A lot of small businesses realize that marketing is essential to their business, but many often don’t have the time and experience to put together a formal marketing plan.

Here’s a template for a 2-page marketing plan that provides a clear framework to help focus your marketing efforts.

Download 2-Page Marketing Plan

Marketing Objectives:
Define clear objectives that marketing efforts should directly achieve that include:

  • Metric
  • Deadlines
  • Any context (geography, audience, etc.)

Examples:

  • Increase awareness (weak, difficult to track)
  • Generate leads
  • Increase new customers
  • Increase number of repeat customers
  • Increase sales for specific product
  • Increase email subscribers
  • Increase store visits
  • Increase social media followers / comments / shares
  • Increase sales from existing customers
  • Increase market share
  • Increase sessions / unique visitors / page views / duration on site
  • Decrease bounce rate

Ideal Customer:
First, you need to define the kinds of customers you want to attract.

Demographics
How would you describe them in terms of: Age, Gender, Family, Income, Occupation, Race

Geographic
Where do you live / work? Do you buy the product near/at work or home?

Interests
What do they like to watch/read/listen?
Where do they watch/read/listen to it?
What other interests do they have?
What are their thoughts on this product category?

Competition:
Answer these key questions on how you stack up against your competitors.

  1. Who are your key competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  2. How do you provide a better product/service compared to them?

Value Proposition:

The following is a simple framework for

  • Problem: What is the problem your customer is trying to solve?
  • Solution: How can your product solve that problem?
  • Benefit: What will happen as a result of using your product?

All you marketing efforts should seek to communicate that this value proposition in some way.

Tactics:
Following are the most common types of marketing vehicles. Brainstorm what tactics make the most sense for your situation and on the first page.

Website
Purpose: Increase knowledge of products

Traditional Advertising (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine, Out-of-Home)
Purpose: Increase awareness to a broader audience

Online Advertising (SEM, Social Media Advertising)
Purpose: Drive traffic to website

Email Marketing
Purpose: Develop an ongoing relationship

Social Media
Purpose: Develop an ongoing relationship

Collateral
Increase knowledge of products

Events
Purpose: Engage with customers; Positioning

Sponsorships
Purpose: Positioning

Roadmap:
Finally, use the chart on the 2nd page to outline all your tactics over the year.

  • Budget: How much can you allocate for each tactic / month?
  • Timing: When are you going to run each tactic?
  • Metrics: What are you going to track to see if your marketing is working?