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business plan the marketing

  • Marketing |
  • How to create a winning marketing plan, ...

How to create a winning marketing plan, with 3 examples from world-class teams

Caeleigh MacNeil contributor headshot

A marketing plan helps leaders clearly visualize marketing strategies across channels, so they can ensure every campaign drives pipeline and revenue. In this article you’ll learn eight steps to create a winning marketing plan that brings business-critical goals to life, with examples from word-class teams.

quotation mark

To be successful as a marketer, you have to deliver the pipeline and the revenue.”

In other words—they need a well-crafted marketing plan.

Level up your marketing plan to drive revenue in 2024

Learn how to create the right marketing plan to hit your revenue targets in 2024. Hear best practices from marketing experts, including how to confidently set and hit business goals, socialize marketing plans, and move faster with clearer resourcing.

level up your marketing plan to drive revenue in 2024

7 steps to build a comprehensive marketing plan

How do you build the right marketing plan to hit your revenue goals? Follow these eight steps for success:

1. Define your plan

First you need to define each specific component of your plan to ensure stakeholders are aligned on goals, deliverables, resources, and more. Ironing out these details early on ensures your plan supports the right business objectives, and that you have sufficient resources and time to get the job done. 

Get started by asking yourself the following questions: 

What resources do 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?

For example, imagine you’re creating an annual marketing plan to improve customer adoption and retention in the next fiscal year. Here’s how you could go through the questions above to ensure you’re ready to move forward with your plan: 

I will need support from the content team, web team, and email team to create targeted content for existing customers. One person on each team will need to be dedicated full-time to this initiative. To achieve this, the marketing team will need an additional $100K in budget and one new headcount. 

What is the vision?  

To create a positive experience for existing customers, address new customer needs, and encourage them to upgrade. We’ll do this by serving them how-to content, new feature updates, information about deals and pricing, and troubleshooting guides. 

According to the Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) , CEOs and go-to-market leaders report that more than 60% of their net-new revenue will come from existing customers in 2023. By retaining and building on the customers we have, we can maintain revenue growth over time. 

To decrease the customer churn rate from 30% to 10%, and increase upgrades from 20% to 30% in the next fiscal year. 

All existing customers. 

The main channel will be email. Supporting marketing channels include the website, blog, YouTube, and social media. 

The first half of the next fiscal year. 

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, demographics, and more.

2. Identify key metrics for success 

Now it’s time to define what key marketing metrics you’ll use to measure success. 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 larger business goals. 

Once you establish key metrics, use a goal-setting framework—like objectives and key results (OKRs) or SMART goals —to fully flush out your marketing objectives. This ensures your targets are as specific as possible, with no ambiguity about what should be accomplished by when. 

Example: If a goal of your marketing plan is to increase email subscriptions and you follow the SMART goal framework (ensuring your objective is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) your goal might look like this: Increase email subscription rate from 10% to 20% in H1 . 

3. Research your competition 

It’s easy to get caught up in your company’s world, but there’s a lot of value in understanding your competitors . Knowing how they market themselves will help you find opportunities to make your company stand out and capture more market share.

Make sure you’re not duplicating your competitors’ efforts. If you discover a competitor has already executed your idea, 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 and opportunities you’ll find.

To stay ahead of market trends, conduct a SWOT analysis for your marketing plan. A SWOT analysis helps you improve your plan by identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

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

Here’s 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

Search engine optimization (SEO)

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

Forty-nine percent of marketers say visual images are hugely important to their content strategy. In other words, a clear brand and creative strategy is an essential component to every marketing plan. As you craft your own creative strategy, here are some tips to keep in mind: 

Speak to your audience: 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: 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. 

Tie everything back to CTAs: It’s easy to get caught up in the creative process, so it’s important to never lose sight of your ultimate goal: 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.

Streamline creative production:   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

Turn your plan into action by making goals, deliverables, and timelines clear for every stakeholder—so teams stay accountable for getting work done. The best way to do this is by centralizing all the details of your marketing plan in one platform , so teams can access the information they need and connect campaign work back to company goals.  

With the right work management tool , you can: 

Set goals for every marketing activity, and connect campaign work to overarching marketing and business objectives so teams focus on revenue-driving projects. 

Centralize deliverables for your entire marketing plan in one project or portfolio .

Mark major milestones and visualize your plan as a timeline, Gantt chart, calendar, list, or Kanban board—without doing any extra work. 

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. 

Use automations to seamlessly hand off work between teams, streamlining processes like content creation and reviews. 

Create dashboards to report on work and make sure projects are properly staffed , so campaigns stay on track. 

With everything housed in one spot, you can easily visualize the status of your entire marketing plan and keep work on track. Building an effective marketing plan is one thing, but how you operationalize it can be your secret to standout marketing.

Example: If your strategy focuses on increasing page views, connect all campaign work to an overarching OKR—like “we will double page views as measured by the amount of organic traffic on our blog.” By making that goal visible to all stakeholders, you help teams prioritize the right work. 

See marketing planning in action

With Asana, marketing teams can connect work, standardize processes, and automate workflows—all in one place.

See marketing planning in action

7. Measure performance

Nearly three in four CMOs use revenue growth to measure success, so 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 learned when looking at data. You can discover trends, detect which marketing initiatives performed well, and course-correct what isn’t performing well. And when your plan is complete, you can apply these learnings to your next initiative 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.

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 inspiration, check out these examples from successful marketing teams.

Autodesk grows site traffic 30% three years in a row

When the Autodesk team launched Redshift, it was initially a small business blog. The editorial team executed a successful marketing plan to expand it into a premier owned-media site, making it a destination for stories and videos about the future of making. 

The team 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 now publishes 2X more content monthly. Read the case study to learn more about how Autodesk runs a well-oiled content machine. 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. Read the case study to learn more about how Trinny London capitalized on paid advertising and social media. 

Turn your marketing plan into marketing success 

A great marketing plan promotes clarity and accountability across teams—so every stakeholder knows what they’re responsible for, by when. Reading this article is the first step to achieving better team alignment, so you can ensure every marketing campaign contributes to your company’s bottom line. 

Use a free marketing plan template to get started

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 your 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

Still have questions? We have answers. 

What is a marketing plan.

A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines the different strategies your team will use to achieve organizational objectives. Rather than focusing solely on the end goal, a marketing plan maps every step you need to reach your destination—whether that’s driving pipeline for sales, nurturing your existing customer base, or something in-between. 

As a marketing leader, you know there’s never a shortage of great campaign and project ideas. A marketing plan gives you a framework to effectively prioritize work that aligns to overarching business goals—and then get that work done. Some elements of marketing plans include:

Current business plan

Mission statement  

Business goals

Target customers  

Competitive analysis 

Current marketing mix

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Marketing budget  

What is the purpose of a marketing plan?

The purpose of a marketing plan is to grow your company’s consumer base and strengthen your brand, while aligning with your organization’s mission and vision . The plan should analyze the competitive landscape and industry trends, offer actionable insights to help you gain a competitive advantage, and document each step of your strategy—so you can see how your campaigns work together to drive overarching business goals. 

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

A marketing plan contains many marketing strategies across different channels. In that way, marketing strategies contribute to your overall marketing plan, working together to reach your company’s overarching business 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. 

What are different 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 need to create a different type of marketing plan. Some different types of marketing plans include, but aren’t limited to:

General marketing plan: A general marketing plan is typically an annual or quarterly marketing plan that details the overarching marketing strategies for the period. This type of marketing plan outlines marketing goals, the company’s mission, buyer personas, unique selling propositions, and more. A general marketing plan lays the foundation for other, more specific marketing plans that an organization may employ. 

Product launch marketing plan: A product launch marketing plan is a step-by-step plan for marketing a new product or expanding into a new market. It helps you build awareness and interest by targeting the right audience, with the right messaging, in the right timeframe—so potential customers are ready to buy your new offering right away. Nailing your product launch marketing plan can reinforce your overall brand and fast-track sales. For a step-by-step framework to organize all the moving pieces of a launch, check out our product marketing launch template .

Paid marketing plan: This plan includes all the paid strategies in your marketing plan, like pay-per-click, paid social media advertising, native advertising, and 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. 

Content marketing plan: A content marketing plan outlines the different content strategies and campaigns you’ll use to promote your product or service. When putting together a content marketing plan, start by identifying your audience. Then 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.

Social media marketing plan: This plan will highlight the marketing strategies 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 media platforms. From there, you can cater your social media content to your target audience.  

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Blog Marketing What is a Marketing Plan & How to Create One [with Examples]

What is a Marketing Plan & How to Create One [with Examples]

Written by: Sara McGuire Oct 26, 2023

Marketing Plan Venngage

A marketing plan is a blueprint that outlines your strategies to attract and convert your ideal customers as a part of your customer acquisition strategy . It’s a comprehensive document that details your:

  • Target audience:  Who you’re trying to reach
  • Marketing goals:  What you want to achieve
  • Strategies and tactics:  How you’ll reach your goals
  • Budget:  Resources you’ll allocate
  • Metrics:  How you’ll measure success

In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about creating a marketing plan . If you need a little extra help, there are professionally designed marketing plan templates that’ll make the process much easier. So, let’s ditch the confusion and get started!

Click to jump ahead:

What is a marketing plan?

How to write a marketing plan .

  • Marketing plan v.s. business plan
  • Types of marketing plans

9 marketing plan examples to inspire your growth strategy

Marketing plan faqs.

A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for your products or services, which could be applicable for the coming year, quarter or month.  

Watch this quick, 13-minute video for more details on what a marketing plan is and how to make one yourself:

Typically, a marketing plan includes:

  • An overview of your business’s marketing and advertising goals
  • A description of your business’s current marketing position
  • A timeline of when tasks within your strategy will be completed
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking
  • A description of your business’s target market and customer needs
  • A description of how you will measure the performance of the strategy

For example, this marketing plan template provides a high-level overview of the business and competitors before diving deep into specific goals, KPIs and tactics:

Orange Content Marketing Plan Template

Learning how to write a marketing plan forces you to think through the important steps that lead to an effective marketing strategy . And a well-defined plan will help you stay focused on your high-level marketing goals.

With Venngage’s extensive catalog of marketing plan templates , creating your marketing plan isn’t going to be hard or tedious. In fact, Venngage has plenty of helpful communications and design resources for marketers. If you’re ready to get started, sign up for  Venngage for Marketers   now. It’s free to register and start designing.

Venngage for Marketers Page Header

Whether you’re a team trying to set smarter marketing goals, a consultant trying to set your client in the right direction, or a one-person team hustling it out, Venngage for Marketers helps you get things done.

As mentioned above, the scope of your marketing plan varies depending on its purpose or the type of organization it’s for.

For example, you could look for performance marketing agency to create a marketing plan that provides an overview of a company’s entire marketing strategy or simply focus on a specific channel like SEO, social media marketing, content marketing and more, like in this example:

content marketing plan template

A typical outline of a marketing plan includes:

  • Executive summary
  • Goals and objectives
  • User personas
  • Competitor analysis/SWOT analysis
  • Baseline metrics
  • Marketing strategy
  • Tracking guidelines

Below you will see in details how to write each section as well as some examples of how you can design each section in a marketing plan.

Let’s look at how to create a successful marketing plan (click to jump ahead):

  • Write a simple executive summary
  • Set metric-driven marketing goals
  • Outline your user personas
  • Research all of your competitors
  • Set accurate key baselines & metrics
  • Create an actionable marketing strategy
  • Set tracking or reporting guidelines

1. Write a simple executive summary

Starting your marketing plan off on the right foot is important. You want to pull people into your amazing plan for marketing domination. Not bore them to tears.

Creative Marketing Plan Executive Summary

One of the best ways to get people excited to read your marketing plan is with a well-written executive summary. An executive summary introduces readers to your company goals, marketing triumphs, future plans, and other important contextual facts.

Standard Business Proposal Executive Summary

Basically, you can use the Executive Summary as a primer for the rest of your marketing plan.

Include things like:

  • Simple marketing goals
  • High-level metrics
  • Important company milestones
  • Facts about your brand
  • Employee anecdotes
  • Future goals & plans

Try to keep your executive summary rather brief and to the point. You aren’t writing a novel, so try to keep it under three to four paragraphs.

Take a look at the executive summary in the marketing plan example below:

Content Marketing Proposal Executive Summary

The executive summary is only two paragraphs long — short but effective.

The executive summary tells readers about the company’s growth, and how they are about to overtake one of their competitors. But there’s no mention of specific metrics or figures. That will be highlighted in the next section of the marketing plan.

An effective executive summary should have enough information to pique the reader’s interest, but not bog them down with specifics yet. That’s what the rest of your marketing plan is for!

The executive summary also sets the tone for your marketing plan. Think about what tone will fit your brand ? Friendly and humorous? Professional and reliable? Inspiring and visionary?

2. Set metric-driven marketing goals

After you perfect your executive summary, it’s time to outline your marketing goals.

(If you’ve never set data-driven goals like this before, it would be worth reading this growth strategy guide ).

This is one of the most important parts of the entire marketing plan, so be sure to take your time and be as clear as possible. Moreover, optimizing your marketing funnel is key. Employing effective funnel software can simplify operations and provide valuable customer insights. It facilitates lead tracking, conversion rate analysis, and efficient marketing optimization .

As a rule of thumb, be as specific as possible. The folks over at  VoyMedia  advise that you should set goals that impact website traffic, conversions, and customer success — and to use real numbers.

Avoid outlining vague goals like:

  • Get more Twitter followers
  • Write more articles
  • Create more YouTube videos (like educational or Explainer videos )
  • Increase retention rate
  • Decrease bounce rate

Instead, identify  key performance metrics  (KPI) you want to impact and the percentage you want to increase them by.

Take a look at the goals page in the marketing plan example below:

Creative Marketing Plan Goals

They not only identify a specific metric in each of their goals, but they also set a timeline for when they will be increased.

The same vague goals listed earlier become much clearer when specific numbers and timelines are applied to them:

  • Get 100 new Twitter followers per month
  • Write 5 more articles per week
  • Create 10 YouTube videos each year
  • Increase retention rate by 15% by 2020
  • Decrease bounce rate by 5% by Q1
  • Create an online course  and get 1,000 new leads
  • Focus more on local SEO strategies
  • Conduct a monthly social media report to track progress

You can dive even deeper into your marketing goals if you want (generally, the more specific, the better). Here’s a marketing plan example that shows how to outline your growth goals:

Growth Goals Roadmap Template for a Marketing Plan

3. Outline your user personas

Now, this may not seem like the most important part of your marketing plan, but I think it holds a ton of value.

Outlining your user personas is an important part of a marketing plan that should not be overlooked.

You should be asking not just how you can get the most visitors to your business, but how you can get the right visitors.

Who are your ideal customers? What are their goals? What are their biggest problems? How does your business solve customer problems?

Answering these questions will take lots of research, but it’s essential information to get.

Some ways to conduct user research are:

  • Interviewing your users (either in person or on the phone)
  • Conducting focus groups
  • Researching other businesses in the same industry
  • Surveying your audience

Then, you will need to compile your user data into a user persona  guide.

Take a look at how detailed this user persona template is below:

Persona Marketing Report Template

Taking the time to identify specific demographic traits, habits and goals will make it easier for you to cater your marketing plan to them.

Here’s how you can create a user persona guide:

The first thing you should add is a profile picture or icon for each user persona. It can help to put a face to your personas, so they seem more real.

Marketing Persona

Next, list demographic information like:

  • Identifiers
  • Activities/Hobbies

The user persona example above uses sliding scales to identify personality traits like introversion vs. extroversion and thinking vs. feeling. Identifying what type of personality your target users tend to have an influence on the messaging you use in your marketing content.

Meanwhile, this user persona guide identifies specific challenges the user faces each day:

Content Marketing Proposal Audience Personas

But if you don’t want to go into such precise detail, you can stick to basic information, like in this marketing plan example:

Social Media Plan Proposal Template Ideal Customers

Most businesses will have a few different types of target users. That’s why it’s pertinent to identify and create several different user personas . That way, you can better segment your marketing campaigns and set separate goals, if necessary.

Here’s a marketing plan example with a segmented user persona guide:

Mobile App Market Report

The important thing is for your team or client to have a clear picture of who their target user is and how they can appeal to their specific problems.

Start creating robust user personas using Venngage’s user persona guide .

4. Conduct an extensive competitor analysis

Next, on the marketing plan checklist, we have the competitor research section. This section will help you identify who your competitors are, what they’re doing, and how you could carve yourself a place alongside them in your niche — and ideally, surpass them. It’s something you can learn to do with rank tracking software .

Competitor research is also incredibly important if you are starting a blog .

Typically, your competitor research should include:

  • Who their marketing team is
  • Who their leadership team is
  • What their marketing strategy and strategic marketing plan are (this will probably revolve some reverse-engineering)
  • What their sales strategy is (same deal)
  • Social Media strategy (are they using discounting strategies such as coupon marketing to get conversions)
  • Their market cap/financials
  • Their yearly growth (you will probably need to use a marketing tool like Ahrefs to do this)
  • The number of customers they have & their user personas

Also, take as deep a dive as you can into the strategies they use across their:

  • Blog/Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO Marketing
  • Video marketing
  • And any other marketing tactics they use

Research their strengths and weaknesses in all parts of their company, and you will find some great opportunities. Bookmark has a great guide to different marketing strategies for small businesses  if you need some more information there.

You can use this simple SWOT analysis worksheet to quickly work through all parts of their strategy as well:

Competitive SWOT Analysis

Click the template above to create a SWOT chart . Customize the template to your liking — no design know-how needed.

Since you have already done all the research beforehand, adding this information to your marketing plan shouldn’t be that hard.

In this marketing plan example, some high-level research is outlined for 3 competing brands:

Content Marketing Proposal Competitive Research

But you could take a deeper dive into different facets of your competitors’ strategies. This marketing plan example analyses a competitor’s content marketing strategy:


It can also be helpful to divide your competitors into Primary and Secondary groups. For example, Apple’s primary competitor may be Dell for computers, but its secondary competitor could be a company that makes tablets.

Your most dangerous competitors may not even be in the same industry as you. Like the CEO of Netflix said, “Sleep is our competition.”

5. Set accurate key baselines & metrics

It’s pretty hard to plan for the future if you don’t know where your business stands right now.

Before we do anything at Venngage, we find the baselines so we can compare future results to something. We do it so much it’s almost like second nature now!

Setting baselines will allow you to more accurately track your progress. You will also be able to better analyze what worked and what didn’t work, so you can build a stronger strategy. It will definitely help them clearly understand your goals and strategy as well.

Here’s a marketing plan example where the baselines are visualized:

Social Media Marketing Proposal Success Metrics

Another way to include baselines in your plan is with a simple chart, like in the marketing plan example below:


Because data can be intimidating to a lot of people, visualizing your data using charts and infographics will help demystify the information.

6. Create an actionable marketing strategy

After pulling all the contextual information and relevant metrics into your marketing plan, it’s time to break down your marketing strategy.

Once again, it’s easier to communicate your information to your team or clients using visuals .

