How To Create A Marketing Plan For Your Small Business: Tips & Free Template

What makes a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic starting point to successfully plan how to promote your products and/or services to your target market. Depending on your business size and objectives, marketing plans can end up being very extensive but can be broken down into different elements.

For example:

  • Basic overall marketing strategy (which is what we will be looking at here). 
  • Advertising strategy 
  • Search-engine-optimisation (SEO) strategy 
  • Branding plan 
  • Email marketing plan

It’s likely that as time goes on, your small business will require more than one marketing plan. As growth continues, a lot more components will need to be broken down in order to determine a clear path aligned with your business goals. 

For example, say you were an eCommerce business selling hand-made jewellery, you can break down these elements as such: 

Overall marketing plan 

Using this we would identify the target audience as females, between the ages of 23-40 with an interest in sustainable products and fashion. 

Advertising strategy 

Our audience would be mainly found on the Facebook and Instagram platforms, indicating it was worth the investment in running a Facebook Ads campaign with the added placement on Instagram. Importing the eCommerce catalogue and running shopping campaigns to increase sales. 

Email marketing plan 

Add a pop-up to the website encouraging visitors to sign up to the newsletter to receive 10% of their next purchase. 

Send weekly newsletters to subscribers. 

Add contacts into a drip campaign to push them further through the marketing funnel to purchase.

Search-engine-optimisation strategy

Optimise product titles and descriptions to be SEO friendly and following best practices. 

Create product listings in Google Shopping to be more likely to be found on Google’s search engine. 

Why is it important for small businesses to have one? 

So why is it so important to have a marketing plan as a small business you ask? 

Well, we’ll tell you.. 

1.) Statistics show organisation equals success 

The classic phrase tidy space, tidy mind comes is raised when advising clients about creating their marketing plan. Having an organised list and time frame for your strategy makes you more likely to achieve it due to the desire to check things off. 

2.) Get a better understanding of your target audience

Breaking down your target audience is one of the most important aspects to your marketing plan, with the wrong audience you will be wasting both your budget and time. Understanding demographics, interests, their behaviours and their psychological profile can give you a better understanding on how to REACH your audience online, whether this be through email, social media, advertising, PR or through partnerships. 

3.) Create clear action points

Having clear points of action can be very useful for a small business, it can be hard to navigate  with the endless other responsibilities and tasks you have as a small business owner. So having a set time frame and a strong to-do list for your marketing strategy can in fact make it easier for your day-to-day tasks. 

4.) Identify missed opportunities and blockers  

Sitting down and making the time to create your own marketing plan can help you identify missed opportunities and blockers within your business. As you breakdown your audience and the different mediums, you’ll come to realise areas that can be improved or optimised, also being able to see what has worked well, what hasn’t, and where you can go moving forward. 

The breakdown: How to create your own marketing plan 

Making your own marketing plan isn’t as difficult as it sounds, especially for a small business it can be a lot easier to identify elements due to everything being within your control.

Step 1: Analysis of your business

  • Your mission statement
  • Your target audience 
  • Distribution - where are your products? What channels do you have at your disposal?
  • Your brand guidelines

Step 2: Analysis of your competitors

  • Who are they?
  • How are they marketing their brand?

Step 3: Setting SMART goals for your business

Think SMART:

Specific- State what you want to do, use actionable words and points. 

Measurable- Can you measure your goals and your action points?

Attainable- Are they realistic and attainable goals? 

Relevant- Are the goals relevant to your business? Will they help you grow?

Time-bound- Have you got the time to set-out on these goals and action points? If you don’t, spend time reducing the list to focus on the most important. 

  • Establish your marketing strategies based on your SMART goals- do you want to focus on SEO? Advertising? Email marketing?

Step 4: Finalising your marketing strategies 

  • Determine your budget
  • Determine the life-time-value (LTV) of your customer
  • How much time will you need to commit to each strategy/goal

Step 5: Establish marketing quantifiable goals and KPIS

  • What KPIs/metrics can you put in place to determine success? For example 20 sales from a Facebook ads campaign would determine success.
  • Have you got appropriate tracking and analytics in place to measure your success? E.g. Google Analytics with conversion tracking set-up.

Step 6: Creating a checklist for the month and quarter  

  • Finally based on everything you have planned, put these into action points and create a to-do list for the month and overall quarter. 
  • Write these in your diary, or in your favourite notebook so you don’t forget to work towards them. 

Looking for a ready made marketing template? We’ve got you. 

Enter your details below to download our latest Small Business Marketing Strategy Template.


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