Marketing Strategy Template: How to Create a Marketing Plan

Master marketing strategy with our free template.

Best Practices
June 14, 2024
A picture of Rachel Torres, PMM at Amplitude
Rachel Torres
Group Product Marketing Manager, Amplitude
An abstract image representing a marketing template

A marketing strategy template is a pre-designed framework that outlines a business's approach to promoting its products. It guides marketing campaign planning and resource allocation.

We’ve all been there: grocery shopping without a list. You get distracted by the promotions and end up walking out with a jumbo pack of marshmallows you don’t really want and, if you’re lucky, 70% of the ingredients that you actually need to make dinner.

Marketing without a strategy is the same: You waste time and resources and don’t reach your objectives.

A strong marketing strategy plan is essential to acquire, monetize, and retain your customer base. But it’s easy to dive into the details of a plan without stopping to refine the strategic approach behind it.

This post outlines the features of a strong marketing strategy and teaches you how to create one, including guidance on what decisions to make before you start planning. It also discusses resources to help you succeed, such as a marketing strategy template—a framework outlining the approach you’ll take to promote your products.

To dive in right away, get a copy of our free marketing strategy worksheet or read on for more details.

An image representing Amplitude's marketing strategy template
Key takeaways
  • A marketing strategy template is a structured guide to outline a business’s strategic approach to promoting its product.
  • A marketing strategy helps businesses to attract and retain customers, avoiding wasting time and marketing budget.
  • A strong marketing strategy directs marketing initiatives and resource allocation, ensuring systematic customer engagement, sustainable growth, and competitive differentiation.
  • Creating an effective marketing plan involves setting measurable goals, crafting targeted messaging, and choosing the right distribution channels.

Why a marketing strategy is important

A marketing strategy is useful if you want to attract and retain customers in a systematic and predictable way. Without a strategy, you might succeed in growing your customer base, but you’ll struggle to replicate your success reliably and consistently.

Laying out a strategy helps ensure consistency in the customer experience and internal teams. A strategy also brings cohesion to marketing efforts and facilitates collaboration between marketing teams and others, such as sales and product.

By having a plan that aligns all teams, their efforts complement each other and customers get a seamless experience across all touchpoints.

After all, there’s no point in getting new customers to sign up if they are wrong for your product and will churn after a short time.

Additionally, a plan helps you effectively deploy resources and enables you to be specific and targeted with your time and effort investments.

Features of a strong marketing strategy

A basic marketing plan typically outlines some information about your target audience and the channels you plan to use to reach them. By contrast, a strong marketing strategy builds on data that informs your expectations for your marketing efforts. It prioritizes three main areas: customer engagement, operational scalability, and market differentiation.

  • Customer engagement: It’s important to define how you engage customers. After all, consistently supporting customers in reaching their goals helps you build long-term relationships with them that increase retention rates and create more opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
  • Scalability and sustainability: Considering how you’ll make your marketing sustainable and scalable enables you to grow without compromising on the quality of the customer experience.
  • Differentiation: Knowing what unique value you offer—why customers should choose you over competitors—means you can communicate that proposition to customers in your marketing, which helps you attract and retain customers.

Three ways to create your marketing strategy plan

Before you plot out the details of your marketing plan, it’s important to define and refine your strategic approach. That will help you attract, retain, and monetize customers effectively later on.

1. Identify the promises you make to your target market

The key to retaining customers is building long-term relationships with them. To do that, it’s crucial your product aligns with your customers’ goals and delivers consistent value. A successful marketing strategy centers around a clear understanding of that value.

For each persona who uses your product, define the promise it makes to them. Let’s consider Amplitude and a few types of Amplitude users—marketers, product teams, and data analysts or engineers.

The promise the Amplitude platform makes looks something like this:

  • Marketers: Gain easy, actionable insights into customer behavior and campaign performance and take action without needing deep technical expertise.
  • Product team: Get trusted insights about what drives customer engagement so you can build better products.
  • Data leaders: Make trusted data accessible to everyone. Empower teams with self-service insights to collaborate, act fast, and create profitable products and experiences.

