What do you need in a B2B marketing plan template? Well, if a template is sort of part process guide, and part communication, then the process would want to be good, and the communication would want it to be clear. I did a bit of research including Marketo and Brainrider, and came up with a few examples. Let me show you what I found.
In the template itself, we need a few things:
- The problem that you solve;
- Who you solve it for, that’s your target market;
- How you solve it, of course that’s your solution;
- How often you need to solve it, and the backward math, so that’s your velocity; and
- The tactics you will use from name to the closed deals.
Let me show you those articles now, because there’s some gold, both in the communication and in the process that I think’s worth sharing.
The Five Articles on B2B marketing plan template:
This first article from bluesteelesolutions.com is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Heather Steele, thank you. Useful templates for customer persona and brand persona, and marketing plan template. Now, I enjoyed the brand persona one particularly.
The marketing plan template somewhat confuses tactics and campaigns. Now, you have to use lead capture forms for each of these, so when you go through to any of these downloads, these are all lead capture forms for Heather. I get it, I get why you’ve done it. However, I would check out the brand persona template particularly, found it quite interesting.
Next one’s from Brainrider. We’ve featured Brainrider in two of our other blogs, so thanks again, guys. Different articles, but thanks for this one as well. This is specifically content marketing strategy template, so it’s content only. It uses the buyer’s journey. They don’t use that language, but it uses the buyer’s journey to explain the framework for their content. Excellent, really enjoyed it. B2B content brief template, then somewhat ignores the journey, let me explain. The language here refers really well to the journey. The template somewhat undoes it, so read their words, not just their template. Again, you need to give up your details to get the template, but worth doing. Have a look.
Third one is from TREW Marketing. Now, this describes a very high-level process for forming a plan rather than offering a template, and it somewhat encourages a grab bag of tactics rather than a linked approach, so let’s skip that one.
A fourth one is from Docurated. Fun name. Although it’s not necessarily a unique view offered in the article, it does provide a good checklist of steps in preparing a marketing plan, so it’s not a template per se, but they’re valid steps. Thank you.
The final one is from Marketo. It’s an excellent template for communicating your plan. It’s worth downloading. It’s free, they don’t require your lead details to download it, and although it doesn’t use a specific methodology, or help you answer the questions so much, it does a great job of communicating what answers you give to the questions. What I mean by that is, I think a template should provide a bit of guidance, as well as a means of communicating. It does the second part of that extremely well. It’s a really nice template, and frankly, I recommend you download it and use it. I loved it
What they said:
I’ll give you my spin on this shortly, but let me first honour what those five sources have suggested. A great B2B marketing plan template that paid any sort of heed to what those other templates showed would ask you to get outside opinion, assessed your situation and capabilities, then help you to define and to communicate.
- Your objectives
- Your ideal target customer
- The problem(s) these markets face
- What you offer these markets to solve those problems
- What programs you will use to market to these prospects
- Intent (think journey stages)
- Tactics (remember inbound & paid distribution)
What I think about B2B marketing plan template:
Now I’ve got some minor tweaks to that. I want to start with one really big thing: Do it together. At least sales and marketing. There might be other constituencies you need to get involved, but if you get everybody involved in building a plan together, some amazing things happen.
The probability of leads being accepted goes through the roof, closure rates go up, the contribution of the combined efforts of sales and marketing to generate new business goes up, and the only downside is that you have to train your marketers a little bit more. That data, all comes from our alignment study that we did in 2014. If we’re talking about templates, why on earth am I talking about alignment for? That is to say that the template needs to be sales and marketing, not just marketing. Now, as for tweaks, let me show you the more subtle tweaks. In the template itself, we need a few things.
- The problem you solve;
- Who you solve it for (target market);
- How you solve it (solution);
- How often you need to solve it and backward math (velocity);
- Tactics you will use from names through to closed deals.
Well, clearly, that’s what FunnelPlan is designed to do as well.
If you’re not familiar with it, FunnelPlan helps you to build their plan together, to measure what’s actually going on, and then to constantly improve it with free online coaching. If you haven’t already got a FunnelPlan, get one now – it’s free. It will be your template, both in terms of the process to form the plan, and the communication of the plan, which I believe is inherent in a good template, but it’ll also include some other things that are not necessarily template-driven. That is, measure what’s actually going on, and get constant free coaching around how you need to improve your process.
That’s all for this week. I hope you enjoyed it. I had some fun. I look forward to seeing you next week.
- Heather Steele– Chief Marketing Officer at Blue Steele Solutions for “A Powerful B2B Marketing Plan Template for Your Business”
- Scott on Brainrider for “B2B content Marketing Strategy Template “
- Wendy Covey – COO and Co-Founder of Trew Marketing for “How to Create a B2B Marketing Plan that Drives Results”
- Lauren Macias on Docurated for “10 best practices to use when crafting a B2B Marketing Plan” * Since Quark bought over Docurated, the article no longer exists. We’ve found an alternative: “5-Step B2B Marketing Strategy Process“
- Marketo for “Program Plan Template for B2B Marketers”