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How to Build an Effective Marketing Plan Outline

The competency of a marketing plan decides to what extent a business will grow.

And the competency of a marketing plan depends on how well it is outlined.

A massive survey of 1600 marketers from 83 countries has revealed that marketers who document their strategy are 538% more likely to report success than those who don’t.

The marketing plan of your company serves as a roadmap for your team to follow when working towards the company success.

Following are the steps you should follow when building an effective marketing plan.

Table of Contents


Table of contents helps anyone who views your marketing plan figure out where in the document the information they are looking for is.

Executive Summary

This is a summary of each section that is included in your marketing plan. This helps those who read the plan get a quick overview of what is described further in detail throughout the document.
It is better to write it at the end, for then you would have a better idea as to what each section of your marketing plan includes.

Audience Research

The direction of your marketing campaigns relies on your customer. Without an idea as to who you are targeting, there’s really no way to decide what your efforts should focus on.

Here you should define your audience persona or your ideal customer. Both quantitative information (age, gender etc.) and quantitative information (interests, goals etc.) should be highlighted here.

Set Goals


This section should address the goals you should achieve over the period of time your marketing plan covers. While the goals you set for your marketing strategies should align with the overall business objectives, they should fit into the SMART criteria.

Specific –The what, who, why, where and how of your goals should be well defined. These include what you goal is, why you want to achieve it, who is involved, where it is happening and which resources are used.

Measurable – This means the progress you have made when the goal is achieved should be quantifiable.

Achievable – Can your goals be achieved under the current position of your business and with the resources available?

Relevant – The goals you set should be relevant to the time and the current position of your business. Working to achieve a goal that is irrelevant would be a waste of time and effort.

Time-Bound – Having a deadline, something to work towards is essential when setting a goal. 

Prepare Mission Statement

A mission statement should be no longer than 3-4 sentences. It should relay what the mission of your marketing plan is. And as such, it should answer
  1. What the overall goal of your marketing projects (as documented in the plan)?
  2. How are the different projects that you have planned going to help you achieve that goal?
  3. What is the outcome that will be generated at the end?

Choose Marketing Channels

Online to offline, there are many marketing channels out there. The thing is to find out which ones work out for you.
  1. Website or Blog
  2. Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ etc.
  3. Email
  4. Video: YouTube
  5. Magazines/ Newspaper
  6. TV advertisements
  7. Flyers
Depending on the kind of message and your target audience this list of marketing channels may vary.

Conduct a SWOT Analysis


What are the threats and weaknesses of your company? What opportunities and threats may affect its future growth?

Through a SWOT analysis, you can identify these.

Strengths and Weaknesses

These are internal factors that are within the control of your company. Strengths may include positive attributes such as the skills of the employees, the credibility you have earned within the industry, resource you may have etc. while the weaknesses may include limited resources, poor location, product defects etc.

Opportunities and Threats

These are external factors that are beyond your control yet whose impact can be mitigated with proper strategies in place. Opportunities could be positive market changes, government policies related to your field or even local events. Threats to your business could come from your competitors, changing technology, economic fluctuations or even from natural disasters.

By analyzing these factors you can effectively optimize your strengths to overcome your company weaknesses and take precautions to eliminate threats while taking advantage of the opportunities.

Competitor Analysis

This is to identify your company’s top competitors in the industry. Through a thorough analysis of their position in the industry, the marketing channels, campaigns etc. they use, you can draw inspiration for your own marketing strategy.

When conducting a competitor analysis, it is important to conduct research on both current as well as potential competitors. Then select your direct competitors and figure out their strengths and weaknesses. And analyze the tactics they use to attract customers and figure out how you can customize and integrate those into your marketing strategy.

Break Down Projects


This includes assigning projects to the span of time that your marketing plan covers and breaking them down into smaller tasks, estimating them and setting up deadlines. When setting deadlines, you need to prioritize each project based on how soon you need them completed.

Using a Gantt chart you can effectively map out the timeline of your marketing projects. It could become a handy tool when scheduling tasks.

When allocating resources you need to take into consideration the size of your company, the skills of your employees, and the availability of non-human resources as all of these will impact the successful completion of the project goals.

A Solid Promotion Strategy

Your promotion strategy should include

The types of content you are going to create: these could be blog posts, social media posts, videos or email newsletters. Depending on the preferences of your target audience and the subject matter of your content, they may differ.

Promotion tactics and platforms: depending on the type of content you create the way you choose to promote them and the ideal platform to do so would also vary. Identify which tactics, whether it is a 60 minute videos or a list post that works out best on your audience, and platforms whether your audience is most active on social media or consists of traffic to your website.
 
Promotion schedule: Your customers aren’t always online, they might only use a product you offer during a particular time period. According to these customer behaviors and the platforms you choose, you need to create an ideal schedule to publish your content.

Create Your Budget

Any marketing plan needs a budget, be it for providing resources, transportation or advertising. Once you have prioritized your projects and broke them down, creating a budget for each one of them would be much easier.

Most of your money will be spent on promotions in marketing. As such create separate budgets for,
  1. Email marketing
  2. Social media marketing
  3. YouTube Marketing
  4. Google Ad campaign
  5. Website/ blog promotions
  6. Display/ newspaper/ blog advertising

Measure and Analyze Results

In order to figure out whether the efforts of your team and the projects you are working on are contributing to the growth of your company, you need to measure the results and analyze them. The final section of your marketing plan should be dedicated to this.

To measure the results you can use a variety of analysis tools such as Google Analytics or MOZ. Once you know which tools to use, decide on how often you want to produce a report on the data you collect and review it with the team.

Much like a business plan, a marketing plan is an evolving document. With changes that may occur in the market, you need to make changes and modifications to your marketing strategies.

About the Author

Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Cinergix, the team behind the development of Creately Diagramming Software. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.
How to Build an Effective Marketing Plan Outline How to Build an Effective Marketing Plan Outline Reviewed by Dhanur Chauhan on 3:42 PM Rating: 5