plan vs. marketing strategy

A marketing plan contains different marketing strategies across different channels that work together to reach the company’s overarching marketing goals. 

For example, imagine you’re about to launch a new software product and the goal of your marketing plan is to drive downloads. Your marketing plan could include marketing strategies like creating top-of-funnel blog content and launching a social media campaign. 

How to write a marketing plan in eight steps

What does a marketing plan look like and how do you build one? If it's your first time building a marketing plan, follow these eight steps for success:

[inline illustration] marketing plan (infographic)

1. Set a clear marketing strategy

No matter what type of marketing plan you need to create, in order to first determine your marketing strategy, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

First, do I have the resources I need?

What is the vision?

What is the value?

What is the goal?

Who is my audience?

What are my channels?

What is the timeline?

Example: Imagine you’re creating a marketing strategy for a new blog. Go through the questions above to ensure you’re ready to move forward with the plan: 

Yes. The team has 15% more money than the budget required and we’re fully staffed.

To create a blog presence around certain SEO topics and increase the amount of organic web visits.

Websites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages, thus bringing in more traffic and higher leads.

To drive more web traffic and increase awareness through high quality blog content.

VP of Sales working in the healthcare industry for companies with more than 10,000 employees.

Pro tip: One of the most important things to do as you create your marketing strategy is to identify your target audience . As with all marketing, you need to know who you’re marketing to. If you’re having a hard time determining who exactly your target audience is, try the Bullseye targeting framework . The Bullseye makes it easy for you to determine who your target audience is by industry, geography, company size, psychographics, and more.

Main channel will be the blog. Supporting channels include the website, email, digital ads, and social media.

Second quarter of the fiscal year (April 1-June 30).

2. Define key metrics for success 

Now that you’ve got your marketing strategy set, it’s time to define what your key marketing metrics will be. Your key metrics will help you measure and track the performance of your marketing activities. They’ll also help you understand how your efforts tie back to your larger objective.

Example: Say your goal is to increase marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Therefore, MQLs will be your key metric. You’ll then want to determine how many MQLs you need for this plan to be successful and how many MQLs you expect each marketing activity to generate. 

3. Research your competition 

It’s easy to get caught up in your company’s world, but it is critical that you take the time to step outside and into your competitors’ worlds. There’s a lot of value behind understanding your competitors . Knowing how they market themselves will help you find opportunities to make your company stand out.

Make sure you’re not duplicating your competitors’ efforts. If you discover a competitor has already executed your idea to a T, then it might be time to go back to the drawing board and brainstorm new ways to differentiate yourself.  By looking at your competitors, you might be surprised at the type of inspiration you’ll find and opportunities to differentiate yourself.

Example: If your competitor launches a social media campaign identical to what you had planned, go back to the drawing board and see how you can build off their campaign. Ask yourself: How can we differentiate our campaign while still getting our message across? What are the weaknesses of their campaign that we can capitalize on? What angles did they not approach?

4. Integrate your marketing efforts

The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”

Now, here is where the fun comes in. Let’s dive into the different components that go into building a successful marketing plan. You’ll want to make sure your marketing plan includes multiple supporting activities that all add up into a powerful marketing machine. Some marketing plan components include: 

Lead generation

Social media

Product marketing

Public relations

Analyst relations

Customer marketing

Conversational marketing

Knowing where your consumer base spends the most time is significant for nailing this step. You need to have a solid understanding of your target audience before integrating your marketing efforts. 

Example: If your target audience is executives that spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, focus your social media strategy around placing branded content on LinkedIn. 

5. Differentiate with creative content

Did you know that 49% of marketers say visual images are hugely important to their content strategy? Having a clear brand and creative strategy is a huge part of every great marketing plan. When defining your creative strategy, think about your audience—what you want them to feel, think, and do when they see your marketing.

Will your audience find your creative work relevant? If your audience can’t relate to your creative work, they won’t feel connected to the story you’re trying to tell. Think outside the box and find innovative ways to engage your audience, whether through video, animations, or interactive graphics. Know what screens your creative work will live on, whether desktop, mobile, or tablet, and make sure they display beautifully and load quickly across every type of device. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the creative process, so it’s important to never lose sight of what your intentions are: to get your audience to take action. Always find the best way to display strong Calls to Action (CTAs) in your creative work. We live in a visual world; make sure your creative content counts.

Once you’ve established a strong creative strategy, the next step is to bring your strategy to life in the production stage. It’s vital to set up a strong framework for your creative production process to eliminate any unnecessary back and forth and potential bottlenecks. Consider establishing creative request forms, streamlining feedback and approval processes, and taking advantage of integrations that might make your designers’ lives easier.

Example: If your brand is fun and approachable, make sure that shows in your creative efforts. Create designs and CTAs that spark joy, offer entertainment, and alleviate the pressure in choosing a partner.

6. Operationalize your marketing plan

It isn’t just creation and promotion; it is process as well. I think that’s what a lot of people forget.”

We’ve all been there. Teams have built well-thought-out plans that never see the light of day. Don’t let this scenario be you. Building a marketing plan requires a lot of attention and time; you need to make sure it doesn’t end up collecting dust on the shelf.

This particular step is key: operationalize your plan. It’s important to get the gears moving on your marketing plan and move full speed ahead while momentum is strong. The first step to operationalizing your marketing plan is by housing its entirety in one place. A robust work management tool can help you accomplish this.

