Digital marketing strategy and planning Word template

Use the RACE Planning System to get ahead in your digital marketing

The first edition of my book Internet Marketing: Strategy, Planning and Implementation from 2001 included a popular template for creating what we then called an Internet Marketing Plan.

Today, marketers are understandably even more hungry for guidance, given the importance of digital media. The original plan in my book has been revised to create a free to download digital marketing planning template based on the Smart Insights RACE planning system. This template is based on fifteen plus years experience of creating and reviewing digital marketing plans for companies and helping students develop them.

Get started with our free digital marketing plan template

Learn how to structure a digital plan when you download our 14 page A4 PDF template. It will show you the essential online marketing activities that you must work on.

If you’re already a member you can download this template when signed in:

Join as an Expert member for our full digital marketing planning toolkit

Expert members use these resources to create or refine their digital marketing plans:

The RACE planning system

The planning template is structured using the Smart Insights RACE planning framework which covers the key areas of the Digital marketing planning across the customer lifecycle as shown in this chart. If you’re interested in creating a digital strategy, see this hub page which collects all of our digital marketing strategy recommendations including guides, templates and blog articles.

You can find out more the RACE Planning approach in this post introducing RACE digital marketing planning.

Our planning process and thee template references a simplified version of PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning System developed by PR Smith, Dave’s co-author on Emarketing Excellence. It’s a great framework since it’s simple, memorable and logical.

The simplified version of SOSTAC® we cover in the template for each of the RACE is:

  • Opportunity – Review current business contribution of digital channels through refining dashboards and set future objectives based on an in-depth marketplace review
  • Strategy – Create overall digital channel strategy or specific strategy focused on customer acquisition (Reach), Conversion (Act and Convert) and customer retention and loyalty (long-term engagement)
  • Action – Details of specific tactics to implement the strategy such as planning and integrating content marketing, SEO, Social media and email marketing into marketing campaigns.

We use this simplified approach since we have found through experience in creating many digital marketing plans, that setting objectives for digital marketing activities works best when part of a process of reviewing existing digital channel performance using analytics (as part of situation analysis) and sales reporting systems combined with reviewing KPIs used for control. It can also sometimes be difficult to separate tactics and actions.

We have another more in-depth post and Infographic on how to use SOSTAC®.


PR Smith (2011) The SOSTAC ®  Guide – to writing the perfect plan  by PR Smith (2011),  published by and available at Amazon.

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All comments

  1. Pingback: How to : Write an online internet marketing plan

  2. Good,Thank u!

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  5. Hi guys! thanks for all the awesome info and detailed explanations that your service offers:) I have a question that I am a little embarrassed to ask, however seem to be stuck on it.

    How does the RACE planning system follow the SOSTAC framework. When putting it in practice for myself I am getting confused how these work hand in hand. I’m sure the answer must be simple though I just can’t grasp it.


  6. I’m the same as Matt below, struggling a little to integrate SOSTAC and RACE. Can objectives for example be split down under Reach, Act etc?

  7. Thanks for this wonderful marketing plan

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  10. awesome details & download…. still cant find the Word template to modify, but I love the content. thank you.

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  12. Martin Meister G.

    It looks like a great template to work in a digital strategy. I really makes sense and looks very easy to use, will try it on my work. Thanks

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  14. Hey perfect plan for digital marketing.

    According to my Basic thinking to sell our any product through digital marketing, First we need trust from our small amount of purchased users.

    After few satisfied users, they promote your products through comments or other social networking sites.

    Also, If your product is not getting trusted on internet then, please think more to improve your product advantages and benefits.

    Thanks Dave Chaffey for sharing this special plan with us.

    From :

    • Thanks for your comment, you’re welcome – yes advocacy from existing happy customers is part E = Engage of applying the RACE framework, we use testimonials on our site for this. But the main driver for growth for many is increasing Reach through Inbound marketing.

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  16. Thanks for this wonderful marketing plan.
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  17. It could be your home page, or any other page in your site.
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  18. great… It is very essential for the beginners and it helped me to great extent for me as a beginner.
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