Marketing Plan

Checklist Guide


A marketing plan is a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines your planned business advertising and marketing activities for the coming year.

The single biggest mistake most businesses make with their marketing is thinking that marketing is the implementation of a series of tactics and strategies:

  • SEO
  • Google Adwords
  • Podcasting
  • Public Relations
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • A letterbox drop campaign
  • A stint of TV, radio or newspaper advertising
  • Something else…

Successful businesses use a marketing plan to connect and integrate ALL their marketing activities (tactics and strategies) together, linking them directly to business objectives, budget and resources. A marketing plan provides a map to follow for the year and benchmarks against which you can measure your ROI and whether your marketing has achieved its objectives.

1. We have an overarching Marketing Strategy and Plan which is directly linked to business goals and objectives and includes our financial targets and our proposed marketing activities for the year. Our marketing plan contains an action plan including who is responsible for each activity, when it is to be done by and objective measures of success.
Why is this item important?

Without a marketing strategy and plan for your business, do you know why or how you are going to promote your products or services to meet the needs of your target market? A marketing strategy sets out what you want to achieve, your purpose, who you are trying to target, who your competitors are, your key marketing messages including unique selling points and how you will deliver your product or service offering to your target market. The marketing strategy links together all of the marketing activities to ensure an integrated and consistent approach.

A marketing plan is a strategic roadmap that businesses use to organise, execute, and track their marketing strategy over a given time period. Marketing plans can include separate marketing strategies for the various marketing teams across the company, but all of them work towards the same business goals.

 How can I tell if I meet this item in my business?

Are you overwhelmed with trying to market your business and just don’t know where to start?

Are your marketing activities aligned with your business goals and objectives to achieve growth and keep you on track to get your marketing tasks done?

Have you identified your ideal customers / clients and aligned your marketing plan with what they want, rather than what you think they need?

Have you finalised which marketing activities you will deliver for the year or are you just winging it with inconsistent marketing?

Do you track your spend on your marketing?

Have you done an audit on your marketing each year to see where you can improve or areas that are doing well and those that aren’t?

 What do I need to do to meet this item?

To utilise your marketing spend and time effectively a consistent and proactive approach to your marketing is necessary. Yet so many business owners choose to jump straight into action (i.e. creating a website, posting on social media etc.) without a marketing plan in place and wonder why they are not getting that return on investment.

Creating a marketing plan for your business will help you to align your business and marketing goals to achieve growth and keep you on track to get your marketing tasks done. This will help eliminate inconsistent marketing and give you more time to run your business and avoid unnecessary stress and disappointing results.

2. All activities in our Marketing Plan have been carefully researched and selected with regard to everything we know about our target market and ideal clients and are consistent with our brand identity.
Why is this item important? 

The success of your strategic marketing plan is as good as the information that it is based on. By conducting research this will give you valuable insight to help shape your marketing strategy, plan and support your branding efforts to be more targeted to your ideal clients. This is a very valuable process that can greatly contribute to your business success. 

How can I tell if I meet this item in my business? 

Do you know:          

Who your target customers are?

           What they are interested in?

           What their problems are and how you can help solve them?

           What needs do your target customers have?

           How do your competitors meet the needs of your target market?

           What can you do differently to position your company effectively against your competition? 

What do I need to do to meet this item?  

Identify your target market and understand how your product or service meets their needs.

Identify your competitors and keep an eye on what marketing activities they are running and the response they are potentially getting.

Position your brand, products and services so that your target market sees your business as better than, or different from, the competition.

Set specific, measurable goals and time frames for your marketing activities.

Map out a strategy to reach your target audience, including the messages, channels and tools you will use.


Your marketing plan does not need to be long, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to complete, but it will take some research and effort. Putting in the work to create this marketing plan can help ensure a company’s future success.


Market research will help you build a synergy between all your marketing efforts so that all your marketing, communications and branding initiatives are integrated and cohesive, telling your story in a very professional way that is recognisable as your company, no matter what the customer is viewing.

3. All activities in our Marketing Plan have been fully costed, they are within budget and they are consistent with our overall business objectives.
Why is this item important? 

Knowing how much you are willing to spend on marketing and where to spend it, is critical to the success of your business. A marketing budget will ensure you accurately calculate your marketing campaign or advertising and prevent unnecessary spend to give you a greater chance on return on investment on your marketing activities. 

Once you’ve aligned your company goals with your marketing goals, you’ll need to identify your marketing budget so you can develop a detailed marketing plan that supports your strategy.


How can I tell if I meet this item in my business? 

When developing your marketing budget, make sure you’re only spending money on the requirements of your current marketing goals. Advertising and promotion can be expensive. Make sure to pick options that will give you the greatest growth for your business, while still reaching your target audience.


Do you know what you can spend on your marketing campaigns and how much money you or your company is willing to put into different types of marketing efforts?

Do you review your marketing budget each year?


What do I need to do to meet this item?  

A marketing budget outlines all the money a business intends to spend on marketing activities over the month, quarter or year. Marketing budgets can include expenses such as website design and build, marketing campaigns, events, a registered blog domain, marketing automation software and more.


What you spend and where you spend it will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. So, when starting to create your marketing budget, make sure you’re only spending money on the things required by your current marketing goals.


By keeping tabs on where your budget is being allocated, and cross-checking that spend with the results you’re getting, it will be much easier to figure out what marketing activities you should keep allocating your budget too and what activities may need to be improved or removed.