With the right work management tool, you can map out major themes for the year and set time frames or OKRs for every marketing activity. You’re able to mark major milestones and view your entire marketing plan according to your preference, whether it’s in a Gantt chart, calendar, or Kanban board view. The right tool also makes it easy to quickly loop in stakeholders with status updates so they’re always up to date on progress. This is extremely important if you have a global team to ensure efforts aren’t being duplicated.

With everything housed in one spot, you can easily track your entire marketing plan and make sure you always have something lined up to talk to your market about. Building a marketing plan is one thing, but how you operationalize it can be your secret to standout marketing.

Example: If your strategy is to increase MQLs, you can set OKRs to ensure you put your goals into action. A sample OKR could state: “We will double MQLs as measured by the amount of organic traffic to our blog.”

7. Get the right tech

Instead of using technology to automate processes, think about using technology to enhance human interaction.”

Equip your marketing team with powerful technology so they can do their jobs seamlessly. Marketing technology (martech) continues to take center stage and you don’t want to fall behind. 82% of organizations claimed to be making changes to their martech to improve performance in 2022. 

We live in a digital world with increasingly dispersed teams and you should take advantage of all the tools that come with it.

Example: Imagine you’re looking to increase email outreach while not straining your team’s bandwidth. Invest in an email marketing platform that automates outreach and helps to identify and reach your target audience. 

8. Measure performance

Given that over 75% of marketers are analyzing how their campaigns affect revenue, it’s no surprise that measuring performance is necessary. You established your key metrics in step two, and now it’s time to track and report on them in step eight.

Periodically measure your marketing efforts to find areas of improvement so you can optimize in real time. There are always lessons to be taught when looking at data. You can discover trends as well as detect what initiatives performed well and what didn’t. You can apply these learnings to your next marketing plan for improved results. 

Example: Say you discover that long-form content is consistently bringing in 400% more page views than short-form content. As a result, you’ll want to focus on producing more long-form content in your next marketing plan.

Types of marketing plans 

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, what your timeline is, or which facet of marketing you’re driving, you’ll create a different type of marketing plan. Some different types of marketing plans include, but aren’t limited to:

[Inline illustration] Types of marketing plan (infographic)

General marketing plan 

A general marketing plan is typically an annual or quarterly marketing plan that details the overarching marketing strategies for the period. 

Typically, this type of marketing plan outlines marketing goals, the company’s mission, buyer personas, unique selling propositions, and more. The general marketing plan lays the foundation for the other marketing plans that an organization may employ. 

Content marketing plan

A content marketing plan outlines the different content strategies and campaigns that you’ll use to promote your product or service. When putting together a content marketing plan, ask yourself:

Who’s our audience? 

What topics are they interested in?

What channels do they consume content through?

Use market research tools to get the best insights into what topics your target audience is most interested in. 

SEO marketing plan

Your SEO marketing plan should work directly alongside your content marketing plan as you chart content that’s designed to rank in search results. While your content marketing plan should include all types of content, your SEO marketing plan will cover the top-of-funnel content that drives new users to your site. 

Planning search engine-friendly content is only one step in your SEO marketing plan. You’ll also need to include link-building and technical aspects in order to ensure your site and content are as optimized as possible.

Paid marketing plan

This plan includes all the paid strategies in your marketing plan, like:


Paid social media advertising

Native advertising 

Display advertising 

It’s especially important to do audience research prior to launching your paid marketing plan to ensure you’re maximizing ROI. Consult with content strategists to ensure your ads align with your buyer personas so you know you’re showing ads to the right people. 

Social media marketing plan

This plan will highlight the marketing strategies that you plan to accomplish on social media. Like in any general or digital marketing plan , your social media strategy should identify your ideal customer base and determine how they engage on different social channels. From there, you can cater your social media content to your target audience.  

Your social media plan should detail the marketing tactics you’ll use to reach your audience on social media as well as key success metrics. Some success metrics on social media could include:

Reaching 50,000 followers on Twitter 

Getting 1,000 weekly mentions on Instagram 

Getting 500 profile shares on Facebook 

These will change depending on who your target market is. However, no matter what channel you’re tracking, use SMART goals to gauge social media milestones. 

Product launch marketing plan

If you’re launching a new product , you’ll need a specific marketing plan tailored to build excitement about the launch. 

Product launch marketing templates can have unintended effects that create buzz around older products or services. Nailing your product launch marketing plan can reinforce your overall brand and fast-track your general marketing plan.

Marketing plan examples from world-class teams

The best brands in the world bring their marketing plans to life every day. If you’re looking for some examples of how to execute your next marketing plan, check out some sample marketing plans from successful marketing teams.

Redshift by Autodesk consistently grows content by 30% year over year 

Autodesk creates software that helps people imagine, design, and make a better world. The Autodesk team launched Redshift, its premier owned-media site, and scaled content production to support seven additional languages. 

By standardizing their content production workflow and centralizing all content conversations in one place, the editorial team is able to publish 2X more content monthly. Learn more about how Autodesk runs a well-oiled content machine by reading the Redshift by Autodesk case study .

