The 5-Step Blueprint for a Successful Marketing Proposal

As a marketer, your world revolves around serving clients. But if you want to work with the top dogs at different organizations, you need an effective way to sell them on your vision—to show that you and your marketing team have what it takes to do a great job. 

You probably already know this, but a marketing proposal isn’t something you can slap together at the last minute.

A successful marketing proposal takes a lot of strategy, dedication, and a smidgen of creativity. 

If your marketing department sends out at least a handful of proposals each year, you need to master the art of proposal writing. Learn why marketing plan templates are the way to go, as well as 5 steps to help you write a rockin’ proposal that lands contracts. 

Why do I need a marketing proposal template? 

We know you’re busy. It’s easy to get caught up with your to-do list and think, “Eh, I’ll just throw something together in a Word Doc. It’ll be fine.” 

While you might have some success by flying by the seat of your pants, it’s better to plan ahead with any marketing proposal.

Since you’re busy, a marketing proposal template will help you put together a polished, professional proposal in less time. 

Still not sold on putting together a proposal template ahead of time? A marketing proposal template will help you: 

  • Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP), AKA the reason why you’re better than any other marketing agency. 
  • Show potential customers, in black and white, how you can help them generate more business. 
  • Go after the right target market and decision makers. 
  • Save more time and hassle on the proposal process, which can be long and painful enough on its own.

By setting aside a few hours today to craft your proposal template, you’ll be better suited for marketing success. Easy, right?

How to create a successful marketing proposal

You know you want a marketing proposal template, which is a good place to start. But how in the world do you put together a good proposal, anyway? 

Every business deal is different, but generally speaking, you should follow these 5 tips to make a great impression with potential marketing clients. 

1. Decide on a basic structure for your proposal

Remember, this isn’t something you can throw together the night before and score a home run. Every marketing proposal needs to have a consistent structure.

Whether you’re sending a written proposal via email or you’re doing an in-person presentation, you’ve got to nail your structure first. 

Make sure your proposal includes these sections, in this order, to tell a concise but effective story for potential clients: 

  • Opening statement
  • Mission statement / who you are
  • Situational analysis
  • Target audience
  • Goals
  • Marketing budget
  • Problem statements and how your marketing solutions solve those problems
  • Case studies and testimonials (optional, but effective!)

If you’re doing a written marketing proposal, make sure you include a table of contents with jump links. This makes it easier for your clients to hop around the proposal to find what they’re looking for. 

For in-person proposals, make sure you rehearse your pitch several times before the big meeting. There’s nothing worse than fumbling during a high-stakes presentation, so show up prepared. 

2. Lean into how you generate ROI

Don’t beat around the bush: you’re asking a potential client for thousands of dollars.

Executives are obsessed with lowering costs and maximizing profits, so you have the difficult task of proving you’re worth their money. 

Your marketing proposal needs to show that your marketing activities will generate way more money than the client spends with you. 

To do that, make sure your marketing proposal template includes: 

  • An accurate cost breakdown
  • Anticipated marketing campaign returns
  • Quantifiable campaign milestones
  • A specific, actionable roadmap to achieving results

Try to bring up past examples from previous clients.

This includes qualitative data in the form of testimonials, but it should also include quantitative campaign data, too.

You can easily find this with tools like social media analytics or Google Analytics.

3. Be specific and spell out your multichannel campaigns

Unless the client wants to hire you for a very specific type of project, you’re probably designing an omnichannel campaign for them. Sure, this makes your marketing proposal a little more complicated, but the better you can demonstrate your vision to prospective clients, the more likely it is that you’ll score their business. 

Make sure your marketing proposal includes a strategy for: 

4. Set KPIs for each section of your marketing plan

You don’t want vague goals in your marketing proposal.

Everything you do needs to be specific and quantifiable.

Make sure every campaign includes key performance indicators (KPIs), as well as SMART goals

This will not only impress ROI-minded execs, but it also helps you go into the relationship with a target already in mind. That makes it a lot easier to keep your clients happy, so KPIs are a must!

The more quantifiable your marketing proposal, the easier it is for executives to go all-in on your plan. Of course, make sure the numbers are realistic. You’ll lose business in the blink of an eye if you over-promise and under-deliver.

5. Pursue your ideal customer—and make a plan for attracting them in a competitive market

Look, you run a great marketing agency, but agencies are a dime a dozen. How is yours special

You don’t need to host Margarita Fridays or offer the cheapest rates.

Your marketing proposal should do all of the persuasion for you. By creating a comprehensive marketing plan designed specifically for a single client, you already have a competitive edge. 

Plus, leaning into ROI (tip #2), makes it way easier for your persuasive marketing proposal to stand out. 

The bottom line on successful marketing proposals

Clients want your talents because something isn’t working in their own business strategy. By identifying specific problems and offering a unique solution just for this client’s needs, you’ll craft an awesome marketing proposal that converts. 

When in doubt, make sure your marketing proposal gives clients a step-by-step guide of what they can expect from your team. The proposal doesn’t have to be long-winded—just show them what you’ve got and how you make their business better. It might take a little fine-tuning over time, but these 5 tips will help you create more successful marketing proposals that translate into more clients and revenue for your biz.