Learn how to create an integrated marketing strategy and plan

Even in the digital era you need to know the marketing fundamentals to grow your business

Developing plans and strategies for marketing today is the most challenging it has ever been. There is an incredible and increasing choice of interactive devices, platforms and channels that potential customers use from smartphones and tablets to social networks and search engines. Investment in traditional channels such as TV, Print and Radio is declining, but they remain an essential part of integrated campaigns for many businesses.

Yet the fundamentals of marketing planning remain the same. Regardless of the channels available we need to research customer needs and define a strategy develop winning brand propositions for different target segments and communicate them effectively.

That's why at Smart Insights we have a dedicated toolkit and downloads to help you create an integrated marketing strategy.

How can you improve integrated marketing?

Why Smart Insights?

Because global brands like 3M, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, HP, Microsoft and Vodafone—AND thousands of digital marketers and business owners—trust
Smart Insights to optimise their Marketing Strategy and Planning. Many have grown their business—by over 50%—using the strategies revealed on this page.


Free resources including Search, Social and Email marketing templates that you can start using today

Start improving your Marketing Strategy and Planning now with our FREE Essential Marketing Models

  • Learn 15 essential marketing models
  • Covers techniques for segmenting, targeting and positioning
  • Each model has a visual and examples to make it quick to learn
  • One of our most popular guides, downloaded hundreds of times each month
  • Authored by experienced Chartered Marketer Annmarie Hanlon

PLUS: as a FREE Basic Member, you'll also get these bonus resources;

  • 18 other actionable templates and guides, written by experts in digital marketing.
  • Benchmark your current capability in Marketing Strategy and Planning-and 9 other essential areas of digital marketing-using our unique interactive Capability Assessment tool.
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Our Marketing Strategy Toolkit has everything you need to quickly create a winning marketing strategy to present to your colleagues or investors.

It’s well-suited to startups and small or medium sized businesses who don’t yet have a marketing plan, but it can also be used for larger businesses to update their annual marketing plans.

The marketing plan audits, guides, budgets and examples are structured around PR Smith’s classic SOSTAC® Planning framework which we also feature in our Digital Strategy and Planning toolkit.

SOSTAC® will help you create a clear, simple, persuasive marketing plan:

  • Situation – Where are we now?
  • Objectives – Where do we need to get to?
  • Strategy – How do we get there?
  • Tactics – Which marketing techniques should we use?
  • Action – How should we manage plan implementation and resourcing?
  • Control –  How do we stay on track and improve?

Armed with our Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit, the world’s top marketers use our unique approach to develop winning Marketing Strategy and Planning strategies.

Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

Includes templates, ready-to-use strategy documents, step-by-step guides and resources that will help you create optimized strategies that deliver HUGE results.

  • Marketing planning guides
  • Business marketing plan guide

    About this guide

    We believe it’s essential that detailed digital marketing plans are integrated and aligned with your overall business and marketing plan. Yet our research shows that many businesses don’t plan and don’t have a plan for marketing as a whole or digital channels.

    To help our members plan more effectively we created this guide and the accompanying examples to help members create or review a top-level marketing plan for their business.

    In this guide, Annmarie Hanlon, an experienced Chartered Marketer with over 20 years experience across many business sectors, gives you clear steps to follow to create your own plan using PR Smith’s SOSTAC® planning framework.

    How is this guide structured?

    The guide is structured around these 7 Steps:

    • Step 1. Situation Analysis – Understanding your customers. Showing you why customers’ insights are essential and how to capture these yourself or via a third party.
    • Step 2. Situation Analysis – Marketing audit: where are we now? Demonstrating how to define your market, calculate the market value and build your Value Proposition.
    • Step 3. Objectives – Create sustainable objectives: Where do we want to go? It’s easy to create general goals, it’s harder to develop SMART objectives. This step takes you through the process of crafting objectives that focus on more than numbers.
    • Step 4. Strategy: Segmenting your customer base. If you already have objectives and if you’re ready to segment your business, start the guide
      here. This step looks at the key strategic initiatives your business can take and how to form customer segments.
    • Step 5. Strategy: Targeting new customers and positioning your business
      Growing a business involves finding new customers, this may be different segments or markets. This step shows you how to explore new markets and create marketplace strategies.
    • Step 6. Tactics and Action – Create your marketing action plan
      The key to making it happen is to create a detailed marketing action plan. This step shows different models of marketing management, how to create an action plan and brief an agency.
    • Step 7. Control – Monitor, manage and improve. The final step is about managing the process, monitoring action and measuring results. This chapter shares more tips and checklists for you to apply directly to your business.
  • Example marketing plans (SOSTAC®)

    About these example plans

    Our members asked us for example plans to help develop their own plans, so here they are: they’re based around PR Smith’s SOSTAC® framework relating to the areas of Smart Insights RACE planning. There are two samples both available for members to amend for their own organisation or their clients:

    1. A long example plan in Microsoft Word for a B2B company :  TechChester is a software design and IT support business which uses the same structure as that recommended in the 7 Steps to creating a business marketing plan.

    2. A short example plan in Microsoft Word for a B2C company: Perfect Lawn where their main communications and distribution are via their website. The Word document contains one blank plan in landscape format and one example plan.

  • Marketing planning templates
  • Brand audit and marketplace analysis template

    About this template

    This audit template will help you create a marketing plan and also creating branding for websites and other digital media assets such as landing pages where the differentiating brand values need to be defined.

    It’s intended to support an audit process where a company needs to summarise or review their brand values and marketplace position either with an agency or when teams are collaborating within a larger company.

    Guide structure

    • Business context
    • Customer and market analysis
    • Brand including creation of different brand models such as the Brand Onion
    • Industry and market sectors
    • Products
    • Competitors
    • One page brand audit summary
    • Our relationship
  • Online startup business model template

    About this template

    We think this Business model format is essential for all startups to summarise their business and revenue models to present to their team, partners and investors. We use it ourselves at Smart Insights and regularly update it.

    How is it structured?

    It’s a single blank A4 business model template in Word landscape format. It also includes an example business model for the same company featuring in our other examples. You fill in each of these areas which should be compared to competitors also:

    • Value proposition
    • Customer segments
    • Customer relationships
    • Key activities and resources
    • Channels
    • Cost structure
    • Revenue streams
  • Online Business Plan Summary Template

    About this template

    We’re great believers in one-page summaries to communicate plans to your team or investors. This one-page, landscape format summary you can amend in Word gives a visual summary of 3 to 5-year growth plans

    How is it structured?

    This template enables you to create a summary covering:

    • 1. Statement of vision, business definition and aims.
    • 2. Change in focus.
    • 3. Financial targets.
    • 4. Business and marketing strategies  to achieve targets.
  • Marketing budget spreadsheet template

    About this guide

    Getting budgeting right isn’t easy, but this set of Excel workheets will help you create a well thought out budget and track your spend across the year. It can also serve as a checklist to ensure you’ve considered and planned for all the key channels and media investments available to you.

    Spreadsheet worksheet structure

    Each worksheet defines all the different categories of investment / spend available to the modern marketer. Excel formulas are then used to roll-up the costs to the summary worksheet which can be used to track spend month-by-month.

    • Read me explanation
    • Budget summary and tracker
    • Acquisition
    • Creative & Studio
    • Content Marketing & SEO
    • PR & events
    • Research % Tools
    • Team
    • Website

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