If the word “planning” conjures images of endless meetings or hefty documents, the simplicity of using a marketing plan template may come as a relief. Planning should make a process easier, not more complicated. At its most basic, planning is about setting goals and identifying steps to achieve them. Whether you’re planning a new business, a marketing campaign, or a birthday party, having a plan of action can help you realize your desired outcome.To assist your planning process, we’re offering a variety of templates below, including templates designed for sales and marketing, tactical marketing, social media, budget planning, strategic marketing, and competitive analysis. You’ll find marketing plan templates for Excel and Word, all of which are free to download and can be customized as needed.
What to Include in a Marketing Plan
The fundamental purpose of a marketing plan is to improve the success of your business or organization. If done well, a marketing plan can provide insight into your business, define your objectives and strategy, and help ensure that you’re providing effective services or products to your customers. What your marketing plan looks like will depend on the size and type of your business, but even small businesses can benefit from careful planning.
A typical marketing plan outline will include an executive summary or overview of the plan, a description of your target customers and their needs, clearly defined marketing objectives, your marketing strategy - including product, price, distribution and promotion, an action plan, and budget projections. Your marketing plan may also include a SWOT analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses within your business as well as external opportunities and threats. Including a method of evaluation in your plan will help you monitor its success and get a clear picture of your return on investment.
No matter what elements you include in your plan, using a template can save time, provide organization, and enhance communication within your marketing team or between departments.
Marketing Plan Template for Excel
This free marketing plan template includes sections for online marketing, media relations, trade shows and events, other branding efforts, and sales campaigns. Objectives are clearly identified along with target market and total costs. Months of the year are broken down into weeks for easy planning. You can modify this template to include whatever elements are vital to your marketing plan.
Sales and Marketing Plan Template for Excel
This sales and marketing plan template facilitates planning around sales goals and promotional activities. This is an annual calendar template with all 12 months shown on one worksheet. Sections are included for public relations, online content marketing, advertising and research. Monthly sales goals are defined at the top of the template and there is space at the bottom for metrics to evaluate marketing effectiveness.
Tactical Marketing Plan Template for Excel
Keep track of the tactics that need to be completed as you implement your marketing strategy. This tactical marketing plan lists each task, the person responsible for the action, expenses, dates, and status. Use this template to keep your plan on schedule and assess progress.
Marketing Schedule Template for Excel
If you need a simple calendar with room for notes, this marketing schedule template offers a visual layout with separate columns for important events, tasks, and deadlines. View each month at a glance and create a daily or weekly schedule for your marketing plan. This template offers few details and lots of freedom to modify it to fit your needs.
Digital Marketing Plan Template for Excel
This digital marketing plan template includes sections for online advertising and analytics, content marketing and SEO strategy, social media, and tools for tracking metrics. The template is divided into months so that you can create a timeline for your digital marketing plan. Use this template to create a comprehensive plan of action for online marketing.
Social Media Marketing Plan Template for Excel
This template focuses on social media messaging. Make a schedule for the content you’ll be promoting on various social channels to ensure that you don’t miss important events or forget to post on certain sites. Social media has become a vital part of online marketing, and this template provides an additional tool for content planning.
Blog Editorial Calendar Template for Excel
Use this template to brainstorm blogging topics, schedule and assign blog posts, mark the status of each article, and track SEO keywords. This template provides a weekly overview so that you can see your editorial calendar at a glance, plus detailed information on each post. Use the template as is, or edit the columns to reflect your planning process.
Monthly Marketing Budget Plan Template for Excel
This budget template shows each month of the year, so you can view monthly and yearly costs. The template includes sections for expenses related to personnel, market research, marketing communications, and more. This is a simple spreadsheet but a powerful tool for planning your marketing budget.
Competitive Analysis Template for Excel
This competitive analysis template provides a detailed spreadsheet for evaluating your business and competitors based on different product categories. For each product, compare key attributes and channels, pricing, credibility, promotional offers, and any other relevant findings from your research. Identify potential partners and opportunities, and use your competitive analysis to inform your marketing strategy.
Marketing Timeline Template for Excel
A marketing timeline provides a visual reference for scheduling and tracking your plan. Keep track of which tasks need to be done when, and modify your timeline as your marketing plan changes. This timeline template is a basic Gantt chart that is simple to use and easy to read.
Create a Marketing Plan in Smartsheet
Smartsheet is a powerful work management tool in a familiar spreadsheet layout. In Smartsheet, you can create a plan for every aspect of your marketing campaign to help you visualize your progress and stay on track.
Smartsheet’s pre-built project templates can help you identify and organize your marketing goals. The templates are fully customizable to fit your marketing project needs, making it easy to target your specific objectives and monitor your progress. Share your sheet with team members, and assign tasks to individuals so everyone stays up to date. You can also apply conditional formatting to call attention to important details, mark in-progress or completed tasks visually, and view cell history to see every change.
Smartsheet helps make collaboration simple with anytime, anywhere access. Make real-time updates to your plan and keep projects on time with automated alerts and reminders. You can attach any relevant files directly to your sheet to view all information in one place, and Gantt and calendar views help keep your team focused on long term goals.