Sony Music increases creative production capacity by 4X

The marketing and creative production teams in the Legacy Recordings catalog division at Sony Music are responsible for promoting 100+ years of music. With all creative production and approvals centralized in one project that’s connected to the campaign team’s calendar, creative needs, and due dates are clear. By standardizing processes, the team has reduced campaign production time by 75%. Learn more about how Sony Music scaled their creative production process by reading the Sony Music Case Study .

Trinny London perfects new customer acquisition 

In consumer industries, social media is crucial for building a community of people who feel an affinity with the brand—and Trinny London is no exception. As such, it was imperative that Trinny London’s ad spend was targeted to the correct audience. Using a work management tool, Trinny London was able to nail the process of creating, testing, and implementing ads on multiple social channels.

With the help of a centralized tool, Trinny London improved its ad spend and drove more likes and subscriptions on its YouTube page. Learn more about how Trinny London capitalized on paid advertising and social media by reading the Trinny London Case Study . 

Use a marketing plan template to get started

Are you looking for a marketing plan template? Once you’ve created your marketing strategy and are ready to operationalize your marketing plan, get started with one of our marketing templates . 

Our marketing templates can help you manage and track every aspect of your marketing plan, from creative requests to approval workflows. Centralize your entire marketing plan in one place, customize the roadmap, assign tasks, and build a timeline or calendar. 

Once you’ve operationalized your entire marketing plan with one of our templates, share it with your stakeholders so everyone can work together in the same tool. Your entire team will feel connected to the marketing plan, know what to prioritize, and see how their work contributes to the project objectives . Choose the best marketing template for your team:

Marketing project plan template

Marketing campaign plan template

Product marketing launch template

Editorial calendar template

Agency collaboration template

Creative requests template

Event planning template

GTM strategy template

Turn your marketing plan into marketing success 

A great marketing plan strengthens team alignment, improves organization, and keeps all your marketing activities on track. Now that we’ve walked through how to develop a marketing plan together, we hope you feel better equipped for success. With our eight steps and free templates, you’re one step closer to creating your most successful marketing plan yet.

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The Ultimate Marketing Plan Template (+ 7 Useful Examples)

Guest blog from our friends at Filestage .

“Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.”  – David Ogilvy

A great product is the foundation of a company’s success. This truism doesn’t even need to be discussed. However, a great product is not the holy grail.

If it has bad or nonexistent marketing, it can fail as well. Hence, it’s crucial to have a solid marketing plan in place, which will precisely outline how you’re going to make your millions.

Marketing Plan Definition

A marketing plan is a document that details how you’re going to execute your strategy. It’s written for a specific period of time and explains both your current situation and your future plans.

A good marketing plan includes several elements:

Executive Summary

Mission statement, situation analysis, target market, buyer personas, marketing objectives and performance, pricing strategy.

How to Write a Marketing Plan

The list of elements involved in a marketing plan may sound quite comprehensive, but writing a plan doesn’t need to be difficult. Of course, it comes with some effort, but doing it step-by-step will help you master this challenge. To get started, use our marketing plan template. This document will guide you through the process. But first, let’s dive into the different elements of a marketing plan, and figure out how to outline them.

Elements of a Marketing Plan

The executive summary is a small, summarized version of your marketing plan. The main objective is it to briefly list and describe all relevant components. Keep in mind that most executives who’ll read your marketing plan won’t have the time to read the full document. Therefore, you need to make sure that they’re immediately getting the full picture.

Your mission statement should describe your marketing activities on a meta level. Hence, you need to answer these basic business questions:

All of your business activities should be based on your mission statement. When you start wondering if you’re still heading in the right direction, use this statement to double-check your approach.

Here are some examples of great mission statements:


This analysis covers these elements:


What market is your product or service trying to target? Is it a B2B market or a consumer market?

The target market includes the industries that you sell your product or service to. It should be as detailed as possible, and it’s the foundation for any marketing activities. Without properly targeting, you won’t be able to successfully run a marketing campaign.

So what do you need to know about your target market? Get started by answering these questions:

You’ve defined your target market. That’s great, but now we need to dive deeper into this market, to find out who will actually buy your product or service. So now is the time to create your buyer personas. This process involves pinpointing which people work in your target markets, and which ones represent segments of your customer base.

You’ll need to define these customer archetypes in a very detailed way. That way, you’ll be able to make informed marketing decisions. But what attributes should you describe? You can easily use our buyer persona template to pinpoint your first personas.

In general, a buyer persona should cover these points:

This part of the marketing plan is about setting ambitious but achievable goals, and defining how you’ll track your performance during the described period. You can use our SMART goals template to make sure that you’re setting the right objectives.


Here’s an example of a good marketing objective:

To generate 250 qualified marketing leads, our marketing team will create 20 blog posts by September 1, 2018.

Set your prices, and align them with your marketing strategies. This strategy is key to generating profits; it will decide the success or failure of your products or services.

Generally, you have five options for defining your pricing strategy:


Distribution Plan

The distribution plan explains how you’ll deliver your product or service. If you’re offering online software, your product could be distributed through your website. If you’re running a local clothes shop, you distribute your products through your shop. So you see, the distribution channel needs to be aligned with your product. Hence, you need to answer the following questions:

For example, our software Filestage can be only accessed through our website (e. g. by starting a free trial). This is our only and most important distribution channel.