Mind maps are an effective way to show how a strategy with many moving parts ties together. For example, this mind map shows how the four main components of a marketing strategy interact together:

Marketing Plan Mind Map Template

You can also use a flow chart to map out your strategy by objectives:

Action Plan Mind Map

However you choose to visualize your strategy, your team should know exactly what they need to do. This is not the time to keep your cards close to your chest.

Your strategy section may need to take up a few pages to explain, like in the marketing plan example below:


With all of this information, even someone from the development team will understand what the marketing team is working on.

This minimalistic marketing plan example uses color blocks to make the different parts of the strategy easy to scan:


Breaking your strategy down into tasks will make it easier to tackle.

Another important way to visualize your marketing strategy is to create a project roadmap. A project roadmap visualizes the timeline of your product with individual tasks. Our roadmap maker can help you with this.

For example, this project roadmap shows how tasks on both the marketing and web design side run parallel to each other:

Simple Product Roadmap Plan Template

A simple timeline can also be used in your marketing plan:

Strategy Timeline Infographic

Or a mind map, if you want to include a ton of information in a more organized way:

Business Strategy Mindmap Template

Even a simple “Next, Now, Later” chart can help visualize your strategy:

3 Step Product Roadmap Template

7. Set tracking or reporting guidelines

Close your marketing plan with a brief explanation of how you plan to track or measure your results. This will save you a lot of frustration down the line by standardizing how you track results across your team.

Like the other sections of your marketing plan, you can choose how in-depth you want to go. But there need to be some clear guidelines on how to measure the progress and results of your marketing plan.

At the bare minimum, your results tracking guidelines should specify:

  • What you plan to track
  • How you plan to track results
  • How often you plan to measure

But you can more add tracking guidelines to your marketing plan if you see the need to. You may also want to include a template that your team or client can follow,  for  client reporting ,  ensure that the right metrics are being tracked.

Marketing Checklist

The marketing plan example below dedicates a whole page to tracking criteria:

SEO Marketing Proposal Measuring Results

Use a task tracker to track tasks and marketing results, and a checklist maker to note down tasks, important life events, or tracking your daily life.

Similarly, the marketing plan example below talks about tracking content marketing instead:

Social Media Marketing Proposal

Marketing plan vs. marketing strategy

Although often used interchangeably, the terms “marketing plan” and “marketing strategy” do have some differences.

Simply speaking, a marketing strategy presents what the business will do in order to reach a certain goal. A marketing plan outlines the specific daily, weekly, monthly or yearly activities that the marketing strategy calls for. As a business, you can create a marketing proposal for the marketing strategies defined in your company’s marketing plan. There are various marketing proposal examples that you can look at to help with this.

A company’s extended marketing strategy can be like this:

marketing strategy mind map

Notice how it’s more general and doesn’t include the actual activities required to complete each strategy or the timeframe those marketing activities will take place. That kind of information is included in a marketing plan, like this marketing plan template which talks about the content strategy in detail:

Content Marketing Proposal

Marketing plan v.s business plan

While both marketing plans and business plans are crucial documents for businesses, they serve distinct purposes and have different scopes. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

Business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines all aspects of your business, including:

  • Mission and vision
  • Products or services
  • Target market
  • Competition
  • Management team
  • Financial projections
  • Marketing strategy (including a marketing plan)
  • Operations plan

Marketing plan on the other hand, dives deep into the specific strategies and tactics related to your marketing efforts. It expands on the marketing section of a business plan by detailing:

  • Specific marketing goals (e.g., brand awareness, lead generation, sales)
  • Target audience analysis (detailed understanding of their needs and behaviors)
  • Product:  Features, benefits, positioning
  • Price:  Pricing strategy, discounts
  • Place:  Distribution channels (online, offline)
  • Promotion:  Advertising, social media, content marketing, public relations
  • Budget allocation for different marketing activities
  • Metrics and measurement to track progress and success

In short, business plans paint the entire business picture, while marketing plans zoom in on the specific strategies used to reach your target audience and achieve marketing goals.

Types of marketing plans that can transform your business strategy

Let’s take a look at several types of marketing plans you can create, along with specific examples for each.

1. General marketing strategic plan / Annual marketing plan

This is a good example of a marketing plan that covers the overarching annual marketing strategy for a company:

marketing strategy template marketing plan

Another good example would be this Starbucks marketing plan:

Starbucks marketing plan example

This one-page marketing plan example from coffee chain Starbucks has everything at a glance. The bold headers and subheadings make it easier to segment the sections so readers can focus on the area most relevant to them.

What we like about this example is how much it covers. From the ideal buyer persona to actional activities, as well as positioning and metrics, this marketing plan has it all.

Another marketing plan example that caught our eye is this one from Cengage. Although a bit text-heavy and traditional, it explains the various sections well. The clean layout makes this plan easy to read and absorb.

Cengage marketing plan example

The last marketing plan example we would like to feature in this section is this one from Lush cosmetics.

It is a long one but it’s also very detailed. The plan outlines numerous areas, including the company mission, SWOT analysis , brand positioning, packaging, geographical criteria, and much more.

Lush marketing plan

2. Content marketing plan

A content marketing plan highlights different strategies , campaigns or tactics you can use for your content to help your business reach its goals.

This one-page marketing plan example from Contently outlines a content strategy and workflow using simple colors and blocks. The bullet points detail more information but this plan can easily be understood at a glance, which makes it so effective.

contently marketing plan

For a more detailed content marketing plan example, take a look at this template which features an editorial calendar you can share with the whole team:

nonprofit content marketing plan

3. SEO marketing plan

Your SEO marketing plan highlights what you plan to do for your SEO marketing strategy . This could include tactics for website on-page optimization , off-page optimization using AI SEO , and link building using an SEO PowerSuite backlink API for quick backlink profile checks.

This SEO marketing plan example discusses in detail the target audience of the business and the SEO plan laid out in different stages:

SEO marketing plan example

4. Social media marketing plan

Your social media marketing plan presents what you’ll do to reach your marketing goal through social media. This could include tactics specific to each social media channel that you own, recommendations on developing a new channel, specific campaigns you want to run, and so on, like how B2B channels use Linkedin to generate leads with automation tools and expand their customer base; or like making use of Twitter walls that could display live Twitter feeds from Twitter in real-time on digital screens.

For B2C brands, you can target Facebook and Instagram. Gain Instagram likes to build trust for your brand’s profile and post engaging content on both platforms

Edit this social media marketing plan example easily with Venngage’s drag-and-drop editor:

social media marketing plan example

5. Demand generation marketing plan

This could cover your paid marketing strategy (which can include search ads, paid social media ads, traditional advertisements, etc.), email marketing strategy and more. Here’s an example:

promotional marketing plan

1. Free marketing plan template

Here’s a free nonprofit marketing plan example that is ideal for organizations with a comprehensive vision to share. It’s a simple plan that is incredibly effective. Not only does the plan outline the core values of the company, it also shares the ideal buyer persona.

business plan the marketing

Note how the branding is consistent throughout this example so there is no doubt which company is presenting this plan. The content plan is an added incentive for anyone viewing the document to go ahead and give the team the green light.

2. Pastel social media marketing campaign template

Two-page marketing plan samples aren’t very common, but this free template proves how effective they are. There’s a dedicated section for business goals as well as for project planning .

Pastel Social Media Marketing Plan Template

The milestones for the marketing campaign are clearly laid out, which is a great way to show how organized this business strategy is.

3. Small business marketing strategy template

This marketing plan template is perfect for small businesses who set out to develop an overarching marketing strategy for the whole year:

Notice how this aligns pretty well with the marketing plan outline we discussed in previous sections.

In terms of specific tactics for the company’s marketing strategy, the template only discusses SEO strategy, but you can certainly expand on that section to discuss any other strategies — such as link building , that you would like to build out a complete marketing plan for.

4. Orange simple marketing proposal template

Marketing plans, like the sample below, are a great way to highlight what your business strategy and the proposal you wan to put forward to win potential customers.

Orange Simple Marketing Proposal Template

5. One-page marketing fact sheet template

This one-page marketing plan example is great for showcasing marketing efforts in a persuasive presentation or to print out for an in-person meeting.

Nonprofit Healthcare Company Fact Sheet Template

Note how the fact sheet breaks down the marketing budget as well as the key metrics for the organization. You can win over clients and partners with a plan like this.

6. Light company business fact sheet template

This one-page sample marketing plan clearly outlines the marketing objectives for the organization. It’s a simple but effective way to share a large amount of information in a short amount of time.

Light Company Business Fact Sheet Template

What really works with this example is that includes a mission statement, key contact information alongside all the key metrics.

7. Marketing media press kit template

This press kit marketing plan template is bright and unmistakable as belonging to the Cloud Nine marketing agency . The way the brand colors are used also helps diversify the layouts for each page, making the plan easier to read.

Marketing Media Press Kit Template

We like the way the marketing department has outlined the important facts about the organization. The bold and large numbers draw the eye and look impressive.

8. Professional marketing proposal template

Start your marketing campaign on a promising note with this marketing plan template. It’s short, sharp and to the point. The table of contents sets out the agenda, and there’s a page for the company overview and mission statement.

Professional Marketing Proposal Template

9. Social media marketing proposal template

A complete marketing plan example, like the one below, not only breaks down the business goals to be achieved but a whole lot more. Note how the terms and conditions and payment schedule are included, which makes this one of the most comprehensive marketing plans on our list.

Checkered Social Media Marketing Proposal Template

What should marketing plans include?

Marketing plans should include:

  • A detailed analysis of the target market and customer segments.
  • Clear and achievable marketing objectives and goals.
  • Strategies and tactics for product promotion and distribution.
  • Budget allocation for various marketing activities.
  • Timelines and milestones for the implementation of marketing strategies.
  • Evaluation metrics and methods for tracking the success of the marketing plan.

What is an executive summary in a marketing plan and what is its main goal?

An executive summary in a marketing plan is a brief overview of the entire document, summarizing the key points, goals, and strategies. Its main goal is to provide readers with a quick understanding of the plan’s purpose and to entice them to read further.

What are the results when a marketing plan is effective?

When a marketing plan is effective, businesses can experience increased brand visibility, higher customer engagement , improved sales and revenue, and strengthened customer loyalty.

What is the first section of a marketing plan?

The first section of a marketing plan is typically the “Executive Summary,” which provides a concise overview of the entire plan, including the business’s goals and the strategies to achieve them.

Now that you have the basics for designing your own marketing plan, it’s time to get started:

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How to Write a Business Plan: Your Step-by-Step Guide

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So, you’ve got an idea and you want to start a business —great! Before you do anything else, like seek funding or build out a team, you'll need to know how to write a business plan. This plan will serve as the foundation of your company while also giving investors and future employees a clear idea of your purpose.

Below, Lauren Cobello, Founder and CEO of Leverage with Media PR , gives her best advice on how to make a business plan for your company.

Build your dream business with the help of a high-paying job—browse open jobs on The Muse »

What is a business plan, and when do you need one?

According to Cobello, a business plan is a document that contains the mission of the business and a brief overview of it, as well as the objectives, strategies, and financial plans of the founder. A business plan comes into play very early on in the process of starting a company—more or less before you do anything else.

“You should start a company with a business plan in mind—especially if you plan to get funding for the company,” Cobello says. “You’re going to need it.”

Whether that funding comes from a loan, an investor, or crowdsourcing, a business plan is imperative to secure the capital, says the U.S. Small Business Administration . Anyone who’s considering giving you money is going to want to review your business plan before doing so. That means before you head into any meeting, make sure you have physical copies of your business plan to share.

Different types of business plans

The four main types of business plans are:

Startup Business Plans

Internal business plans, strategic business plans, one-page business plans.

Let's break down each one:

If you're wondering how to write a business plan for a startup, Cobello has advice for you. Startup business plans are the most common type, she says, and they are a critical tool for new business ventures that want funding. A startup is defined as a company that’s in its first stages of operations, founded by an entrepreneur who has a product or service idea.

Most startups begin with very little money, so they need a strong business plan to convince family, friends, banks, and/or venture capitalists to invest in the new company.

Internal business plans “are for internal use only,” says Cobello. This kind of document is not public-facing, only company-facing, and it contains an outline of the company’s business strategy, financial goals and budgets, and performance data.

Internal business plans aren’t used to secure funding, but rather to set goals and get everyone working there tracking towards them.

As the name implies, strategic business plans are geared more towards strategy and they include an assessment of the current business landscape, notes Jérôme Côté, a Business Advisor at BDC Advisory Services .

Unlike a traditional business plan, Cobello adds, strategic plans include a SWOT analysis (which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and an in-depth action plan for the next six to 12 months. Strategic plans are action-based and take into account the state of the company and the industry in which it exists.

Although a typical business plan falls between 15 to 30 pages, some companies opt for the much shorter One-Page Business Plan. A one-page business plan is a simplified version of the larger business plan, and it focuses on the problem your product or service is solving, the solution (your product), and your business model (how you’ll make money).

A one-page plan is hyper-direct and easy to read, making it an effective tool for businesses of all sizes, at any stage.

How to create a business plan in 7 steps

Every business plan is different, and the steps you take to complete yours will depend on what type and format you choose. That said, if you need a place to start and appreciate a roadmap, here’s what Cobello recommends:

1. Conduct your research

Before writing your business plan, you’ll want to do a thorough investigation of what’s out there. Who will be the competitors for your product or service? Who is included in the target market? What industry trends are you capitalizing on, or rebuking? You want to figure out where you sit in the market and what your company’s value propositions are. What makes you different—and better?

2. Define your purpose for the business plan

The purpose of your business plan will determine which kind of plan you choose to create. Are you trying to drum up funding, or get the company employees focused on specific goals? (For the former, you’d want a startup business plan, while an internal plan would satisfy the latter.) Also, consider your audience. An investment firm that sees hundreds of potential business plans a day may prefer to see a one-pager upfront and, if they’re interested, a longer plan later.

3. Write your company description

Every business plan needs a company description—aka a summary of the company’s purpose, what they do/offer, and what makes it unique. Company descriptions should be clear and concise, avoiding the use of jargon, Cobello says. Ideally, descriptions should be a few paragraphs at most.

4. Explain and show how the company will make money

A business plan should be centered around the company’s goals, and it should clearly explain how the company will generate revenue. To do this, Cobello recommends using actual numbers and details, as opposed to just projections.

For instance, if the company is already making money, show how much and at what cost (e.g. what was the net profit). If it hasn’t generated revenue yet, outline the plan for how it will—including what the product/service will cost to produce and how much it will cost the consumer.

5. Outline your marketing strategy

How will you promote the business? Through what channels will you be promoting it? How are you going to reach and appeal to your target market? The more specific and thorough you can be with your plans here, the better, Cobello says.

6. Explain how you’ll spend your funding

What will you do with the money you raise? What are the first steps you plan to take? As a founder, you want to instill confidence in your investors and show them that the instant you receive their money, you’ll be taking smart actions that grow the company.

7. Include supporting documents

Creating a business plan is in some ways akin to building a legal case, but for your business. “You want to tell a story, and to be as thorough as possible, while keeping your plan succinct, clear, interesting, and visually appealing,” Cobello says. “Supporting documents could include financial projects, a competitive analysis of the market you’re entering into, and even any licenses, patents, or permits you’ve secured.”

A business plan is an individualized document—it’s ultimately up to you what information to include and what story you tell. But above all, Cobello says, your business plan should have a clear focus and goal in mind, because everything else will build off this cornerstone.

“Many people don’t realize how important business plans are for the health of their company,” she says. “Set aside time to make this a priority for your business, and make sure to keep it updated as you grow.”

business plan the marketing

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Create a Marketing Plan [+20 Free Templates]

Create a Marketing Plan [+20 Free Templates]

Written by: Mahnoor Sheikh

business plan the marketing

In this article, you'll find a step-by-step guide on how to create a  marketing plan that will work for almost every kind of business. We've also included 20+ free marketing plan templates throughout the post to help you get started on the right foot.

Here's a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit marketing plan templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more below:

business plan the marketing

Want to skip the tutorial? Create your marketing plan right away with Visme. Use ready-made marketing plan templates , download them as a PDF or share online.

Better yet, use Visme's AI Document Generator to create a fully designed marketing plan that aligns with your content. Prompt the generator with what you’re looking for, choose one of the styles and let the AI do its magic. Afterward, you can customize and finalize as you wish.

Table of Contents

What is a marketing plan, types of marketing plans, 10 marketing plan templates to get you started, why your business needs a marketing plan, how to create a marketing plan, marketing plan examples, marketing plan faqs.

A marketing plan is a roadmap that helps you set goals, understand your target audience and optimize the impact of your marketing campaigns.

  • There are several types of marketing plans depending on the objective. Some examples include social media marketing, influencer marketing, video marketing, and email marketing.
  • Your business needs a marketing plan to understand your business, align marketing goals with business goals, ensure everyone is on the same page, stay focused on what’s important and make better decisions.
  • Learn how to develop a marketing plan in 7 steps, starting with the executive summary and ending with a digital document ready to share with a live Visme link.
  • Discover 20 ready-to-use templates for different marketing plan types and get started straight away.

In simple words, it helps you get a clearer view of the what, why and how of all your marketing activities.

A good marketing plan also helps you communicate the “big” strategy and the different tactics involved to your marketing team . Last but not least, it lets you track the success of your campaigns.

A marketing plan should ideally include:

  • Your long-term and short-term marketing goals
  • A description of your target audience or buyer persona
  • One or more high-level marketing strategies and tactics

Take a look at this one-page marketing plan template as an example.


Create your Marketing Plan with this easy-to-edit template! Edit and Download

If your plan is more detailed, you can also consider including:

  • An overview of the current market situation
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Any budget or financial considerations
  • An execution timeline or roadmap

A marketing plan is usually presented as a PDF document, but you can also whip up a more creative version of it. For example, you can create an infographic , presentation and even an interactive web page to share your plan.

Or you can create a single-page marketing plan similar to the one above.

Scroll down to the end of this post to access seven full marketing plan templates.

Marketing Plan vs. Business Plan

Marketing plans and business plans are both essential pieces of business strategy, but their purpose is different. The terms are often used interchangeably or together: marketing business plan. But each plan is different and here's what sets them apart.

Business plans cover a business's overall strategy, from the branding strategy to the company-wide marketing strategies. A marketing plan solely concentrates on a specific marketing strategy or a branch of the overall department.

For example, one marketing plan can be for digital marketing strategies, while another can be for billboards. Likewise, a marketing plan can be for a single campaign, covering all marketing channels.

Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan

A marketing strategy and a marketing plan are key pieces in the company’s marketing puzzle. However, they serve different purposes.

A marketing strategy is the overall framework guiding a company's marketing efforts. It outlines how your organization will position itself in the market, target ideal customers, and create value for them. A marketing strategy is often long-term and forms the foundation for all your marketing activities.

A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap for organizing, executing and tracking your marketing strategy within a specific timeframe. It provides a step-by-step guide for achieving specific objectives, such as increasing sales, improving brand awareness, or entering new markets.

Simply put, a marketing plan translates your strategy into actionable steps with timelines for implementation and metrics for measuring success.

