How to Create a Marketing Plan [15+ Templates]

Mahnoor Sheikh

Written by:
Mahnoor Sheikh

marketing plan - header wide

A solid marketing plan can take your business to new heights. But creating the perfect plan can be difficult, especially if you have never done this before.

There are so many sample marketing plans out there that it’s easy to get confused about the things you should definitely include. No worries, though. I’ve got you covered.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on creating a marketing plan that will work for almost every kind of business. You’ll also find a bunch of marketing plan templates to help you get started with your own.

Let’s dive right in.

 

What is a Marketing Plan?

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

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:

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

One-page-marketing-plan-template-ok

Customize this marketing plan template and make it your own!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.

 

The Benefits of a Marketing Plan

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 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.

Looking to create a stand-out marketing plan?

  • Choose from fully designed templates
  • Create animated charts and creatively visualize stats and figures
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7 Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan

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.

Start-with-an-executive-summary-ok

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

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 of 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 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.

State-your-companys-mission-vision-and-values-ok

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

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 back up your marketing plan 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.

Identify-the-market-and-competition-ok

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

You can customize this template according to your own brand colors, input your own information and use it as part of a marketing plan, on its own, 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.

Identify-the-market-and-competition-2ok

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

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.

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.

Take a look at this competitive analysis template.

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

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

4. Define your target customer.

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.

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.

marketing plan - Define-your-target-customer

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

You can edit this template and use it as part of your marketing plan 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 efforts in that area.

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

customer persona marketing plan

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

This infographic template is a fun way to visualize your buyer’s demographic details, habits and goals.

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

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

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

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

Avoid setting too many or unrealistic goals, and make sure they’re specific and measurable. 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

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

This is a more detailed goals template 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:

  • What to do
  • 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

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

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

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

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 infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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 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.

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

marketing plan budget table template

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

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.

 

7+ Marketing Plan Templates to Get You Started

Need help putting together a full marketing plan?

Here is our handpicked collection of seven full 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.

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

1. Restaurant marketing plan template.

Restaurant-marketing-plan-template

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

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 features stock photos of food that you can replace with your own. It also has a versatile design that can be tailored to your own brand style and even an entirely different industry.

2. Real estate marketing plan template.

Real-estate-marketing-plan-template

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

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.

3. Content marketing plan template.

marketing plan - Content-marketing-plan-template

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

This content marketing plan template is carefully designed to match the needs of SaaS and other businesses who want to focus on taking their content 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.

4. Social media marketing plan template.

Social-media-marketing-plan-template

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

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.

5. Digital marketing plan template.

marketing plan - Digital-marketing-plan-template

Customize this marketing plan template and make it your own!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.

6. Product marketing plan template.

Product-marketing-plan-template

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

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

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

7. Personal marketing plan template.

Personal-marketing-plan-template

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

Hiring someone to help build a powerful personal brand?

This personal marketing plan 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.

Bonus: Marketing plan infographic template.

video marketing plan infographic template

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

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.

 

Ready to Create a Winning Marketing Plan?

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

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

Sign up on Visme for free and get started with one of our marketing plan templates today.

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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, copywriting, graphic designing, art direction, and more. She is also the founder of MASH and is passionate about words, colors, tea and kittens. Get in touch with her on LinkedIn.

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