By definition, a marketing plan is a written document that details the necessary actions to achieve one or more marketing objectives. Here's a sample template to get started with your next marketing plan.
Identify your target market. Take time to research the demographics (age, gender, geographic location and household income) as well as the psychographics (buying habits, beliefs, and culture characteristics) of your customer base. Establish numbers of potential customers in your service area based on those criteria.
Establish objectives. What do you hope to accomplish through your marketing? Be specific. “Increase sales” is too general to be helpful, but “Increase sales by 10% by the end of Q2” is both specific and measurable.
Define strategies. These are the methods that you will use to accomplish your objectives. A strategy can be a broad overview, such as “Utilize social media” or “Implement e-mail campaign.” There are dozens of different strategies that can be employed for any given goal, so it may take some time and research to determine those that will help you accomplish your objectives.
List your tactics. Tactics will be the specific methods within your strategy that will help you accomplish your goals. Working from the social media strategy already mentioned, you might list, say, “Offer exclusive coupons via Facebook and Twitter”
Establish metrics. In order to determine if your objective has been met, you will need to establish a benchmark for tracking your success. This can be the number of new Facebook friends, the response rate of your direct mail campaign, or the number or dollar amount of sales from new customers.
Before you implement any strategy or tactic, it is important to calculate the cost of a campaign and the income that is required to break even. When possible, you will want to use figures that relate to the metrics you established above.