Mike Bandar
7 mins

How to Create Marketing Playbooks for SMEs

A successful marketing campaign relies on consistency. Top brands show this clearly: Apple's sleekness, Coca-Cola's playful nature, and Disney's magic.

Startups must maintain consistency as well. Stacked Marketer built six-figure revenue from a free newsletter while remaining actionable, convenient, and entertaining. 

According to LucidPress research, consistency builds trust and cements brand status, factors that contribute 10–20% to your overall growth. Meanwhile, inconsistency confuses consumers, making it harder to generate leads.

Brand consistency can be achieved across channels and campaigns with a well-crafted marketing playbook.

The goal of this write-up is to guide you on how to create marketing playbooks that will align your teams and boost sales. While crafting playbooks, make sure to check out the common playbook mistakes to stay out of trouble. 

This article covers:

  • What is a Marketing Playbook?
  • Why is the Marketing Playbook Important?
  • What should be added to the Marketing Playbook?
  • How to create Marketing Playbooks?
  • Set Goals for Playbook
  • Define Trigger Points
  • Identify Target Personas
  • Put in-place KPIs
  • Introduce Key Stakeholders
  • Wrap Up with Templates 

Let’s delve into them;

What is a Marketing Playbook? 

Marketing playbooks define key messages, types of communication, best practices, and optimization techniques for maximizing return on investment based on specific marketing objectives. Businesses and brands use marketing playbooks to outline how they're going to manage their marketing investment and activities.

It is based on the notion of playbooks in sports like American Football and Baseball, where coaches agree upon different attacking and defensive techniques that can help their team win in various situations. The media market is one of the most competitive markets in the world, as there are multiple competitors vying for attention and a variety of communication techniques that have changed and evolved over the years. 

A common approach that is adhered to by everyone within the marketing department, including external agencies, becomes more important as the marketing team grows.

Why is the Marketing Playbook important? 

According to CoSchedule's 2022 Trend Report, top marketers report 414% more success when documenting their strategies.   A marketing playbook can be used for general campaigns as well as more channel-specific activities. Using a playbook, you can:

  • Share best practices and provide guidelines for communications planning across markets.
  • Analyze data (e.g., web analytics, econometric models) and apply learning to products, services, and markets.
  • With initial planning, different teams can devote more energy and resources to implementation.

Graph Image Address: https://www.smartinsights.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/RACE.jpg

What should be added to the Marketing Playbook?

Creating a playbook helps a business take advantage of today's marketing communications opportunities by integrating:

  1. The Priorities and Best Practices for Investing in Communications

In order to maximize return on investment, what types of communications, best practices, and optimization methods should be employed?

  1. Use of Media by the Audience

An understanding of how different communication channels are adopted, interacted with, and responded to by businesses and consumers

  1. Organizing Communications

 Campaign planning, resource allocation, and workflow definition

  1. Setting and Measuring Goals

KPIs for evaluating the channel and setting objectives

  1. Activity Integration

 A consistent and integrated media channel strategy that can maximize campaign impact.

  1. Data and Marketing Technology

Can different techniques be planned, measured, and executed using the appropriate technologies and tools?

Let’s unveil how to create marketing playbooks in a quick yet effective way; 

How to Create Marketing Playbooks

If you don’t know how to create marketing playbooks, you must first understand the main goals, drivers, and underlying mission of your organization.

A strategic plan or corporate strategy often contains this information as part of its contents. Knowing these short and long-term strategies will assist you in determining how the marketing department fits into them.

The next step is to create the document's main sections. In the following list, we have suggested a number of key headings that can be adapted to the needs and goals of your organization. 

Let’s take a few marketing playbook examples and discuss them throughout. Consider a digital marketing company starting with the creation of a marketing playbook.

Set Goals for the Playbook 

Prior to creating a successful marketing playbook, you must research your marketing goals. Are you trying to increase sales, raise awareness of your organization, engage social media users, gain media coverage, or reach out to new audiences with your product or service?

So, the digital marketing company needs to identify its primary goal for playbook creation. It can be like defining the objectives to attract new customers or retaining the already engaged clients with effective marketing techniques. 

Define Trigger Points 

Make sure you know when campaigns and reviews will take place. Keep a calendar with dates for check-ins, big campaigns, and strategy reviews.

Using a forward planner for your industry can also be helpful. Continuing the above-discussed marketing playbook example, at this stage, the digital marketing agency will define when the marketing department comes into effect. For instance, when a customer reaches the initial stage of the funnel, the informational and guidance sides of the department will be triggered to engage the prospect to the next level. 

Identify Target Personas

How can you tell which of your primary audiences, secondary audiences, and fringe audiences you are targeting? Do you know where they can be found?

This section may need a table with columns indicating the type of audience and the preferred medium.

By creating buyer personas or audience statistics and overviews, you can also gain a better understanding of your audience in this section.

The digital marketing agency will now create a list of potential customers based on varying aspects, like at which stage of the funnel they exist. If they are at the top tier, then they are a brand-aware audience interested in buying your product. 

So, at this stage, the agency mainly defines metrics to determine audience levels. 

Put in-place Key Performance Indicators to Measure Success 

Measures for success should also be included in your playbook. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for your team. KPIs can include engagement numbers, media coverage hits, email open rates, and ballpark sales figures.

Identify what success metrics apply to each campaign and how you will measure them.

The marketing playbook of a digital marketing agency will highlight the KPIs which will define the success of the funnel or process. 

Specify Key Stakeholders

To ensure effective implementation of strategy, it's important to clearly define who is responsible for what.

As an example, the PR Manager will manage media relations and spokespeople. Email marketing and website activity are the responsibilities of the Digital Marketing Manager.

Additionally, you should specify who your chosen spokespeople will be for media engagement, blogging, and multimedia campaigns. Your subject matter experts will also contribute technical blog content.


Marketing Playbooks are indeed a gateway to the success of your brand strategy and marketing goals. It opens a plethora of new opportunities to discover. 

Creating a playbook is a breeze with Waybook. Waybook provides you with a variety of pre-made playbook templates to choose from. All you have to do is adapt to your brand guidelines and marketing goals. You can also externally share all your documents with your team and provide them with limited access.  Furthermore, it allows you to keep all your documentation in one place.

As the tool has an intuitive user interface and a systematic structure, it is easy for the user to create documentation directly using the tool. So, it’s an all-in-one tool to scale your business processes. 

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