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Just as there are several types of marketing strategies, there are numerous types of marketing plans. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Quarterly or Annual Marketing Plan

Quarterly and annual marketing plans are high-level plans for all the marketing activities that will happen in the next quarter or year. From this overarching plan, your team will create smaller, more detailed plans according to specific strategies. These could be daily, weekly or monthly marketing plans.

business plan the marketing

Social Media Marketing Plan

Social media marketing plans highlight the goal and objective of a brand’s activities on social media that are geared toward marketing. This plan includes campaign information, repurposing guidelines across social media channels and who’s in the social media team.

business plan the marketing

Content Marketing Plan

A content marketing plan outlines all the content pillars for the brand and what content types need to be created for each pillar. Any content marketing strategies planned out for the brand’s content are detailed in the plan, along with a roadmap and goals.

business plan the marketing

New Product Launch Plan

In a new product launch plan, the pages lay out all the steps toward a successful launch. Separated into pre-launch, launch and post-launch, the different teams will know what they need to do to complete the plan’s objectives.

business plan the marketing

Growth Marketing Plan

Growth marketing plans are specifically geared toward brand growth. This plan document lays out all the strategies to undertake in order to grow the brand name online, locally or some other way.

business plan the marketing

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing plans concentrate on outlining all steps to implement an influencer strategy. Sections include the list of potential or chosen influencers and what will be asked and expected of them to reach the plan’s goals.

Market Penetration Marketing Plan

A market penetration marketing plan highlights all the activities involved in marketing existing products to existing customers.

This marketing strategy is considered the most popular in business models. Some examples include discounts on favorite products or new features and updates.

business plan the marketing

Market Development Marketing Plan

In market development plans, existing products are marketed to new customers and niches. These strategies focus on business objectives like developing distribution channels and increasing brand awareness.

Product/Service Development Marketing Plan

Product development plans outline the activities dealing with marketing new products to existing customers. These marketing plans include examples such as product launches and market insertion plans.

Diversification Marketing Plan

In diversification, marketing plans focus on strategies to launch and promote new products or services to new markets and customers. These marketing plans are on the ambitious side.

Need help putting together a full marketing plan?

Here is our handpicked collection of 10 marketing plan templates for various types of businesses.

Pick the one that best fits your industry and start customizing it in the Visme editor right away. Replace the colors, fonts, text, images, icons and more with a few clicks. Use the dynamic fields option to edit repeating content across slides and create more efficient templates for your team with custom dynamic fields.

You can also tap into a free library of stock photos and add animated characters, illustrations and gestures for advanced customization.

If you’re still on the fence about using Visme for your marketing plans, look at what one of our users has to say:

“I feel that for anyone who wants to improve efficiency and effectiveness at the workplace, VISME gives you the extra edge to take things forward.

It's an apt tool for quickly converting your thought process into a unique communication.” - Autumn | Finance Manager

1. Real Estate Marketing Plan Template

Real Estate Marketing Plan

This tailored marketing plan template is perfect for all kinds of real estate and property businesses, complete with a professional “About” section and SWOT analysis.

It has a modern feel to it with a clean layout and corporate color scheme. You can easily switch it out for your own brand colors if you want.

2. Social Media Marketing Plan Template

A good social media strategy needs a marketing plan of its own, which is why this template is a must-have for any business trying to win at this game.

Customize this social media marketing plan template to lay out your goals for the next year or quarter, and outline the key points of your strategy for each social channel.

Add a dose of interactivity by creating a clickable menu or building an interactive table of contents. Interactive plans make a positive impression on team members and stakeholders, improving work satisfaction and productivity.

3. Digital Marketing Plan Template

marketing plan - Digital-marketing-plan-template

Create your Marketing Plan with this easy-to-edit template. Edit and Download

Create an actionable marketing plan covering your digital channels with this detailed template.

This digital marketing plan has a classy design and layout, and features key headings like an executive summary, a SWOT analysis, key performance indicators and even a nice table of contents.

4. Product Marketing Plan Template


Creating an effective product marketing plan requires in-depth research of your target market, company strengths and weaknesses, as well as an effective marketing plan design.

This product marketing plan template covers all those basics, along with a detailed budget planner that you can edit with your own financial data.

5. Personal Marketing Plan Template


Hiring someone to help build a powerful personal brand?

This personal marketing plan example is perfect for that purpose. It’s a simple, three-page document with a professional resume detailing skills and experience, followed by a goals page.

6. Marketing Plan Presentation Template

business plan the marketing

This marketing plan presentation template is a great way to share your marketing goals, SWOT, strategy, timeline, deliverables and more with your team and the management.

You can easily get the slides printed later and share the copies with your team. Edit this marketing plan presentation online in Visme and create a slideshow that's powerful and effective.

7. Retail Marketing Plan Presentation Template

presentation slides - marketing plan template visme

Here is another marketing plan presentation template you can use. This presentation template is especially relevant and useful if you're in the retail business.

Customize this marketing plan template online and download it in PDF or PowerPoint format, or save the slides separately in image format. You can also present this presentation online using a link — no downloads needed!

8. Restaurant Marketing Plan Template


Designing a marketing plan doesn’t have to be daunting. With this template, you can create a comprehensive marketing plan for your food business, whether it’s a small cafe, a big fancy restaurant or a fast food joint.

This marketing plan example features stock photos of food that you can replace with your own. Additionally, you can edit any images with the AI Edit Tools to remove backgrounds or unwanted objects or upscale/unblur less than perfect photos.

This template also has a versatile design that can be tailored to your own brand style and even an entirely different industry.

9. Content Marketing Plan Template

Social Media Marketing Plan

Content is a key element of inbound marketing. This content marketing plan template is carefully designed to match the needs of SaaS and other businesses that want to focus on taking their content strategy to the next level.

If your marketing goals are to drive traffic, generate leads and grow sales through publishing insightful content , this marketing plan will help you organize your editorial calendar.

Take advantage of the fact that you’re already logged in to Visme, and use the resources at your disposal to execute a content marketing plan.

Design blog graphics, infographic visuals, social media content and videos right inside your Visme editor. Share and schedule posts to social media directly from the integrated social media calendar .

10. Marketing Plan Infographic Template

video marketing plan infographic template

If you're not looking to create a detailed or formal document with several pages, this to-the-point marketing plan infographic template is a great pick.

It's a quick way to share the marketing plan for a one-off project and contains all the necessary details.

I’ve already mentioned how a marketing plan can help you better understand your company’s marketing goals and how to achieve them, but that’s not where the benefits end.

A well-researched marketing plan can help you:

  • Understand your business. Conducting thorough research on current market conditions and where your company stands can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, as well as new opportunities.
  • Align marketing goals with business goals. Without a plan, it can be easy to lose your sense of direction. A marketing plan helps you ensure that your marketing goals are aligned with the vision, mission statement and goals of your business.
  • Ensure everyone is on the same page. Having a working document of your marketing makes it easier for not just your team, but also the entire company to work together towards a common goal.
  • Stay focused on what’s important. A marketing plan is a constant reminder of your goals and strategies, which keeps you from getting sidetracked.
  • Make better decisions. Planning ahead of time can prevent you from making hasty decisions when difficult situations arise.

Hey marketers! Need to create scroll-stopping visual content fast?

  • Transform your visual content with Visme’s easy-to-use content creation platform
  • Produce beautiful, effective marketing content quickly even without an extensive design skillset
  • Inspire your sales team to create their own content with branded templates for easy customization

Sign up. It’s free.

business plan the marketing

There’s no one way of creating a marketing plan, but there are some key components that should go inside a winning one. Follow the steps below to create an effective marketing plan.

1. Start with an executive summary.

The executive summary usually goes at the beginning of your marketing plan. It’s basically a short summary or brief overview of your company and the key takeaways from the entire marketing plan.

Here’s an executive summary template you can edit and use for your own business.


The template above is a great example of an executive summary that highlights the key function of a business and the purpose of its marketing plan.

You can also include company achievements and future plans for your business in your summary.

Remember, your executive summary should be concise and to the point. Instead of boring your readers to sleep, it should grab their attention and get them excited about the rest of the plan.

2. State your company’s mission, vision and values.

Before you dive into all the marketing stuff, it’s a good idea to revisit your company’s values, vision and mission. This helps put all the information inside your marketing plan into perspective.

It answers the question of why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Here’s a neat mission, vision and values template to edit and use.


For anyone who reads your marketing plan, this section is important to educate them about the ultimate aim of your business so they can make better sense of your marketing goals, activities and future plans.

3. Identify the market and competition.

The next step is to build a marketing plan is back it up with solid research.

This is often achieved by analyzing your current market situation, studying your competition and most importantly, looking into your own company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Here’s a market share template that can help you visualize that information and share it with your colleagues and stakeholders.


You can customize this template according to your own brand colors and input your own information. Use it on its own as part of a marketing plan or in a report or presentation .

Here’s another cool design to help you present your market research. Use this SWOT analysis template to highlight your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


Instead of adding a boring table that no one wants to read, use a well-designed SWOT like the one above to draw attention to your research.

Here's another worksheet-style SWOT analysis template that you can print out and fill, or edit using Visme before adding to your marketing plan document or presentation.

business plan the marketing

You can also conduct a SWOT analysis of your competitors, which takes us to another key component of your market research — the competitor analysis .

Studying your competition is crucial to the success of your business. You need to know what they’re doing, what’s working for them and how you can do it better.

Here are a few things to research about your competitors:

  • Their marketing and leadership team
  • Their growth and financials
  • Their best-selling products or services
  • Their top-performing blog posts (use a tool like Ahrefs or SiteChecker to do this)
  • Their video marketing strategy
  • Their social media marketing strategy

Here's a competitive analysis template you can use and add to your marketing plan.

business plan the marketing

A template like the one above can help you organize and visualize important information about your competitors. In turn, this can help you identify opportunities and set goals.

4. Define your target customer.

Differentiating the target audience and the target market will help you better understand the position of your business within the market. Therefore, it’s important to identify who your buyer or ideal customer is so you can create more informed and tailored marketing strategies.

Naturally, the target customer for every business is different. But the goal is the same — to increase customer awareness.

You may also have more than one kind of customer. For example, a clothing store could be making products for both teens and older women at the same time.

Check out this target audience template to visualize your various customer segments. Use it to better understand your potential customers' attitudes and habits.

marketing plan - Define-your-target-customer

You can edit this template and use it as part of your marketing plan layout or presentation. It’s a great way to present the different types of your audience in a way that’s easy to understand.

The pie chart helps identify which chunk makes the bigger part of your customer base so you can focus most of your marketing efforts in that area.

If you’re looking for a more creative approach, take a look at the buyer persona template below.

UX Designer Customer Persona

This infographic template is a fun way to visualize your buyer’s demographic details, habits and goals, i.e.,  whether they're interested in online learning options like digital marketing courses or if they prefer in-person.

Another cool way to create a customer persona is to design it like a resume . This is useful for adding more information in one page without cluttering up the design.

Here’s a resume-style customer persona template you can edit.

customer persona resume template marketing plan

This type of buyer persona design makes use of icons and data widgets , like progress bars.

In the end, the goal of creating a buyer persona is to better organize and understand key information about your customer. Use the template that works best for your business.

5. Outline your marketing goals.

In this part of the marketing plan, you need to specify what you aim to achieve.

Outline your marketing goals and objectives, and make sure you use actual numbers instead of writing vague statements.

For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic , mention the exact target so you can track to see if you achieved it or not.

Here’s a marketing goals template you can use as part of your marketing plan.

marketing plan goals template

Remember to create SMART goals for your marketing plan and strategy. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

In the template above, notice how the target is defined as a percentage. You can also add a deadline to your marketing goal to make it time-bound.

If you want to share your marketing goals in an infographic format, here’s another template you can edit and use for your own company.

marketing plan goals infographic template

The template above is a more detailed goals infographic with three different phases, which makes it ideal for SaaS companies and mobile apps.

6. Present your marketing strategy.

Now comes the good stuff. In this step, write down one or more marketing strategies and the tactics to execute for each one. Make sure you include:

  • How to do it
  • The channels to use

This is best presented visually so the entire team can understand each step. You can divide your activities into stages, and present them using a marketing strategy template like the one below.

marketing plan strategy template

Another way to present your marketing strategy is by attaching deadlines to it. This can be easily done using a timeline or a Gantt chart .

marketing plan promotional gantt chart roadmap template

Another way to present your marketing strategy is with the help of a roadmap. A roadmap outlines the tactics involved in your overall marketing strategy, and can be designed to look similar to a Gantt chart.

Here's a marketing roadmap template you can use for your own business.

business plan the marketing

If you want to do things differently, you can also use an infographic to visualize your marketing strategy.

An infographic is eye-catching and can be added to any of your presentations and reports. You can even share it on its own with your marketing team or other colleagues.

Here’s a marketing infographic template that divides your execution strategy into four phases.

marketing plan launch infographic template

Customize this template and make it your own! Edit and Download

Another way to visualize your marketing strategy is with the help of a mind map. Mind maps are great for providing your team with an overview of the different elements that are involved in your marketing strategy.

Here's a mind map template that shows how this can be done for a Twitter content marketing strategy.

business plan the marketing

You can easily build mind maps using our mind map maker .

Keep in mind that your marketing strategy should be actionable and detailed. Explain each step clearly and don’t leave out any information just for the sake of design.

7. Define your marketing budget.

Last but not least, detail your marketing budget considerations in your marketing plan.

This is important so you don’t lose sight of the financial aspect of things during execution and implementation. After all, marketing is costly and there are tons of hidden expenses involved.  You need a budget template to lay out your financial projections.

Here’s an editable marketing budget template you can use.

marketing plan budget table template

Including a detailed marketing budget also helps in hiring the right staff and choosing between paid resources so you don’t exceed a certain amount.

You’re probably wondering: What does a marketing plan look like? In this section, we’ll share 5 real-life examples of marketing plans from companies.

1. Visit Baton Rouge

marketing plan example- visit baton rouge

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This marketing plan is an example of how to create a well-structured and eye-catching marketing plan. The plan has a sophisticated design adorned with captivating images and a rich blend of bright colors.

The proposed marketing plan starts with a situational analysis and review of the previous year. The following pages take a deep dive into key sections, like

  • SWOT analysis
  • Target Audience
  • Overall goals
  • Different marketing strategies

Each of the different marketing strategies has individual goals, strategies and detailed plans of action. Additionally, the plan features a comprehensive event calendar and evaluation criteria. This makes it easier for the marketing team to stay organized, implement and track progress.

2. Safe Haven Family Shelter

marketing plan example- safe haven

If you're looking for a template for a marketing plan that will be presented to internal stakeholders at all levels of your organization, this is a perfect example. Although created by a non-profit, it can be adapted for startups and growing businesses.

This comprehensive plan includes everything you need to get started, from SMART marketing goals and deadlines to action steps, long-term objectives, target audiences, core marketing messages and metrics.

This marketing plan example follows a simple format. The content is mostly presented in a list and tabular format, making it well-organized and easy to scan. Readers quickly grasp the organization's strategic direction for its upcoming marketing initiatives.

3. University of Illinois

marketing plan example- university of illinois

This detailed marketing plan example is encased in a document format with a bold, eye-catching design. The stunning image and energetic orange color on the cover page immediately grab attention and communicate the brand's dynamic personality. This comprehensive market plan example from the University of Illinois has three key sections.

  • Section I provides context on population definitions, admissions funnel stages and core knowledge of the students informing their strategy.
  • Section II captures upcoming market research efforts that will inform future strategy.
  • Section III takes a deep dive into their strategic plan. This includes objectives, detailed marketing programs to achieve those objectives, and success metrics.

We love that the plan effectively dissects the high-level components of its overall strategy and pairs them with concrete, actionable marketing tactics. Another standout feature is that the pages are filled with compelling visuals, engaging copy and informative graphs and maps that convey their strategic vision and roadmap for marketing efforts.

4. Wright County Economic Development

marketing plan example - Wright County Economic Development

One of the standout features of the plan is its ease of readability. The sections are clearly organized, allowing readers to quickly scan and identify the most relevant information. It contains key sections, including partners, goals and marketing initiatives—attraction, retention and community relations.

Additionally, the plan offers a thorough breakdown of projected costs per marketing initiative, a crucial detail for upper-level management and stakeholders. This feature makes it easier for decision-makers to understand the financial implications of the proposed plan and allocate resources accordingly.

Overall, Wright County Economic Development's plan serves as a valuable example for marketers looking to develop a practical and effective marketing plan.

5. Visit Oxnard

marketing plan example - Visit Oxnard

Being a leisure and lifestyle business, Visit Oxnard infuses captivating designs and vibrant photos that showcase the beauty and excitement of landscapes, landmarks, adventure and resorts. Their innovative plan puts a spin on traditional tourism marketing by focusing on the business side of travel.

This marketing plan example begins with a marketing plan overview, company overview, mission, and goals. Then it dives deeper into the framework and approach the company will take to continue on a positive path forward to economic recovery and growth. Other key sections highlighted in the plan include

  • Market Research and Findings
  • Customer Personas
  • Diverse Offerings
  • Earned Media
  • Owned Media
  • Industry Relations and more

This approach by Visit Oxnard demonstrates how creating actionable marketing plans can help forward-thinking companies capitalize on untapped opportunities.

Still not convinced about the use of marketing plans for your business? Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you make a final decision.

Q. What Is a Marketing Plan Template?

A marketing plan template is a customizable document with placeholder content that can help you get started quickly. Creating a marketing plan from scratch takes too much time. Using a template not only sets up you for faster designing but it also inspires creativity.

Beautiful internal communications inspire delight in coworkers, making it more enjoyable to check off lists and follow processes. Marketing plans on plain white documents just get lost in email threads. Visme marketing plan templates are the solution.

Q. What Is an Executive Summary in a Marketing Plan?

The executive summary in a marketing plan is a superpowered table of contents. In an executive summary page or slide, you share the notable points to be discussed in the subsequent content of the plan in question. An executive summary is comparable to the Quick Read section at the top of our articles.

Q. What Is a Top-Down Marketing Strategy?

A top-down marketing strategy is a traditional strategy with a broad target and brand messaging. Think of the marketing funnel and how at the top it’s wide open. Top down marketing strategies work up there, catching as many people as possible with a message that appeals to a wide audience.

Q. What Is a Bottom-Up Marketing Strategy?

A bottom-up marketing strategy is a targeted strategy for a product or service that meets the needs of a specific audience. Bottom-up marketing strategies are more common in small businesses and startups that don’t yet have large audiences.

Q. What Are the 4 C’s of a Marketing Plan?

The 4C’s of marketing are:

  • Customer: The most important factor in a marketing strategy. It’s essential to know what the customer needs and wants.
  • Cost: Includes all expenses related to marketing and selling products and services for the company.
  • Convenience: The customer shopping experience must be as simple as possible for the client.
  • Communication: Includes all interactions between the brand and the consumer. Brand touchpoints are excellent communication opportunities.

These four are called the "marketing mix. Another marketing mix you should know is the 4 Ps or the Four Principles of Marketing .

