Every business that wants to boost brand awareness and generate more leads needs a solid marketing plan. Businesses that fail to document a plan are much less likely to achieve their desired results. In fact, CoSchedule reports that marketers who document their strategy are 313% more like to achieve their marketing goals.
To help you create your own marketing plan, we’ve created this list of 50 effective marketing plan examples that showcase the key elements necessary to guide your marketing activities. Many of the examples include fundamental information like market research, while others focus on niche use cases like content marketing, social media, or email marketing. You’ll find a lot of valuable information to help you understand the key concepts, as well as a number of free marketing plan templates you can customize to suit your brand’s needs. Note that the 50 marketing plan examples below are listed alphabetically; otherwise, they’re not ranked or rated in any way.
Benchmarking other leading brands when conducting marketing research allows you to determine how you stack up to your biggest competitors. This strategy overview from Adidas provides an excellent high-level overview of the company’s approach to business. You’ll also find a link to additional strategy resources at the bottom of the page.
Why It Works: A marketing plan should be closely aligned with high-level company goals and priorities.
Aha! Is a leading roadmap and project plan software suite with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. While the Aha! platform can be used to create a marketing plan, they also include links to several Excel and PowerPoint templates on this page. You’ll see many nice examples of ways to visualize marketing information in Aha! that can help when launching your own initiatives.
Why It Works: Data visualization is a valuable resource to use when planning, launching, and reviewing marketing plans.
This 20-page marketing plan template describes a B2B email campaign for a fictitious company called Bronto. We like this template because it’s focused on email marketing, allowing you to outline the specific steps for organizing and running an email campaign without being too cluttered with plans for other marketing channels. The worksheets at the end of the document can help you plan additional details and collect market data.
Why It Works: Each marketing plan should include clear steps for each major project milestone.
Content marketing is a major priority for many businesses these days, and this step-by-step guide can help you create a solid content marketing plan. This post shares 21 steps and begins with creating a basic outline to define your content marketing goals. Starting with small concepts and then scaling up your ideas into a full plan can keep the process from becoming too overwhelming.
Why It Works: Starting the planning process with clear goals can help reduce distraction.
This small business marketing plan guide from business.com is nice because it explains why a marketing plan is important for business success. Having some of this background information can really help if you are a beginner at launching formal marketing campaigns. There are several types of marketing plans described in the guide, giving you a lot of flexibility for choosing the elements that match your own priorities.
Why It Works: A complete marketing strategy can be comprised of multiple, individual plans.
The BusinessTown website is maintained by author and serial entrepreneur Bob Adams and includes some excellent small business resources. This guide will show you how to create a multichannel marketing plan with a budget of $2,000. The post uses a fictitious landscaping business as the example content takes you through the entire process including budgeting for each step.
Why It Works: A marketing plan should be comprehensive but also practical and easy to implement.
The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) maintains a large resource library of useful business content and templates. This page takes a close look at marketing planning from a financial point of view. Market segmentation is covered along with budgeting and the creation of a suitable marketing mix for your product or service offering.
Why It Works: Defining a marketing mix is a crucial step in any formal marketing plan.
Chief Outsiders offers fractional CMO (chief marketing officer) services to businesses of all sizes. Sharon Spooler, one of the Chief Outsiders, has written this go-to-market (GTM) planning guide for launching a new product or service. The 4-step process defined in the post has been created by Chief Outsiders and aims to keep a marketing team focused on benefits, not features.
Why It Works: Many companies focus on product features, but benefits are what really matter to consumers.
9. Content Marketing Institute
One-page plans are an excellent way to focus your team on the essential priorities of a marketing initiative. This post, by George Stenitzer, presents a one-page marketing plan as the perfect place to start when sharing your ideas. A marketing plan of any size should include a description of the company’s growth strategy including profit targets and how this growth will be achieved through marketing.
Why It Works: Starting with a 1-page marketing plan can help you gain early buy-in from stakeholders.
Developing a content marketing strategy for a book launch requires some unique considerations. This detailed marketing campaign example from Contently includes a content strategy waterfall graphic and an explanation of how to create clear objectives and metrics. A data-driven approach to content marketing is recommended to ensure that you’re making progress.
Why It Works: Standardized workflows make a marketing plan more functional.
CoSchedule is a complete marketing management platform that includes a calendar and suite of business tools. This 12-chapter guide was recently updated in February of 2022 and introduces many critical marketing processes. The guide is also available as a 25-minute audio track for listening on the go, and chapter 9 includes 25 excellent marketing tactics that you can try.
