How to find the right marketing plan template

Your marketing strategy sets the course of your team’s work—without a strategy, you’re simply blogging (or emailing, or tweeting) into the wind. A thoughtful, well-documented strategy ensures that your time, effort, and budget are all tracked against the team’s goals.

And your marketing plans—which actually put that strategy into action—need to be well-documented, trackable, and flexible enough to accommodate changing circumstances, shifting priorities, and hot-off-the-presses performance insights.

A strategic marketing plan template is a smart place to start. Templates give you and your team something to react to, surface the most common elements of a marketing plan, and allow you to customize based on your team’s working styles.

Marketing plan templates

A strategic marketing plan template should be customizable—templates are meant to be flexible, but still point you in the right direction. Templates designed specifically for marketing plans should help you organize information in a familiar, intuitive way. For example, most marketing plans are time-bound (typically by quarterly initiatives), attached to specific goals (like OKRs or KPIs), and assigned to specific drivers and contributors within your team.

Below are five of the marketing strategy templates you can download and start using immediately on Airtable. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, be sure to look through our library of templates, which is browsable by category as well as searchable by keyword. You might also browse our Airtable Universe — a community of publicly available bases that you can make your own.

An at-a-glance marketing template

Airtable’s simplest marketing plan template is a flexible foundation for any kind of organization, with a single place to view all upcoming initiatives and visualize timing and resources. This Airtable base defaults to a quarterly grid view, but you can easily change the view to see all initiatives in a list, filter or sort that list, or see your plans by stage in a kanban view. 

This template is customizable to your plans, so you can track all kinds of goals, including social media campaigns, new product launches, market research, and any other kinds of initiatives.

Does a basic marketing plan feel too...basic? You may be looking for a template to help you with a specific facet of your marketing. If so, keep reading.

Analytical marketing templates

Airtable has several templates that can help you analyze your performance. For example, as you learn how to create a marketing plan, you might decide to conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis or map your team's goals and initiatives around OKRs (Objective and Key Results).

Airtable’s SWOT Analysis Template

Airtable’s SWOT Analysis Template uses the SWOT matrix system, which can help you map out marketing goals in line with your greater business goals and your place in the market. A SWOT analysis is often used to identify new marketing or product opportunities and eliminate competitive threats. 

Airtable’s OKR Tracking Template

OKRs (which stands for Objectives and Key Results) help you track business growth and marketing goals. If growth is a focus for your organization or project, you may already be using an OKR system. This strategic marketing plan template can help you capture your goals. Your entire team can use this template to keep on top of progress, connect individual activities to your larger goals, and hold one another accountable.

Competitor research

A sample competitor analysis base on Airtable

If competitor analysis is a major aspect of your marketing strategy, this competitor research template can help you identify patterns and surface insights about your space. In the example above—a base created on Airtable by Storyledge—you can see how the company analyzed content hubs owned by their competition. The template includes fields for competitor name, a description of the site, the type of products they offer, their social media follower numbers, and more. 

Marketing campaign tracking

Airtable’s marketing campaign tracking template

As your team grows and your marketing efforts get more sophisticated, you may need a marketing template that can handle more complexity. Airtable’s marketing campaign tracking template gives you an overview of all the campaigns in your marketing funnel, with prebuilt views such as “All campaigns” and “Live campaigns” so you can hone in on the right information.

There are tabs for ad sets and creative, a platform summary, and a customer stage summary. As you plan multiple related and unrelated campaigns across various platforms, you can see how they’re performing and even build out links with UTM parameters in order to better track ad performance.

Once you’ve established which template you are going to start with, the next step is to make it your own. 

5 components of a good marketing plan

A solid marketing plan template will help you record, organize, and track your plans. But before you dive into the templates, you’ll need to think through the plans themselves. Here are five of the most common, and universally useful, components of a strong marketing plan.

1. Executive summary 

This might seem like a small or superfluous step, but it’s actually one of the most important. Your executive summary forces you to see your plans from a bird’s eye view, effectively communicate it to stakeholders, and isolate the most important elements. This is a short, usually one or two-paragraph overview of what you hope to achieve with your marketing plan, and why you are building it in the first place. An executive summary usually includes some context into the current state of your business, a summary of what you want to achieve, and an overview of the types of initiatives and projects that will get you there.

