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Our Blog April 1, 2024

How To Create A High-Level Marketing Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writen by octaadsmedia

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Do you examine your team’s marketing approach annually?

You should. Without an annual marketing plan, things can get messy — and it’s nearly impossible to put a number on your budget for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing over the course of a year if you don’t have a plan.

Marketing plans can get quite granular to reflect the industry you’re in, whether you’re selling to consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B), and how big your digital presence is. Nonetheless, here are the elements every effective marketing plan includes:

1. Business Summary

In a marketing strategy, your business synopsis is precisely what it sounds like: an overview of the organisation. Include this information so that all stakeholders, including your direct reports, have a thorough understanding of your organisation before moving on to the more strategic aspects of your strategy.

Even if you’re presenting your strategy to long-term employees, getting everyone on the same page is beneficial.

Most business summaries contain:

  • The company name
  • Where it’s headquartered
  • Its mission statement

Importance of a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan serves as a roadmap for achieving marketing objectives and business goals. It provides clarity, direction, and a systematic approach to reaching target audiences and driving sales.

What is a High-Level Marketing Plan?

A high-level marketing plan outlines broad strategies and objectives rather than specific tactics. It focuses on overarching goals and how to achieve them, leaving room for flexibility and adaptation to changing market conditions.

Understanding Your Business and Market

SWOT Analysis

Conducting a SWOT analysis helps identify internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. This analysis provides valuable insights into where your business stands in the market. It is critical to incorporate this information so that you may develop specific tactics to capitalise on your strengths and rectify your flaws.
In my perspective, performing a SWOT analysis takes a lot of time; it involves market research and competitor analysis to be genuinely precise. I return to this area on a regular basis, updating it as I learn more about my own firm and competitors.

Market Research

Thorough market research involves analyzing industry trends, competitor strategies, and consumer behavior. This data enables businesses to make informed decisions and tailor their marketing efforts effectively.

The business initiatives section of a marketing strategy allows you to split your department’s distinct aims. Be cautious not to incorporate big-picture company initiatives, which are often included in a business plan. This section should describe the projects that are special to marketing. You will also outline the projects’ aims and how they will be measured.

Every effort should use the SMART technique for goal setting. They should be explicit, quantifiable, reachable, relevant, and timely. For example, a general objective may be “increase my Facebook following.” However, a SMART version of this objective may be: “Increase my Facebook following by 30% by June.” Notice the difference?

Customer Analysis

If your organisation has previously conducted extensive market research, this segment of your marketing strategy may be easy to put together. In any case, attempt to conduct your study before compiling it into a shareable document like this.

Finally, this component of your marketing strategy will assist you in describing the industry you are selling to as well as your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal consumer, emphasising attributes such as:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Title
  • Goals
  • Personal challenges
  • Pains
  • Triggering event

Competitor Analysis

A competition study is required while developing a marketing plan. Your buyer persona has options for solving their challenges, including both the sorts of solutions they explore and the suppliers that can implement those solutions. In your market research, you should analyse your competitors, what they do well, and where there are possible holes for you to fill. This may include:

  • Positioning
  • Market share
  • Offerings
  • Pricing


When I was developing my first marketing strategy, I made the error of conflating the marketing budget part with the pricing of my product and other financials.

Here’s a better way to think about this section: it should indicate how much money the company has given the marketing team to pursue the activities and goals described in the preceding parts.

Depending on how many different costs you have, you might consider itemising your budget based on what you will spend it on. Examples of marketing costs are as follows:

  • Outsourcing costs to a marketing agency and/or other providers
  • Marketing software
  • Paid promotions
  • Events (those you’ll host and/or attend)

Knowing your budget and conducting research on the marketing channels you want to engage in should allow you to devise a strategy for allocating funds to certain techniques based on predicted ROI. From there, you may create financial predictions for the year. These will not be completely correct, but they can aid with executive planning.

Remember that your marketing strategy just contains a summary of the expenses. We recommend having a separate document or Excel sheet to help you determine your budget much more efficiently.

Marketing Channels

Your marketing strategy should include a list of your marketing outlets. While your organisation may use specific ad space to sell the product, your marketing channels will be where you post content that educates your customers, creates leads, and raises brand recognition.

If you have published (or plan to post) on social media, this is the place to discuss it. Use the Marketing Channels part of your marketing strategy to choose which social networks you want to start a company page on, what you’ll use the social network for, and how you’ll assess your performance on these networks.

The goal of this section is to demonstrate to your superiors, both inside and outside the marketing department, that these channels will serve to grow the business.

Businesses with extensive social media presences might even consider elaborating on their social strategy in a separate social media plan template.

