Essential Templates to Boss Your 2023 Marketing Planning

We’re at a point in the year where many of us are actively focusing on our 2023 marketing planning. Yet, never before have we faced such seismically changing conditions - both looking at the historic contexts upon which to base our plans, and moving forward in terms of trying to predict what's going to happen. Our plans therefore need to consider and reflect a number of different scenarios, and then be executed with agility to adapt as situations change. Keeping our plans concise and simple is the key to achieving this. We don’t want to be spending hours doing masses of analysis and creating in-depth documents when the likelihood is that things will move and deviate from the get-go. The following templates are designed to help marketers with their planning by refining and rationalising their thinking and ideas, and then presenting these in concise and simple ways to aid sharing and buy-in. They will offer your starting points to build out your 2023 marketing planning, capture your inputs, and then enable you to iterate and hone quickly to move forward to execution.

1. Evaluate your environment and context

Every planning process should start with an understanding of where you are. However, we don’t want to get bogged down with time-consuming and often redundant analysis. The SCOPE Situational Analysis methodology is an alternative to the traditional SWOT, providing a framework to identify and assess the existing and expected conditions upon which you must construct your marketing plan. Unlike SWOT, the SCOPE framework gives a more 360° view of these conditions by assessing:

Situation - where are you coming from, what are the historic conditions that will affect your plan?

Core Competencies - what are the unique attributes of your brand or product that generate value for your customers and offer competitive advantage?

Obstacles - what are the issues or threats that could jeopardise your ability to unlock your core competencies?

Prospects - what are the opportunities that exist to grow sales and/or profits by leveraging your core competencies?

Expectations - what future conditions do you envision which will influence your plans to meet your defined prospects?

The following template lays these inputs out in a neat, tabulated design on one page. This is intentional to ensure that the inputs are kept tight with only the most relevant and important factors presented, and the details/descriptions kept short and to the point. In this respect, the document becomes more focused, consumable and able to be shared with stakeholders and influencers inside and outside of your team or business.

2. Set your 2023 marketing goals

Marketing Planning 2023

Once you’ve evaluated the conditions and environment within which you are building your plans, you can then define your marketing goals. These establish the ultimate outcomes that you’re looking to achieve, and thereby set the direction for the strategies and tactics that you’re going to develop and deploy.

The following two templates provide alternative methodologies for considering and structuring your marketing goals.

Marketing Goals Template

This template starts by outlining the context for your marketing goals by articulating your wider business objectives, marketing priorities and marketing needs. These then inform and lead to defining your actual marketing goals using the SMART framework making them: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based.

OKR Template (Objectives and Key Results)

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) have been widely adopted by many businesses, especially in the tech space, as a management goal setting methodology that provides clear focus on the most important issues and factors for a business, brand or team. Objectives specify exactly what it is that you’re looking to achieve, and then the corresponding Key Results show how you’re going to achieve those Objectives in a measurable way.

The following template gives you a construct for defining your OKRs, whilst also considering the bigger picture business context and consideration factors that will affect them.

3. Understand your audience

Paramount to any marketing planning exercise is a comprehensive understanding of your intended audience: who is it that you’re looking to appeal to and connect with? Only by having a clear picture of your audience can you create marketing programmes and activities that will resonate with them and then motivate them to take action.

One Page Persona Template

Audience or customer personas have become a commonplace tool used by marketers to really get-under-the-skin of their intended target audiences. A persona is a fictional characterisation used to represent a user or customer who might adopt your product or service. They help you to understand your prospects and customers better by creating a picture of them in terms of their typical traits, behaviours and needs. In this way, you’re able to subsequently develop and tailor your future products or marketing activities to meet them.

The One Page Persona template gives you a methodology to build your product or brand persona. It allows you to consider and then articulate the characteristics, needs, buying journeys and influencers of your target audience in regards to your specific product or service. It presents these in a way that makes it easy for you to share your persona with your team and wider stakeholders to provide clarity and buy-in as you create and then execute your marketing plans.

Customer Journey Map Template

Crucial to understanding your audience is establishing their typical journeys as they research, discover and then move on to purchase your product or service. This Customer Journey Map template outlines the processes through which your prospects/customers interact and engage with your company in order to purchase your product or service. It deep-dives into your target persona's thinking and actions as they go from an initial awareness of the problem that they’re trying to solve, through to their ultimate decision to purchase. It does this by asking you questions to enable you to profile and understand your prospect’s/customer’s needs at each stage in their journey so you can ascertain their motivations and likely next steps. 

4. Define your value proposition

Understanding your audience provides the foundation for crafting your brand or product’s value proposition. This is an articulation of the value that you’re bringing to your customers - what are the benefits and why should they care? Your value proposition is the story of your brand or business. It gives the narrative of how you're solving your customer’s problem, why you’re offering them something different and, fundamentally, why they should buy from you.

Value Proposition Storyboard

The Value Proposition Storyboard gives you the building blocks for formulating your value proposition. It then takes these and helps you to distil them down into your core narrative - a single-minded, clear and impactful articulation of your value proposition.

5. Create your marketing plan

Once you have your building blocks - your situational analysis, defined goals, audience understanding, and value proposition - you can start to flesh out and build your actual marketing plan.

The One Page Marketing Plan template brings all the components of your marketing plan together in a simple, concise and integrated view. 

One Page Marketing Plan

If you’ve never created a marketing plan before and are looking for somewhere to start, or you’re experienced but want to find ways to make your marketing planning more efficient and effective, then this template is for you! The One Page Marketing Plan allows you to rationalise your thinking, focus your ideas, and then move to action by giving you a flexible framework to hone and improve your plans as you execute and gather feedback. Having to get everything onto only one page means you have to be really disciplined in what you include - and what you don’t - making for a more refined and robust marketing plan.

The framework is comprised of three key sections:

1. An outline of the audience that you’re targeting
2. An overview of the strategies that you’re going to adopt to engage with your audience
3. Details of the activities that you’ll use to deliver those strategies

Each of these sections is then broken down into its core components where you enter your inputs, thinking and ideas based on the guiding prompts provided.

6. Target your clients

For B2B brands, having a generic marketing plan isn’t enough. It’s really important to look at your primary clients in isolation: your existing top spenders, biggest potential upsides, or target new business opportunities. Creating individual accounts plans means evaluating the client’s specific business context and needs, and then defining your sales proposition and marketing strategy to address them directly.

One Page Account Plan

The One Page Account Plan is divided into four sections: business overview, annual account targets, revenue streams, and action plan. Each section builds on the prior and drills into the elements that will lead to successful engagement with the client and enhanced new business generation. This provides a living plan that can be updated and refined as you move forward and collect further insights, results and feedback.

Simplifying your 2023 marketing planning

Using these templates individually or collectively will make your 2023 marketing planning less time consuming, more focused, and geared to actions that will win! You can check out more of our business and marketing templates here, or sign-up to our newsletter to receive updates as soon as new templates are released, together with additional marketing insights, case studies and tools.