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Free digital marketing plan template

Our popular digital marketing planning template using the Smart Insights RACE Framework

How will this digital marketing planning template help me and my business?

Do you have an integrated digital marketing strategy? Our research shows that many businesses don't have a structured digital marketing plan, yet they are doing digital marketing.

Why is this a problem? Consider the pitfalls of what you’re missing if you don’t have a plan addressing the opportunities of modern digital marketing:

  • You’re likely to be tactical, lacking a strategic approach to integrated digital communication
  • Your competition, who are more effective in acquiring customers using digital marketing  leave you behind
  • You’ll have a weak customer focus, which will make you hard to stand out to your potential customers
  • Your goals will be poorly defined and tracking limited
  • You’ll have poor budget and resource allocation - wasting money, time and resources

This marketing plan template is our most popular download. It's based on our co-founder, Dr. Dave Chaffey's twenty-plus years experience of creating and reviewing digital marketing plans for companies, small and large, across many sectors.

How is this resource structured?

This template is designed to help you create an annual digital marketing plan. You can use the tables of key activities to audit your activities across RACE and identify priority initiatives which will be core to your strategy.

The template is a checklist of digital marketing activities structured around the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework and six pillars of digital marketing success, which ensures complete and comprehensive coverage of all the marketing activities needed to increase leads and sales across the customer lifecycle.

  • Introduction: How to use this RACE planning template
  • The six pillars of effective digital marketing: How to simplify digital marketing complexity
  • Plan: Create a digital marketing strategy
  • Reach: Grow your audience online
  • Act: Encourage brand interactions and leads
  • Convert: Increase online and offline sales through optimization
  • Engage: Build customer loyalty and advocacy

Our digital marketing strategy toolkit for premium members contains more detailed Word, Excel and PowerPoint templates and sector examples for creating a detailed digital marketing plan needed by larger businesses.

Smart Insights defined the RACE Framework in 2010 to provide a simple, yet comprehensive structure for defining digital marketing strategies and improving always-on lifecycle marketing which are so important to marketing success today. Since we first published this template it has been downloaded over 100,000 times and has proved popular with members since it has a simple structure which shows you which digital marketing success factors your plan should cover. It has been recently updated to include the latest developments in lifecycle marketing and MarTech, including Generative AI.

Who is this digital marketing plan template for?

This download is for anyone involved with shaping and implementing future digital marketing direction for their business or clients, including:

  • Company owners and directors
  • Managers responsible for increasing the contribution of digital channels in their organization, including Digital Director and digital marketing managers
  • Heads of marketing including CMO, VP of Marketing, Chief Customer Officer, and Marketing Director
  • Consultants or agency account managers
  • Digital marketing executives looking to expand their knowledge of marketing strategy and planning

This template is used by marketers in businesses of all sizes to create a digital marketing plan, but it is aimed at medium to larger businesses who have a marketing team in place and are already active in digital marketing. Consultants and agencies will also find it useful to review their approach to auditing and prioritizing client marketing.

Smaller businesses and startups will also find our free 90-day planning template useful since this uses an example designed for smaller businesses with a single proposition and audience.

Resource Details

About the author

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave is co-founder of Smart Insights and creator of the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework. He has consulted and trained for many businesses including large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell,, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses.  For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. He has been recognized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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