Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

Digital marketing strategy and planning template. 2024 edition.

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 10 Jul, 2024
Essential Essential topic

Use our digital marketing strategy template integrated across the RACE Framework to plan and get ahead in your digital marketing

We all know the old saying “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, but when it comes to digital marketing, this really is the case. It has never been more important than it is now to create a digital marketing strategy template so you can plan, manage and optimize your online activities.

Today, digital media is vital when it comes to driving leads and sales, meaning marketers need to understand how best to engage and convert online audiences. Despite this, our research into digital marketing trends for 2024 shows that many businesses (around 40%) still don’t have a digital marketing plan. As a result, companies are missing out on the benefits of having a digital marketing plan integrated into their overall marketing plan or as a separate roadmap for digital transformation.

The challenge for marketers is that digital marketing is complex and it can be difficult to know where to start when creating a plan. Sure, you can use Gen AI like ChatGPT or Google Gemini to create a plan, but these suggested templates for structuring a plan are often misleading since they focus on digital channels rather than strategic actions you need to take to improve results.

To help, ten plus years ago we created a free, downloadable digital strategy template . Based on our RACE Planning Framework, the template is an updated version of our co-founder Dr Dave Chaffey’s book ‘Digital Marketing: Strategy, Planning and Implementation’ and is based on Dave’s extensive experience of creating and reviewing digital marketing plans for businesses. It's updated to include the latest developments in digital platforms and AI.

If you're looking for guidance on structuring a marketing campaign plan or marketing plan, these templates are more relevant:

Start planning today with our free digital marketing strategy template

Our digital marketing plan template will take you through all of the essential online marketing activities that you need to work on in order to deliver a cohesive and successful strategy. It will help you:

  • Audit your current use of digital marketing
  • Review your digital marketing maturity
  • Identify key strategic initiatives
  • Select priorities for improvement
  • Create a 90-day plan to start improvements (available in another template)

The template will be beneficial if you’re involved with developing the direction that digital marketing is going for your business or for clients. This means it can be beneficial for:

  • Company owners and directors
  • Managers who are responsible for increasing how much digital channels contribute to their company
  • Heads of marketing, such a Chief Marketing Officer, VP of Marketing, Chief Customer Officer and Marketing Director
  • Consultants of agency account managers

It is structured around our RACE Growth System, allowing you to assess what key marketing activities you need to consider for each part of RACE. This will give your plan structure and ensure you ultimately refer all marketing planning back to RACE so you don’t miss any opportunities.

Ultimately, the goal of this template is to enable you to create detailed and actionable digital marketing plans that are based on your KPIs and current performance. Having a plan that integrates different channels, tactics and actions is more likely to deliver success, but you need to document it first.

The RACE Framework

We’ve structured the template around our RACE Growth System in order to provide a planning system that covers all the important areas of digital marketing planning across the customer lifecycle.

In our introduction blog, we explain how to use the RACE Growth System to create plans to improve digital marketing effectiveness.

RACE Growth System

The RACE Framework and the planning template both reference a simplified version of PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning System. We use this because it’s a really great framework that is simple, memorable, and logical, meaning it can benefit you in your everyday marketing planning.

The simplified version of SOSTAC® that we cover in the template is:

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

We use this simplified approach to SOSTAC® as we’ve found – through our collective experience in creating many different digital marketing plans – that it works best when you set objectives for digital marketing activities as part of the process of reviewing existing performance and reviewing the KPIs you use for control. It can also be difficult to separate tactics and actions so this approach takes that into account.

Our digital marketing strategy and planning toolkit

The template is part of our actionable digital marketing strategy and planning toolkit, which provides you with a range of resources designed to help you improve your strategy and planning activities. Getting to grips with these aspects of marketing can help you produce campaigns that work and deliver results that are in-line with your KPIs.

The toolkit includes these practical, expert resources:

  • Excel spreadsheet to identify improvements in your online marketing
  • Word and PowerPoint templates that you can use to create your plan
  • Example plans for B2B and B2C companies
  • 7 steps to success guide to help you create an integrated digital marketing strategy
  • An e-learning course taking you through all the digital marketing techniques.

Learn more about how to access the strategy toolkit and how it could benefit you.

Why you need this template

Ultimately, the goal of this template is to enable you to create detailed and actionable digital marketing plans that are based on your KPIs and current performance. Having a plan that integrates different channels, tactics and actions is more likely to deliver success, but you need to document it first.

The template provides a structure to your planning and help you to quickly create an integrated digital marketing plan for your business or for your client. It’s no wonder that this is our most popular download!

To access the template, simply signup for a Free Membership and enjoy our range of free resources, all of which are designed to help you grow your marketing skills and get results.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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