Your marketing plan is your single most important document as a marketer.
It reflects your experience, collective team knowledge, lessons learned and intellectual acumen. But just as critical are the topics you choose, the visuals you present, and your delivery. That's why we created this new marketing plan template. It will help you get your head around topics to cover, what level to discuss them and how to visualize your ideas.
We created this free marketing plan template using our own presentation platform, Beautiful.AI. You can easily customize the 19 slides and present with Beautiful.AI, or export your slides to a PDF if desired. Just click this marketing plan template link, create your password and off you go! We think you'll be impressed. We're currently in beta, so if you're fortunate enough to be reading this blog post you'll be able to get early access to Beautiful.AI and skip the waiting list. Shhhhh...
Marketing Plans Need Big Goals
Highlighting a single, high-impact goal at the start of your marketing plan demonstrates you have a handle on what drives the business. For everything that follows you should be able to trace a line back to this goal. For now, show the clarity of your vision by keeping the slide simple. Sure, there's much to discuss here. But that doesn't mean you need to plaster it all on the slide.
Pick a target that really means something to sales, but that you can affect in the near term. Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) is a good choice. Sales knows exactly what those are and that 1 in 5 (or whatever the math is) convert to won deals. Your organization may call these Sales Accepted Leads (SALs), or Stage 1 Opportunities. The point is, consider focusing your marketing efforts goal on the first moment where Sales looks at a lead and says, "yes, that's a good one".
How Will You Get there?
Chances are you're a ways away from hitting your Big Goal. So, you gotta show the incremental climb for how you'll get there. Show historicals so folks can see your current growth trajectory and highlight when you'll reach your big goal. Of course there's a spreadsheet that cascades these numbers down to specific campaigns. But this is not the moment for those details. The simple message is the growth curve is reasonable.
Always Be Prioritizing
Don't fall victim to "check-list" marketing. That is, don't feel compelled to create a giant list of all the marketing activities you can possibly execute. Hold on to the focus you established with your Big Goal and Growth Plan. Pick the 3 most important aspects of your marketing plan that will drive 80% of your results. Position these as your big levers. You will not be derailed from making them a success.
A Nod to the Other Stuff
Just because you're hyper-focused on 3 priorities doesn't mean that's all you do. There's low-hanging fruit to be had with a number of secondary marketing activities. You'll grab the goods and move on, but you won't get bogged down in these activities. This is a powerful slide because it serves as a shield for you to say "no" later on when people start asking for more press releases and product sheets. And believe me, they will.
Selecting your target personas bridges the strategic and tactical marketing gap. It implies you've already done your segmentation and now you're ready to discuss the exact humans you'll be targeting for each segment. You don't need the details on each, simply point out who you'll be targeting and why at a high level. Some will be the actual buyers, some will be just influencers, etc. Make sure you make that point to avoid confusing sales folks.
Marketing Funnels Make Everybody's Day
Who doesn't love the marketing funnel? We've seen some crazy ones in our time, and have found the simpler ones are the better ones. As mentioned before, all Sales really cares about are SQLs and Won deals. But you still will want to share your thinking on how leads will progress through your funnel. It's often best to present this as a cohort, that is, a visualization of leads who registered in a given and how many converted to MQLs, SQLs, etc. It may take a week or two for all your MQLs to to convert over (or not) to SQLs so there is always a time lag in there.
Nothing so Sweet as a SWOT
A SWOT analysis is an effective way to encapsulate a whole lot of thinking in a single slide. You may have other detailed versions of the SWOT analysis, but this one should only hit the highlights. And while the slide may be simple, the work needed to distill down your tribal knowledge is going to take some doing. Plan your time accordingly.
This is the first in a series of presentation templates we will be creating. We look forward to sharing them with you.