How to create a marketing strategy (template)

Creating a marketing strategy that includes a detailed digital marketing strategy can be daunting.

I’m often asked what should be included as part of the strategy document so I decided to create this blog post as a reference point. As part of the Marketing short course that I lecture on behalf of the University of Cape Town and GetSmarter, we provide students with a basic marketing strategy template that was adapted from the template on Here is a shortened version of the strategy, with some notes for guidance.

Marketing strategy template

Executive Summary

This section of the marketing strategy serves as the introduction to the marketing strategy and should provide the reader with a concise overview of the problems, challenges and recommendations identified in the marketing strategy.

Introduction and Background

Give an introduction to the business and the purpose of the marketing strategy. This section will include the business’ mission and vision statements and the broader marketing goals the business wants to achieve through the marketing strategy.

Market definition

In this section, describe the products or services that are going to be marketed through the marketing strategy. Describe each product or service individually and include the marketing goals and objectives for each one.

Situation Analysis

The situation analysis section of your strategy will include:

  • An internal analysis of your business;
  • An analysis of your customers;
  • An industry analysis;
  • A competitor analysis, and
  • An analysis of your partners and suppliers.

Here is an overview of what each of these sections should include.

Internal Analysis 

The internal analysis in your marketing strategy should cover the following points:

  • Goals. These include the business and marketing goals the marketer wants to achieve through the marketing strategy.
  • Strengths. These are the business’ strengths.
  • Weaknesses. These are things that the business can do better (normally competitors’ strengths),
  • Market share. This section will look at your business’ share of the market in relation to competitors’.

Customer Analysis

This section of the marketing strategy will look at who your current customers are. Include the following details:

  • Number. This will detail the current number of your customers.
  • Type. This section looks at how many customers are regular customers and how many only purchase your product or service once in a while. If there are any other differentiators that you can use to distinguish your customers, include that information here.
  • Decision process. This section will detail the process that happens before a customer buys your product or service.

Industry Analysis

The industry analysis will look at the market the business operates in. It will discuss the market’s potential, size and competitiveness.

Competitor Analysis

This section of the marketing strategy will focus on analysing the business’ competitors. Include the following sections:

  • Market position
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Partner Analysis

This section of the marketing strategy will focus on the details of your suppliers and distributors (where applicable).

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis will look at the business environment in detail. This includes the internal and external environment, based on the business’ strengths and weaknesses and the information from the competitor and industry analysis, which would have highlighted potential opportunities and threats for the business. 

Market Segmentation

This section of the marketing strategy will look at your market, the strategies that you will use to segment the market and a high-level overview of how you are going to reach each segment. Include the following headings: 

  • Each segment
  • Description
  • Percentage of sales
  • What they want
  • How they use product or service
  • Support requirements
  • How to reach them
  • Price sensitivity

Marketing Strategy

This section of the strategy will discuss the details of your marketing mix. For a product’s marketing mix, the marketer will only include the first five Ps of marketing, namely product, price, place, promotion and people. A service marketer will include the two additional Ps to form the service marketing mix, namely process and physical evidence. Include the following headings:

Product (or service in the case of service marketing)

  • List overall marketing goals and objectives for the specific product (or service)
  • Name
  • Quality
  • Scope of product line
  • Warranty
  • Packaging
  • Price
  • Discounts
  • Payment terms (if applicable)
  • Place
  • Other channels available
  • People (for service marketing)
  • Physical Evidence (for service marketing)

Marketing Tactics (Promotion)

  • List each tactic
  • Goal it is going to achieve
  • How it is going to be measured and projection

Marketing Budget

Give a high-level overview here of the marketing budget, but include the detailed marketing budget as an addendum.

Marketing Implementation Calendar

The marketing implementation calendar should be included as an addendum.


  • Research
  • Info used in situation analysis
  • Market information

Your digital marketing strategy will form part of your overall marketing strategy. The template above should serve as the basis for your marketing strategy. Feel free to add in headings or sections as you find necessary, for instance under the Marketing Implementation Calendar section you can include a Content Strategy document that will give a high-level overview of what content you’re going to post where and when.

Under the Marketing Tactics (Promotion) section you will list all of your marketing tactics – both online and offline. Throughout the marketing strategy you will include both online and offline elements, for instance under the Competitor Analysis section you can include your findings on competitors’ websites.

If you’re purely doing a digital marketing strategy for a company, ask them for their marketing strategy so that you can extract the necessary information from there or create a questionnaire to obtain the information you need. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.