Q. What Makes a Good Marketing Plan?

For a marketing plan to be good, it doesn’t take much. But for a marketing plan to be great, make sure you check off this checklist:

  • Develop targeting and positioning assessments for the strategy and give clear guidance in the marketing plan as to how the messaging will be targeted in marketing copy.
  • Share clear promotional tactics per channel, touchpoint or activity. Explain how to repurpose marketing content with intent and tailor promotions to their destination.
  • Include a scope assessment and a simple scope management plan for the marketing strategies in the marketing plan.
  • Keep the marketing plan document alive by updating and referencing it during the strategy’s lifecycle. Be ready for pivots and changes in the scope.
  • Turn your marketing plan into an online digital experience that no one needs to download, print or keep in storage. Visme has an endless array of features to help you create the most engaging business communication.

Q. What Is the Most Important Part of a Marketing Plan?

The most important part of a marketing plan is the targeted consumer, specifically their needs and wants. The entirety of your marketing plan serves the purpose of how your company will use marketing strategies to sell solutions to the customer.

Q. How Can I Make a Marketing Plan With My Team?

With Visme, you can create marketing plans collaboratively in a number of ways. Brainstorm and strategize the plan together in the infinite whiteboard and then design together in the editor. The Visme whiteboard can have multiple pages to control brainstorming iterations and organize meeting results.

Invite members to the whiteboard or workspace by clicking the person+ icon on the top right. They’ll need to have their own Visme account to access the editor or whiteboard you’re inviting them to.

You can also use the workflow feature to assign entire projects or specific tasks to different team members and work on a project together. Keep track of what’s being worked on, leave feedback comments and support each other through the process.

Q. Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan: What’s the Difference?

A marketing strategy is a document or plan that outlines how your organization will deal with market positioning, ICPs and other strategic aspects of a marketing scheme. They can be long- or short-term strategies that form the foundation of all marketing activities.

Marketing plans, on the other hand, are detailed roadmaps that organize how to execute and track a marketing strategy. They provide a guide to achieving the outlined objectives. Marketing plans turn your strategy into an actionable, step-by-step timeline and a foundation for measuring success.

Create a Winning Marketing Plan for Your Business

For most businesses, operating without a solid marketing plan results in ineffective campaigns, reduced ROI and unexpected costs. And nobody wants that.

A custom marketing plan helps you align your marketing objectives and activities with your overall business goals and brings entire teams together on the same page.

Ready to create a professional marketing plan of your own? Get started from scratch or choose one of our marketing plan templates today.

Create effective marketing plans that makes you stand out using Visme

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About the Author

Mahnoor Sheikh is the content marketing manager at Visme. She has years of experience in content strategy and execution, SEO copywriting and graphic design. She is also the founder of MASH Content and is passionate about tea, kittens and traveling with her husband. Get in touch with her on LinkedIn .

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Free Marketing Plan Examples: Real-World Samples & Templates

By Joe Weller | April 27, 2024

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A  marketing plan  is a comprehensive document that outlines a company’s marketing strategy and tactics, and ensures that its marketing goals align with its overall objectives. Effective marketing plans include detailed analysis of the market along with roadmaps for upcoming campaigns. Inside this article, you’ll find the  elements of a marketing plan , 10 real-world examples of marketing plans with commentary from experienced marketing professionals, free marketing plan templates and samples , and a  chart to help you determine which template suits your needs .

Marketing Plan Elements

Typical marketing plans begin with an executive summary and include audience demographics, company objectives, situational analysis of the business, and marketing strategies and tactics. Market research and analysis provide campaign direction, and the budget and timeline offer practical parameters. A marketing plan can provide an overview of all strategies and campaigns to be executed in a certain time frame, or it can focus on a specific product, channel, or strategy. The level of detail and the sections included might vary, depending on the organization’s needs. The nine main elements of a marketing plan are:  

Executive Summary and Mission Statement:  A concise, high-level summary conveys the purpose of your marketing plan, introduces key strategies and research insights, and highlights the most important takeaways for stakeholders. For example, an executive summary might outline your brand’s identity, its place within the competitive landscape, and the major opportunities that upcoming marketing campaigns will target. Longer plans might include a separate mission statement or vision statement to align marketing efforts with your company’s larger goals. Discover more  examples of executive summaries with templates to help you write one effectively.  

Single Slide Executive Summary Example Template

Situational Analysis:  One of the most crucial elements of your marketing plan, a situational analysis is an assessment of the internal and external factors affecting a business’s performance. It should include research-based insights into market trends and dynamics, customer demographics and pain points, and internal resources.  A strong situational analysis often includes a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, which provides a foundation for an effective marketing strategy. Learn more about  how to perform a SWOT analysis .  

Competitive Analysis:  Understanding the competition is key to developing a compelling marketing plan. This analysis should consider recent marketing campaigns from similar brands to identify successful ways to reach a shared target audience. Being aware of the competitive landscape can also help your business develop a unique selling proposition and stand out in the market. The competitive analysis might be included in the larger situational analysis, or it might be a stand-alone section. For example, a marketing plan could include data on how competitors rank on keywords, or it could evaluate the performance of competitors’ recent social media campaigns. One common framework for understanding market dynamics is a Porter’s five forces analysis, which identifies the forces that contribute to industry rivals. Learn how to evaluate the competitive landscape with  free industry analysis templates .  

Porter’s Five Forces Model Example Template

Target Audience: In order to implement marketing strategies that engage consumers and drive conversions, businesses need to know who their audience is, what they want, and how they behave. A marketing plan should define a specific, segmented target audience with demographic, geographical, psychographic, and behavioral data.  This section often includes customer profiles or buyer personas — fictionalized representations of ideal customers or audience segments — which help marketers typify consumer behaviors. These profiles should include media habits and most-used platforms to ensure that your marketing plan selects the right channels for each campaign. Learn how to analyze your target market with  free customer profile templates .  

Simple Customer Profile Presentation Template

Goals and Objectives:  Marketing plans typically include both long-term goals, which provide broad direction for the company’s marketing strategy, and short-term objectives, which focus on more immediate tactics and campaigns. Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) and include corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs).  The goals and objectives in a marketing plan often focus on conversions, market share, brand awareness, or engagement. Clearly defined goals ensure strategically aligned marketing initiatives with measurable results. Take a look at  real-world examples of SMART goals for more insights.  

SMART Goals Worksheet Template with Sample Text

Marketing Strategy:  This section of a marketing plan details the business’s unique value proposition and the channels that will communicate it. A robust marketing strategy addresses the touchpoints in a consumer’s buying cycle and breaks down the 4 Ps (product, price, place, promotion) of the marketing mix. Channels might include digital marketing, advertisements, social media, and influencer partnerships. To develop an overarching marketing strategy, consider using a  marketing strategy template . To learn more about the 4 Ps, read this  product marketing guide .  

Marketing Strategy Example Template

Tactics and Action Plan:  A marketing plan is not an abstract strategy document, but a concrete roadmap for executing specific campaigns with specific tactics. Your plan should detail the messaging for each campaign and the corresponding methods for communication — such as email newsletters, social content, targeted ads, and public relations.  This section provides KPIs and actionable steps such as resource allocation, deliverables, and distribution plans. It might also include the expected outcome for each campaign. To plan individual campaigns, consider using a  marketing project plan template .  

Marketing Project Plan Template

Budget:  Marketing expenses might include the cost of advertising, content creation, website maintenance, or promotional materials; no marketing plan is complete without a budget that breaks down the costs of such initiatives. A clear, comprehensive budget ensures that marketing efforts are financially feasible and resources can be allocated for maximum impact. The budget also enables the marketing team to track the return on investment (ROI) of each campaign. To create a comprehensive budget, try our  free marketing budget templates .    

Marketing Budget Plan Template

Timeline:  Finally, a marketing plan includes a clear schedule for implementing its initiatives and tactics. This timeline details the start and end dates of each campaign, deadlines for deliverables, and key events or milestones. It keeps the marketing team aligned and initiatives on track, ensuring that marketing objectives can be achieved within the set time frame. Organize dates and deadlines with the help of a  marketing timeline template .  

Marketing Timeline Template

Marketing Plan Examples

Real-world marketing plans show how businesses utilize effective planning documents. These 10 examples from various industries exhibit unique strengths and weaknesses. With insightful commentary from marketing experts, these plans offer practical takeaways any marketer can use.  

Delmarva and the Ground for Change This  in-depth marketing plan for a documentary produced by the USDA Northeast Climate Hub includes audience profiles, competitive analysis, and a distribution plan. Along with a detailed breakdown of its digital marketing strategy, it considers how different tactics will affect the viewer’s content journey.   

Delmarva Marketing Plan

John Dinsmore , a marketing consultant and professor at Wright State University, praises this plan for its attractive design and thoughtful, thorough content: “They do a nice job of extrapolating on who the target market is and tying their tactics to achieving specific goals.”  He appreciates the inclusion of a SWOT analysis, but feels it could be done more effectively. “‘Opportunities’ is not a place for business ideas. It’s a place to identify external, positive trends that can help your initiative. In this context, an opportunity could be ‘Rising concern for and awareness of climate issues.’ Similarly, ‘threats’ is not a place to list things that are difficult. It’s for negative external trends such as ‘Increased skepticism over ability to combat climate change.’” 

Dekker Fraser

Dekker Fraser , former Global Marketing Manager at Sony PlayStation, adds that this plan includes a strong focus on collaborations with media and influencers: “Many marketing plans place too much emphasis on target customers and not enough on target collaborators.”  

Minnesota Tourism This  marketing plan by Explore Minnesota , the state’s Department of Tourism, showcases Minnesota’s beauty with vivid imagery. It uses a variety of demographic information to identify priority audience segments and includes well-designed infographics that analyze audience and competition. As a result, the campaigns are clearly targeted at specific audiences and objectives. 

John Rarrick

John Rarrick , Head of Marketing at Movius Corp., admires the strength of the message behind the strategy. “This plan has a very well-developed ‘why,’” he says. “You’ll see that often when the plan is to repair or save something that has undergone a time of great loss — such as a loss of revenue or reputation. The audience personas, goals, tactics, and budget are all detailed and measurable.” 

Minnesota Marketing Plan

Gold Coast Transit District  

Gold Coast Marketing Plan

A  short, high-level marketing plan for Gold Coast Transit highlights key campaigns and includes the most important details, such as timelines, budgets, and tactics. It begins with a bulleted overview of the most important takeaways and takes into account general marketing efforts that don’t fit under a specific campaign umbrella. Fraser notes that this plan includes year-round marketing initiatives, with an effective “emphasis on strong offers, such as youth-free fares.” However, he points out that its brand awareness goals could be more specific. “Instead, use context-specific awareness goals such as ‘When commuting to work, residents first think of Gold Coast Transit’ or ‘When coming home from the library at night, I think of taking the bus,’” he says. “In other words, peg awareness to specific category-entry points.”  

University of Arizona College of Engineering This  marketing, branding, and communications plan for the University of Arizona College of Engineering sets out a long-term vision, high-level goals, and strategies for achieving these goals. It has a section for methodology — including promotional videos and email newsletters — and segments its audience to align with its strategies. This plan “demonstrates a clearly defined audience,” according to Rarrick. That said, not every section of the plan includes the same level of specificity. “The KPIs are vague,” he adds. “I would expect to see something more measurable, rather than ‘increase’ or ‘improve.’” 

Arizona Marketing Plan

Timberland Regional Library This  library's two-year marketing plan sets initiatives in motion with a clear schedule for action. It includes both promotional and production calendars for effective planning, which is especially important for campaigns pegged to external events.  Dinsmore cites this plan’s “professional and elegant graphic design” as a strength. It also offers a roadmap for tackling several marketing campaigns on different timelines. However, he suggests that the plan needs more measurable goals and defined strategies. “There’s no overarching strategy that ties all of these tactics and initiatives together,” he says. “It’s just a laundry list of dates and actions.” 

Library Marketing Plan

Safe Haven Family Shelter Nonprofit organizations need creative marketing strategies to reach their targets and use funds efficiently. With specific objectives and actionable steps, this  marketing plan for Safe Haven Family Shelter delineates high-level goals and details the path to achieving them. It identifies the roles and responsibilities of individual team members to ensure alignment. Rarrick commends this plan for its “clearly defined audience and very clearly defined goals.” The plan showcases the differences between strategic business goals and measurable marketing objectives.  

Safe Haven Marketing Plan

Visit Myrtle Beach This  destination marketing plan by the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce  incorporates detailed information about target markets, audience personas, and key behaviors. It includes an infographic that illuminates the touchpoints in a traveler’s journey and shows the marketing team how each tactic contributes to conversions.  Overall, Dinsmore praises this plan as a “very smart and thoughtful presentation.” It outlines a distinct media mix for each target audience, defines its objectives clearly, and ties these objectives to success metrics. He continues, “I want to thank the Myrtle Beach folks for planning to measure their efforts. Measurement is often anathema to marketing people, but if you’re not measuring, you don’t know how to improve.”  With so much information to cover, the plan would benefit from an executive summary to introduce key takeaways. “The bigger the scope, the harder it is to make everything feel connected, and that’s a bit of an issue with this plan,” Dinsmore adds.  

Myrtle Beach Marketing Plan

Tropical Avocados This  example of a no-frills plan was commissioned by the nonprofit Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC) to help brand and launch tropical avocados in the U.S. market. It shows the importance of making branding decisions backed by market and consumer research. A detailed SWOT analysis and competitive analysis provide essential insights that enable the company to determine the best unique selling proposition.  A key strength of this plan is its detailed research into its audience. Fraser cites its “excellent identification of consumer objections — e.g., concern over how natural the avocado size is — and consumer behavior.” As a result, the brand can adopt effective messaging in its marketing campaigns. As with USDA Northeast Climate Hub’s Delmarva and the Ground for Change documentary, “target collaborators — e.g., food writers, organizations, and chefs — are included in the target audience. Collaborators are often more critical to the marketing plan than the consumers themselves,” Fraser adds.  

Avocados Marketing Plan

Rochelle Community Hospital This  case study of Rochelle Community Hospital in Rochelle, Illinois, shows how a targeted marketing plan can be used to achieve significant results. The report by Legato Healthcare Marketing showcases the importance of reevaluating an existing marketing strategy — in this case, shifting the emphasis from print to digital. External marketing agencies often have more tools at their disposal, particularly if the business has not had a strong digital presence. With targeted ads and website updates, the agency employed tactics with direct metrics in order to track its impact.   

Rochelle Hospital Marketing Plan

Visit Concord This  example from the Concord Tourism Improvement District marketing plan is concise and includes streamlined insights on the audience and market. It details each marketing channel with specific tactics and measurable KPIs.  The overall strategy, according to Fraser, offers “an excellent emphasis on social proof and word-of-mouth marketing,” as well as a “good balance of awareness and activation marketing.” In order to improve, he suggests, “the plan should factor in the following critical quantitative factors to help drive the media strategy: reach, frequency, and the total-addressable market.” 

Concord Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan Templates

Using a template takes the guesswork out of organizing a marketing plan document. These customizable templates include essential elements and options for specific industries or marketing channels, and they range from one-page plans to comprehensive, presentation-ready reports.

Microsoft Word Simple Marketing Plan Template

Simple Marketing Plan Sample

Download the Simple Marketing Plan Example Template for Microsoft Word Download the Blank Simple Marketing Plan Template for Microsoft Word

This example of a simple, customizable plan focuses on key strategies and prioritizes readability. This one-page marketing plan template includes space to summarize marketing strategy and overarching business objectives, along with an action plan to highlight responsibilities and deadlines.

Microsoft Word Annual Marketing Plan Template

Annual Marketing Plan Example

Download the Annual Marketing Plan Example Template for Microsoft Word Download the Blank Annual Marketing Plan Template for Microsoft Word  

This comprehensive marketing plan template includes a number of key sections — such as goals, target market, marketing channels, and performance standards — that can be customized to suit a variety of businesses. In the situational analysis, you can find space for both a 5C (company, collaborators, customers, competitors, climate) analysis and a SWOT analysis. The blank template begins with a table of contents, a business summary, and a mission statement to allow for easy readability. The sample focuses on marketing strategies for one fiscal year, but you can modify this plan for any time period. 

Microsoft Word Small Business Marketing Plan Template

Small Business Marketing Plan Example

Download the Small Business Marketing Plan Example Template for Microsoft Word Download the Blank Small Business Marketing Plan Template for Microsoft Word

A strong marketing plan is essential for small businesses looking to stand out from larger competitors. This small business marketing plan template provides an outline for a detailed marketing strategy, including a unique selling proposition, the 4Ps marketing mix, and marketing channels. It builds its strategy on situational analysis and identification of the business’s core capabilities. Find  more marketing plan templates  for different industries.

Microsoft Word Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

NonProfit Marketing Plan Example

Download the Nonprofit Marketing Plan Example Template for Microsoft Word Download the Blank Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template for Microsoft Word

This example marketing plan for a nonprofit incorporates information on the funding climate into its situational analysis, as well as a detailed organizational summary. With sections for short- and long-term goals, marketing strategies and channels, and stakeholder profiles, the template is comprehensive and customizable. Find  more nonprofit marketing plan templates here .

Excel Product Marketing Plan Template

Product Marketing Plan Example

Download the Product Marketing Plan Example Template for Excel Download the Blank Product Marketing Plan Template for Excel

When integrating a new product into existing marketing strategies, it’s important to take into account all the elements of the marketing mix. This product marketing plan template is organized by product, price, place, promotion, process, people, and physical evidence. In these sections, you can find space to consider market research, consumer behaviors, and marketing channels.

Excel Social Media Marketing Plan Template

Social Media Marketing Action Plan Example

Download the Social Media Marketing Plan Example Template for Excel Download the Blank Social Media Marketing Plan Template for Excel

For planning specific campaigns, this social media marketing action plan template begins with the campaign goal, highlights important promo dates, and separates actions by platform. It’s useful for executing targeted social media campaigns within a larger marketing strategy. Find  more marketing action plan templates here .

Excel Digital Marketing Plan Template

Digital Marketing Plan Example

Download the Digital Marketing Plan Example Template for Excel Download the Blank Digital Marketing Plan Template for Excel

Focusing on digital marketing channels is an effective way to organize strategies into a streamlined and actionable plan. This strategic digital marketing template highlights important audience behaviors and access channels to ensure messaging reaches consumers. Customizable for a variety of digital marketing projects, the template includes space for keywords, goals, and tasks. Find  more digital marketing plan templates here .

Which Marketing Plan Format Is Right for You?

To choose the right marketing plan format for your needs, consider the plan’s role in your marketing strategy. Do you need a comprehensive plan to provide an overview of tactics that will take place over a long period of time? Or are you looking for a plan to focus on specific channels, campaigns, or product launches? 

Each template in this article offers space to detail market research, strategies, and access channels. The longer plans include more sections for in-depth situational analysis and audience demographics, while the shorter plans focus on the marketing mix and action plan. This chart highlights the key elements of each marketing plan:  




















































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Your Guide to Creating a Small Business Marketing Plan

Follow these templates and guidelines to get started on your business's marketing plan.

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Table of Contents

To have a successful business, you need a well-thought-out marketing plan to promote your products or services. Although making a few social media posts or blasting a few promotional emails may seem simple enough, disjointed marketing efforts not only confuse your target audience, but can ultimately harm your business. 

