One of the lessons it’s taken the longest for me to learn as a marketing leader is perhaps the most obvious lesson of all: Marketing leaders are expected to lead.

What does this leadership look like? I’ve never really been sure. As a marketing teammate, I used to recognize leadership in the same way that editors recognize good writing. As William E. Rae said: 

An editor is a man who doesn’t know what he wants but recognizes it instantly.

– William E. Rae

Thankfully, I came across a strategy template that I recognized immediately as leadership. And I wasted no time to adopt it for my team.

I’d love for you to have it, too.

The one-page strategic plan first landed on my radar thanks to David Cummings, who uses it at the CEO/founder level for setting company-wide vision. I’ve taken it a notch lower to the area level and to marketing in particular.

You can grab a blank copy of the template here, and you can scroll below to see how I filled it out for our 2017 plans at Buffer. Enjoy!

Free download of the Strategic Marketing Plan template. Go to File > Make a Copy to receive full edit access to the doc.

Buffer’s One-Year Strategic Marketing Plan — May 2017


To give people a greater voice on social media

Marketing’s Core Values

Deliver the highest-quality work that’s honest and authentic, friendly and inclusive, personal and human. Always do the right thing for our customers and community.

Target Demographic

Social media marketers and social media teams who manage social media for SMB and personal brands.

Brand Promise

Buffer is a streamlined social media management tool. We make it easier to achieve success on social media.

Elevator Pitch

Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management tool trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. Over 4 million people have signed up to use our suite of publishing, analytics, and collaboration tools, all of which are carefully-chosen and highly-refined in order to help social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively.

Buffer is a team of real people, aligned in common values. Being a Buffer customer should feel like you have a whole team of people cheering for you. We want to see you succeed on social!

3-Year Target

Have 250,000 paying customers who find value in the Buffer social media products we offer (Awesome, Business, Respond)

2017 Goals

These are the strategic marketing goals for the next few months. I’ll update the numbers as the year goes on, and we’ll reassess goals throughout the year.

Goals for the upcoming cycle

We work in six-week cycles, and these represent the number goals we want to hit during the next cycle period.

Priority Projects for the upcoming cycle

  • Marketing attribution
  • New landing page at
  • Social media ads
Posted by:Kevan Lee

VP of marketing currently living in Boise, Idaho. I work with the lovely folks at Buffer. You can join my email list to get an inside look at marketing and branding and team-building in tech.

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