What is a Marketing Plan Template?
For most businesses, a marketing plan is the key structure that will determine how they will get exposure to new clients and keep current clients up to date about their business. A marketing plan template is a blank skeleton of a marketing plan that can be purchased from marketing companies. Marketing plan templates are used as a shortcut for when a business does not have the funds or ability to create their own marketing plan from scratch. They can be very helpful for creating a quick marketing plan that can be up and running in a short period of time.
How to obtain and use a Marketing Plan Template for your business
1. Identify your business strengths and your client base
Before seeking a marketing plan template, determine if your business is capable of generating a marketing plan on their own. Does your business have any experienced marketing professionals? Can you develop a marketing plan? Are you having trouble keeping contact with your client base or seeking new clients with the marketing you have already had in place? If your business is like many that cannot develop their own marketing plan or have an inadequate plan, seeking a template may be right for you.
The benefits of using a marketing plan template is that it lays out what you need for your overall marketing plan in a proven way that has worked in the past or for other companies. You can always adapt a template to your specific needs, so the benefits of starting with a template can greatly outweigh starting from scratch, especially when you have not built marketing plans from scratch before.
2. Consider your budget
While a marketing plan template will save you time and give you the structure to develop your plan, you must consider the costs that will be required before you can access a marketing plan template. You will need to shop around, as many companies are available with all different levels of marketing plan templates. Very basic templates may be available for lower prices, however you must ensure that what you are getting is helpful. You also must consider if you will require additional help developing your plan from the template. This can all add up, so determine if your budget can hold all of the required costs of building your marketing plan from a template.
3. Build your marketing plan from the template
Once you have selected your appropriate marketing plan template, you must get to work filling it in and modifying it for your business’ needs. You may need to continue some marketing strategies that you already have had in place, so combine them with your new marketing template. Bring in others to review your marketing plan to ensure that you receive both positive and negative suggestions about whether you marketing plan is complete.
You will use your marketing plan template to create your marketing plan, however you should not feel restricted by the template. You will need to expand or contract ideas in your chosen template and it should be very elastic to meet your business’ needs.
4. Monitoring your Marketing Plan Template
Once your marketing plan is built and put in effect, you must actively monitor whether your plan is working and whether your template is the right for your business. Check with your clients whether they are being attracted by your advertisements or noticing your updates. If your marketing plan is not working or getting a positive return on your investment, you may need to modify or get a completely new marketing plan template. Your marketing plan must always be changing and adapted to changes in your business or client base, so never keep your marketing plans stagnant for too long.
Marketing Plan Template Example
The following is an example of the key points a marketing plan needs to cover. You may need to add or eliminate from the example provided in order to fit your business’ needs.
EXAMPLE MARKETING PLAN
Personal Goals (Marketing Director):
• List the goals you want to achieve as marketing director for your business.
• List how you plan on accomplishing them.
• This is where you will list the numerical goals of your marketing plan.
• Reach 5,600 new clients in first quarter of 2012
• Seek to increase referrals for all of 2012
• This is where you will list how you will accomplish your goals
• Establish new billboard marketing plan in 2012
• Work on brand image in order to be better received in the immediate community
• List your long term goals as a result of your tactical goals.
• Achieve market share of clients by 2013
• Expand business into Market X by third quarter 2014
(Write a brief description of why you need a new marketing plan, what you plan to achieve, and what results you are expecting.)
(Write a brief description of how your new marketing plan will be received, who will receive it, the type of clients you hope to attract, and how long your marketing will last.)
(Write how you will evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing plan, how you will receive feedback, and what you will do with such feedback.)