Why It Works: Setting clear success criteria for each marketing tactic makes it easier to learn and adjust your plan.
The digital marketing service provider Credo has been in business since 2013 and has some deep expertise in marketing management. This blog post explains the benefits of creating a formal marketing plan and how to define your goals. The post concludes with an important reminder to track your results to identify the best-performing strategies.
Why It Works: Marketing plans should be quickly tested and adjusted based on performance.
Disruptive Advertising offers paid advertising and lifecycle marketing services. This example marketing plan uses the concept of Russian nesting dolls to describe how a marketing plan should be constructed. The key takeaway from this informative post is that each aspect of your marketing plan can be scaled as needs change.
Why It Works: A marketing plan should not be static and can be adapted to changing needs.
The productivity platform Evernote is known for helping individuals and businesses organize their work. This marketing plan template provides all the basic structure needed to develop a complete campaign. Explanations are included throughout the document to help you fill in sections such as Buyer Persona, Research, and Goals & Objectives.
Why It Works: Using a marketing plan template can save a lot of time when getting started.
The Forbes contributor Dave Lavinsky, shares 15 core sections that should be included in a marketing plan. Each section has a paragraph explaining what the information is for and how to develop your own. A link to a marketing plan template is also shared at the beginning of the post if you need a structured framework to capture ideas.
Why It Works: Marketing plans can be customized but you should almost always start from a template.
This recently updated guide from Foundr shares a 6-step process for creating a marketing plan from scratch. The process begins with defining your marketing goal and selecting key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring campaign success. Your goals can always be updated at a later time, but they function as a filter through which all marketing decisions should be made.
Why It Works: Start a marketing plan with crystal clear goals to increase your chances of success.
This marketing plan guide from G2 includes detailed steps for building your own plan. In the post, you’ll see the four main sections of a marketing plan outline including situation analysis and a company overview. There are a lot of helpful examples presented in each section with tips for how to conduct your own market research.
Why It Works: Each marketing plan should include a detailed customer profile.
Get2Growth is an agile marketing company that provides training, planning, and other professional services. This 1-page marketing plan uses information from Starbucks to create a complete structure for defining an audience, strategies, and activities. Presenting this information on a single page keeps the planning process from becoming overly complicated.
Why It Works: A one-page marketing plan that defines a target audience can be a valuable resource.
19. Houghton Mifflin
This sample marketing plan is taken from a larger textbook published by Houghton Mifflin and includes has some excellent commentary to help explain the concepts. The 11-page PDF explains the marketing plan for a company called Star Software Inc., including a complete environmental analysis. This example offers detailed explanations for each section.
Why It Works: A formal marketing plan should include enough description to clarify key points.
This resource from HubSpot includes a downloadable marketing plan template. An interesting focus of this example is a description of marketing technology. Included with the template are questions that guide you through the process of defining your strategy.
Why It Works: Technology should be defined and budgeted in your marketing plan.
21. Kiss My Biz
Jennifer Mattern runs the site Kiss My Biz and shares this one-page marketing plan guide on her website. The basic information presented in this post is timeless and includes everything you need to create the first draft of a marketing plan. She also recommends summarizing your top 3 competitors so you can define the unique value of your product or service.
Why It Works: Use competitive analysis to identify unique points of value for your business.
22. Leadpages (Lyft)
This blog post from Leadpages explains how the ride-share company Lyft differentiates its business from Uber and other competitors. You’ll find some excellent examples that compare Lyft to Uber, using screenshots to explain how Lyft marketers execute their plan. There’s a link to a checklist at the end of the post that you can use to check your own marketing plan against the “Lyft Formula.”
Why It Works: A marketing plan can reference screenshots or a brand style guide to communicate specific tactics.
This marketing plan from cosmetics brand Lush is published on the Calameo platform and is an interactive and beautifully designed document. A plan that is professionally presented is an excellent resource for your company and can be used with business partners and even customers. Market research is the main theme of this 33-page document, and lots of great data is included.
Why It Works: A professional, well-designed marketing plan can be a valuable resource itself for communicating brand value.
Marketing Mixx is an international marketing information site with tips for managing advertising, brand equity, and marketing plans. This page includes a basic marketing plan for the computer and electronics manufacturer Dell Inc. The authors have used actual company data from Dell to present a clear overview of marketing activities including the target market and major industry trends.
Why It Works: When benchmarking companies, always reference actual business and industry data.
