How to develop a practical marketing action plan

The marketing action plan

A marketing plan is just words on paper if you don’t spell out how it’s going to come to life, this is why the marketing action plan is so important.

Essentially, the marketing action plan allows you to put more detail behind the marketing strategies, by spelling out what needs to happen to achieve your set objectives. How you choose to format and present the action plan will come down to individual preference, excel spreadsheets and gantt charts work well, however for it to be useful make sure it is able to be updated, easy to follow, workable and includes the following:

What – Addresses each set objective

How – Identifies the tactics, or what needs to happen, to achieve each objective

Who – Identifies who needs to complete each tactic

When – Assigns a critical timeline for each tactic to be achieved

Metrics – Addresses how each tactic will be assessed and measured to meet the overall objectives & strategy

For a simple, practical marketing action plan template to help you get started, click on this link:


Other important points to consider:

Stakeholders: A key step to developing a successful marketing plan is identifying which stakeholders you need to have on board to implement the plan. These stakeholders should correlate with the ‘who’ outlined in your marketing action plan and form the core implementation team.

Time Frame: The marketing action plan should be broken down into short and long term goals, for example 3, 6, 12 months. This will help you track the performance of the overall plan and allow you to assess what in the plan may need to be changed to keep you on track. Make sure your marketing action plan timeline corresponds with the timelines you have identified in your SMART objectives. A marketing plan should be a living document, so it is imperative that you revisit the overall plan and the marketing action plan regularly.

Management: A marketing plan usually involves a number of stakeholders to implement successfully, and each plan will have critical timelines involved to get the product to market, develop advertising materials, change packaging, staff training etc. Hold ups at these critical timelines can have a negative impact on the rest of the plan and ultimately the business. To avoid this occurring, start a regular Work In Progress (WIP) meeting around your marketing action plan so you can stay on top of issues, communicate updates, track deliverables and if necessary crack the whip to keep things moving.

If you’re a business and you need help with your marketing plan you can contact us direct.


About Zena Churchill

Zena Churchill is a Director at Max & Buddy Consulting. She has worked in senior level business roles across national and multinational corporations, as well as being a small business owner. Zena is a strategic thinker and brings a practical, straight-forward approach to marketing and social media. She has a passion for training & development running practical business workshops for small business. Zena is a Certified Practising Marketer (AMI), sometimes tutors in Marketing at the University of Wollongong and is a Senior Consultant with Trinity P3.

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