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Types of Marketing Strategy Template

A marketing strategy template is a formal document that a company’s upper level management or leadership team develops to outline the goals and methods of an overall business plan. This document will detail key functions, roles, and responsibilities in reaching the stated goals. There are different types of marketing plans it can be situational, one time only or a more long term plan

The Marketing Strategy template is useful to any type of marketing plan you’re working on, whether your audience consists of potential customers, investors or team members. Your marketing strategy should always be anchored to the overall objectives and strategies you have laid out in your business plan. For example, if your business plan laid out growth strategies such as launching new products, expanding internationally or investing more in your website, you’ll want to include those goals in your marketing strategy for a particular product or service.

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
  • Distribution Strategy
  • Promotion Strategy
  • Budgeting

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

Executive Summary

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.

Mission Statement

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

  • What do you want to do?
  • Why do you want to do it?
  • Who do you do it for?

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:

  • “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” – Google
google-mission-statement
  • “We believe in what people make possible. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” – Microsoft
  • “Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.” – Facebook
  • “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”- Amazon

Situation Analysis

This analysis covers these elements:

  • Product/Service: What are you selling?
  • Unique Selling Proposition: What is your unique selling proposition? And what separates you from your competitors?
  • Best Practices: What are best practices at your company? They could be well-performing marketing channels, buyer personas with a large amount of purchase intent, or campaigns that have generated a lot of leads.
  • Marketing Objectives and Performance: What are your current marketing objectives? Did you manage to achieve them? If not, why?
  • Challenges: What are the current challenges that your company (especially your marketing team) is facing?
  • Competitor Analysis: Who are your competitors? How are your competitors performing?
  • SWOT Analysis: What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your company (especially your marketing team) is facing?
google-swot-analyswis

(Image Source: The UX Blog)

Target Market

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:

  • Which companies are in your target market?
  • How can you reach them?
  • Why would companies in these industries buy your product/service?
  • Why would companies from these industries refuse to buy your product or service
  • What are these companies’ current needs?

Buyer Personas

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:

  • Name and Photo: Give your buyer persona a suitable name, and add a nice photo.
  • Background Information: Define general information, such as age, gender, location, income, education, job, and family situation.
  • Statement: Create one quote that contains the values, objectives, and challenges of your buyer persona.
  • Goals: What does your buyer want to achieve?
  • Challenges and Problems: List the most important challenges that your buyer persona faces.
  • Values: What are your buyer persona’s most relevant values and beliefs?
  • Buying Decisions: Why and when does your buyer persona buy?
  • Solution: How can your product or service help your buyer persona overcome his or her challenges?

Marketing Objectives and Performance

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.

smart-goals

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.

Pricing Strategy

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:

  • Base It on Costs: The foundation for your prices are your cost. Calculate the cost, add the desired profit, and voila: You’ve set your prices.
  • Base It on Competitors: Analyze the prices of your competitors, and charge as much as they do. Here’s the downside: Often, you don’t know exactly WHY they’re charging that amount. Hence, you should definitely know your cost structure before pursuing this approach.
  • Skim It: The skimming strategy involves entering a new market with a high price. As the market evolves, you reduce your prices to stay competitive. A typical example is the gaming consoles market.
console-prices-over-time-adjusted-for-inflation

(Image Source: Ars Technica)

  • Penetrate It: If you want to enter a competitive market, use the penetration strategy: Set a low price, in order to quickly gain a market share. Then after you’ve established your company, raise your prices step-by-step.
  • Bundle It: If you’re offering multiple products or services, you can consider this option as well. It involves bundling different products or services to increase the provided value while setting a higher price.

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:

  1. What is your preferred distribution channel?
  2. Why are you choosing it over others?
  3. What are the costs related to distributing your products or services?
  4. What’s the impact of your distribution channel on your delivery times?

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.

filestage-distribution

(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:

  1. Targeting Blogs
  2. Publicity
  3. Unconventional PR
  4. Search Engine Marketing
  5. Social and Display Ads
  6. Offline Ads
  7. Search Engine Optimization
  8. Content Marketing
  9. Email Marketing
  10. Viral Marketing
  11. Engineering as Marketing
  12. Business Development
  13. Sales
  14. Affiliate Programs
  15. Existing Platforms
  16. Trade Shows
  17. Offline Events
  18. Speaking Engagements
  19. Community Building

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”:

  • What will you do in detail?
  • What results do you expect?
  • What are the chances that it’s not the right platform?
  • Why will you pursue this platform?
  • When will you pursue it?
  • Who will be involved?

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

Budgeting

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

  1. Build your budget plan based on last year’s spendings.
  2. Build your budget plan from scratch.

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.

Why do you need a marketing plan?

There are a ton of reasons why every brand and marketing team needs a good marketing plan.

Here are the top 3 reasons:

Create better goals

When you have specific goals to achieve you can plan your way to achieve them. Having too general goals like “growing my business” VS. mesurable KPIs like “I want to grow my revenue by $600K, and to do that I need 1,000 new customers” is different.

Actual KPIs can help you plan exactly what will get you there. We recommend you set up some SMART goals – which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-framed.

smart-key-performance-indicator-marketing-plan-template
Source: Paldesk

Improve your focus

Marketing without focus can be very messy and super ineffective. The best tip we can give you is to focus on specific activities and have them done well. A digital marketing plan will help you focus on exactly the tasks that will impact your success.

Of course, things will change and your plan will change as well. But as long as you are using a good marketing plan outline you will have your next month’s tasks written down and your work will become that much more effective.

your focus needs more focus meme jacky chan

Stay consistent

Success doesn’t happen overnight. Consistency is key in marketing and is favored by all the social media platform algorithms. Once you’re consistent with your marketing activities you will see tremendous results. That means posting 1 post every day or running a PPC campaign that builds more and more traction over time. A good marketing plan can help you build on the momentum and stay consistent.

ultimate marketing plan template 2020
Goals and KPIs Tab on Mayple’s Marketing Plan Template

The purpose of a marketing plan is to ensure that marketing activities are relevant and timely to achieve the organization’s business objectives. It’s a plan defining a sustainable competitive position and defining the resources necessary to achieve it.

Now that you know what a marketing plan is and what’s used for let’s talk about the many components that it’s built out of.

Conclusion

Marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach to planning with the fundamental goal achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Strategic planning involves an analysis of the company’s strategic initial situation prior to the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented competitive position that contributes to the company’s goals and marketing objectives.

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