We believe a good marketing plan helps make decisions to deploy the resources and provide a roadmap for everyone who works on the brand. You will learn how to write each component of the marketing plan, looking at brand vision, purpose, values, goals, key Issues, strategies, and tactics. We provide a marketing plan template with definitions and marketing plan examples to inspire you for how to write each component. Our marketing plan workshop allows marketers to try each concept on their brand. We provide hands-on coaching and feedback to challenge their plans.
We offer unique formats for a marketing-plan-on-a-page and long-range strategic roadmaps. And then, we show how to build marketing execution plans. We look at a marketing communications plan, innovation plan, sales plan, and experiential plan. Our marketing plan template will help give a strategic direction to everyone in your organization.
One-page Marketing Plan template
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I first came up with this “plan-on a page” marketing plan template when I led a team with 15 brands. It helped me see the big picture quickly, rather than having to hunt through a big thick binder. Also, the sales team appreciated the ability to see the entire plan on one page quickly. Most salespeople also had 15 brands to manage with each of their customers. Everyone who works on the brand should receive the one-page marketing plan. And they should keep it close by to steer their day-to-day decisions.
How the marketing plan is organized
- The analysis section lays out the summary from the deep-dive business review. Provide an overview of the top three points, which envelop what is driving your brand’s growth, what is inhibiting your brand’s growth, which threats could hurt your brand and what opportunities your brand faces.
- The key issues and strategies section focuses on the top three issues getting in the way of achieving your vision, which you should put in question format. And the strategic solutions are the answers that match up to each of those questions. Set goals to measure your brand’s performance against each strategy.
- The marketing execution section maps out the specific plans for each of the chosen execution areas that line up to most essential consumer touchpoints.
The vision should answer the question, “Where could we be?” Put a stake in the ground that describes an ideal state for your future. It should be able to last for five to 10 years. The vision gives everyone clear direction. Write in a way that scares you a little and excites you a lot.
The purpose has to answer the question, “Why does your brand exist?” It’s the underlying personal motivation for why you do what you do. The purpose is a powerful way to connect with employees and consumers, giving your brand a soul.
The values you choose should answer, “What do you stand for?” Your values should guide you and shape the organization’s standards, beliefs, behaviors, expectations, and motivations. A brand must consistently deliver each value.
Your goals should answer, “What will you achieve?” The specific measures can include consumer behavioral changes, metrics of crucial programs, in-market performance targets, financial results, or milestones on the pathway to the vision. You can use these goals to set up a brand dashboard or scoreboard.
Use your deep-dive business review to answer, “Where are we?” Your analysis must summarize the drivers and inhibitors currently facing the brand, and the future threats and untapped opportunities.
The key issues answer the question, “Why are we here?” Look at what is getting in your way of achieving your brand vision. Ask the issues as questions, to set up the challenges to the strategies as the answer to each issue.
Your strategy decisions must answer, “How can we get there?” Your choices depend on market opportunities you see with consumers, competitors, or situations. Strategies must provide clear marching orders that define the strategic program you are investing in, the focused opportunity, the desired market impact and the payback in a performance result that benefits the branded business.
The tactics answer, “What do we need to do?” Framed entirely by strategy, tactics turn into action plans with clear marching orders to your teams. Decide on which activities to invest in to stay on track with your vision while delivering the highest ROI and the highest ROE for your branded business.
Turning your key issues into a marketing strategy
Lay out the key issues that answer, “Why are we here?” by taking the summary findings of the deep-dive analysis and drawing out the significant issues in the way of achieving your stated brand vision.A great way to find the issues is to brainstorm up to 30 things in the way of your vision. Then, narrow down your list to the top 3-5 significant themes you see. Take the themes and begin to write the top issues in a rhetorical, strategic question format to prompt a few different strategic options for how to solve each issue. Spend serious thinking time on these questions because the better the strategic question you ask, the better the strategic answer you will get.
In our Marketing Plan example, we use four strategic questions to focus the brand’s key issues
Another excellent methodology for finding key issues is to go back to the four strategic questions model I outlined in the strategic thinking chapters. This thinking ensures you take a 360-degree view of your brand. Looking at the marketing plan example below, I have used the four strategic questions and come up with four specific questions that fit the Gray’s Cookies brand.
With various ways to brainstorm and find the issues I recommend for the annual marketing plan, focus on the top three key issues, which set up the top three strategies. A long-range brand strategic roadmap can typically handle up to five key issues, then five strategies.
Writing strategic objective statements
Within our marketing plan template, we provide slides to lay out your brand strategies. You should start off by writing your strategic objective statement using the four components of the a + b + c + d model outlined in our Beloved Brands book. We go through four types of strategy, including your core strength, consumer strategy, competitive strategy and your brand situation.
How to lay out each marketing strategy in our marketing plan template
Your effort in writing these clunky statements will not go to waste. Once you have decided on your top three strategies, you can lay out a specific slide to explain each strategy within your presentation.
- Include the clunky strategic objective statement (told you it would not go to waste).
- The goals measure the ideal result of this strategy.
- Then, list three tactical programs, where you will invest your resources.
- I also insert a “watch out statement” to show I am proactively addressing any issue I feel could derail my presentation.