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic road map for how you communicate (online and offline) with your target audience to successfully promote your products or services. Depending on your goal, marketing plans can be extremely basic or highly detailed.

According to Molly Maple Bryant, vice president of marketing at Vibrent Health, a marketing plan is not simply a list of things you want to accomplish. Instead, it should list the outcomes you seek — measurable and contextual, like the pipeline you’re developing, or leads you’re generating — and it should explain the high-level strategies you will use to achieve those outcomes. Developing strategies can be complicated, but they make a major difference in keeping you on track and avoiding diversions, also called scope creep .

“Once you have an agreed-upon plan, you are able to compare any incoming requests against your strategies to determine ‘Yes, this adheres to my strategy so we can add it,’ or ‘No, this sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t adhere to our agreed-upon strategy, so we won’t adjust resources,'” Bryant told us.

Types of marketing plans

There are several different types of marketing plans you can use based on certain strategies that make sense for your organization. Your business will likely need a combination of the following marketing plans to create an effective, comprehensive marketing strategy:

  • Advertising plan
  • Branding plan
  • Content marketing plan
  • Customer acquisition plan
  • Direct marketing plan
  • Email marketing plan
  • Public relation plan
  • Print marketing plan
  • Reputation management plan
  • Retention plan
  • Search engine optimization plan
  • Social media marketing plan

Why is it important to have a marketing plan for your business?

A marketing plan is a crucial resource for any small business because it helps you identify the market needs your product or service meets, how your product is different from competitors, and who your product or service is for. Marketing plans also serve as a road map for your sales strategy, branding direction and building your overall business. This is important for successfully conveying your brand messaging to your target audience .

Another significant benefit of a marketing plan for your company is that rather than simply guessing metrics, it forces you to sit down and do the math about your business goals and how to realistically fulfill them. When you look at your growth outcomes, you can delve further to determine what it will take to get to those numbers.

Bryant offered the following example: “Need $100,000 in revenue? How many sales is that? If 10, what’s your close rate? Let’s say 10 percent from lead to closed deal. Now you have a metric to start with — to get to 10 sales, we need 100 leads. Where will they come from, and what strategies will you use? The plan helps you put it all on paper so you can map out resources and tactics later with a lot of preparation and realism,” said Bryant.

When analyzing outcomes and resources, you can save time and avoid scope creep by focusing only on strategies that are relevant to your marketing plan. A marketing plan helps you think realistically about your strategies, gets your stakeholders on the same page, and holds your marketing team accountable for their decisions.

“When everyone’s tasks and goals are laid out for the stakeholders and company partners to see, it is much easier for the entire team to feel at ease about reaching sales goals and allowing the marketing team the space and freedom needed to execute work without constant supervision,” said Cassady Dill, digital marketing consultant and owner of Ethos Agency.

Additionally, Dill said a marketing plan should be easily understood by your entire team, executives and outside departments. Your plan should also serve as an easy guide for future marketing managers and team members to understand and implement.

What are the key elements of an effective business marketing plan?

A marketing plan should be customized to fit your business; however, Dill said, all marketing plans contain five essential functions:

  • Your business goals
  • Key metrics (how you quantify and measure success)
  • Strategies (an overview of implementation and how that will achieve goals)
  • A plan (the details of execution and the human resources, departments and software that will be involved)
  • Reporting (what reports of progress will include and/or look like)

We broke down those five functions into 10 actionable categories to help you create a marketing plan that is unique and effective for your business.

1. Executive summary

The executive summary is a great place to give the reader of your plan an overview of your business’s mission or goals, as well as the marketing strategy you’re looking to employ. An executive summary is often written after you’ve completed the rest of the marketing plan, to ensure it covers all the important elements of your plan. If the executive summary is the only part of your marketing plan that someone reads (which is highly possible), you want to be sure they understand the most crucial details.

2. Mission statement

The mission statement , not to be confused with a vision statement, is a statement that encompasses your company’s values and how they relate to your overall goals as an organization. Here are some good questions to get you thinking:

  • What does your company do today?
  • What’s important to your company?
  • What would your company like to do in the future?
  • What is your brand identity?
  • What’s your culture like ?
  • How does your company benefit customers, employees and stakeholders?

3. Target markets

Identifying your target market is one of the most important parts of your marketing plan. Without a defined target audience, your marketing expenses will be wasted. Think of it like this: Some people need your service or product but don’t know it exists yet. Who are those people?

Here are some other questions to help you brainstorm your target market :

  • What is the demographic of your customers (gender, age, income, education, etc.)?
  • What are their needs and interests?
  • What’s their psychographic profile (attitudes, philosophies, values, lifestyle, etc.)?
  • How do they behave?
  • What are some existing products they use?

4. Products and services

In this section, don’t just list what your product or service is. Think critically about what you have to offer your customers and what that value proposition means to them.

  • What do you make or provide for customers?
  • What are your customers’ needs?
  • How does your product or service fulfill customers’ needs?
  • What value do you add to your customers’ lives?
  • What type of product or service are you offering?

5. Distribution channels

At this point in your report, you should transition your thinking into actual marketing theory and practices. Distribution channels are the avenues you’ll use to reach a prospective customer or business . Think of all current and potential sales channels on which your specific target audience is active. One distribution channel that works great for one organization may be useless to another. For example, one company may host their website for free on a site like HubSpot and solely rely on that as their sales channel, while another company may have a whole team of people using Pinterest to drive sales. [Learn how CRM systems can help track your marketing leads based on various distribution channels.]

Examples of sales channels include the following:

  • Mobile text message marketing
  • Social media
  • Print (newspapers, magazines, brochures, catalogs, direct mail)
  • Broadcast (TV, radio)
  • Press releases
  • Trade shows, product demonstrations, event marketing

6. Competitive profile

One of the major aspects of your marketing plan is developing your unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is a feature or stance that separates your product or service from competitors. Finding your USP is all about differentiation and distinguishing your company as a sole proprietor of one type of good or service. Conduct a competitive analysis to identify your competitive profile and how you stack up against the competition. It is important to remain unbiased when conducting this analysis.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • What’s your USP?
  • Who are your competitors? What do they offer?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competition?
  • What needs of the market (or customer) are not being served? What can you do to meet those needs?

7. A pricing strategy

Consider pricing when drafting your marketing plan. Developing the right pricing strategy helps you better market your product. Think about your current and projected finances when developing a long-term marketing strategy that is realistic and beneficial for your business. Here are some key questions to ask yourself about your pricing:

  • What are reasonable margins to make a profit and cover production costs?
  • Is there a market for products or services at your projected price point?
  • Are you willing to sacrifice profit margins in return for a greater market share?
  • What are your marketing and distribution costs?

8. Objectives

Consider your objectives when developing a marketing plan. This aspect of your plan should involve specific goals related to market penetration and revenue targets. Be sure to keep your marketing objectives on-brand with your business. Here are some things to consider:

  • Sales quotas
  • Number of new customers gained
  • Customer retention percentages
  • Revenue targets
  • Market penetration
  • Brand awareness
  • Website traffic

9. Action plans

With all of the above items outlined, determine what steps need to be taken to enact your marketing plan. This includes determining the proper steps, setting goals, breaking down responsibilities, and establishing an overall timeline.

It’s also important to brainstorm potential roadblocks your business could face and some solutions to overcome them. Your research is useless if you don’t have an actionable plan that can be realistically implemented to carry out your ideas.

10. Financial projections

This last step allows you to establish a realistic marketing budget and better understand your marketing plan from a cost perspective. In addition to setting a budget, consider the overall return on investment as well. Here are some other financial projections to consider:

  • Cost of implementation
  • Cost to produce product or service
  • Existing and projected cash flow
  • Projected sales
  • Desired profit margin on projected sales

What is a template for creating a successful marketing plan?

The internet is full of useful tools, including paid and free marketing plan templates, to help you build a successful marketing plan .

Whether you are looking for a free template generator to build a new marketing plan or a benchmarking tool to evaluate your current strategies, several great resources are available. Keep in mind that the best marketing plan for your business will be a customized one.

“Ultimately, you should design a marketing plan that best serves the needs of your team as you see fit,” said Dill. “Don’t force yourself into a plan that doesn’t fit your team. Use templates to shorten the workload time, but then adjust it for a more custom plan.”

Here are some tools and templates to get you started:

  • Free marketing plan template : business.com has developed a free template that is fully customizable based on the needs of your business. Each section provides in-depth explanations, examples and resources to help you create an impressive marketing plan.
  • Smart Insights: In addition to offering marketing plan templates, some companies, like Smart Insights, offer marketing benchmarking templates to help you evaluate your strategy performance. These are accessible with a free Smart Insights membership.
  • GERU: Similarly, GERU offers a funnel-planning, profit-prediction and simulation tool to help you assess mock business ideas and simulations. This can help you identify weak points in your marketing strategy that need improvement. Although GERU requires users to sign up for a paid account, you can access a free trial to test it out.

What mistakes should you avoid when creating your marketing plan?

When creating an effective marketing plan, you need to avoid falling for common missteps and mistakes. For starters, failing to identify any of the 10 actionable categories above is an obvious mistake.

Here are some other key mistakes to avoid:

  • Setting unrealistic budgets: Underestimating the costs of marketing activities or setting an unrealistic budget can limit your ability to execute your plan effectively. Marketing can be expensive, so it’s important to fully understand the estimated cost and budget before building a marketing strategy that you can’t afford.
  • Focusing on quantity over quality: “More” doesn’t always mean “better” if you are posting on irrelevant marketing channels or your efforts are bringing in unqualified leads. Prioritizing the quantity of marketing activities over their quality can lead to superficial engagement and a lack of meaningful results.
  • Not testing campaigns: Launching large campaigns without testing can lead to wasted resources if the messaging or tactics don’t resonate as expected. Test out your new campaigns to ensure they achieve your intended goal.
  • Ignoring customer feedback: You may be tempted to ignore negative feedback, but disregarding customer comments and failing to address their concerns can lead to negative perceptions of your brand. Instead, use customer feedback to your advantage to improve your product and marketing efforts.
  • Overpromising and underdelivering: Setting unrealistic expectations in your marketing messages that your products or services can’t fulfill can damage your brand’s reputation.
  • Ignoring seasonality and trends: Failing to account for seasonal trends and market changes can result in missed opportunities for timely marketing efforts.
  • Not reviewing and updating your plan: A rigid marketing plan that doesn’t allow for adjustments in response to market feedback and changing conditions can hinder your success. A marketing plan should be a living document that is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the market and your business’s goals.

Avoiding these mistakes and missteps can help you create a more effective and successful marketing plan that drives results for your business.

How can you take action with your new marketing plan?

Before you dive into marketing plan templates, it’s important to understand how to think about a marketing plan.

A good marketing plan targets who your buyers are, establishes the service or product you are offering, and determines your unique selling proposition. From here, you will tackle the marketing planning process and develop the best way to get your product in front of buyers who want your product or service.

Dill created a simple four-step process for how small businesses can take action with creating a marketing plan.

  • The first step is to hold a marketing meeting with all the marketing team and executives or stakeholders. This gives them time to offer questions, concerns and criticisms you haven’t thought of so you can go back to the board room and revise your strategy or plan.
  • Next, add a timeline to all your tasks and assign team members and all the help you’ll need to execute that plan.
  • Once your plan is in action, hold weekly check-ins in person or by email to keep everyone on track.
  • Share a weekly progress report with all parties involved and execs to ensure you are moving in the right direction.

In addition to drafting your own plan, you can work with a digital marketing agency or use internet marketing and pay-per-click management services to leverage your online presence.

Once you’ve established a general road map, update it annually. Developing an evolving marketing plan sets your business up for continued success because it allows you to prepare for the unexpected and establish a connection between your brand and your audience.

Matt D’Angelo contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.


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How to Write a Sales and Marketing Plan

Bag of money and a megaphone. Represents creating a sales and marketing plan.

2 min. read

Updated January 3, 2024

You’ve addressed what you’re selling and why in the products and services section. You now have an understanding of the market and an ideal customer in mind thanks to your market analysis. Now, you need to explain how you will actually reach and sell to them.

The marketing and sales section of your business plan dives into how you’re going to accomplish your goals. You’ll be answering questions like:

  • Based on your audience, how will you position your product or service in the current market?
  • What marketing channels, messaging, and sales tactics will you implement?
  • What’s your business model and how will your business operate day-to-day?

By the end of this section, you should have an outline of what growth looks like, what milestones you intend to hit, and how you’ll measure success. Basically, you’re backing up the opportunity you’ve identified with a solid go-to-market plan.

What to include in the sales and marketing section

The sections you should include act as a useful framework for exploring and defining your marketing and sales tactics.

Create a positioning statement

How does your business differ? What do you do that others don’t? If you’re unsure, work through a handful of strategic exercises to create a simple but convincing positioning statement.

Outline your marketing strategy

A marketing plan brings together strategic goals with tangible marketing activities designed to reach and engage your target market—ultimately convincing them to purchase your product.

Craft your sales plan

A good sales strategy provides actionable steps to reach your goals. Estimate how much you intend to sell and outline a process that anyone else in your business can execute.

Optional sales and marketing information to include

The basics of a marketing and sales plan are fairly straightforward. However, it’s also the perfect place to flesh out any details that you think will make your outreach efforts successful.

Create a unique value proposition

What makes your business unique? How does the solution you provide stand out? This is your chance to point to what you believe potential customers will find more valuable about your business over the competition.

Don't forget digital marketing

While we don’t recommend creating separate traditional and digital marketing plans, it may be wise to explore and address them separately within your plan.

Build your promotional plan

How will you convince your customers to buy your products or services? While actual ads and promotions may be months away, it’s best to think through and even mock up designs now.

Conduct a SWOT analysis

With this simple analysis, you’ll better understand your strengths and weaknesses, along with the opportunities and threats you should account for.

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What Is a Marketing Strategy?

  • How It Works
  • Marketing Strategies vs. Plans

How to Create a Marketing Strategy

The bottom line.

  • Marketing Essentials

Marketing Strategy: What It Is, How It Works, and How to Create One

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Investopedia / Daniel Fishel

A marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan to facilitate the buying and selling of its products or services. A marketing strategy determines how to reach prospective consumers and turn them into customers. It contains the company’s value proposition , key brand messaging, data on target customer  demographics, and other high-level elements.

A thorough marketing strategy covers the four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.

Key Takeaways

  • A marketing strategy is a business’s game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services.
  • Marketing strategies should revolve around a company’s value proposition.
  • The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies.

Understanding Marketing Strategies

A clear marketing strategy should revolve around the company’s value proposition, which communicates to consumers what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves its business.

This provides marketing teams with a template that should inform their initiatives across all of the company’s products and services. For example, Walmart ( WMT ) is widely known as a discount retailer with “everyday low prices,” whose business operations and marketing efforts are rooted in that idea.

Marketing Strategies vs. Marketing Plans

The marketing strategy is outlined in the marketing plan —a document that details the specific types of marketing activities that a company conducts and contains timetables for rolling out various marketing initiatives.

Marketing strategies should ideally have longer life spans than individual marketing plans because they contain value propositions and other key elements of a company’s brand, which generally hold constant over the long haul. In other words, marketing strategies cover big-picture messaging, while marketing plans delineate the logistical details of specific campaigns.

For example, a marketing strategy might say that a company aims to increase authority in niche circles where their clients visit. The marketing plan puts that into action by commissioning thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn.

Benefits of a Marketing Strategy

The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies by understanding the needs and wants of its consumers. Whether it’s a print ad design, mass customization , or a social media campaign, a marketing asset can be judged based on how effectively it communicates a company’s core value proposition .

Market research can help chart the efficacy of a given campaign and can help identify untapped audiences to achieve bottom-line goals and increase sales.

Creating a marketing strategy requires a few steps. Here are some of the steps you should consider when creating your marketing strategy.

  • Identify your goals: While sales are the ultimate goal for every company, you should have more short-term goals such as establishing authority, increasing customer engagement, or generating leads. These smaller goals offer measurable benchmarks for the progress of your marketing plan. Think of strategy as the high-level ideology and planning as how you accomplish your goals.
  • Know your clients: Every product or service has an ideal customer, and you should know who they are and where they hang out. If you sell power tools, you’ll choose marketing channels where general contractors may see your messaging. Establish who your client is and how your product will improve their lives.
  • Create your message: Now that you know your goals and who you’re pitching to, it’s time to create your message. This is your opportunity to show your potential clients how your product or service will benefit them and why you’re the only company that can provide it.
  • Define your budget: How you disperse your messaging may depend on how much you can afford. Will you be purchasing advertising? Hoping for a viral moment on social media organically? Sending out press releases to the media to try to gain coverage? Your budget will dictate what you can afford to do.
  • Determine your channels: Even the best message needs the appropriate venue. Some companies may find more value in creating blog posts for their website. Others may find success with paid ads on social media channels. Find the most appropriate venue for your content.
  • Measure your success: To target your marketing, you need to know whether it is reaching its audience. Determine your metrics and how you’ll judge the success of your marketing efforts.

Why Does a Company Need a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy helps a company direct its advertising dollars to where it will have the most impact. Compared with the data from 2018, the correlation between organization and success in marketers jumped from being almost four times more likely to almost seven times more likely in 2022.

What Do the Four Ps Mean in a Marketing Strategy?

The four Ps are product, price, promotion, and place. These are the key factors that are involved in the marketing of a good or service . The four Ps can be used when planning a new business venture, evaluating an existing offer, or trying to optimize sales with a target audience. It also can be used to test a current marketing strategy on a new audience.

What Does a Marketing Strategy Look Like?

A marketing strategy will detail the advertising, outreach, and public relations campaigns to be carried out by a firm, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives.

They will typically follow the four Ps. The functions and components of a marketing plan include market research to support pricing decisions and new market entries, tailored messaging  that targets certain demographics and geographic areas, and platform selection for product and service promotion—digital, radio, Internet, trade magazines, and the mix of those platforms for each campaign, and metrics that measure the results of marketing efforts and their reporting timelines.

Is a Marketing Strategy the Same as a Marketing Plan?

The terms “marketing plan” and “marketing strategy” are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is developed based on an overarching strategic framework. In some cases, the strategy and the plan may be incorporated into one document, particularly for smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. The plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, while the marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

Companies need to sell their products and services to generate revenue and put them on the path of being a successful business. To sell their products or services, they have to let consumers know of them. They must also convince consumers to buy them as well as convert consumers from competitors. Having a marketing strategy that outlines this process and more is a crucial step in converting consumers into customers.

Walmart Corporate. “ About .”

CoSchedule. “ Trend Report: Marketing Strategy 2022 .”

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Once you've launched a business, you'll want to do everything in your power to help it succeed. Organizing your promotional activities around a well-researched marketing strategy is one of the best ways to set goals and measure your progress.

What is a marketing strategy? 

A marketing strategy is one of the most important parts of your overall brand or business strategy. It's a written document that provides a broad framework for the marketing activities you'll do to promote your work, your products, or yourself. 

You'll typically create a marketing strategy when you want to achieve specific goals or reach certain milestones. This could be increasing your sales numbers or social media followers or raising or reinforcing brand awareness.

Making a marketing strategy can also provide clarity on your goals and help you stay organized.

