Discover our top 7 recommended different types of marketing plan options for developing and streamlining your marketing planning activities

Planning is a must for any business that wants to succeed, but choosing the right type of plan to define your strategy and structuring it can be difficult. Especially since there are so many different types of marketing plan within marketing and business, all with a different scope. The challenge is compounded if you are new to creating plans, or to the culture of planning within a business. It seems that the difficulty of choosing the right type of plan and how to structure it to deliver results stops many in their tracks. Our research shows that, shockingly, as many as half of businesses don't have a digital marketing plan or, perhaps worse, a marketing plan on which to base it. Our free marketing plan template structured around RACE,…

From SMART to SMARTER marketing objectives: Discover how to define marketing objectives, measure your digital marketing goals, and use data to inform your marketing strategy

When identifying specific marketing objectives to support your long-term goals, it is common practice to apply the widely used SMART mnemonic. You will know that SMART is used to assess the suitability of objectives set to drive different strategies or the improvement of the full range of business processes. By its simplest definition, an effective SMART marketing objective is: Specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. But you will learn in this article that beyond this well-known acronym, there are different variations and nuances which you can apply to practice Smarter Marketing.

What is Smarter Marketing?

The SMART acronym is much more than a mnemonic since it defines a way of thinking about getting better results within business and marketing. This mindset is based…

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 shows that many businesses 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. At a time when marketers are increasingly…

An integrated marketing strategy means every element of your marketing plan must contribute towards your vision for the business, or be cut out of the day-to-day workload

Lack of integration between strategic vision and the tactics needed to get there is a problem I often find when reviewing marketing strategies. That's why I created the RACE Growth System as a simple structure to unify your marketing strategy through goals, objectives, and KPIs. This is true whether I'm reviewing student assignments or mentoring marketers creating real-world marketing strategies. More often than not, I find myself reading about different aspects of marketing objectives and tactics that just don't line up with each other - and leave you questioning why. These issues can be magnified by marketing strategy structure - the way the document is split up into separate sections. Without a unifying framework, it's not clear how each strategy is supporting a goal or the…

Structure your next big marketing campaign using the 5-step RACE Framework to inform your strategy. Integrated across plan, reach, act, convert and engage, our marketing solutions are proven to win more customers and accelerate your ROI

Have you got an up-to-date marketing campaign planning process? Creating ad-hoc campaigns, or re-using previous successful approaches, can be the time-saver you need to get a new campaign up and running. But, without understanding the wider PESTLE issues before planning a campaign, you could target the wrong audience with incorrect messaging, or even cause offense. Keep reading for examples of marketing campaigns that do just that, plus our recommended tools for your marketing campaign PR management.

What is the RACE Framework?

The RACE Framework supports managers and marketers to integrate all their key channels and tactics into one plan. Apply the RACE Framework to streamline your marketing strategy today, so you can clearly track and manage your campaign…

7 steps to creating an effective marketing plan for businesses of all sizes

A marketing plan is a bit like a job description for your company. Everyone should have one, but they’re often not fit for purpose, out of date, and reviewed infrequently... Research has shown that businesses with plans succeed, outperform competitors, and retain staff, more than those with no plan. Without a plan there’s no direction for the company or its employees, decisions can be uninformed, opportunities can be missed and threats can damage or destroy the business. Whether you are looking at creating a traditional marketing plan or a multichannel digital marketing plan, we've got resources to help you.

Free marketing plan template aimed at small businesses

In this article, Annmarie Hanlon recommends 7 simple steps for structuring a classic marketing plan. But for an SME or SMB, you need a little more detail about prioritizing your investment of time and…

How to strategically manage your marketing spend with 8 integrated simple marketing budget templates

Setting strategic and channel direction, working toward commercial objectives and KPIs, and monitoring your success is great. But if you're not tracking your ROI per channel it's hard to understand how much money you've had to spend to see a return. That's why you need a practical, accessible marketing budget.

How much budget is allocated to marketing?

Did you know, as of Fall 2023, marketing accounts for 10.6% of overall budgets, and 9.2% of company revenues? In small businesses, with fewer than 50 employees, this rises to 18.1% of the budget, but 19.5% of the revenue. Whereas those with over 10,000 employees allocate just 8.1% to marketing, to achieve 4.8% of revenue. The latest CMO survey found that yearly growth in marketing spending is predicted to rise 7.2% in 2024. Within this growing budget, digital marketing spending…

Use our simple, 15 section download to quickly create a marketing plan for your business

Many marketing plan templates you will find online were created long ago for larger businesses and aren’t so relevant to small and startup business competing in today’s marketplace where effective digital marketing is essential. Long plans with sections labelled ‘mission and vision statement’ and ‘corporate strategies’ are irrelevant for smaller businesses. The template we recommend in this post  is far more practical since it relates to the real-world challenges and opportunities of a small business. In this post, we'll recommend what needs to go into a marketing plan and how to structure it. At the end of the article we link to a Word document you can download to write your own plan.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is an essential tool to compete and grow your business since it gives focus to your marketing activities…

Learn how to create a PESTLE analysis to identify threats and opportunities in the macro environment to guide your marketing planning

You may have heard PESTLE mentioned when studying marketing theory or in your workplace. It is a powerful, yet simple, analysis tool for overall business and marketing planning. In this blog we explain what it is, why it is useful, and how you can create your own PESTLE analysis for marketing planning today.

What is a PESTLE analysis?

PESTLE is an acronym that covers 6 key areas in your macro (external) environment. Each letter stands for a different factor, as shown in the graphic below: Did you know? Sometimes it is referred to as a PEST analysis, or spelt ‘PESTEL’, but the most common acronym is PESTLE. A PESTLE analysis is a framework to help you identify external factors - happening outside…

What are the essential parts of a multichannel marketing plan template?

Multichannel marketing, or omnichannel marketing, is the process of utilizing online and offline marketing communications channels to target and engage with your customers. As outlined in our popular Learning Path module, structure a plan using the RACE Planning framework, the purpose of a multichannel marketing strategy is to empower marketers and managers to plan, manage and optimize the resources needed to achieve business sales targets. The timeframe is typically annual but potentially longer-term, such as 18 months to three years. Examples of communications channels could include, for example: Websites Physical stores Catalogs E-mail marketing TV Text messaging Blogging Direct mail The goal is to deliver leads and sales targets for defined products and services, which can apply to an organization as a whole, or a single market if there are multiple markets and product or service categories. An effective omnichannel approach to marketing…