(Image Source: Filestage )

Promotional Plan

After defining your distribution channel(s), it’s time to make sure that you really need to deliver your product or service. First of all, you need to define the message that should be conveyed to your buyer personas. Afterwards, let’s look at suitable promotion channels that can be used to acquire new customers. Obviously, they should be channels you can find your buyer personas in. But the range of possibilities still seems to be endless.

How can we choose the right channels for our business? As a foundation, I refer to the amazing book Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares.

In this book, both authors outline the most important existing marketing channels that can be used to spread the word about your product, and drive your customer’s acquisition efforts:

I know that list is comprehensive. It might seem overwhelming to choose the items that are most suitable for your business. But Weinberg and Mares also provide a framework that helps with this challenge: The Bullseye Framework .

By using this framework, you can find and choose your appropriate channels step-by-step. Make sure that you’re describing your planned marketing activities for each channel in detail. Don’t just write down “Create Facebook Ads.” Instead, answer relevant “W Questions”:

By answering these questions, you will help consolidate your promotional channels, and make sure you’re choosing the right tactics.

Budgeting your marketing activities can be tough, since it involves a lot of different elements. There are two suitable ways to get started:

If your marketing plan from last year doesn’t really distinguish from this year’s plan, the first option is definitely a possible route. Is this your first year, or is it difficult to compare your new plan with last year’s plan? Go with option two. It’s more effort, but it will ensure that you’re creating a reliable forecast. This projection allows you to calculate a potential ROI, and gives you a reason to pursue your plan.

When creating the budget plan, you should consider all costs of your distribution and promotional plans. List these elements one by one, and assign spendings. Don’t forget to include the working hours of your coworkers.

Marketing Plan Google Doc Template


Now, it’s time to get started. Get access to your marketing plan template as Google Doc file. No registration needed. You only need to copy it.

Marketing Plan PDF Template

If you prefer a PDF version of the marketing plan template, you can download it here .

Marketing Plan Word Template

Word users, of course, we’ve got you covered. The marketing plan template as Word file can be downloaded here .

6 Examples of a Marketing Plan

To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve compiled a list of 5 inspiring marketing plans. Analyze them, learn from them and apply this knowledge to your own marketing plan. Let’s get started.

A marketing plan is the foundation for your marketing activities. Spend time on creating a decent plan. You’ll benefit from your initial effort in the future. Have I missed relevant marketing plan elements or useful marketing plan samples? Let me know about it in the comments.

Last modified:  August 28th, 2019

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What is a Marketing Plan, How to Write One & 5 Great Examples

man against whiteboard

What is a marketing plan?

Types of marketing plans, marketing plans vs. marketing strategies , what does a marketing plan look like , how to write a marking plan, marketing plan examples, a living document.

Effective marketing is arguably the most critical component of any thriving business. It’s what attracts potential customers to your brand, gets your name and products into the wider world, and how you’ll be remembered over time.

And, as with any other important business decision, marketing is not something you should just do . It’s vital to have a detailed marketing plan any time you want to build brand awareness, promote a product, or simply maintain relationships.

But if you’ve never had to create a strategic marketing plan template, knowing where to start can pose a challenge to even the most shrewd business person. From building buyer personas to completing your company SWOT analysis, we’re here to help you learn how to write an effective marketing plan that you can use to improve your digital and content marketing and take your company to the next level.


Before we get sucked into how to write a marketing plan, it’s worth taking some time to establish a marketing plan definition. After all, if you’re not sure what a marketing plan is, you’re never going to be able to write a great one!

In simple terms, a marketing plan is pretty much what it says on the tin – it’s a plan for what, when, where, why, and how your marketing is going to look over a set time period.

In other words, a marketing plan is like a road map for all your digital marketing efforts. They will contain a timeline, targets, and KPIs to help you figure out precisely how your marketing matches your business mission and specific goals.

Marketing plans are also invaluable for keeping your company on track, with measurable targets to let you see how each campaign is performing.

But while an effective content marketing strategy might be essential, it doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, many sample marketing plans are straightforward word documents containing all the necessary executive summary information and detailed roadmaps. 


So, now we know that a marketing plan should act as a road map for where you want your marketing team to take your company; it’s time to dig a little deeper into the types of marketing templates you can create.

There are all sorts of different ways you can design a digital marketing plan, and the right one for you will depend on what you’re hoping to achieve. That said, you’re unlikely to need just one type of plan. The best marketing team will have several sample marketing strategy plans active at any one time.

You can do it too.

Some of the most common types of marketing plans include:

Keep in mind, none of these should be confused with a content marketing strategy . A marketing strategy is different from a strategic marketing plan.


So far, we’ve only looked at what a marketing plan is and how it can help your marketing team establish goals and plans of action. However, many people get confused between strategic marketing plans and marketing strategies (understandably).

While a marketing plan is designed to overview the marketing your company plans on undertaking over a set time period, a marketing strategy is more detailed and focuses on the individual campaigns.

In other words, a marketing plan should contain several marketing strategies.

As an example… If your brand plans to release a new product, your marketing plan will cover how you’ll introduce the product to your target market, which distribution channel you’ll use, your tone of voice, and much more.

Within this overarching plan, you’ll also have several content marketing strategies. For example, you will likely have an Instagram campaign strategy to highlight how your new product will be promoted on this specific marketing channel. You might also have an email marketing strategy that incorporates different marketing objectives to the campaign you’re running on Instagram.

