Guides and Templates

Digital marketing plan workbook

Define an effective digital marketing plan using the RACE Planning Framework

How will the digital marketing plan workbook help me and my business?

It can be difficult to know where to start when creating or updating your digital strategy.  Our workbook gives you a tried-and-tested structure based on the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework to help you create an effective integrated digital marketing strategy.

Our digital plan workbook is designed to help you define a digital marketing strategy as quickly as practical through completing a series of blank Word templates.

If you're looking to present your audit and strategy recommendations to colleagues or clients, see our Digital marketing strategy PowerPoint template.

The template tools in the workbook are tables and charts designed for quick analysis and summary of your current use of digital marketing and future digital strategies to improve the contribution of digital marketing in the future.

We have selected 5 core templates that are essential for a plan in a business of any size. For a more detailed strategic analysis and definition for larger businesses, other optional templates are available.

Who is this guide for?

This template is for anyone who needs to create or update a digital marketing plan, including:

  • Company owners and directors or heads of marketing or digital
  • CMOs, marketing managers and digital marketing managers
  • Consultants or agency account managers

To help create your strategy, use the examples in our companion PowerPoint template which cover business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sectors. Plus our template library also contains downloadable Word examples from specific sectors such as consumer brands, financial services, healthcare/pharma, retail e-commerce and travel.

Latest updates

The workbook has been updated in 2023 to include further advice on how to complete each template, better cross-referencing with relevant resources and updated branding.

How is the digital plan workbook structured?

This workbook will guide you through our three-step OSA (Opportunity, Strategy, Action) process to create and implement a digital marketing strategy.

If you’re short on time there are five essential templates to complete, including a one-page summary, with more detailed templates for each part of RACE Planning – which is broken down into 25 key digital marketing activities, one for each part of RACE.

Step 1. Define Opportunity

First, the templates help you review the opportunities available in the digital marketplace by reviewing customer and competitor use of digital technology as well as Paid-Owned-Earned media. You will then summarize the opportunities and corresponding strategies in a TOWS matrix and review the current digital marketing capabilities of the business.

A template then enables you to define SMART objectives based on your analytics and market insights to form a digital dashboard that will be reviewed at the action stage.

Step 2. Create Strategy

The strategy defines which digital marketing activities you will prioritize to compete. It summarizes where you will focus your resources and investment to hit your targets.

Key strategic analysis tools to create and summarize your strategy in the template include:

  • Digital vision summary
  • Strategic digital initiative summary aligning objectives with strategies
  • Strategy formulation and prioritization matrix

Step 3. Take Action

Managing tasks to implement your strategies. Key planning and review tools include:

  • Strategic digital initiative roadmap
  • Template for defining Smart Insights RACE Planning activities

Resource Details

  • Author: Dr. Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights
  • Format: Editable Word document for you to amend for your business or your clients

Recommend resources: 

  • RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path – Discover our interactive Learning path aimed at enabling you to implement digital marketing practices effectively within your organization by planning, managing and optimizing your digital media, digital experiences and digital data.
  • Powerpoint digital marketing plan template – an alternative template if you need to present your strategy to colleagues or clients in PowerPoint. Includes visuals and infographics to improve the credibility of your presentation.
  • Example digital marketing plan – download a worked example of applying the strategy tools for a B2C company.

About the author

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave is co-founder of Smart Insights and creator of the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework. 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. In 2004 he was 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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