Ever look around madly for the ideal Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template? I know I have — more times than I care to admit. Some are too involved for most companies (literally, there are 625 page books written on the topic). Others worry more about tactics than strategies. Some forget the most important part — that marketing should be the natural outgrowth of the business. Which means that it should be guided and influenced by the company’s strategic plan. (By the way — if you haven’t read Randy Harrington’s brilliant post on extreme meta-planning for business, take a moment now to do so.)
The reason I continually searched for an Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template is that the completed Strategic Marketing Plan should come in second only to the Brand Book in terms of importance for anyone in marketing. After many years of casting about for the perfect Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template, I finally found a model that straddles the gap and stays focused on the overall strategy, while being streamlined enough that you don’t have to spend an entire year writing it.
Since it’s early November, it’s that time again when everyone in marketing starts scrambling to build their Annual Strategic Marketing Plan. This seemed like the right time to share with you my favorite Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template.
Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template Overview
Before you sit down to write, there are a few steps you need to take:
- Everything in Marketing can (and should) start (and end) with the business’ overall strategy — after all it does no good at all if your marketing strategy is out of alignment with your business strategy. Before you begin writing your Annual Strategic Marketing Plan, take the time to review the business strategy, the mission, vision, values, goals, and any metrics associated with them.
- Review your Brand Book, your Manifesto, and your Tagline. (Don’t have them? Check out the Brand Book Tutorial Series.) These documents will put you in the right head-space to recall the high-level elements of your brand position.
- Once you have those firmly fixed in your mind, take some time to scan your marketing environment (if you’re at a loss where to start, this post will help.) Understanding your marketing environment will help you to see where the opportunities are, as well as where the competitive risks are. Knowing these are critical to maximizing your plan and seeing success over the upcoming year.
- Next, scan your competition — determine what your competitive advantage is will help you to determine what your angle and approach should be to the next year.
- Now that you have reviewed the major influencers for your plan, it’s just a matter of using a Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template to capture the important elements you have just established and laying out what you intend to do, when you plan on doing it, and how much it will cost.
Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template
Sounds easy right? Well, in some ways it is, and in other ways — as you well know, it isn’t. The very act writing the Annual Strategic Marketing Plan can be a daunting challenge. The key is to start and to step through the process line by line. That’s why I’ve created the Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template for you. It’s designed to get you started in the right direction and breaks it down to reasonable headings. This template is available to subscribers of the Finding Brand blog — if you’re not one, it’s OK, you can subscribe and I’ll send you the Annual Strategic Marketing Plan Template instantly and FREE of charge. As a member of the Finding Brand community, you’ll receive all the Finding Brand posts in your inbox, so you’ll never miss a post. And of course, you’ll also receive subscriber-only benefits (like this one.)