You should now be able to determine the difference between a marketing plan (introducing the new product to the market) and a marketing strategy (focusing on the specifics).

There are very few hard-and-fast rules as to what a marketing plan has to look like, and marketing plan examples can be pretty wide-ranging in appearance, from word documents to slide shows and everything in between. You could even create a video.

But although marketing plans can look incredibly different, they will always contain a detailed executive summary covering all the key aspects and marketing objectives.

Most marketing teams produce plans that contain the seven “Ps” of marketing. These were initially the “ Four Ps ,” but they’ve been expanded on over time to allow businesses to draft more comprehensive plans. 

unsplash markers stickers planning

Your “product” doesn’t actually have to be a physical product; it’s just whatever you’re looking to promote with your content marketing strategy. You will need to clearly define the “product,” including why it’s important and what effect it will have on potential customers and their lives. You should also include the unique selling proposition ( USP ) of the “product.” 

Obviously, the “price” section should include the price you’re charging for the “product” and any promotional discounts applicable. But this should also cover aspects such as profit margins, a marketing budget, supply and demand, and anything else that might affect your pricing strategy. Whether you have a huge budget or are looking for low-cost marketing options, you should be sure to cover this as part of your pricing strategy.

Keep in mind that your audience might not be shopping for your “product” when they come across your advertising. Therefore, you need to consider where your target audience spends their time and be sure to focus your marketing efforts on those locations. For many companies, this location will be social media. Email can also be an effective way to get your marketing in the right place at the right time. Use social media marketing statistics and buyer personas to help establish where your target market spends their time online and offline. 

4. Promotion

Chances are, this “P” is what your marketing plan is all about… Building brand awareness and/or promoting your products and services to your target audience. This “P” will include elements such as advertising (paid or unpaid), social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, and more. You should also be sure to consider any offline promotional activities (for example, billboards and other IRL advertising ) and consider how it all fits into your overall marketing objectives. 

All the other “Ps” are irrelevant if you don’t clearly define the people you’re marketing to. This includes building detailed buyer personas, figuring out touchpoints, and reducing any friction or pain points your target market might be experiencing. “People” can also go further than this and consider your employees and team members. For example, the fifth “P” might cover who is responsible for which distribution channel, who’s writing what blog posts, and more. It could also involve ensuring your teams are treated with respect.

The “process” of your marketing plan looks at the how of the task. This should include what research your marketing team still needs to undertake, which distribution channels you’ll be focusing on, the frequency of your posts, etc. It could even include a timeline to success, with measurable SMART goals you can check on throughout your campaigns.

7. Physical evidence

The final “P” is “physical evidence,” which should incorporate all the research you’ve compiled before crafting your marketing plan. This should include any insights into your competitors, a SWOT analysis (which we’ll cover in more detail shortly), information on how you created your buyer personas, and any other relevant “evidence” to support your plan. Effectively, it’s the why of the marketing plan… As in, why should this plan be followed? If any research is missing, you should also include why it’s not been included and where it will be completed in the subset marketing strategies.

Although the seven “Ps” of marketing are vital to your marketing plan template, they don’t quite tell you how to write a marketing plan. For this, we’ll need to go into a bit more detail about the critical aspects of your plan and some of the other things you need to include.

rubix cube

1. Confirm your business mission statement

When drafting your marketing plan, the first thing you should do is write an executive summary about your company mission and overarching goals. You’ll need to have an established mission statement that defines your brand’s core function, purpose, and goals to achieve this. 

Once you’ve established your business mission statement, you can use this to lead your marketing missions and ensure every aspect of your brand is on the same page.

While you’re evaluating the business, it’s also a good idea to complete a SWOT analysis. This stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that face your business and need to be considered as part of any advertising campaign. It’s always a good idea to complete a SWOT analysis early on in your marketing plan research. This helps you be as unbiased as possible and gives a clearer view of the company’s current situation. 

2. Determine the KPIs

Just like a roadmap will include signposts that you can use to track your progress to the final destination, a good marketing plan proposal should also include SMART goals and KPIs that you can use to monitor your progress.

A few examples of marketing plan KPIs might include tracking website visits with organic page views, likes on a social media post, or the number of followers you’re gaining. These are clear, quantitative marks you can use to monitor your progress.

When determining your KPIs and goals, it’s also essential to establish a baseline to compare the business when you started the campaign and how your advertising has helped the company grow and/or reach its targets. 

3. Identify your buyer personas.

It’s vital to include a buyer persona, audience persona, or user persona in your marketing plan outline. This effectively takes us back to the fifth “P” and provides detailed information on who your audience is likely to be.  

As defined by Hubspot , an audience persona should be “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers… The more detailed you are, the better.” 

Personas should include everything you can possibly know about your customer base and target market. You should incorporate demographics including age, location, education, work, where they hang out online, what their media consumption habits are like, what their needs are, their biggest pain points, what they’re passionate about, and more.

You can find this information by researching your target market and current users, then compile it to build a few personas that your marketing team can relate to. You might even find it helpful to add pictures and names to make the personas more realistic.


4. Set your content initiatives and strategies

In this section of your marketing plan outline, you’ll be looking at the main points of your plan to create an executive summary of what, how, and when you’re going to be advertising.

This is also where you’ll figure out what types of content will be covered by the plan and which distribution channels you’ll use to get the word out.

