Creating a marketing communications plan

The primary goal of marketing communications is to build awareness of a business, its products, and its position through customer-facing materials such as brochures, press releases, Web sites, and trade show presentations. Planning an integrated and consistent cross-team approach to these activities — one that reinforces a company's message with target audiences and motivates customers to buy — is the marketing communications manager's top responsibility.

A good marketing communications plan requires you to do substantial research. You need to have an in-depth understanding of your target audiences and the processes involved in buying, selling, and communicating. After you've armed yourself with the knowledge that you need, you can determine what you hope to gain from your marketing activities, what you want your customers to know, and how best to communicate that information to them. You'll also need to decide on a budget and schedule, and to evaluate any constraints that these might place on the campaign. Ideally, your marketing plan should outline the communications process step by step.

The following links take you to the tools and information that you need to produce a first-rate marketing communications plan.

  • Develop a marketing communications plan (Article)
    Find out what it takes to create an effective and comprehensive marketing communications plan.
  • Communications planning guide (Template)
    Use this Word 2003 template to create a marketing plan for each of your target audiences.
  • Marketing tactical plan (Template)
    This Excel 2003 template tracks the marketing tactics that you need to complete to carry out your marketing strategy.
  • Marketing budget plan (Template)
    Use this Excel 2003 template to identify the costs that you need to consider when planning a marketing campaign.
  • Marketing budget plan, detailed (Template)
    This Excel 2003 template makes it easier to break down and evaluate the specific costs of your plan.
Applies to:
Excel 2003, Word 2003