What goes into a successful marketing plan?

Marketing plans define what work you will do to achieve the marketing strategy. These plans help you establish what you want to accomplish and build a timeline to get there.

Your plan should ideally follow a top-down approach that starts with the overall marketing and business goals and ties major areas of effort (such as programs and campaigns) with the activities required. Showing how your marketing activities move the strategy forward gives the team the clarity they need to do great work and make an impact with customers and the market.

A multicolored pivot report showing a marketing team's goals
A calendar view for a product marketing team's work created in Aha! software

You can also use a more lightweight version of a marketing calendar like this whiteboard template in Aha! software. This type of calendar is helpful for high-level planning with the team before you dive into set schedules and implementation.

2024 monthly calendar  large

Gantt charts are useful when you are creating detailed plans that have multiple phases of work — such as managing a cross-channel advertising campaign or complex launch. These charts allow you to schedule activities in the order they need to be completed, identify key milestones, and track progress so you can deliver on time. The one below shows all the marketing efforts related to an upcoming product launch.

An example of a marketplace launch outlined in a Gantt chart in Aha! software

Your marketing plan guides the implementation of your strategy and sets a timeline to achieve it. It is important to have up-to-date plans readily accessible — so everyone knows exactly what needs to happen and when.

Many teams use tools such as Excel and PowerPoint to capture their marketing plans. Choose from a wide variety of free marketing plan templates to keep everyone on schedule. But if you want to use a web-based tool to collaborate with colleagues on your marketing plans in real time, give Aha! Roadmaps a try.