To complete this section, ask yourself the following questions:

5. Define any aspects that will not be focused on in your plan

In step four, we looked at what your content plan will cover, but it can also be highly beneficial to consider anything excluded from the plan.

For example, in this sample marketing strategy from Venngage , the business clearly defines its mission to provide “inspiration, information, and cultural immersion for runners ,” but explicitly excludes “weight-trainers, bodybuilders, powerlifters, and so on” from the mission statement. 

Venngage runners not weight-lifters

Just like in this example, it’s essential to keep in mind that you can’t please everyone all the time, and it’s okay to specify what the marketing team can leave out.

6. Specify your marketing budget

As with anything, writing a marketing plan also means ensuring your expenses are covered. A pricing strategy is essential as part of any marketing plan proposal, and you must be sure to specify where and how much money can be spent as part of a detailed budget.

This shouldn’t just include a marketing strategy for things like paid-for advertising, however. You can also use this section to cover other costs such as freelancers, sponsorships, or other expenses that may come up throughout your campaign(s).

7. Identify the competition

No situation analysis would be complete without identifying and analyzing your competitors. This research is two-fold:

Competitor research is also valuable when it comes to search engine optimization. With Google Ads, highly competitive keywords are likely to be more expensive to gain a ranking position, and you may be better off going for a less competitive phrase. Similarly with social media, if a key competitor company is dominating a particular platform or hashtag , you might want to consider varying yours, focusing elsewhere, or boosting your marketing strategy in this area to compete. 

a girl spy

It’s worth putting a relatively broad scope onto your competitor research, as your key competitors might not even be in the same industry. We love the quote from the CEO of Netflix explaining, “sleep is our competition.” 

8. Outline who’s working on the plan and their responsibilities

Even the clearest, most thorough, and complete marketing plan example is useless if your team doesn’t know who should be working on what. As part of the brainstorming, you should have established a clear idea of who will be working on each project and have individual goals and KPIs to keep everyone on track.

Knowing how to create a marketing plan and some key components that should go into one are only half the battle… You still need to actually compile the information and create a marketing plan proposal that will wow the powers that be.

To give you some inspiration for your next business and marketing plan template, take a look at some of the best sample marketing plan examples we’ve found. These will show you how your proposals could look in the real world and help you see how the various categories relate to one another to create a thorough marketing plan proposal that your company can get behind:

1. Contently content strategy waterfall 

Although this is more of a simple marketing plan template than a complete business example, Contently’s content strategy waterfall is frequently considered one of the best marketing campaigns templates out there. 

Contently strategy waterfall

The straightforward design of this one-page marketing plan provides a clear workflow that users can follow, with extra bullet points to expand on the various categories included.

You can use this business and marketing plan template to provide guidance on how to compose your next market plan proposal and ensure you cover all the marketing plan steps necessary to wow.

2. Lush marketing plan

This marketing plan example by Lush provides an excellent illustration of how your company’s mission statement and tone of voice can be used even with internal publications. 

Lush egg matrix

The plan itself is presented as a magazine, and anyone familiar with the brand will instantly recognize the bespoke branding and style of the publication.

In terms of actual content, Lush’s marketing plan contains details on market segmentation, SWOT analysis, packaging, and the overall retail experience customers expect from the brand. It also highlights the brand’s mission statement, vision, and values and how these connect to their customers. There’s virtually nothing missing from this example.

3. Coca-Cola Content 2020 Initiative

This content marketing strategy plan was released by one of the most well-known brands globally, with a huge market share.

The strategic marketing plan the marketing team has produced here a little unusual in that it takes the form of an 18-minute video, but this powerful brand has done a great job of ensuring every second is engaging and relevant, and there’s even a surprise at the end!

The video format for this plan works well as there’s a firm focus on storytelling and creating conversations and provides a valuable insight into the massive world of content marketing that Coca-Cola encompasses. We highly recommend you take a look at this rare treat.

4. Naperville Park District comprehensive marketing plan example

This 79-page digital marketing plan from Naperville Park District is probably the most comprehensive marketing plan example on our list. 

Naperville Park District

Leaving literally no stone unturned, Naperville has dubbed this plan “a living document,” and has made their intention to continuously update and review the plan over the next five years incredibly clear.

Because the plan spans such a long time, you can expect it to be a comprehensive guide covering everything from the business mission statement to public relations to marketing budget and pricing strategy challenges.

5. Starbucks one-page marketing plan example

Starbucks is known for its consistent branding and strong social media presence, but this one-page marketing plan example from the business is surprisingly concise. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this short and sweet marketing plan has left anything out…

Starbucks-marketing-plan-example - Stolen from Venngage

This comprehensive guide contains clear and easily organized categories, simple bullet points, and a straightforward one-page design that makes everything simple at first glance. There’s nothing that we can see missing from this marketing plan example, and it’s a great illustration of how you don’t need 79 pages of information to create an effective marketing plan. 

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking their marketing plans and strategies should be one-off documents that don’t need to be altered. But this is wrong. Your strategy shouldn’t be completed and put in a draw. It should be constantly reviewed and revised to keep up with the needs of your business, changing customer appetites, etc.

While a business marketing plan and strategy will give you guidelines of where you should be and when, it cannot predict the future.