The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (SBDC) supports the needs of companies throughout the northeast. Their marketing plan template includes all the basic information you might expect, such as market demographics and product distribution channels. The authors have also included blank sections following each major part of the outline so you can fill in your own notes.
Why It Works: When creating marketing plan templates for your team, always leave space for notes.
Mayple is a leading platform for connecting businesses with marketing expertise. This free marketing plan template from their website has been updated for 2022 and includes a budget calculator and smart tables. You can download the template and use this blog post as a handy guide while completing the forms.
Why It Works: A spreadsheet template can save significant time when calculating marketing costs and financial projections.
27. MBA Skool (NBA)
MBA Skool shares advice that covers many marketing topics including competitive analysis and marketing mix. This post uses the National Basketball League (NBA) as an example while defining a product strategy and marketing mix using the 4 Ps framework. The 4 Ps define the product, price, placement, and promotion for your offering.
Why It Works: The 4 Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) is a helpful tool for defining a marketing mix.
Monday.com offers this marketing template for capturing all details of your company’s strategies and project plans. The template can be used on the Monday platform and is an excellent team resource. Many visual charts such as Kanban boards and timelines are included, making it easy to share the details of your marketing plan with others.
Why It Works: Visualizations are an excellent way to present marketing materials to internal or external parties.
29. More Business
More Business has many how-to guides and templates for starting and managing a business of any size. This marketing plan is divided into 7 sections and includes many examples along the way. You can use this guide to create your own marketing plan from scratch or identify any sections that may be missing.
Why It Works: A professional marketing plan should begin with a thorough outline.
33. Nancy and Kivi
This 1-page marketing template is taken from the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop developed by consultant Kivi Leroux Miller. It’s a minimalist example, including a short description for each of the 10 sections presented. Questions are used to guide the reader as they complete their own marketing plan.
Why It Works: When creating your first marketing plan, focus on simple templates and core concepts.
This marketing plan example comes from the Naperville Park District and includes their complete 3-year strategic plan. Over 79 pages, this document covers all aspects of the Naperville Park strategy in great detail. Businesses in the public or educational sectors could benefit greatly from taking some cues from this strategic marketing plan.
Why It Works: Organizations and entities that manage complex businesses often benefit from drafting a thorough strategic plan.
NerdyMind is a digital marketing agency that focuses on providing practical solutions. This marketing plan example is focused on digital marketing strategies. The post, by Mary Merritt, begins and ends with a review of marketing costs and budgeting.
Why It Works: A marketing plan should always contain a clear explanation of the budget for each initiative.
ProductPlan is a roadmap software that is used to create interactive team project plans. This post shares a marketing plan example from their own platform and explains why you should always customize and streamline your own approach to marketing. A template can be helpful, but you don’t want to include parts of a marketing plan that you will never use.
Why It Works: When creating a plan, focus on the sections most relevant to your current marketing priorities.
Slideshare has a massive collection of example presentations from individuals and brands around the world. This short presentation from Profitworks, a Canadian small business service, explains the brand architecture and marketing mix for the company. The information includes only a portion of the complete marketing strategy but is enough to give you a nice overview.
Why It Works: A marketing plan can be shared in presentation format for easy viewing.
QuickMBA is a general business knowledge base with categories dedicated to topics like marketing, accounting, and strategy. This marketing plan outline includes 8 sections and an appendix. You won’t find too much detail here, but this is an excellent outline to modify for your own use.
Why It Works: Starting a marketing plan with an outline helps identify the resources and expertise needed for your project.
Semrush is a popular SEO and content marketing platform with valuable online tools. This post explains how to construct a marketing plan using milestones and KPIs to manage progress. The author also explains the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan and includes many examples.
Why It Works: There are several marketing plan formats including an executive summary, 1-page plan, and long-range plan. Choose the format that works for your brand’s needs.
37. Serena Capital
This blog post describing a SaaS marketing plan was published by Sebastien Le Roy of Serena VC on Medium. A few of the plans we’ve presented are focused on particular niches, such as SaaS, which can be helpful for similar types of businesses. Sebastian recommends auditing acquisition channels early in the process to identify which channels to focus on.
Why It Works: It’s helpful to focus your marketing efforts on channels that perform best over time.
This resource from Shopify breaks a marketing plan down into the key elements and provides an example from each. With detailed explanations of each element and why it’s important, from your executive summary to your SWOT analysis and budget breakdown, Shopify walks you through every step in the process of crafting an effective marketing plan.
Why It Works: Breaking it down section by section allows you to focus on fully covering each element before moving on to the next.
