Marketing Plan Example
Starbucks Marketing Plan
The One Page Marketing Plan
Since I first created the One Page Marketing Plan template, many people have asked me to provide a marketing plan example so they can see it in action. So here it is! The One Page Marketing Plan takes the core components of an effective marketing plan and condenses them onto a single page. This is intentional as it forces you to focus on what matters; what are the essential elements that will make a difference and move the needle. It focuses, clarifies, and simplifies your marketing planning and actions.
Starbucks Marketing Plan
For the purposes of demonstrating how to build and populate the One Page Marketing Plan, I've taken Starbucks as a case study. I chose Starbucks as it's a brand that everyone's familiar with, whilst having many different aspects that can be used to show the applicability and scope of the One Page Marketing Plan. I've based this marketing plan example on a real-life brand and used insights that I've gathered from researching Starbucks' activities and agenda, yet I want to be clear and transparent that this is not Starbucks' actual plan and is in no way associated with the company itself in any capacity. I'm merely using them for inspiration and to illustrate the One Page Marketing Plan in action. That said, I've tried to make it as representative as possible, with my own take and ideas for what they should be focussing on and doing.
So, with that in mind, here's Starbucks' One Page Marketing Plan:
As I've constructed this marketing plan example using Starbucks, I've looked at the brand from a global perspective. I haven't dived in to consider opportunities at either a regional or local level; for example, one of their major focus areas is developing the business in China where they've seen significant growth in the last year. Although further expansion in this territory is a strategic goal for Starbucks, for the purposes of this illustration I haven't included it.
As I'm using this as a case study, it's worth reviewing and outlining how and why I've entered the information in the template as I have, so you can thereby get a feel for how to build your own One Page Marketing Plans:
Starbucks themselves have a very clear understanding of their overall audience, but crucially, also a focussed view on who it is that they're specifically targeting. As I outlined the Audience pillar within the plan, I therefore used a lot of inputs from profiles that Starbucks had already built. This gives a great foundation and grounding for the rest of the plan.
I was able to build a very rich persona from the information available including not only demographic and sociographic profiles, but also pyschographic, behavioural, and technographic. This gives a rounded and actionable view of the target customer which directs a lot of the later thinking. In completing the One Page Marketing Plan, it's about filtering and condensing all of the information into the salient and relevant points. You'll also note that I added an image - the great thing about the One Page Marketing Plan is that you can add visual references as well - this is a terrific way to bring it to life, making it more engaging and consumable for your internal and external audiences.
Starbucks have a very detailed customer journey map that they've created - the discipline here, therefore, is to represent that in a way which summarises the outputs, and informs the overall plan. I've concentrated on the key stages of the customer journey, as well as specific customer touch points that will later guide our thinking around the marketing channels and tactics & activities that we intend to use.
The value proposition talks directly to the value that Starbucks are providing to their target persona of urbanites: a 'Third Place' outside of their home or work where they can escape and enjoy great quality coffee in a unique, relaxing, and friendly atmosphere. In this respect it's both a specific and compelling statement that encapsulates Starbucks' core offering and differentiators.
Having defined, profiled, and understood Starbucks' target audience, I was then able to build out the marketing strategies to engage, motivate, and mobilise them to the achievement of Starbucks' business and marketing goals. Again, I used insights from looking at the available reports, interviews, and commentary that I could find; but I've then embellished these and added in my own interpretations and perspectives on what I think Starbucks should focus on and do.
In defining Starbucks' marketing goals, I've leaned heavily on their wider business goals given that I'm building a global, top-down plan. The defined marketing goals fall into the purview of marketing, although there will be a number of different stakeholders and parties involved in their achievement. This should always be a given - the days of silos are gone! I've also concentrated on what Starbucks are looking to achieve in 2018, rather than a shorter or longer-term perspective. Starbucks work to an annual planning cycle, so it's important that the marketing plan is aligned and ties directly into where the business is headed. From an operational point-of-view, the goals should then be broken backwards into small 'sprints' so that actions can be taken and the results monitored and optimised in the short-term. The ultimate aim is to get to the 2018 goals, but this approach gives much more scope and speed to course correct when things aren't working or moving in the right direction.
