Developing a Small Business Marketing Plan

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Creating a successful marketing plan requires effort, dedication, and strategic thinking. It should be viewed as an essential part of any successful business venture, as it provides direction and focus. A marketing plan sets out the goals and objectives of your business, and outlines the strategies that you can use to achieve them. 

Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is essential for maximizing returns on investment in any type of business venture. It involves researching customer segments; analyzing competitors; identifying unique selling points; determining objectives; budgeting resources; selecting tactics/channels; evaluating progress; etc. Once these elements are determined they can be used to create a detailed plan.

Developing your marketing plan should begin with a thorough assessment of your current customers, processes and performance. If you are just starting out, consider what clients you are aiming at targeting with your products and services.  A SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) could assist with helping identify the areas in which you are succeeding or failing, and suggest potential opportunities available to you. Any analysis should provide information to assist you in understanding the competitive environment your business operates in, allowing you to craft competitive marketing concepts and strategies. Review goals you have set for your business and what is required from a marketing perspective to contribute to your business’s future success.  As part of this process, make sure you familiarize yourself with current organization documentation, such as business plans, financial budgets etc.

From here, you can begin to construct your marketing plan. This plan should include detailed information on who your target audience is, the products or services you offer, the channels through which these products/services are marketed, and how much money you will be investing in each activity. It should also include an action plan outlining exactly how each element of the plan will be executed.
The goal of your marketing plan should be to showcase how you stand out among your competition by making it easier for potential customers to connect with your brand. It should provide a clear path on how you will go about building relationships with customers, engaging them in conversations, and delivering value through your products and services. Additionally, it should serve as a guide that monitors all of your marketing efforts, giving you data-driven insights into what kind of tactics are working best and areas where improvement may be needed.

Remember, like most plans it doesn’t have to be over complicated; it’s up to you as a business leader to determine what you need to include to commence with.  Remember, plans are always changing; and it should be considered a ‘living and breathing document”.

Simple Guide to Creating your own Marketing Plan


At the start of any marketing strategy plan, it’s important to establish objectives for your business. This will provide a clear focus for the rest of the plan and help keep everyone on the same page when it comes to planning activities and determining success.

Your objectives should be measurable and achievable within a certain period of time. They should also take into account long-term goals as well as short-term objectives that will help move the business forward in the right direction.

Here are some examples of common objectives:

1. Increase brand awareness in key target markets
2. Increase conversion rates across channels
3. Increase customer loyalty
4. Develop innovative content strategies
5. Embrace new technology opportunities
6. Achieve double-digit sales growth

Demographics & Target Market

To successfully reach your target audience, it’s important to first understand who they are and how they interact with your brand. By defining their demographic information such as age, gender, income level, location and interests, you can better tailor your message and maximize its impact.

You should also determine the size of your target market so that you know how much effort or investment is needed to reach them effectively. Additionally, consider identifying any sub-groups within your target market that may require special attention or unique messaging techniques.

Marketing campaigns and goals

Include a section in your marketing strategy covering setting measurable goals and outline marketing campaigns being undertaken measurable goals.

Examples of goals could include statements such as:

1. Increase website traffic by 25% within the next 6 months.
2. Increase social media followers by 30% within the next 12 months.
3. Increase brand awareness by 50% within the next 18 months.

Document what marketing campaigns will be undertaken as part of this strategy such as:

1. Search engine optimization (SEO) campaign to help drive organic traffic to our website.
2. Paid search and social media campaigns to target and engage our target audience.
3. Content marketing and email campaigns to keep our target audience informed and engaged.

To commence with, keep things as simple and achievable as possible and within your own organization financial and capabilities means.

Budget & Timelines

Managing budgeting considerations alongside timelines for execution. This means creating an accurate budget plan that takes into account all associated costs with each activity while also providing contingency plans in case of any unexpected delays or changes in scheduling are needed down the line.

Having realistic estimates on hand early on makes it easier to ensure timely delivery of projects without compromising quality or overspending budgets allocated for each initiative.  

Competition Analysis / Research

Part of any successful marketing strategy plan includes analyzing what your competitors are doing in order to stay ahead of the game. This entails researching their marketing tactics, identifying strengths and weaknesses, understanding their customer base and evaluating their current level of success.

With this information at hand, you can gain valuable insights into how you can differentiate yourself from the competition by offering unique value propositions or reworking existing strategies to better fit with your business goals.

Marketing Tactics & Strategies

Once all elements have been researched and analyzed, budgets set and competitive analysis completed successfully, it’s time to build out a comprehensive list of tactics that will effectively reach your target market and achieve desired outcomes for the business. These tactics should align with overall company goals while also taking into account both short-term needs as well as long-term objectives.

Consider developing a mix of standard activities such as email marketing campaigns or social media advertisements along with more innovative approaches such as influencer collaborations or virtual event hosting. Additionally, make sure each campaign provides customers with valuable content such as educational webinars or special promotions that drive engagement levels even higher across all touch points.  


Create a simple plan where you can outline and formulate in a calendar when you will implement tactics and strategics.  A simple marketing calendar template can be used to keep track of when campaigns are launched and keep all team members updated on up-and-coming marketing activities.

Adjustments and evaluation – continuous improvement

Monitor the performance of marketing campaigns and adjust tactics as needed.  Completing this will allow you to assess the effectiveness of your campaigns and identify areas that need improvement. You can monitor campaigns by tracking key metrics such as calls being made to your organization, click-through rate, cost per lead, cost per acquisition, and conversion rate. You can also compare campaigns to industry benchmarks to determine if they are performing above or below average.

Evaluate the results of the marketing campaign and adjust budget, tactics, and goals as needed.  Adjusting tactics could include changing the messaging, targeting a different audience, or testing different creative.