What goes in a marketing strategy?

Components of a marketing strategy typically include:

Information about your business and its niche

Your business goals

Your target customer or ideal audience

Research on your competitors

A broad look at your proposed marketing activities

How you'll measure success

All of these components are tailored to your specific business needs. You can think of a marketing strategy like a fingerprint. Your business has unique goals, and so the path toward success will also be distinct.

Marketing strategy vs. marketing plan

A marketing strategy is closely related to a marketing plan, but the two things have different purposes. A strategy proposes what you're looking to accomplish, while a plan tackles how this will happen.

A marketing plan also outlines the specific things you'll do to execute your marketing strategy. 

A strategy might propose using social media to promote the launch of a new product. In the plan, you'll then spell out how often to post on Instagram per week, or outline ways you'll repurpose content across digital channels. 

Think of the strategy as a blueprint for a new building, and the plan as the raw materials used in construction. A marketing plan needs the structure of a marketing strategy to be successful.

When do I need a marketing strategy?

There's no right or wrong time to create a marketing strategy, but it's generally more effective once your business is up and running. You'll be able to measure the effectiveness of promotional approaches on an audience familiar with your work. Building a customer base from the ground up also requires a different mindset and strategy.

Consider creating a marketing strategy when:

You're expanding your services. A wedding photographer might want to advertise that they're now offering family photo shoots. 

You want to grow your audience or customer base. When you have the capacity to add clients or want more people to know about your products, a marketing strategy can help you figure out the best approach.

You've done a brand refresh or business pivot. Marketing strategies are a great way to reintroduce yourself to past customers and attract new ones.

You have a specific product to promote. Designers who might have product drops around certain holidays or seasons can often benefit from a tailored marketing strategy. 

You want to promote yourself. Content creators can position themselves as subject matter experts or thought leaders to get speaking engagements or freelance assignments. 

Create a marketing strategy in 10 steps 

Defining a marketing strategy can feel daunting, but taking a step-by-step approach can make the process less overwhelming. 

1. Establish your online presence

Create a marketing strategy after you've built a website and set up your social media channels . Your brand and business are built on this foundation. From an analytics perspective, websites and social media channels can also inform your marketing research.

2. Put together an elevator pitch for your business

Before marketing your business to other people, make sure you can describe it yourself.

Consider writing one-sentence, two-sentence, and paragraph-long descriptions of your business. Outline what you do, what services you provide, and your unique value proposition. Having these top of mind can help direct your research and focus your goal-setting.

3. Research what your competitors are doing

An effective marketing strategy is informed by research, particularly into the marketing activities of competitors.

Conducting research into other businesses within your niche provides insights into things you're doing right and areas where you can improve.

Some questions you might ask include:

What marketing channels are they using?

How often are they posting on social media?

Are they prioritizing photos, video, or written content? 

What are competitors not doing that you could adopt?

What promotional activities do you find most appealing?

Where do our marketing approaches overlap?

4. Analyze your own channels

Your own social media channels and website are invaluable sources for your marketing strategy. These clues can steer your business and strategic decisions.

Use your website and social media analytics to gather information about your existing customer demographics, how people are finding your business, social media engagement, and popular posts or web pages.

You can also look for patterns in your own promotional activities. Perhaps you've noticed that the people who comment on your social media posts are gravitating toward a specific piece of writing or product. 

5. Identify your target audience or ideal customers

Market research helps you identify your existing audience and define potential customers. That research can help you figure out what makes you stand out. Your business might be providing a service that's unique in your area or offer more competitive pricing. 

You can also tailor your marketing strategy toward your likely customers. If your audience is younger, they might prefer one social media channel over another or relate better to video marketing. Someone who has a wedding photography business will want to target newly engaged couples. 

6. Define specific, realistic goals

Success looks different for every business. But a marketing strategy is built around well-defined goals that spell out what you're looking to accomplish. 

Some possible outcomes might be:

Raising awareness of your business

Generating more sales and revenue

Gaining customers

Increasing your social media following

Growing newsletter subscribers

The S.M.A.R.T. acronym can be helpful for goal-setting . This stands for:

Specific: Your goal should be straightforward and well-defined.

Measurable: This is a goal that's quantifiable, where success is concrete.

Achievable: Make sure your goal is realistic and not too ambitious for your business growth. 

Relevant: Make sure your goal aligns with your mission, values, and focus. 

Time-bound: Propose a finite time frame to reach a certain goal.

For example, you might set a goal to increase your newsletter subscriber count by 30 people within the next six months.

Within a marketing strategy, consider defining short- and long-term goals. Having milestones to reach along the way can keep you motivated and allow room for changes when applicable.

It's also important to be realistic about what you have the capacity to achieve. Don't try to take on too much at once. Consider starting out with one or two big goals and then adding more as your strategy progresses. 

7. Prioritize your marketing activities

You might not have the time or financial resources to implement a multi-channel marketing strategy. In that case, it's best to focus on one or two activities most likely to help you maximize your marketing success.

Common marketing methods include:

Social media: A photographer might decide that a visual-heavy channel like Instagram is the best way to promote their work. In contrast, an author might turn to TikTok to find readers.

SEO-optimized content: Creating a website driven by a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can help small businesses reach a bigger audience. 

Email marketing: Launching an email newsletter is an excellent way to keep in touch with people interested in your business.

Multimedia content: A well-crafted video or beautiful photos are excellent promotional tools, but take time to produce.

Blogs or other written content: You can add a personal touch to your marketing by sharing insights into your work, like a behind-the-scenes look at a photo shoot.  

Paid advertising: You can reach new customers and connect with existing ones by promoting your products and services via social media ads.

Keep in mind that each channel might require its own marketing strategy because they attract different audiences or are built around a specific medium. This might have an impact on where you direct your time. 

8. Ensure your strategy aligns with your brand 

Your brand is one the most powerful elements of your business, as it communicates your values and approach to your work. Make sure your marketing strategy aligns with the impact you want to have on the world. 

Your strategy and how you present yourself should also match your brand visuals . If you haven’t written down your mission and vision for your brand, that can also help guide your marketing decisions. 

9. Schedule frequent strategic check-ins

When you're busy running a business, it can be tough to take a step back and assess your progress.

Frequent check-ins ensure you can identify any potential problems sooner rather than later and adjust your goals and strategy accordingly. You can also assess timelines and promotional activities and see whether any need to be updated.

10. Be open to strategic pivots

Running a business can be full of surprises. And even the most well-organized marketing strategy might not account for unexpected things.

You might uncover an entirely new customer base or discover that certain kinds of content no longer resonate with your audience. In cases like these, a marketing strategy pivot isn't just appropriate, it's necessary.

Once you reach certain strategic milestones, it also might make sense to create more granular marketing strategies for specific marketing channels. 

These can include:

Digital marketing strategy: This kind of strategy analyzes your online presence and activities, including your website, email newsletters, and social media. You might spend a few months building your newsletter subscribers or do a website copy refresh.  

Social media strategy: You might discover that one social media channel is more effective than others. Creating a social media strategy around just this channel can help you build an audience there and leverage existing strengths.

Paid advertising strategy: Once you have the budget for marketing activities, consider paid advertising. This involves paying to boost certain social media posts or creating a dedicated digital ad campaign. Social media advertising tends to be more cost-efficient and provides instant access to robust analytics that can guide your work.   

Content marketing strategy: A content marketing strategy looks at the ways you can use writing to build your brand and business. In practice, this could mean creating a content calendar to map out a schedule of blogs by topic and frequency. 

Granular strategies often overlap. For example, you might incorporate a paid advertising strategy into your approach to social media marketing and boost posts a certain times a week. A digital marketing strategy will often touch on your content or social media activities.

Posted on 03 Jul 2024

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Small Business Marketing in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

Laura Hennigan

Updated: Jun 18, 2024, 8:52am

Small Business Marketing in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

What is small business marketing, why is small business marketing important, types of small business marketing, small business marketing tools, create your small business marketing strategy, bottom line, frequently asked questions (faqs).

Small business marketing today typically focuses on establishing a strong online presence, but your options aren’t limited to just the web. Figuring out how to best reach new customers, connect with former ones and maintain long-term relationships with buyers will look different for every small business, depending on their goals, budget, target audience and product. Optimizing your marketing strategy, even if you are just starting out, is one of the keys to success. Keep reading for some of the best strategies for your small business marketing.

Small business marketing means using every available resource to share, promote and build awareness around your brand. In theory, doing this should increase your customer base and drive up sales. In practice, it’s a little trickier. Marketing can get expensive and time-consuming very quickly, so it’s important to understand how it works and what options are the best for your business.

No matter the size of your business, marketing is not optional if you want to be successful. Gone are the days of relying on word of mouth or the occasional magazine ad. Small business marketing today means pushing across a variety of platforms and utilizing several different avenues simultaneously to stay in front of customers.

Small businesses marketing is important because it has the potential to share your message with customers who may not be familiar with your business. Capturing new interests and leads through marketing not only grow your sales but it also helps establish a presence and sense of authority around your brand.

By creating and sharing valuable content across different channels, small businesses are able to reach new audiences, engage with them in real time, offer helpful information and gain insight into what future strategies will prove to be the most successful.

There are many different types of small business marketing and all the options can feel overwhelming quickly. Before you decide on a marketing plan, it’s helpful to conduct some research about the different possibilities, which choices are recommended for your business category and how much each one costs. Websites, social media, email, blogs and print are some of the available options and making strategic choices helps lead to the best outcomes.

Email Marketing

Yes, email has been around for a long time. But it’s still one of the most effective forms of marketing available and it comes with a low price tag. This marketing strategy usually consists of sending out mass emails to prospective, current and former customers, with content that may include business updates, promotions and special product information.

Email marketing is a flexible solution since every part of the message can be customized to fit your business and what you want to share. Personalized emails can be sent to specific groups of customers, with targeted information that has been created to appeal to their exact needs. There are several ways to collect email addresses, including website sign-ups, running a contest or offering incentives and discounts.

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  • Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is all the rage and for good reason. Utilizing platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter (X) and Facebook (Meta) allows businesses to reach potential customers across the globe, collecting new followers and buyers constantly. This style of marketing isn’t going away anytime soon, so pay attention to what is trending, even when it feels overwhelming.

If you’re just getting started with social media marketing, choose one outlet to begin with and do some research into how to best harness its power. This may include posting daily, creating reels, investing in paid ads, partnering with an influencer or building up the number of followers. No matter what you decide to do, engagement will be key. Customers want to know that the businesses they buy from care about their needs, want to hear their opinions and will respond to questions or concerns quickly.

  • Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy that small businesses can employ to create and nurture customer relationships. Its purpose is to provide relevant, informational, educational and entertaining content that will draw people in and make them want to learn more about your brand. The key to successful content marketing is to use it strategically and make it beneficial to your target audience. It should never be heavy-handed or forceful but, instead, helpful and interesting.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to establish your presence as an authority about whatever product or service you provide. This is done by capturing and retaining customer’s attention, which is incredibly difficult to do in our fast-paced world. When done correctly, content marketing can capture every point of the buyer’s journey, from the moment they start browsing casually until they make the decision to purchase from your business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing

This marketing strategy uses the process of SEO to help your business website or shared content rank higher on search engines like Google. When performing a keyword search for a product or service, users tend to focus on only the first several results that pop up. So, if your business sells high-quality kites, you will get the most traffic if your website is one of the top results that people see when they search for “best kites.”

SEO marketing comes into play when a small business opts to implement calculated methods that will help maximize its search engine rankings. This is done by including several different tactics simultaneously to gain the most momentum possible. The fundamental SEO marketing strategy uses keywords, internal links, image optimization and competitive analysis.

Mobile Marketing

It goes without saying that everyone has their eyes on their phone almost constantly. Mobile marketing is an excellent way to capture this attentive audience, often without them realizing that they are being marketed to. By using available tools like location tracking and search history, businesses are able to customize their marketing campaigns to mobile users.

Placing ads on social media or embedding them in websites means reaching more potential buyers every day, no matter where they are. As a general rule, mobile marketing is much cheaper than traditional advertising and isn’t overly complicated to set up. You’ll need to start by making sure that every aspect of your own small business website is completely mobile-friendly, from browsing to purchasing. Once that is set, you can begin experimenting with other options, such as location-based ads, sending customers short message service (SMS) messages and in-app promotions.

Traditional Marketing

While it’s nowhere near as popular as it once was, traditional marketing can still be a crucial part of your small business marketing strategy. Traditional marketing encompasses any marketing efforts that aren’t online and, depending on what you are selling and who your target audience is, it can be a solid option.

Traditional marketing can include magazine or newspaper advertisements, billboards, direct mail and radio or television ads. Even in our electronic world, these marketing avenues are still relevant and effective. The biggest downside, however, typically is the cost since traditional marketing almost always comes with a higher price tag than digital efforts.

With so many marketing options available, figuring out which ones to use and the best way to implement them can feel confusing. Thankfully, there are a multitude of tools and technologies designed to streamline and automate your marketing strategy.

Email Marketing Tools

There are many email marketing software platforms to choose from and each one offers different advantages. Free trials are common, so we recommend taking a test run to help figure out which features will work best for your small business:

  • Mailchimp: As one of the most popular email marketing platforms, Mailchimp is well known for its free plan, designed for users with under 2,000 subscribers. Since many small businesses don’t have an extensive mailing list, this plan is both budget and user-friendly. Features include marketing options, landing pages, auto responses and the option to segment mailings.
  • Zoho Campaigns: Zoho offers a whole suite of software and email marketing falls under its Campaigns platform. Users can start with the free plan, which includes up to 2,000 contacts or upgrade to a paid option that starts at $3 per month. It allows for automation, has a drag-and-drop email editor and can integrate easily with a CRM.
  • MailerLite: Ideal for businesses of all sizes, MailerLite offers a range of features and is especially advantageous for anyone interested in marketing through blogging as well as email. The free version caps out at 1,000 subscribers and after that plans begin at $9 per month. If you are interested in selling econtent like paid newsletter subscriptions, MailerLite may be a good fit.

Social Media Marketing Tools

The number of social media marketing platforms is larger than ever before. But it’s not necessary to use every single one for your business, nor are all of them appropriate for every brand. Depending on your product or service, choose the social media channels that will reach your target audience:

  • Facebook (Meta): Despite newer social media trends, Facebook still holds its own in the marketing game, particularly when it comes to paid ads. Many people still turn to this platform when it comes to learning more about a business and checking for updates or promotions, making it a solid place for boosting brand awareness and generating new leads.
  • Instagram: What first started as a casual platform for photo sharing, Instagram is now arguably the reigning social media platform leader. Because it’s easy to access and use, businesses can use Instagram to share stories, reels, live streams and, most importantly, engage with their audience in real time. Because they are owned by the same company, it’s easy to link your Facebook and Instagram accounts and post to both platforms simultaneously.
  • TikTok: TikTok is a video-sharing app where users are able to create and share short-form videos on any topic. The platform keeps growing its reach and is no longer aimed only at a younger audience. Like Instagram, businesses can use hashtags strategically to share their posts, promote relevant content and gain more followers.
  • Twitter (X): Using short phrases called “tweets,” Twitter is the platform to use if you want to share quick, beneficial content. Tweets can include not only text but also images, videos and links, allowing businesses to get their message across without being too wordy. Because of its quick pace and brief posts, Twitter is another platform that is excellent for engaging with customers and building brand awareness.
  • LinkedIn: Networking, particularly in the business-to-business (B2B) space, is a powerful marketing tool and LinkedIn offers a platform to share all about your business. Geared toward professionals, the LinkedIn audience may be smaller than other social media outlets, but it also offers a curated location to connect with current and potential employees, post industry updates, generate new leads and connect with other businesses.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is an image-based social media platform where small businesses can promote and explore their interests by pinning images and videos on virtual bulletin boards. Seeking to be known as the “app for inspiration,” Pinterest helps reach an audience that is looking for ideas and solutions, which is where your shared business content comes in.
  • YouTube: After Google, YouTube is the next stop for people to gather information and answers. The streaming social media platform allows businesses to create and share content via videos, which for some businesses is an important marketing tool. Whether you are demonstrating how to put together a newly purchased product or simply giving a tour of your warehouse and construction methods, YouTube has the ability to reach a nearly unlimited audience.

SEO Marketing Tools

SEO marketing is key to making your small business as visible as possible. Ranking high in search engines gets your brand in front of more eyes and helps build trust. This marketing strategy takes some legwork but also offers a high return on investment (ROI).

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a fantastic, free tool designed to give small businesses insight into their customers. The data provided is intended to help you understand more about your customers, how they found you and how they engage with your sites and apps. It provides reporting about the customer journey, which allows you to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and help improve your ROI.

Google Search Console

Another excellent and free small business SEO marketing tool from Google is its Search Console. It differs from Analytics in that the Search Console is intended to help you monitor your website’s performance and see how it ranks in search engine results. This tool shares data about how often your site appears in a Google search, which search queries show your site and how often searchers click through for those queries.


Keywords are the backbone of successful SEO marketing and Ubersuggest specializes in generating new keyword ideas. This tool offers a free Chrome extension that, once installed, allows small businesses to search Google, YouTube and Amazon to see data around keywords. It also provides SEO insights and graphs that break down the total monthly search volume that displays monthly mobile and desktop searches for a particular keyword.

Semrush is SEO software that allows small businesses to identify trends with its signature Keyword Magic Tool, Google Ad optimization and competitor analysis. It boosts organic search traffic by helping you optimize your website and is designed specifically for users who have limited SEO experience. Monthly subscriptions can be costly, but there is a free plan that provides limited options and is still a valuable tool, particularly for anyone who is just getting started with SEO.


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Creating a small business marketing strategy means developing a long-term plan that will reach more customers, help you understand your objectives, establish your authority and provide insight into where you stand in terms of marketing results. It’s not a one-and-done undertaking but, rather, a working blueprint that will need to be adjusted and changed as your business grows. Here’s how to get started.

Define Your Goals

You started your small business for a reason, but when was the last time you looked at your goals? The first step is to look closely at what your specific, measurable goals are, not only the big-picture dreams. Focus on numbers and break down what both the long- and short-term objectives are. They can be both big and small as long as they are defined clearly.

Examine Your Current Efforts

Next, take a hard look at your current marketing efforts and determine what is working and what is not. List out all the strategies you’ve tried and rank how successful they were. Be sure to look at the costs vs. outcomes for each one to see where your business has seen a high ROI.

Know Your Target Customer

Who are you trying to reach? What is the profile of your target customer? Lean into learning all about these people, from where they live to how they prefer to shop to what forms of payment they favor. Becoming as familiar as possible with this audience allows you to determine which marketing efforts are likely to be the most successful.

Choose Your Strategies

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to choose your marketing strategies. Start with one or two that have worked well for your small business in the past and then decide on a new one to try out for six months. Remember that not every marketing tactic is the right fit for everyone, so there will always be periods of experimenting and making changes as needed.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what marketing strategies are the most popular. What matters is choosing the right fit for your specific business. You may sell the best product ever made, but if no one has heard of it, your business will never grow to its full potential. That’s why incorporating a marketing plan is an essential part of your small business’s success.

What is the best marketing for small businesses?