Brand Communications Plan
The brand communications plan answers seven questions. These questions steer and inspire the creation of the brand story work, so the brand communications work will establish your brand positioning, and motivate consumers to see, think, feel, do, or influence. We have it set up in our marketing plan template to answer the following questions:
- First, what do we need our advertising to do? (Brand strategic objective statement)
- Second, who is in our desired consumer target? (Most motivated people to buy what we do)
- Third, what are we selling? (Our main consumer benefit we stand behind)
- Why should they believe us? (Support points to back up the main benefit)
- Next, what is our organizing brand idea? (Brand soul, essence or DNA for the brand)
- Then, what do we want people to see, think, feel, do, or influence? (Desired consumer response)
- Finally, where will our consumer be most receptive to see and act upon our message? (Media plan)
With our marketing plan examples, below is our Brand Communications Plan for Gray’s Cookies.
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Use your brand idea to guide the product development team to manage innovation ideas at the exploratory stage, (beyond five years), pipeline ideas (two to five years) and go-to-market launch plans (within the next two years). Use the marketing plan template to influence, manage, and even direct your product development team to ensure they focus on the brand strategy. As part of our marketing plan examples, below is our Innovation Plan for Gray’s Cookies.
Sales and Retail Plan
Brand leaders should work side-by-side with the sales team to manage the consumer through the purchase moment. The brand plan should guide the sales team on specific strategy and goals. Given that your sales team owns the selling execution, you must gain the sales team’s alignment and buy-in on the best ways to execute your brand’s strategy through direct selling, retailer management, and e-commerce options. The programs include pricing, distribution focus, shelf management, promotional spending, customer marketing, customer analytics, and specific promotional tools.
Use a “triple win” to find the ideal retail programs, which match up with wins for your channel customer, your shared consumer, and your brand. Marketers must understand that sales leaders work through relationships, and need to balance the strategies of their customer with the desired strategies of your brand. Your channel customers are trying to win in their market, satisfying a base of their consumers through your brands, while battling competitors who you may also be going through that customer. Your most successful programs will provide a win for your channel customer, as you will get much more support for your program.
As part of our marketing plan examples, below is our Selling and Retail Plan for Gray’s Cookies.
Marketing Plan template: The execution slides
We provide marketing plan examples of execution slides you can use in your marketing plan. We have PowerPoint slides you can use for advertising, social media and search, event sampling, new product launch, new product pipeline, competitive defense plan, merchandising and in-store sampling, customer marketing, promotions.
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Brand Communications execution plans
- Advertising Plan: Looks at the creative advertising plan, creative idea, and a media plan that lays out the specific media choices and a media calendar.
- Social Media and Search Plan: The role of social media and specific media choices. The role of paid and organic search to drive to the website.
- Events sampling and sponsorship: Link sampling to point of usage, sponsorship to support brand positioning.
- Creative Brief: Details to help drive the creative message, including strategy, target market, consumer insights, main message, support points, and desired response for consumers.
Innovation execution plans
- New Products Pipeline: Five year map of innovation ideas categorized based on product extensions, product improvements, new formats, brand stretching, game changing, or blue ocean.
- New Product Launch Plan: Go-to-market plan for the launches coming to market in the next year.
Sales and Retailing execution plans
- Customer Marketing programs: Key account focus with specific insights, issues, and customer scorecards.
- Merchandising and Instore Sampling program: Instore focus on overall distribution points, shelf placement, merchandising, and instore sampling.
- Promotions Plan: Tactics related to driving penetration and usage frequency.
We also provide a slide so you can map out your competitor’s plan. And, we have a slide for a Market Research Plan that includes new product concept testing, advertising and claims testing, in-market tracking, voice of the consumer, and the consistent gathering of consumer insights.
Get our Marketing Plan PowerPoint template
If you are running a consumer-driven brand or a consultant helping your clients, our Marketing Plan template includes ideal slides for vision, purpose, analysis, key issues, strategies, brand positioning statement, and execution plans. And, we provide great templates for many types of execution.
Click on any of the slides to view our examples of our Marketing Plan template slides
Explore all our brand management templates
Our brand management templates includes PowerPoint presentations for brand plans, brand positioning, brand reviews, and creative briefs. Most importantly, our brand management templates reflect the tools in our brand playbooks, Beloved Brands, and B2B Brands.
In addition, you can gain access to each type of format for consumer-facing brands, B2B, and healthcare. To help, we start with blank slides with key definitions. Then, we add a completed PowerPoint slide presentation using our relevant brand case studies.
Beloved Brands is the playbook to keep at your fingertips
Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand.
- To start, we will challenge you with questions that get you to think differently about your brand strategy.
- Then, we take you through our process for defining your brand positioning. We will open your mind to new possibilities for how you see you can differentiate your brand. And, we use examples of brand positioning statements to bring the learning to life.
- Next, we will show you how to write a brand plan that everyone can follow. Make sure all stakeholders know precisely how they can contribute to your brand’s success.
- Moreover, we will show you how to run the creative execution process, show you how to write an inspiring brief, and make decisions to find both smart and breakthrough work.
- Finally, you will learn new methods to analyze the performance of your brand with a deep-dive business review.
Above all, over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive five-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management.