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Marketing Plan Template

A marketing plan is a must have for any start-up company. Most startups are working on a limited budget, but still need to make themselves known. Analyzing and tracking what impact your marketing efforts should have will help you get the most for your money. In order to make this effective, you’ll want to layout a detailed budget on how you will use your limited marketing funds.

The Marketing Plan Template is designed as a form that will encourage you to think of marketing in conjunction with its payback or return on investment. It will also help you setup a disciplined approach to using, reviewing and evaluating your marketing efforts.

Reviewing the approach below, fill in the marketing plan template here (link to template).

Choose Your Destination and Mark Your Checkpoints

How much do you want to make each year to cover costs? How much business do you need to generate to be able to write that check? Now, break that figure down into a quarterly, a monthly, then a weekly figure. If it makes sense for your business, break this down into a daily figure. The more immediate the goal is, the more likely we are to feel the urgency to attain it. Are you hitting your monthly/weekly/daily target to ensure that you reach your yearly goal?
Translate the Financial Targets Into Customer Targets
For instance, if you’re in the service business, what does it take to acquire a new client? How many phone calls do you have to make? How many appointments do you need to set? How often do you need to follow up before you get to a “yes”? What type of client generates greater profit? What type of client is most “typical” or requires less effort? How many of each type of client do you need to acquire to hit your daily/weekly/monthly target to stay on your financial track?

Plan Your Marketing for Your Business

What tactics or strategies for attracting new customers have worked for your competitors?  Do you know of a specific promotion that created new or recurring customers? Would a workshop or seminar help? What kind of advertising can you do? What new strategies would you like to try? Choose precise marketing vehicles you will use, then decide when you’ll use them (dates and frequencies). What is the cost of using them and how many sales do you need from each one to break even?

Plan Your Marketing By Segment

Now break your information down by segment or customer type.  Figure out which of these tactics is most appropriate for which group of customers.  Figure out the timeline you want to use when introducing your product/service to each type of customer. Lay out your plan based on resources using the Market Segment plan.

Record and Track Your Results

If you don’t know which marketing efforts are working for you and which are not, how can you possibly determine a better and more cost-effective plan? You must “tag” every effort in order to measure its results. For instance, if you get a phone call from a prospective client, ask the person how he/she heard of you – from a colleague? Yellow pages? Other ad? Directory listing? Promotion? Seminar or workshop you participated in? An interview you did with a local radio station or newspaper? Document the answers.  If you do print advertising, mark the ad with a department number or ID number that responders need to refer to in order to get the information (or product) advertised. Tracking results actually lets you SEE what direction your marketing efforts are currently going and where they need to go to get the financial reward you seek. And once you can see the “map” to successfully marketing your business, it will be easier to keep moving toward your goals.

Review and Change the Plan for Better Results

A great marketing plan is ever changing. You learn from it, modify it and re-introduce it. Using results you get from the step above (Record and Track Your Results), determine if the plan is working or if it could do better. What profits resulted using each of these tactics? Which worked best? Can you recreate them? Which produced the least? Can you modify them to be more effective? What products or services are drawing the most interest from potential customers/clients? Should you promote them more heavily? Is there a specific industry that responds more than another? Is a tactic or strategy costing more to use than the gain you experience from its use? If so, drop it! Don’t continue to use an ad that doesn’t produce just because you paid a lot of money to have it created. Move on. Try something else. Review results and change your course at every opportunity.

Click here for the Market Plan Template.