In the example below, the executive summary has been inserted into Airtable’s basic marketing plan template as a record with its own labeled tab for easy reference. Pro tip: we frequently create our executive summaries only after we’ve written the rest of our plans. 

2. Goal setting

To create marketing goals that are measurable, most marketing teams use methodology like “S.M.A.R.T.” goals—everything in your plan should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.  You can enforce this kind of planning in the way you design your plans and customize your template. 

For example, if every initiative or project requires a due date, you can be sure your goals will be time-bound. If they all need to be connected to an objective, that ensures that your goals are relevant. If they have an associated metric, that keeps your goals measurable. A detailed description makes them specific. 

As for achievable...that’s where your best judgement (and careful tracking of past goals) comes in.

3. Audience

Who is your marketing designed to reach? Take the time to establish this up front, and you won’t waste your energy creating content that doesn’t appeal to anyone in  your intended audience. In this screenshot of a content marketing management template — a particular kind of marketing that might be what you need to focus on — you can see a column for “Personas.” This category indicates that, for instance a blog post is being written for academics versus journalists, or that a Medium article is written with a startup CEO in mind. Categorizing your projects in this way will also make it easier to perform audits and identify gaps later on.

4. Budget

Setting a marketing budget is an indispensable step to any marketing plan. Depending on the size and maturity level of your organization, you may already have a set budget, which you now need to divide among campaigns and platforms. If you or your organization are still in start-up mode, you may be tasked with developing a marketing budget from scratch.

Either way, you'll need to align with your team on budget. What's available, and what's the most impactful way to spend it? As you have more cycles behind you, you should be able to map your spend to the expected return—which brings us to...

5. Data and analytics

How will you track progress against the goals you set, and judge the success of your campaigns? If you're using the marketing campaign tracking template, for example, you might compare the results of various landing pages for campaigns, or use a third-party integration to automatically import Google Analytics to your base. You can see pageviews from various traffic sources in order to deduce, for instance, whether Facebook ads perform better than Google ads. And you can use rollup fields for an easy summary of the campaign's overall success. 

Regardless of which template or tool you use, you'll need to define your metrics, and the way you'll surface them, upfront.

Converting marketing ideas into marketing campaigns

Now that you've done your foundational work, you can start mapping out your marketing campaigns. If you're using the marketing campaign tracking template, you may want to view your campaigns in several different ways.

One record—for instance, a Facebook ad campaign—can be viewed in context with other records in grid view...

Or reordered by status to see where each campaign is in its lifecycle....

Or viewed as a dashboard...

There are many other possibilities as well for viewing, filtering, sorting, and searching through content stored in Airtable as records. 

Example marketing plans

Let’s walk through the most basic Airtable marketing plan template in a little more detail.  This will both give you an overview of how to start customizing a marketing plan, and illustrate how teams use Airtable to plan their marketing campaigns.

This template comes with two tables:

1. Initiatives — This shows strategic goals such as “Increase customer base in Southeast region” and “SEO refactoring across site.” Your own marketing goals may be very different. When you download this template, you’ll simply replace the existing placeholder goals with your own.

2. Marketing Team — This table shows every stakeholder on the marketing team, their contact info, and the initiatives they’re tied to.

By expanding a record for any initiative, you can see the complete details of that record:

You can see which quarter the initiative is associated with, what category it falls under, how critical of an effort it is considered to be, when it kicks off, when it’s estimated to be finished, and which team member holds responsibility.

If you decide to change the stakeholder, you simply change it in the record, and the information updates across both tables and any other place it’s used. 

Because plans in Airtable are built on top of a relational database, you only have to add or update information as one record, and that record can be imported into multiple views. Your marketing becomes much easier to manage even as it grows in complexity. 

In summary, here’s a list of all the templates we mentioned in this resource. 

Airtable’s marketing plan templates

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About the author

Airtable's Marketing Teamseeks to inspire, guide, and support builders at every stage of their journey.

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