This post from Small Biz Trends includes two 1-page marketing plans that can be downloaded as Microsoft Word documents. Each template includes a blank version and one that is mocked up with sample data. These templates don’t include a lot of extra information and are useful for getting started quickly.
Why It Works: Marketing plan templates that include sample data can be easier to fill out.
40. Smart Insights
The team at Smart Insights created this free digital marketing template to help businesses define their key activities. Using the company’s RACE (Reach, Act, Convert, Engage) framework, the guide explains how to create a marketing campaign that gets results. You can access the fully integrated guide by simply entering your email address.
Why It Works: A marketing plan should always include sequential steps for key processes.
Smartsheet is a work collaboration solution that turns standard spreadsheet features into powerful team communication tools. This detailed marketing plan is presented as a PDF and includes 21 pages of information. Many marketing tools are provided in the document, such as 5C analysis, SWOT, and marketing mix (the 4 Ps).
Why It Works: Market analysis tools such as SWOT and 5C help you visualize and manage your market research data.
Teamgantt is a team productivity platform with capabilities that go far beyond traditional Gantt charts. Dozens of templates are available on the website, including a tactical marketing plan, marketing schedule, and social media strategy plan. This strategic marketing plan is built for Google Docs and creates a complete workspace where you can create a complete plan.
Why It Works: Building a marketing plan in a spreadsheet program makes it easier to design charts and schedules.
This example marketing plan focuses on a fictitious company, General, that will be launching a new product called the Spree watch. Basic information is defined such as objectives, marketing strategies, and contingency plans. The financial appendix is particularly useful and includes two income statements for product pricing scenarios at $45 and $50 per unit.
Why It Works: Financial projections should accompany a marketing plan to provide profitability and ROI projections.
Many colleges and universities share their strategic plans publicly to promote transparency and involve active members of their staff and student body. This marketing plan for the year 2021 is presented by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and explains how the university will attract new undergraduate students. You’ll find detailed metrics, charts, and definitions within the 40-page document, giving you an excellent example of a complete marketing plan.
Why It Works: Colleges and universities often share their marketing plans publicly and are an excellent resource to model.
This marketing plan on the Scribd website was developed with the Agricultural Development Center at the University of Tennessee. Example data for a company called Heavenly Pies is included, and tips are provided to help you navigate the material. This is a great plan to review for basic definitions of common marketing strategies and tactics.
Why It Works: Definitions should be included in a marketing plan template to describe each section.
46. Venture Harbour
If you’re looking for a simple step-by-step plan for creating a marketing plan, this post from Venture Harbour may be the perfect resource to bookmark. This example uses a growth market marketing framework adapted from agile business practices. This approach to marketing relies on shorter plan development cycles with multiple points of review and adjustment instead of targeting a massive marketing campaign launch.
Why It Works: Launching micro-marketing strategies is an efficient way to test new market ideas.
Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and, like most cities, spends a significant amount of time on marketing. With nearly 40 pages of information, this marketing plan is an excellent example of a complete strategy document. The SWOT included in this 2019 plan is highly detailed, and you may find some helpful examples for conducting your own situational analysis.
Why It Works: A SWOT analysis is an excellent way to present situational data from market research.
48. Vital Design
Vital Design provides web design and digital marketing services for businesses worldwide. This guide explains how to structure a marketing plan and incorporate an SEO strategy. An important practice when creating a plan is collecting and explaining market research to support your conclusions.
Why It Works: A marketing plan should educate your staff and strategic partners.
The Marketing Cohort from the Wisconsin Public Library Systems has created this marketing plan template that places a high priority on the process. The fourth page of the document explains the “cycle of true marketing” with 12 steps for organizing your plans. These authors also recommend taking a 3-phase approach to developing a plan, starting with basic and moving to intermediate and advanced.
Why It Works: Starting with a basic marketing plan is a helpful way to create a strong project baseline.
50. Wyoming SBDC
The Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) created this marketing plan template for small businesses that need help defining their business practices. Multiple Microsoft Excel worksheets are embedded in the document so you can easily add your own data. Key sections include competition analysis, sales forecasting, and budgeting.
Why It Works: You will likely need both typed documents and spreadsheets to capture your marketing plan.
Creating an effective marketing plan is a big undertaking, but these examples will help you craft a comprehensive plan that covers all the essentials and guides your team to success. The good news is that not all marketing strategies require tons of hands-on effort. Installing social media share buttons on your website or blog, for example, allows your visitors to do some of the heavy lifting for you by sharing your valuable content on their favorite social media platforms – and they can do so with just a single click.