The best companies know that the only way to consistently attract new customers, create compelling blog content, or achieve any of your other marketing objectives is to treat plans like living documents… Updating as you go to ensure everything is always as fresh and relevant as possible. So, you can use your marketing plan to achieve your goals and take your business to the next level.

living document

How do you write a good marketing plan? 

A good marketing plan will clearly define the who, what, where, why, when, and how of any promotional activities your brand will be undertaking in a given time frame. It should be viewed as a “living document” in that you must continuously review and alter (when necessary) to ensure your plan is always in line with your brand’s mission statement, values, and objectives.

What is a 5 point marketing plan? 

You can build your plan based on the Five Ps of Marketing for a simplified marketing plan sample. These are Place, Price, Product, Promotion, and People. We also add Process and Physical evidence to this list to create a more comprehensive marketing plan that leaves no room for confusion.

How do you write a simple marketing plan?

To write a simple marketing plan, you can follow the eight steps outlined in the article above. These are:

With this simple template, you’ll be able to create a high-quality new business marketing plan sample with ease.

What is in a marketing plan? 

Simply put, a marketing plan acts as a roadmap for your marketing content, campaigns, and strategies. It will include everything your team needs to know about how their marketing efforts will relate to one another and the business as a whole and what targets need to be met.

A good marketing plan will clarify what everyone should be doing, what the business hopes to achieve, why specific channels are being used, who the target audience is, and much more.rnrn

marketing plan examples in business plan

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marketing plan examples in business plan

10 Marketing Plan Examples to Inspire Your Campaigns

What do hiking a trail, driving to a friend’s house, and executing marketing campaigns all have in common? Each requires you to closely follow directions.

Directions are a critical part of our daily life. Used correctly, they can guide decision-making processes, make labor more efficient, and get where you want to go as quickly as possible. 

But failing to keep track of directions could cost you — and not just gas money. When it comes to marketing strategies, not having a clear goal tanks web traffic, dissipates brand interest, and costs companies across the United States a whopping $400 billion a year.

Designing a marketing plan is certainly no easy task, but it can be made easier with best practices, strategic tips, and concrete examples from successful businesses all over the world.

marketing plan examples in business plan

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marketing plan examples in business plan

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic document that acts as a guide for marketing campaigns and strategies. These critical road maps detail where you are, where you’re going, and how you plan to get there.

The average marketing plan consists of seven major sections:

The more detailed a marketing plan is, the more efficient it will be at accomplishing its goals. 

As you might imagine, marketers who bother to write a concrete marketing plan enjoy several benefits :

It’s clear that a successful marketing plan opens pathways to other forms of business success — although the process is underutilized at best. More than three out of four small business owners lack an overarching marketing plan if they don’t have a clear path of growth. Creating a holistic marketing plan is absolutely necessary to scale brands at any level of development.

10 marketing plan examples from every industry

It’s much simpler to design a plan of action when the groundwork already exists. Below are 10 marketing plans sourced from real companies and brands around the world, highlighting unique approaches to researching, crafting and implementing a marketing strategy . 

1. Contently

Popular SaaS Contently developed a visual marketing plan for developing future campaigns. The strategy depicts its plan in a “waterfall” format, with goals blending into methods of application that eventually lead to success metrics. Although far more casual than other examples on this list, the work provides an excellent overview of a marketing plan’s necessary components.

Contently marketing plan

2. Visit Baton Rouge

The Baton Rouge area of Louisiana generates millions of dollars every year from tourism alone. The Visit Baton Rouge marketing plan was born from a need to better position the area and create long-term strategies for generating interest. This 38-page document goes into detail describing different destinations, events, and calendars, including recommended measurements for success.

Top marketing plan examples: Baton Rouge

Created by SaaS company HubSpot , this template includes a business summary, SWOT matrix, market strategy, budget, and other important aspects of a marketing plan. By filling it out, you can make informed decisions about your company’s positioning and your marketing in general.

HubSpot marketing plan

4. Evernote

Evernote provides a comprehensive marketing plan template for businesses of any size. Create a plan that walks through overviews, timelines, research, personas, and all other elements of an airtight campaign. If desired, you can also implement this template into your Evernote account to start developing a marketing plan almost immediately.

great examples of marketing plan: Evernote

5. University of Illinois

Even educational institutes need marketing plans. The University of Illinois created a very straightforward document that encapsulates its market context, research efforts, and current campaigns. Objectives and success metrics are completed in the third section, with about 40 pages overall. 

6. Monday.com

Monday.com is a project management platform providing in-house templates to all active users. This marketing plan offers various categories and subcategories that track project progress with data visualizations. Detailed objectives and KPIs can be identified in-app, including columns for a projected cost range.

Popular health and hygiene brand Lush released a comprehensive marketing plan walking through some products, positioning, and a marketing calendar for upcoming product releases. One of the highlights includes a detailed SWOT analysis with easy to read graphics. This is particularly helpful for brands in the personal care industry, among others.