Marketing Technology

Last but not least, your marketing strategy should contain a description of the tools you’ll use in your marketing technology (MarTech) stack. These are the instruments that will assist you in achieving the objectives you mentioned in the previous sections. Because these forms of marketing software typically need a significant investment from your company’s leadership, it’s critical to link them to a possible ROI for your organisation.

For each tool, define how you want to use it and ensure that it is consistent with the plan you’ve outlined previously. For example, we would not advocate adding an advertising management solution unless you included “PPC Advertising” under “Marketing Channels.”

Setting Clear Objectives


Setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals ensures that objectives are well-defined and actionable. This framework helps maintain focus and track progress towards desired outcomes.

Identifying Target Audience


Understanding the demographics of your target audience, such as age, gender, income, and location, allows for personalized marketing strategies that resonate with potential customers.


Psychographic factors like values, interests, and lifestyle preferences provide deeper insights into consumer behavior and motivations. Crafting messages that appeal to these aspects can significantly enhance marketing effectiveness.

Crafting Key Messages and Value Proposition

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A unique selling proposition highlights what sets your product or service apart from competitors. It communicates the value proposition and convinces customers why they should choose your brand over others.

Brand Messaging

Consistent brand messaging across all channels reinforces brand identity and builds trust with consumers. Establishing a cohesive brand voice and narrative strengthens brand recognition and loyalty.

Choosing the Right Marketing Channels

Traditional vs Digital Marketing

Evaluate the pros and cons of traditional marketing channels like print ads, TV commercials, and radio spots, versus digital channels such as social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Social Media Platforms

Selecting the appropriate social media platforms based on your target audience demographics and behavior maximizes reach and engagement. Each platform offers unique opportunities for content distribution and community building.

Budget Allocation and Resource Planning

Allocating Resources Effectively

Allocate resources based on the ROI potential of each marketing initiative. Prioritize activities that align with strategic objectives and have the greatest impact on business growth.

Budgeting for Different Marketing Activities

Determine a realistic marketing budget that covers expenses for advertising, promotions, personnel, and other marketing-related costs. Monitor spending to ensure it stays within budgetary constraints.

Developing Actionable Strategies

Content Marketing Strategy

Create valuable and relevant content that educates, entertains, or solves problems for your target audience. Content marketing establishes brand authority, drives organic traffic, and nurtures customer relationships.

SEO Strategy

Optimize website content and structure to improve search engine visibility and drive organic traffic. Implement keyword research, on-page optimization, and link-building strategies to enhance SEO performance.

Paid Advertising Strategy

Invest in paid advertising campaigns to expand reach, generate leads, and increase conversions. Utilize platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads to target specific audience segments and maximize ROI.

Implementing and Monitoring the Plan

Execution of Strategies

Execute marketing strategies according to the plan, ensuring consistency across all touchpoints. Monitor campaign performance and make real-time adjustments to optimize results and maximize effectiveness.

Tracking and Analyzing Results

Utilize analytics tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure the success of marketing initiatives. Analyze data to identify trends, uncover insights, and inform future marketing decisions.

Making Adjustments and Improvements

Adapting to Market Changes

Stay agile and responsive to market dynamics, consumer preferences, and competitive shifts. Continuously evaluate and refine marketing strategies to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Continuous Improvement Mindset

Foster a culture of continuous improvement within the organization, encouraging experimentation, learning, and innovation. Embrace feedback and iterate on marketing efforts to drive ongoing growth and success.


Crafting a comprehensive high-level marketing plan is essential for businesses to achieve their objectives and sustain long-term success in today’s dynamic marketplace. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, businesses can develop a strategic roadmap that aligns with their goals, resonates with their target audience, and drives tangible results.


  1. What is the difference between a marketing plan and a high-level marketing plan?
    • A marketing plan typically includes detailed tactics and execution plans, while a high-level marketing plan focuses on overarching strategies and objectives.
  2. Why is market research important in crafting a marketing plan?
    • Market research provides valuable insights into industry trends, competitor strategies, and consumer preferences, helping businesses make informed decisions and tailor their marketing efforts effectively.
  3. How can businesses identify their target audience?
    • Businesses can identify their target audience by analyzing demographics, such as age, gender, income, and location, as well as psychographic factors like values, interests, and lifestyle preferences.
  4. What role does budget allocation play in a marketing plan?
    • Budget allocation ensures that resources are allocated effectively to activities that align with strategic objectives and have the greatest impact on business growth.
  5. Why is it important to monitor and analyze marketing performance?
    • Monitoring and analyzing marketing performance enables businesses to track progress, measure success, and identify areas for improvement, ultimately maximizing ROI and driving continuous growth.

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