When you’re clear on the value your product provides to each persona, it’s easier to develop marketing actions to communicate that value.

2. Plan for sustainability at scale

Effective marketing strategies aren’t just about reaching as many people as possible—it’s about reaching the right people efficiently and sustainably. Identify how you’ll optimize your marketing efforts across acquisition, retention, and monetization.

Focusing on acquisition, you might segment customers to target different buyer personas with tailored messaging. You could also use different channels based on where your personas spend their time or search for solutions. For example, you might decide to reach marketers primarily via social media channels like LinkedIn but use technical blog posts to capture the interest of product teams via search engine optimization.

For retention, you might create an engagement strategy to regularly update customers on new features and drive them to expand their feature usage. Personalized lifecycle campaigns with educational content tailored to each persona (delivered via an email marketing flow) can help each type of user get the most out of your product and drive long-term loyalty.

For monetization, you might decide to implement tiered pricing based on product usage so each persona can find a plan that works for them. You might also plan to enhance customer lifetime value by committing to excellent customer service.

3. Define what sets you apart in a strategy statement

No product operates in a vacuum. It’s important to consider your marketing strategy within a larger market context and define how you’ll stand out against your competitors. Before working on the statement, you’ll want to complete some market research and competitive analysis. Then, fill in the strategy statement for your main competitors using the terms from the word bank.

Word bank:

A: legacy player; current competitor; established future competitor; potential disruptor

B: highly differentiated; incrementally better; equal; lagging

C: maintain this position; work to improve; let it slip

Statement template:

Compared to [COMPETITOR], which we consider to be a(n) [A], we are [B] when it comes to our ability to [CAPABILITY]. Therefore, we must [C].

Let’s say you’re a new mobile-only bank. You lay out how you differentiate yourself against your competitors—both a traditional banking institution and a fintech competitor—in the following way:

Compared to [legacy bank], which we consider to be a legacy player, we are highly differentiated by our ability to offer a user-friendly mobile experience with personalized financial insights. Therefore, we must maintain this position and continue to innovate in user experience design.

Compared to [fintech competitor], which we consider to be a potential disruptor, we are equal in our ability to provide competitive no-fee banking services. Therefore, we must work to improve our value proposition with unique features or partnerships that our competitors do not offer.

How to create a marketing strategy

Once you’ve done all the top-level thinking, it’s time to create an implementation plan, including all the details (think: marketing tactics and editorial calendar) that ladder up to your strategy statement.

Here are some best practices to follow when creating a marketing strategy plan:

  • Define marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) with a timeline. Clear, measurable objectives and metrics will help provide direction for marketing activities and ensure they contribute to business goals.
  • Develop messaging for each persona. To help customers understand how your product addresses their pain points, craft core and supporting messages based on key themes important to your target customers. Refine these messages by testing them with your audience.
  • Select distribution channels. The right distribution channels will help you efficiently deliver your messages to your target audience, maximizing reach and engagement. Identify which channels your audience interacts with most, then adjust and refine your approach based on how each channel performs.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders. Leading companies integrate their marketing approaches with sales and product work. Share your marketing strategy with team members in different areas of the company and consider incorporating their insights into your approach.

Get our example marketing plan template

Creating a new strategy from zero is overwhelming. To get you started, we’ve created an example marketing plan template with exercises designed to help you tackle the big-picture, strategic thinking that goes into a successful marketing strategy.

About the Author
A picture of Rachel Torres, PMM at Amplitude
Rachel Torres
Group Product Marketing Manager, Amplitude
Rachel Torres is a product marketing manager at Amplitude, focusing on go-to-market solutions for enterprise customers. Before Amplitude, she served as a strategic marketing consultant to early-stage startups, including DataGrail, ConductorOne, and Elevate Security. In her free time, she enjoys ballet, Beyoncé, and library books.