This is where we start getting meaty! The key strategies are the broad approaches and methods that Starbucks will apply to achieve their marketing goals. Essentially, it's how they're going to win. These are broader and at a higher level than the subsequent tactics and activities that will then be applied. The former begets the latter. The key strategies talk directly to the marketing goals by outlining how they'll be accomplished.
Pricing & Positioning
In the pricing & positioning section I've outlined the broad pricing policy that I see Starbucks will want to maintain; that they hold a price premium versus their competitive set. I've then gone on to identify the specific areas where they're positioning the brand in direct relation to their competitive set: un-touchable service, superior convenience, and shared community. These pillars will lead to the following tactics & activities, as well as competitive messaging that will consequently be developed.
The activities stem from the outlined strategies; they are what will actually be executed and delivered as part of this marketing program. The activities highlighted provide a high-level view of the plan; each element would then be worked up separately with a campaign delivery plan.
These are directly informed by the customer journey detailed within the audience pillar. Based on the touch points that were identified earlier, we can look to where and how we can best engage with the Starbucks target persona and start to inject into their decision making process. These are the vehicles and platforms that Starbucks will use to get their content and message to the audience. As we develop and iterate the plan, it's important to test these channels to understand where we're gaining ROI, and where we need to pull back. This optimisation occurs at both a broad channel mix level, as well as the specific vehicles used (publications, sites, formats, etc.).
Tactics & Activities
This section gives a high-level perspective on the different marketing programs and campaigns that Starbucks will put into play. They are devised from all of the previous inputs; they make real the strategies that were prescribed directed to the target persona. In this case, they represent the six priority activities that should be focused on by the Starbucks team. Anything outside of these then needs to be justified as to why it should be taking up resources in terms of time, energy, money, and people. Clearly, there's a lot of detail behind each of these tactics & activities as to how they'll be executed - one way to do this is to create separate One Page Marketing Plan docs to scope out the requirements for each activity as a campaign plan.
Measures of Success
These are the key performance indicators that will be monitored over the course of the plan representing the primary metrics that drive action and outcomes. They directly relate back to our marketing goals at a strategic level. For each measure of success, we need to build a baseline so we can align actions and events to understand what activities are driving either positive or negative movements. In this way we can guide the plan to concentrate on the areas that are producing results. Where activities aren't moving the needle we need to look at how we can improve or remove from the plan.
Working with the document
The One Page Marketing Plan is intended to offer a clear and consumable overview of a company's or brand's marketing plan. It's beauty is in its simplicity whilst also providing a comprehensive picture of the complete plan. It's designed so that it can be easily shared, interpreted, and collaborated on with other stakeholders, partners and agencies.
There is going to be more detail behind it, for instance when it comes to building out specific plans for the tactics & activities, but the One Page Marketing Plan gives you the overall view that you can constantly refer to and use as a reference on an ongoing basis. It contains the fundamental thinking and plans at a high level that lead to and guide the detail of what you're actually going to do.
It isn't intended to be one-off exercise. The One Page Marketing Plan is a tool that should be constantly referred to, reviewed, iterated, and optimised. As you develop and build your marketing program you should be constantly learning. How can you better understand the customer? How can you add more value? How can you create greater impact, standout, and resonance? How can you improve and do things better? Through a continual process of design > implement > learn > re-design you can build a more effective and efficient plan that will meet your goals quicker, and in a more comprehensive fashion.
There is no straight line but you do need a plan. An agile approach to marketing still requires you to know the direction in which you're headed and to have a framework around which you can experiment and iterate. The One Page Marketing Plan gives you that framework.
I hope you've found that walk-through marketing plan example useful. If you have any thoughts or comments let me know below. Also, if you're prepared to share your version of the One Page Marketing Plan then please do get in touch!
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