Lush marketing plan

8. Coca-Cola

Industry titan Coca-Cola released a strategy video that encompasses all seven elements of a holistic marketing plan. The proposal primarily explains the major content initiatives for the coming year, and focuses on how the brand’s initial ideas can be practically implemented into the existing strategy. 

marketing plan examples in business plan

9. Naperville Park District

Publicly funded recreational parks often have limited access to resources, which is why the Naperville Park District created a strategic marketing plan right at the beginning. This extremely detailed document walks through the company’s mission, situational analysis, strategy, and budget, on a micro-level.

nashville park marketing plan

10. Starbucks

Unlike the longform documents we’ve seen already, Starbucks takes a more concise approach. This six-page release details a strategy to elevate CX and brand ambassadors around the world. The marketing plan touches on individual strategies and tactics, as well as the methods used to ensure success. It’s important to note the detailed customer journey profiles that fit into a five-year strategy.

beverge marketing plan: starbucks

How to approach a marketing plan

Now that you know what a marketing plan looks like, it’s time to explore the initial stages of drafting and publishing your very first plan. Once you establish some basic starting points, a little research is all you need to get started.

Determine your goals

Directions simply don’t matter without an endpoint in mind. Craft some meaningful goals for your marketing campaign that envelop your brand’s values, objectives, and year-end plans. It’s best to use the SMART goal framework:

The more specific your goals are, the more effective your marketing plan will be.

Check your competitors

Staying abreast of your competitors and market share is critical in the early stages of a marketing plan. Using competitive analysis tools or an internal process, take some time to evaluate the approach that others are using — and how you can do better.

You might want to:

Keep in mind that it’s possible to hire freelancers to perform competitive analysis for you, depending on your needs and time constraints.

Identify your audience

Understanding your target market — including their goals, ages, values, and demographics — is the golden rule of marketing. This can be done several ways, either by using data, creating personas, or outlying features in a document.

It’s best to consider everything that may be relevant to your audience in the marketing plan, including how products can be positioned in a way that makes them relevant. For example, a customer with a degree in IT would be more interested in ads that speak to their experience and industry pain points.

If you don’t have a target audience in mind yet, consider using programs like Google Analytics or in-platform insights from Facebook to identify specific segments.

Craft final KPIs

The difference between a good marketing plan and a great marketing plan starts with key performance metrics (KPIs). These will be used to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and provide detailed information about what worked, what didn’t, and what you can change in the future.

Every marketing plan should rely on its own unique set of metrics, all fitted to individual needs. If you’re looking for specific examples, you might want to try:

Keep in mind that your final metrics should adhere to the SMART method for best results.

Perform your revisions

The marketing plan is a living document and must be updated regularly to remain current. The average plan only has a shelf life of one to five years , on average, and should receive regular revisions in the meantime.

Take a closer look at your past goals, competitors, audience, and KPIs. Are any of these outdated or ill-aligned? What has changed for the company since its initial publication date? Make these adjustments accordingly (and hopefully with members of a team or committee).

Create marketing plans that guide your business well

It’s not enough to just write a marketing plan. In an increasingly competitive world of iron-clad strategies, marketing pros should take their time developing a plan that lasts. The above examples are a great place to start, especially as you craft an approach that is catered to your industry. 

Keep an eye on the growth of your business once your marketing plan hits the shelves. Continue to find new ways to optimize, refine, and otherwise make what you have even better than before. With an airtight marketing plan by your side, the possibilities are virtually limitless.

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Develop your marketing plan

On this page

Why you need a marketing plan

Download our marketing plan template.

Having a marketing plan can help you to:

Our marketing plan template helps you identify who your customers are, how you'll meet their needs and what marketing tactics you might undertake.

Marketing plan template

Our template steps you through the process of developing a succession plan with links to extra information if you need it.

You may want to check our tips below before you start.

1. Analyse your market

Market research can help you to understand your strengths, weaknesses and the opportunities that you can take advantage of. Analysing your own business and your competition can help you identify where you're positioned in the market.

It’s important to analyse your competition to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This can help you refine your marketing strategy and what's unique about your business.

A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis can help you determine where your business fits within the market and your unique selling point. Use it to help identify what your business is doing well and how you can improve.

Identifying and understanding your customers is an essential part of your marketing plan. Not everyone is your potential buyer, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of your target market early on.

Identify your target market, competitors and potential customers.

2. set your goals and objectives.

Once you're clear about your business and its positioning, you can start thinking about what you want to achieve. Think about your main business goals, whether it's the size of your business, expansion plans or desired sales. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound ( SMART) goals to increase your chances of success in achieving them.

3. Outline your marketing strategies

Once you’ve set some goals, consider what marketing activity, process or price will help you achieve them.

Try and choose marketing activities that suit your business and your customers. For example, if you want to target young adults, newspaper advertising may not be as effective as a social media campaign.

Choosing multiple activities that complement each other is a good way to help you get your message across. For example, if you're trying to establish a new product in the market, you may choose to advertise on the local radio, as well as setting up social media channels and introducing a low-cost pricing strategy for first-time buyers. When used together, these strategies complement each other and help you reach a broader market.

4. Set your marketing budget

Knowing how much you have to spend on marketing and how to spend it is critical to the success of your business. A marketing budget will ensure you accurately calculate your marketing campaign or advertising.

When developing your marketing budget, make sure you're only spending money on the activities that contribute to your current marketing goals. Advertising and promotion can be expensive. Make sure to pick options that will give you the best value while still reaching your target customers.

5. Keep your marketing plan up-to-date

It's important to evaluate your marketing activities. Analysing your results and being aware of new marketing trends is important to keeping your marketing plan up-to-date and reaching your business goals. You should tweak and change your plan as your business and market grow and change.

Find out the different types of advertising.

Read about business marketing to help position your business within your market., read about product labelling and how to label your products..

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