The best marketing for small businesses are the tactics that will reach the most customers in your target audience. What this looks like will vary depending on what you sell, how you are selling it, who you are trying to reach and what the buyer’s journey looks like for those people.

What are the top marketing mistakes small businesses make?

The top marketing mistakes that small businesses make are using methods that aren’t working. By paying attention to your analytics, you will be able to choose the best marketing options for right now as well as adjust them as needed in the future.

What is the cheapest way to promote your business?

The cheapest way to promote your business is to incorporate several different low-cost strategies simultaneously. If you are just starting out, choose one or two social media platforms to market on, start an email list, publish a blog on your website and opt for one of the free SEO tools available.

How is marketing different from sales?

Marketing caters more to building brand awareness—in other words, getting your company’s name out there in a sea of competitors. Sales, on the other hand, is about completing a deal and turning the interested consumers a marketing team has gathered into customers.

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B2B Marketing In 2024: The Ultimate Guide

B2B Marketing In 2024: The Ultimate Guide

Laura Hennigan

Laura is a freelance writer specializing in small business, ecommerce and lifestyle content. As a small business owner, she is passionate about supporting other entrepreneurs and sharing information that will help them thrive. Her work has been featured on Angi, Scary Mommy and Cubby.

22 Best Business Plan PowerPoint Templates

Use these business plan PowerPoint templates to launch your next enterprise.

business plan the marketing

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best business plan PowerPoint templates you can download and use. And, as a bonus, we’re offering two templates completely free! Just click below to download them.

2 Free PowerPoint Business Plan Templates

Yefora multi-purpose powerpoint template.


  • 60 sample business plans PPT slides
  • fully editable text
  • RGB color mode
  • simple slides to make your key points clearer

Evolved: Business Plan PowerPoint Template for Free

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  • 40+ slides for creative, education, or business presentations
  • one of the best fundraising presentations PPT
  • easily editable
  • vector-based icons

More Business Plan PPT Templates to Download

Explore all of these business plan presentation PPT examples. See how a polished, engaging presentation can captivate your audience. You can even find an amazing fundraising presentation template for your next project.

1. Influencers Business Plan Presentation

Influencer template

  • ultra-modern design
  • great for business, portfolio, corporate, branding, advertising
  • 35 sample business plans PPT layouts
  • business plan examples PPT guidelines

2. Corporary Business PowerPoint Template


  • clean, modern, and easy to edit
  • perfect for PowerPoint business plan or portfolio
  • easy to customize and fully editable

3. Opus Business PowerPoint Template


  • colorful and innovative design
  • 12 .PPTX files and 12 .PPT files
  • 3 premade color themes
  • includes business plan examples PPT layouts

4. Modern Blue Green Digital Marketing Presentation

modern blue

  • versatile business plan template PPT
  • perfect for presenting a marketing strategy
  • fully editable
  • 25 unique slides

5. Modern Minimalist Business Plan Presentation


  • suitable for many businesses
  • all elements are fully editable
  • 30 unique slides with data charts and infographics
  • 16:9 widescreen ratio

6. Business Plan PowerPoint Template Presentation


  • trendy and colorful presentation
  • ideal for pitching your business plans
  • 30 PowerPoint business plan slides
  • free web fonts used and recommended

7. Business Plan PowerPoint

Business Plan PPT

  • PowerPoint business plan presentation
  • drag and drop images
  • strong focus on typography and usability
  • predefined text styles

8. Radeon Presentation Template


  • 30 modern, creative, unique slides
  • 5 color schemes
  • perfect business plan template PPT and startup PPT
  • works for a non-profit organization PowerPoint presentation

9. SWOT Business Presentation


  • perfect for corporate presentations
  • 20+ color themes
  • 111 simple unique slides
  • multiple aspect ratio (16:9, 4:3, US Letter)

10. Proxima Business PowerPoint Template


  • clean business plan template PPT
  • big typefaces to focus on data
  • 72+ unique slides and 6 color schemes
  • transitions (not over-animated)

11. Business Planning PowerPoint Template

Business Planning PPT template

  • 150+ slides
  • handcrafted infographic
  • Pixel-perfect illustrations
  • all graphics are resizable and editable

12. Business Plan for Presentation Template

Business Plan ppt template

  • easy-to-use presentation template
  • unique and creative slides
  • PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides template
  • easy drag and drop to change images

13. Fritz Business Plan


  • 30 editable slides for Google Slides and PowerPoint
  • perfect for your startup or business
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Google Fonts

14. Planning Modern Business PowerPoint Template

Planning template

  • infographic pack for building recognition
  • 80 unique slides
  • light and dark versions
  • fully customizable

15. Business Plan PowerPoint Template

Business Plan ppt template

  • professional presentation template
  • 16:9 aspect ratio (HD)
  • perfect for your business, startup, or tech and finance presentation

16. Business Plan Presentation PowerPoint Template


  • modern presentation with 32 PowerPoint slides
  • includes creative layouts and infographics
  • easily edit and adjust to suit your business needs
  • Google Fonts used

17. Sunne Creative Agency Business Plan Presentation


  • creative agency business plan presentation
  • 15 unique slides (PPT and PPTX)
  • uses free fonts from Google Fonts

18. Keria Business Plan PowerPoint Template


  • engaging business plan examples for PPT
  • 50 unique and editable presentation slides
  • 2 color variations
  • vector shape illustrations are included

19. Reka Business Plan


  • theme suitable for PowerPoint and Google Slides
  • 30 editable slides
  • aspect ratio 16:9
  • dynamic business plan PowerPoint example
  • works as a non-profit pitch deck example

20. Conderi Marketing PowerPoint Template


  • 15 PowerPoint slides
  • 16:9 widescreen ratio (1920×1080px)
  • picture placeholder

Which Template Will You Use for Your PowerPoint Business Plan?

Are you ready to take your business to new heights? Elevate your strategy with premium and free business plan PowerPoint templates from Envato Elements . Also find plenty of sample fundraising PowerPoint presentations for you to customize in no time.

We’ve seen a bunch of business plan PowerPoint presentation examples in this article. Looking for a non-profit fundraising PowerPoint presentation? We’ve also featured some of the best fundraising presentations PPT for your startup.

Choose from the business plan PowerPoint examples featured to make your brand shine. Boost your business towards success for 2024 and the future!

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business plan the marketing

Small Business Trends

Business owners believe employees with ai skills will save them time.

business plan the marketing

This insight makes sense, since AI has the capabilities to cut down on the time requirements for several important tasks, from drafting communications to creating media to share in marketing campaigns. But since it’s such an emerging technology, many small business owners don’t currently possess the skills to make the most of these tools. So hiring people who understand how to use it can allow businesses to reap these benefits without creating extensive training programs or learning how to use the technology themselves.

AI can be an incredibly powerful and time-saving technology. But it will only help you reach your goals if you use it in targeted and intentional ways. New hires may be able to guide you toward the exact methods, but it’s up to business owners to create plans and oversee these operations to make sure they’re working as intended.


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The New Rules of Marketing Across Channels

  • Joshua Bowers,
  • Denise Linda Parris,
  • Qiong Wang,
  • Danny McRae,
  • Francisco Guzmán,
  • Mark Bolino

business plan the marketing

Strategies for navigating a new kind of communication landscape: the “echoverse.”

The Internet and AI tools are transforming marketing communications within a complex, interactive landscape called the echoverse. While marketing has evolved since the proliferation of the Internet, in the echoverse, a diverse network of human and nonhuman actors — consumers, brands, AI agents, and more — continuously interact, influence, and reshape messages across digital platforms. Traditional one-way and two-way communication models give way to omnidirectional communication. The authors integrated communication theory and theories of marketing communications to create a typology of marketing communication strategies consisting of three established strategies — 1) promotion marketing, 2) relationship marketing, and 3) customer engagement marketing — and their proposed strategy, 4) echoverse marketing. The authors also recommend three strategies for marketers to make the shift from leading messaging to guiding messaging: 1) Enable co-creation and co-ownership, 2) Create directed learning opportunities, and 3) Develop a mindset of continuous learning.

Today, companies must navigate a new kind of communication landscape: the “ echoverse .” This new terrain is defined by a complex web of feedback loops and reverberations that are created by consumers, brands, news media, investors, communities, society, and artificial intelligence (AI) agents. This assemblage of actors continuously interact, influence, and respond to each other across a myriad of digital channels, platforms, and devices, creating a dynamic where messages circulate and echo, being amplified, modified, or dampened by ongoing interactions.

business plan the marketing

  • JB Joshua Bowers is Co-CEO of Pavilion Intelligence, a marketing science consultancy and upcycled timber operation. He has a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma and is a leader in new product development for enterprise and marketing technology.
  • DP Denise Linda Parris is Co-CEO Pavilion Intelligence, a marketing science consultancy and upcycled timber operation. She has been a professional athlete, entrepreneur, and academic with research focused on servant leadership, societal impact, and marketing technology.
  • QW Qiong Wang is the Ruby K. Powell Professor of Marketing and Associate Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business. Her research focuses on the processes and boundaries of inter-organizational issues, including the development and management of strategic partnerships, marketing strategies, and supply chain management.
  • DM Danny McRae is a technology professional with over 20 years of experience in information architecture.
  • FG Francisco Guzmán is Professor of Marketing at the University of North Texas’ G. Brint Ryan College of Business. His research focuses on how brands can drive social transformation.
  • MB Mark Bolino is the David L. Boren Professor and the Michael F. Price Chair in International Business at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business. His research focuses on understanding how an organization can inspire its employees to go the extra mile without compromising their personal well-being.

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  • Grain marketing with low prices
  • Managing a farm
  • Ag Business Management News

Farmers have a tough decision trying to market their crops at the appropriate time, at profitable levels, and at the highest price possible. Previous years’ higher prices made it hard for farmers to market their 2023 crops. Now in July, farmers must develop an exit plan for the 2023 crop and determine a marketing plan for the 2024 crop.

Selling the 2023 crop

Current prices available for 2023 corn are $1.59 below the low price in 2022 and the soybean price is $2.39 below the low price in 2022. Costs on the 2023 crop varied from $5.00 to $5.43 for corn and $13.00 to $13.84 for soybeans, thus another reason for the slow sales. Farmers with grain in the bin must determine an exit plan for these unsold bushels.

Seasonally, high corn prices are above average from March through July 1 and soybean prices are above average from March through August. It has been hard for farmers to price the 2023 crop at lower current prices below their breakeven prices. But now with a new crop coming, they must sell the old crop. Target prices can still be used, but default dates to force sales will be an important part of an exit strategy. At some point, a cash sale will be necessary.

Farmers not satisfied with these prices on the cash sales can re-own with a call option, but at the money, calls are expensive, and many options expire worthless, so a farmer needs to set goals on these call options too.

Find the breakeven point for 2024

For the 2024 crop farmers should first determine their breakeven cost estimates for 2024 crops. Costs for 2024 corn range from $4.75 to $5.40 and $13 to $13.85 for soybeans for marketing groups I work with. With these breakeven prices, farmers have had little to no opportunity to sell the 2024 crops, leading to lower sales than normal.

Some farmers are only interested in selling a small portion pre-harvest while others will sell a large percentage of their crop pre-harvest. Revenue insurance plays an important role in pre-harvest marketing with spring 2024 revenue prices of $4.66 for corn and $11.55 for soybeans. These prices can act like a put on the 2024 crop on the farmer’s coverage level, insured bushels.

Farmers can also purchase call options if they are concerned prices will continue higher after they have completed pre-harvest sales. Unfortunately, prices for 2024 crops are hovering at low contract prices.

Farmers should develop a marketing plan and determine if current prices offered for 2024 crops would generate a profit for their farming operation by covering their breakeven prices. If those prices are not available, farmers should use crop insurance for puts until the crop is harvested and consider buying put for unsold grain if they are concerned about lower prices or buy calls on previously sold bushels in case the prices rally.

With all marketing plan tools, farmers need to set reasonable goals, so their options don’t expire worthlessly. Default dates are helpful tools, but if current prices are below the farmer's cost of production, those sales might not happen.

Worthington high and low soybean cash prices by year

Year High Low Difference
2023 15.49 12.72 2.77
2022 16.99 13.22 3.77
2021 16.37 11.57 4.8
2020 12.49 7.84 4.65
2019 8.89 7.4 1.49
2018 9.82 7.26 2.56
2017 9.74 8.41 1.33
2016 10.82 8.03 2.79
2015 10 8.07 1.93
2014 14.82 8.53 6.29
2013 17.74 12.2 5.54
2012 17.65 11.32 6.33

Worthington high and low corn cash prices by year

Year High Low Difference
2023 6.85 4.69 2.16
2022 8.08 5.89 2.19
2021 7.22 4.92 2.3
2020 4.41 2.62 1.79
2019 4.37 3.35 1.02
2018 3.64 2.92 0.72
2017 3.41 2.84 0.57
2016 3.87 2.65 1.22
2015 3.86 3.24 0.62
2014 4.82 2.81 2.01
2013 7.45 4.05 3.4
2012 8.22 5.8 2.42

Current bids for Worthington soybean and corn

Crop Cash price Delivery start 2024 Future change Basis Basis month 2024
Corn $4.30 June 0-6 4 Sep.
Corn $4.04 Oct. 0-2 -33 Dec.
Soybeans $10.83 June 1-6 -61 Aug.
Soybeans $10.31 Oct. 0-2 -76 Nov.

Tables from the 2024 Farm Resource Guide .

Author: Dave Bau, Extension educator

Permission is granted to news media to republish our news articles with credit to University of Minnesota Extension. Images also may be republished; please check for specific photographer credits or limited use restrictions in the photo title.

© 2024 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

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How to Build a Detailed Business Plan That Stands Out [Free Template]

AJ Beltis

Updated: March 29, 2022

Published: March 11, 2022

While starting a company may seem easier now than ever before, entrepreneurs have an uphill battle from the moment they start a business. And without a clear, actionable business plan for selling, marketing, finances, and operations, you're almost destined to face significant challenges.

Entrepreneur builds his business plan template

This is why crafting a business plan is an essential step in the entrepreneurial process.

In this post, we'll walk you through the process of filling out your business plan template, like this free, editable version :

free editable One-Page Business Plan PDF  Template

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template.

We know that when looking at a blank page on a laptop screen, the idea of writing your business plan can seem impossible. However, it's a mandatory step to take if you want to turn your business dreams into a reality.

→ Download Now: Free Business Plan Template

That's why we've crafted a business plan template for you to download and use to build your new company. You can download it here for free . It contains prompts for all of the essential parts of a business plan, all of which are elaborated on, below.

This way, you'll be able to show them how organized and well-thought-out your business idea is, and provide them with answers to whatever questions they may have.

business plan the marketing

Free Business Plan Template

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

Download Free

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Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Building a Successful Business Plan

In the next section, we'll cover the components of a business plan , such as an executive summary and company description. But before we get to that, let's talk about key elements that should serve as building blocks for your plan.

For some entrepreneurs, the thought of writing a business plan sounds like a chore — a necessary means to an end. But that's a bad take.

A solid business plan is a blueprint for success . It's key to securing financing, presenting your business, outlining your financial projections, and turning that nugget of a business idea into a reality.

At the core, your business plan should answer two questions: why your business and why now?

Investors want to know why your business is entering the market, i.e. what problem it's solving and how it's different from what's currently out there. They also want to know why now is the right time for your type of product or service.

At a minimum, your plan should:

  • Be more realistic than idealistic: Too often, business plans focus too much on how things could be instead of how they are. While having a vision is important, your plan needs to be rooted in research and data.
  • Legitimize your business idea : If an idea fails on paper, it's a signal to go back to the drawing board. In doing so, you avoid losing precious time or money chasing an unrealistic idea.
  • Position your business for funding: To get your business off the ground, chances are you'll need financial backing. Even with a solid business idea, investors, lenders, and banks still need convincing. An effective business plan will outline how much money you need, where it's going, what targets you will hit, and how you plan to repay any debts.
  • Lay the foundation: Investors focus on risk – if anything looks shaky, it could be a dealbreaker. Ideally, your business plan will lay down the foundation for how you'll operate your business — from operational needs to financial projections and goals.
  • Communicate your needs: It's nearly impossible to communicate your needs if you don't know what they are first. Of course, a business’ needs are always changing — but your plan should give you a well-rounded view of how your business will work in the short and long term.

So back to the question of why and why now – consider three things:

  • Your industry – How does your product or service fit within your industry? Are you targeting a specific niche? Where do you see the industry going in the next five to 10 years?
  • Your target audience – Who are you targeting? What challenges are they facing? How will your product or service help them in their daily lives?
  • Your unique selling proposition (USP) – What sets you apart from your competitors? Is it your product/service features? Your company values? Price?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you'll be equipped to answer the question: why your business and why now.

How to Build a Business Plan

  • Executive Summary
  • Company and Business Description
  • Product and Services Line
  • Market Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Legal Notes
  • Financial Considerations

Featured Resource: Free Business Plan Template

1. cover page.

Your business plan should be prefaced with an eye-catching cover page. This means including a high-resolution image of your company logo, followed by your company's name, address, and phone number.

Since this business plan will likely change hands and be seen by multiple investors, you should also provide your own name, role in the business, and email address on the cover page.

At the bottom of this page, you can also add a confidentiality statement to protect against the disclosure of your business details.

The statement can read as follows: " This document contains confidential and proprietary information created by [your company name]. When receiving this document, you agree to keep its content confidential and may only reproduce and/or share it with express written permission of [your company name] ."

Remember to keep your cover page simple and concise — and save the important details for other sections.

Why it matters: First impressions are everything, and a clean cover page is the first step in the right direction.

Example of a Cover Page

Business Plan Template: Cover Page

2. Executive Summary

The executive summary of your business plan provides a one- to two-page overview of your business and highlights the most crucial pieces of your plan, such as your short-term and long-term goals.

The executive summary is essentially a boiled-down version of your entire business plan, so remember to keep this section to the point and filled only with essential information.

Typically, this brief section includes:

  • A mission statement.
  • The company's history and leadership model.
  • An overview of competitive advantage(s).
  • Financial projections.
  • Company goals.
  • An ask from potential investors.

Why it matters: The executive summary is known as the make-or-break section of a business plan. It influences whether investors turn the page or not — so effectively summarizing your business and the problem it hopes to solve is a must.

Think of the Summary as a written elevator pitch (with more detail). While your business plan provides the nitty-gritty details, your Summary describes — in a compelling but matter-of-fact language — the highlights of your plan. If it's too vague, complicated, or fuzzy, you may need to scrap it and start again.

Example of an Executive Summary Introduction

"The future looks bright for North Side Chicago, particularly the Rock Hill Neighborhood. A number of high-end commercial and residential developments are well on their way, along with two new condo developments in nearby neighborhoods.

While the completion of these developments will increase the population within the neighborhood and stimulate the economy, the area lacks an upscale restaurant where residents and visitors can enjoy fine food and drink. Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will provide such a place."

3. Company & Business Description

In this section, provide a more thorough description of what your company is and why it exists.

Business Plan Template: Business Description

The bulk of the writing in this section should be about your company's purpose – covering what the business will be selling, identifying the target market, and laying out a path to success.