4. We do not rely on one or two marketing activities. Our marketing plan uses a combination of online and offline marketing activities and includes contingency plans in the event that specific strategies or tactics are more or less effective than anticipated.
Why is this item important?

Since business plans can never fully foresee all outcomes, good planning provides for contingencies to address unexpected events. In marketing plans, things such as sales projections, revenue and market engagement to certain initiatives can sometimes depend on factors outside the control of the company. As a result, it’s essential not to rely on just one or two marketing activities and having a contingency plan in place when the results you were hoping for may not eventuate.

How can I tell if I meet this item in my business?

Do you have measures in place to address the identified risks in marketing a product or service?

Are you using more than one or two marketing activities and are they a combination of online and offline activities?

Do you have a contingency budget to cover any unexpected costs that you may not have anticipated when you drew up your original marketing plan?

Are you keeping up to date with any campaigns that your competition may be launching that could decrease your sales?

Are you aware of any issues that could arise when implementing your marketing plan?

What will you do if the marketing strategy that you have been implementing is actually decreasing sales and directing traffic to your competition?


What do I need to do to meet this item?

It’s extremely important to remember that your marketing plan is a live working document that needs to be reviewed and monitored on a regular basis. This will ensure that you are continuing to actively monitor the marketing strategies that you set out and deciding whether they are right for your business, attracting your target audience and growing your business. Marketing can take time – it doesn’t happen overnight however, without a contingency plan in place for events that may be out of your control, how will you be able to either cover the costs or continue to build trust, credibility and convert your ideal clients into customers.

5. We have a plan and a budget for building marketing collateral which will help underpin marketing strategies into the future even though they may not provide a direct return on investment in the short term
Why is this item important? 

Marketing collateral is any material used to promote a company’s products or services to other businesses, referrals, potential customers or clients. You may also use this type of marketing tool for yearly promotions or a new service you may be offering to the market. 

How can I tell if I meet this item in my business? 

Does your marketing collateral help to quickly communicate how you solve your customers pain point in a visually compelling manner?

Does your marketing collateral help to build credibility for your business?

Do you have the right mix of marketing collateral that will help your small business in the long term?

Is your collateral clear and concise, using minor text and more visuals?

Are you providing valuable content?


What do I need to do to meet this item?  

When choosing marketing activities, try and choose activities that suit your business and your customers. For example, it’s not a good idea choosing printed marketing collateral if your customers are primarily young adults who are more responsive to online digital marketing.


Marketing collateral is only one of the many marketing tools you could use for your business. Before proceeding with this you should determine whether it’s going to effectively market your business and appeal to your target audience. There can also be a considerable cost associated to marketing collateral as you will have to factor in a graphic designer, copywriter and print costs (if hard copies are required).


If done correctly, marketing collateral can be a good way to start a relationship with a potential client by providing valuable content.

6. For every marketing activity included in our Marketing Plan we are familiar with the use of this activity in other businesses similar to ours and we are confident that we are implementing this activity to a best practice standard in order to maximise ROI and best meet our business objectives.
Why is this item important? 

Many factors can impact your marketing results and it’s important that as a business owner you are fully aware of what marketing activities you have invested in and how well they are working for your business. Analysing your results and keeping up to date with new marketing trends is important so your marketing plan is up to date and reaching your business goals. It’s also important not to follow exactly what marketing activities your competitors are doing as this won’t set you apart and potentially won’t be solving a problem that your ideal customers are facing.


How can I tell if I meet this item in my business? 

Each quarter do you review your marketing activities to ensure they’re increasing growth for your business?

Have you asked your customers what their pain points are and how you help solve them?

Are you asking for feedback and making any necessary changes or improvement to your marketing activities?

Do you ever look at your competitors marketing and business activities and wonder how they do it?


What do I need to do to meet this item?  

It’s important to understand how your competitors are positioned in the market so you can differentiate yourself from them. However, it’s not best practice to exactly follow what marketing activities they have implemented as there is no guarantee that these methods will work for your ideal customers nor increase growth for your business.

7. Our marketing plan is reviewed and updated annually as part of our strategic planning process.
Why is this item important? 

For a marketing plan to be successful it needs to be consistent and reviewed. Continually reviewing and updating your plan when required will keep you on track with your marketing activities and budget and more importantly reaching those business and marketing goals.  

How can I tell if I meet this item in my business? 

Do you continually review and update your marketing plan when required?

Do you keep on track of your marketing activities and budget?

Do you analyse your results on a regular basis and keep up to date with the latest marketing trends?

Did you have a plan last year? Did you stick to it? Why or why not?

What marketing activities are working and what ones aren’t?

Did you achieve your lead goals?

Did your sales team make their sales goals?

Did your company make its revenue goals? 

What do I need to do to meet this item? 

Many factors can impact your marketing results and it’s important you’re aware of them. A marketing plan is a working document and needs to be continually reviewed and adjusted. Timeframes may change or an activity just isn’t working as well as you thought, or something is working well so you may choose to investigate why and use it again or do more of it.  

 You should include plans and procedures for regularly tracking each type of marketing activity you are using. Tracking helps monitor the effectiveness of each marketing activity and is especially helpful with your overall program evaluation. If you are not tracking and measuring your efforts then you are not marketing effectively.

 When conducting your strategic planning process include an annual review and update of your marketing plan. This should be a straight forward process if you have been measuring your marketing activities throughout the year.


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