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You’re not going to get far in business or stay in business for long without a good marketing plan template to start building your own pln. So, what should be in yours?

Even if you never write a full business plan or put together a pitch deck, you need a marketing plan template. Without one you’ll just be blowing around in the wind. Do that and there’s more than a 90% chance you are going bankrupt within five years. Probably far sooner.

Even with a lot of luck and managing to stumble your way through for a few months, you’ll be suffering from far subpar marketing returns. You can’t afford. Not when your competition will be getting superior returns and using that to continually drown you out and steal your market share. 

This doesn’t have to be long and painful. A few hours and you should be well on your way to marketing campaigns that really rock, and a sustainable system that continues to deliver. It’ll be even faster if you’ve already done your homework.

Here’s what to include in your marketing plan.

OVERVIEW

This is the space for a quick summary of your marketing plan template. Specifically, the purpose of this plan and what it should do for you. Include your taglines and the brand position you are claiming.

GOALS & OBJECTIVES

What are the goals and objectives this marketing plan is being designed to achieve?

Be specific. What number of sales units, revenues, and specific types of sales are these marketing strategies and tactics being created to produce?

Does it include a launch, moving from offline to online (or vice versa), expanding into new territory, preparing to raise funding?

Is there anything that should not be included in this plan. Any specific mentions or channels you don’t want to engage in yet?

CURRENT MARKETING AUDIT

Before extending or making new plans it’s smart to evaluate or audit what you’ve been doing and have now. You can’t improve on what you don’t know.

So, what’s working? What’s not working that well? What are your numbers? Lead costs, conversion rates? Where are the gaps you want to close?

This is also a good place to record risks to current marketing efforts and evolving changes coming in the future. Are there regulatory changes or customer behavior changes, rolling cycles or technological advancements that are likely to impact what works and not ahead?

OPPORTUNITIES & ADJUSTMENTS 

Start with adjustments you can make to improve on current marketing you will keep given your recent audit. 

Next, include new opportunities that your market research has identified. This could include unique trending opportunities, new channels, and technologies that are opening up, emerging SEO terms and potential partnerships.

Competition

Add your fresh market research here. Who are your competitors? Who could soon become serious competitors? What are their weaknesses and strengths? What are yours? What competitive advantages can you lean on?

A graphic can be effective to include here.

MARKETING PLAN

Here is where you layout your new marketing plan template going forward. Who will you reach? How? How will you multiply those results?

Target Market

A smart place to begin here is with your target market. This will act as an ongoing decision-making guide for your whole team. Begin with the size of your total market, and then break it down to your total addressable market, and market/s you will begin targeting.

This is a good place to include buyer personas or an ideal customer profile to guide the rest of your decisions and make sure they are on target. Who exactly is your most likely and preferred customer? Be as detailed as you can.

Marketing Channels

Once you’ve pinpointed the above you can layout the specific channels you’ll begin marketing through. You can expand later and may detail those future plans as well. If you are planning to use this as a part of a fundraising campaign, make sure you have sustainable and low customer acquisition cost channels included.

Just counting on Google Ads or Facebook isn’t going to cut it. It’s expensive and unreliable.

Three main categories these channels of a marketing plan template may fall under include:

-Paid Advertising – PPC, outdoor advertising, PR, print, etc.
-Organic Marketing – Blogging, email marketing, social media, etc.
-Partnerships – Affiliates, agents, collaborations, etc

Growth

Now list the additional marketing channels and niches you will pursue as you grow and have the funds to do so.

This may be broken down into three phases as your marketing budget grows.

IMPLEMENTATION

In this section of the marketing plan template, you’ll detail how you will implement your marketing plan. This includes who will do it, how they will do it, and how much your monthly spend will be. 

What technology and software will you need to purchase or develop to make it happen? Who will you need to hire or put on this team to execute on your marketing strategies? It could be a current team member, agency, freelancer, or new hire. They may also need to build a team underneath them. 

What steps will they take, and how much of each of these strategies will they do. For example, how much direct mail, how many trade shows, blogs, or what will your monthly Google Ads spend be. 

If you need to present this to your team, executives or board and investors, it can be smart to include three different implementation options.

Arrange them by budget. Start with the leanest, and have more expensive and robust options. Detail everything they will include. If needed, advanced options can be grown into as your early marketing pays off and delivers cash flow and a positive return.

Whatever you do with your marketing plan remember that this should also be aligned with your fundraising efforts starting with your pitch deck. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here).

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

 

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