In this portion of your business plan, you can also elaborate on your company's:

  • Mission statement
  • Core values
  • Team and organizational structure

Why it matters: Investors look for great structures and teams in addition to great ideas. This section gives an overview of your businesses' ethos. It's the perfect opportunity to set your business apart from the competition — such as your team's expertise, your unique work culture, and your competitive advantage.

Example of a Values/Mission Statement

"Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will be the go-to place for people to get a drink or bite in an elegant, upscale atmosphere. The mission is to be North Side's leading restaurant, with the best tasting food and the highest quality service."

3. Product & Services Line

Here's where you'll cover the makeup of your business's product and/or services line. You should provide each product or service's name, its purpose, and a description of how it works (if appropriate). If you own any patents, copyrights, or trademarks, it's essential to include this info too.

Next, add some color to your sales strategy by outlining your pricing model and mark-up amounts.

If you're selling tangible products, you should also explain production and costs, and how you expect these factors to change as you scale.

Why it matters: This section contains the real meat of your business plan. It sets the stage for the problem you hope to solve, your solution, and how your said solution fits in the market.

There's no one-size-fits-all formula for this section. For instance, one plan may delve into its ability to market in a more cost-effective way than the competition, whereas another plan focuses on its key products and their unique features and benefits.

Regardless of your angle, it's critical to convey how your offerings will differ from the competition.

Example of a Product/Service Offering

"The menu at Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will focus on Moroccan cuisine. The stars of the menu (our specialties) are the Moroccan dishes, such as eggplant zaalouk, seafood bastilla, tagine, and chickpea stew. For those who enjoy American dishes, there will also be a variety of options, from burger sliders and flatbread pizza to grilled steak and salads.

The food at Jay Street will have premium pricing to match its upscale atmosphere. During the summer months, the restaurant will have extra seating on the patio where clients can enjoy a special summer menu. We will be open on all days of the week."

4. Market Analysis

Business Plan Template: Market Analysis

It helps to reference your market research documentation in this section, like a Porter's Five Forces Analysis or a SWOT Analysis ( templates for those are available here ). You can also include them in your appendix.

If your company already has buyer personas, you should include them here as well. If not, you can create them right now using the Make My Persona Tool .

Why it matters: Having an awesome product is, well, awesome — but it isn't enough. Just as important, there must be a market for it.

This section allows you to dig deeper into your market, which segments you want to target, and why. The "why" here is important, since targeting the right segment is critical for the success and growth of your business.

It's easy to get lost (or overwhelmed) in a sea of endless data. For your business plan, narrow your focus by answering the following questions:

  • What is my market? In other words, who are my customers?
  • What segments of the market do I want to target?
  • What's the size of my target market?
  • Is my market likely to grow?
  • How can I increase my market share over time?

Example of a Market Analysis

"Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will target locals who live and work within the Rock Hill Neighborhood and the greater North Side Chicago area. We will also target the tourists who flock to the many tourist attractions and colleges on the North Side.

We will specifically focus on young to middle-aged adults with an income of $40,000 to $80,000 who are looking for an upscale experience. The general demographics of our target market are women between 20 to 50 years old.

A unique and varied Moroccan-American menu, along with our unique upscale atmosphere, differentiates us from competitors in the area. Jay Street will also set itself apart through its commitment to high-quality food, service, design, and atmosphere."

5. Marketing Plan

Unlike the market analysis section, your marketing plan section should be an explanation of the tactical approach to reaching your aforementioned target audience. List your advertising channels, organic marketing methods, messaging, budget, and any relevant promotional tactics.

If your company has a fully fleshed-out marketing plan, you can attach it in the appendix of your business plan. If not, download this free marketing plan template to outline your strategy.

business plan the marketing

Free Marketing Plan Template

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

  • Pre-Sectioned Template
  • Completely Customizable
  • Example Prompts
  • Professionally Designed

Why it matters: Marketing is what puts your product in front of your customers. It's not just advertising — it's an investment in your business.

Throwing money into random marketing channels is a haphazard approach, which is why it's essential to do the legwork to create a solid marketing plan.

Here's some good news — by this point, you should have a solid understanding of your target market. Now, it's time to determine how you'll reach them.

Example of a Marketing Plan Overview

"Our marketing strategy will focus on three main initiatives:

  • Social media marketing. We will grow and expand our Facebook and Instagram following through targeted social media ads.
  • Website initiatives. Our website will attract potential visitors by offering updated menus and a calendar of events.
  • Promotional events. Jay Street will have one special theme night per week to attract new clients."

6. Sales Plan

It doesn't matter if your sales department is an office full of business development representatives (BDR) or a dozen stores with your products on their shelves.

The point is: All sales plans are different, so you should clearly outline yours here. Common talking points include your:

  • Sales team structure, and why this structure was chosen.
  • Sales channels.
  • Sales tools, software, and resources.
  • Prospecting strategy.
  • Sales goals and budget.

Like with your marketing plan, it might make sense to attach your completed sales plan to the appendix of your business plan. You can download a template for building your sales plan here .

Why it matters: Among other things, investors are interested in the scalability of your business — which is why growth strategies are a critical part of your business plan.

Your sales plan should describe your plan to attract customers, retain them (if applicable), and, ultimately, grow your business. Be sure to outline what you plan to do given your existing resources and what results you expect from your work.

Example of a Sales Plan Overview

"The most important goal is to ensure financial success for Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant. We believe we can achieve this by offering excellent food, entertainment, and service to our clients.

We are not a low-cost dining option in the area. Instead, the food will have premium pricing to match its upscale feel. The strategy is to give Jay Street a perception of elegance through its food, entertainment, and excellent service."

7. Legal Notes

Your investors may want to know the legal structure of your business, as that could directly impact the risk of their investments. For example, if you're looking for business partners to engage in a non-corporation or LLC partnership, this means they could be on the line for more than their actual investment.

Because this clarification is often needed, explain if you are and/or plan to become a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, LLC, or other.

You should also outline the steps you have taken (or will need to take) to operate legally. This includes licenses, permits, registrations, and insurance.

The last thing your investor wants to hear after they've sent you a big chunk of change is that you're operating without proper approval from the local, state, or federal government.

Why it matters: The last thing your investor wants to hear after they've sent you a big chunk of change is that you're operating without proper approval from the local, state, or federal government.

Example of Legal Notes

"Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant is up-to-date on all restaurant licenses and health permits. Our business name and logo are registered trademarks, presenting the possibility of expanding locally."

8. Financial Considerations

Ultimately, investors want to know two things:

  • When they will earn their money back.
  • When they will start seeing returns on their initial investment.

That said, be clear, calculated, and convincing in this section. It should cover:

  • Startup costs.
  • Sales forecasts for the next several months/quarters.
  • Break-even analysis for time and dollars.
  • Projected profit and loss (P&L) statement.

Facts and figures are key here, so be as specific as possible with each line item and projection. In addition, explain the "why" behind each of these sections.

However, keep in mind that information overload is a risk, especially when it comes to data. So, if you have pages upon pages of charts and spreadsheets for this section, distill them into a page or two and include the rest of the sheets in the appendix. This section should only focus on key data points.

Why it matters: One of the most important aspects of becoming "investor ready" is knowing your numbers. More importantly, you need to understand how those numbers will enhance your business.

While it's easy to write a number down on paper, it's more important to understand (and communicate) why you need capital, where it's going, and that your evaluation makes sense.

Example of Financial Projections

"Based on our knowledge and experience in the restaurant industry, we have come up with projections for the business.

Starting with an expenditure of $400,000 in year 1, we forecast sales of $1,500,000 and $2,800,000 for years two and three. We expect to achieve a net profit of 15% by year three."

9. Appendix

A detailed and well-developed business plan can range anywhere from 20 to 50 pages, with some even reaching upward of 80.

In many cases, the appendix is the longest section. Why? Because it includes the supportive materials mentioned in previous sections. To avoid disrupting the flow of the business plan with visuals, charts, and spreadsheets, business owners usually add them in the last section, i.e. the appendix.

Aside from what we've already mentioned – marketing plan, sales plan, department budgets, financial documents – you may also want to attach the following in the appendix:

  • Marketing materials
  • Market research data
  • Licensing documentation
  • Branding assets
  • Floor plans for your location
  • Mockups of your product
  • Renderings of your office space or location design

Adding these pieces to the appendix enriches the reader's understanding of your business and proves you've put the work into your business plan without distracting from the main points throughout the plan.

Why it matters: An appendix helps the reader do their due diligence. It contains everything they need to support your business plan.

Keep in mind, however, that an appendix is typically necessary only if you're seeking financing or looking to attract business partners.

Use a Business Plan Template to Get Started

Writing a business plan shouldn't be an insurmountable roadblock to starting a business. Unfortunately, for all too many, it is.

That's why we recommend using our free business plan template. Pre-filled with detailed section prompts for all of the topics in this blog post, we're confident this template will get your business plan started in the right direction.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Business Plan Template

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Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform

Trump's wide-reaching tariff plan will hurt average Americans and only help the top 1%, Nobel-winning economist says

  • Trump's proposed tariffs would benefit only the wealthiest Americans, Paul Krugman wrote in a new op-ed.
  • 80% of US consumers would lose after-tax income, he said.
  • Goldman Sachs also sees higher tariffs triggering sizable Fed interest-rate hikes, Goldman Sachs says.

Insider Today

Donald Trump has pitched sweeping tariffs as a win for the US consumer, but only the wealthiest Americans will benefit from rising trade barriers, Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times .

In Tuesday's opinion piece, the Nobel-winning economist took aim at Trump's recently floated idea to replace the US income tax with higher import duties .

Putting aside the wide gap between the revenue streams both provide, a simpler policy that would maximize tariffs and cut income taxes by the same amount still bodes ill for most Americans, Krugman wrote.

"The net effect would be negative for 80 percent of the population, especially for the bottom 60 percent, while extremely positive for the top 1 percent," he outlined, citing data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

In this scenario, lower- and middle-income consumers would see their after-tax income drop, and would enjoy little benefit from the tax cuts. The opposite is true for the wealthiest Americans.

Krugman gave two reasons for this:

First, income taxes are mainly paid by the country's richest, while about half of the population doesn't pay these at all; instead, they're burdened by other taxes.

Related stories

Secondly, as tariffs apply higher costs on importers, these firms either pull their product away or raise their pricing. Both actions are inflationary, and can even boost the price of US-made products, research from the non-partisan Tax Foundation has shown.

And since lower-income families spend a bigger share of their income than the wealthy do, their pockets will take a greater hit from rising prices.

"So who would pay the tariffs that Trump will almost surely impose if he wins? Not China or foreigners in general," Krugman argued. "Everything says that the burden would fall on Americans, mainly the working class and the poor."

Trump's tariff plans go beyond their potential in replacing the income tax. The Republican candidate has previously preached the need for a universal tariff rate of 10% on all US imports, regardless of who the trade is with.

Some countries may even face higher rates, such as China: if Trump wins, Beijing could expect duties as high as 60%, he says.

If Trump is taken at his word, mounting trade barriers would boost inflation by 1.1 percentage point, Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius wrote on Tuesday. Higher prices would also hit at consumption, and US GDP would slump 0.5%.

Another Nobel-winning economist — Joseph Stiglitz — recently told Business Insider that he shares similar concerns of spiking inflation.

It's a recipe that would unwind the Federal Reserve's ability to cut interest rates, a hope that's contributed to this year's stock highs.

Instead, the Fed would likely turn hawkish again, raising rates as much as 130 basis points, Hatzius projected. That's equivalent to around five 25-basis-point hikes.

"A trade war between the US and China would significantly amplify our results, with a bigger increase in US inflation, a bigger hit to European growth, and a stronger case for monetary policy divergence between Europe and the US," he concluded.

Watch: The biggest revelations from Trump's tax returns

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

    Marketing Plan vs. Business Plan. A marketing plan is a strategic document that outlines marketing objectives, strategies, and tactics. A business plan is also a strategic document. But this plan covers all aspects of a company's operations, including finance, operations, and more. It can also help your business decide how to distribute ...

  2. How to Create a Winning Marketing Plan [With Examples] [2024] • Asana

    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.

  3. What is a Marketing Plan & How to Create One [with Examples]

    Marketing plan v.s business plan. While both marketing plans and business plans are crucial documents for businesses, they serve distinct purposes and have different scopes. Here's a breakdown of the key differences: Business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines all aspects of your business, including:

  4. How to Create a Complete Marketing Strategy in 2024 [Data + Expert Tips]

    This SMART goal guide can help you with more effective goal-setting. 3. Identify your target audience and create buyer personas. To create an effective marketing strategy, you need to understand who your ideal customers are. Take a look at your market research to understand your target audience and market landscape.

  5. What Is a Marketing Plan? And How to Create One

    A marketing plan is a document that a business uses to execute a marketing strategy. It is tactical in nature, and, as later sections of this article explore, it typically includes campaign objectives, buyer personas, competitive analysis, key performance indicators, an action plan, and a method for analyzing campaign results.

  6. 5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan [Free Templates]

    The following marketing plan template opens directly in Microsoft Word, so you can edit each section as you see fit: Download your marketing plan template here. Marketing Campaign Template. Your marketing plan is a high-level view of the different marketing strategies you'll use to meet your business objectives.

  7. How to create a marketing plan in 2024

    Strategy: Segmentation, Targeting and Positoning (STP) and the tactics forming the 7Ps of the marketing mix. Action: Budget, resourcing including team and tools and marketing technology (Martech) and 90-day action plans. As a marketer, every activity will fall into either an opportunity, strategy, or action.

  8. How to Write a Business Plan: Step-by-Step Guide

    A one-page business plan is a simplified version of the larger business plan, and it focuses on the problem your product or service is solving, the solution (your product), and your business model (how you'll make money). A one-page plan is hyper-direct and easy to read, making it an effective tool for businesses of all sizes, at any stage ...

  9. How to Create a Marketing Plan Step by Step With Examples

    A marketing plan includes analysis of the target audience, the competitors, and the market so that teams can determine the best strategy for achieving their goals. The plan's length and detail depend on the company's size and the scope of the marketing project. A marketing plan is useful for all types of marketing, including digital, social media, new product, small business, B2C, and B2B.

  10. How to Write a Business Plan: Guide + Examples

    Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It's also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. After completing your plan, you can ...

  11. Create a Marketing Plan [+20 Free Templates]

    The terms are often used interchangeably or together: marketing business plan. But each plan is different and here's what sets them apart. Business plans cover a business's overall strategy, from the branding strategy to the company-wide marketing strategies. A marketing plan solely concentrates on a specific marketing strategy or a branch of ...

  12. Real-World Marketing Plan Samples & Free Templates

    Marketing Strategy: This section of a marketing plan details the business's unique value proposition and the channels that will communicate it. A robust marketing strategy addresses the touchpoints in a consumer's buying cycle and breaks down the 4 Ps (product, price, place, promotion) of the marketing mix.

  13. Everything You Need to Write a Marketing Plan

    A plan (the details of execution and the human resources, departments and software that will be involved) Reporting (what reports of progress will include and/or look like) We broke down those five functions into 10 actionable categories to help you create a marketing plan that is unique and effective for your business. 1.

  14. What Is a Marketing Plan? And How to Create One

    A marketing plan is a business document used to execute a marketing strategy. It is tactical, and, as later sections of this article explore, it typically includes campaign objectives, buyer personas, competitive analysis, key performance indicators, an action plan, and a method for analysing campaign results.

  15. How to Write a Sales and Marketing Plan

    The marketing and sales section of your business plan dives into how you're going to accomplish your goals. You'll be answering questions like: ... A marketing plan brings together strategic goals with tangible marketing activities designed to reach and engage your target market—ultimately convincing them to purchase your product.

  16. What Is a Marketing Plan? Types and How to Write One

    Marketing Plan: A marketing plan is a business's operational document for advertising campaigns designed to reach its target market . A marketing plan pulls together all the campaigns that will be ...

  17. How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

    Describe Your Services or Products. The business plan should have a section that explains the services or products that you're offering. This is the part where you can also describe how they fit ...

  18. Marketing Strategy: What It Is, How It Works, and How to Create One

    Marketing Strategy: A marketing strategy is a business' overall game plan for reaching people and turning them into customers of the product or service that the business provides. The marketing ...

  19. How to Create a Marketing Strategy in 10 Steps

    You can think of a marketing strategy like a fingerprint. Your business has unique goals, and so the path toward success will also be distinct. Marketing strategy vs. marketing plan. A marketing strategy is closely related to a marketing plan, but the two things have different purposes.

  20. What Is Marketing? Definition, Strategies & Best Practices

    Marketing encompasses every part of a plan to turn a prospective consumer into a happy and satisfied customer. It includes everything from market research to advertising. The goal of marketing is ...

  21. What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

    A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines a company's goals, strategies, and financial projections. It provides a detailed description of the business, including its products or services, target market, competitive landscape, and marketing and sales strategies.

  22. Small Business Marketing in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

    Small business marketing today typically focuses on establishing a strong online presence, but your options aren't limited to just the web. ... That's why incorporating a marketing plan is an ...

  23. 22 Best Business Plan PowerPoint Templates

    Choose from the business plan PowerPoint examples featured to make your brand shine. Boost your business towards success for 2024 and the future! Presentation Templates

  24. Marketing Plan 101

    A well-executed marketing plan will help you: Define your business with SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat) Define your target audience with buyer personas; Tools you will need to execute on your marketing plan; Measuring and Optimizing your Marketing Efforts; Define your brand with proper visuals and messaging

  25. REAA

    CPPREP4102 - Market property (Release 1) Marketing Plan Part 2 Prepare a proposed marketing plan (on the following page) based upon the buyer profile you have identified in section [1] of this assessment and do the following; Select suitable marketing activities/strategies Detail a schedule of when the marketing will occur Detail the cost of the marketing activities Ensure the marketing is ...

  26. Business Owners Believe Employees with AI Skills Will Save Them Time

    This insight makes sense, since AI has the capabilities to cut down on the time requirements for several important tasks, from drafting communications to creating media to share in marketing campaigns. But since it's such an emerging technology, many small business owners don't currently possess the skills to make the most of these tools.

  27. The New Rules of Marketing Across Channels

    The Internet and AI tools are transforming marketing communications within a complex, interactive landscape called the echoverse. While marketing has evolved since the proliferation of the ...

  28. Grain marketing with low prices

    Now in July, farmers must develop an exit plan for the 2023 crop and determine a marketing plan for the 2024 crop. Selling the 2023 crop Current prices available for 2023 corn are $1.59 below the low price in 2022 and the soybean price is $2.39 below the low price in 2022.

  29. How to Build a Detailed Business Plan That Stands Out [Free Template]

    This is why crafting a business plan is an essential step in the entrepreneurial process. In this post, we'll walk you through the process of filling out your business plan template, like this free, editable version: Download a free, editable one-page business plan template. We know that when looking at a blank page on a laptop screen, the idea ...

  30. Trump's Tariff Plan to Replace Income Tax With Only ...

    Trump's proposed tariffs would benefit only the wealthiest Americans, Paul Krugman wrote in a new op-ed. 80% of US consumers would lose after-tax income, he said. Goldman Sachs also sees higher ...