What is an Action Plan, How to Develop it, and Examples

2 Minutes Read

In all aspects of our lives, we continuously set objectives, but it's not as common to do so formally. In the business world, it's more common to utilize tools that organize the steps to achieve a desired result. This is what's referred to as designing an action plan.

In this article, we'll explain what an action plan is, the most common types, what elements it should include, how to develop it, and provide some practical examples. Keep reading!


What is an Action Plan?

An action plan is a document that identifies the steps to be taken to achieve a specific objective. It serves as a roadmap detailing the tasks and activities required to achieve desired outcomes.

Every action plan should include several elements, which can be organized in a table format for easier tracking, as summarized below:

Objectives Clarity and specificity: objectives should be clear, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Hierarchy of objectives: if there are multiple objectives, establish a hierarchy to indicate their relative importance.

Strategies Overall approach: defines the methods and general approaches to be used to achieve the objectives.

Task breakdown:  details the specific tasks necessary to implement each strategy.

Timeline Temporal sequence: sets start and end dates for each task or phase of the plan.

Key milestones: identifies critical milestones and key events in the plan's development.

Required Resources Human: lists and assigns roles and responsibilities to team members.

Material: enumerates the physical, technological, or financial resources needed.

Training: identifies whether additional training needs to be provided to team members.

Performance Indicators Measurable criteria: defines specific metrics to assess progress and success.

Evaluation frequency: establishes key moments to review and evaluate performance.

Corrective actions: specifies actions to take in case of significant deviations.

Budget Allocation of financial resources: details estimated costs associated with plan implementation.

Flexibility: includes a provision for budget changes if necessary.

Communication and Coordination Communication channel: indicates how progress and challenges will be communicated.

Meetings: establishes the frequency and format of meetings to assess and adjust the plan if necessary.

Evaluation and Adjustment Evaluation process: specifies how success will be measured and performance evaluated.

Feedback mechanisms: integrates mechanisms for collecting feedback and adjusting the plan as needed.

In summary, a comprehensive action plan should be detailed, results-oriented, flexible, and realistic. Its effectiveness depends on its ability to guide and control the execution of activities to achieve established objectives.


Types of Action Plans in Digital Marketing

In the world of digital marketing, there are three types of plans that help you achieve your goals:

  1. Strategic plans;
  2. Operational plans;
  3. Tactical plans.

1. Strategic Plans 

Strategic plans are like long-term maps. They tell you where your digital marketing strategy should be headed overall.
Key features of strategic plans:

Set long-term goals. Monitor what's happening in the market and with competitors. Help define what makes your brand unique. Decide how you'll use your significant resources.


2. Operational Plans 

Operational plans are like detailed task lists. They break down how you'll implement the strategies you defined in your strategic plans.
Key features of operational plans:

Create a detailed schedule of what you need to do. Assign specific tasks to individuals. State how much money you need to put your ideas into action. Help you measure how things are going as you progress.


3. Tactical Plans 

Tactical plans are like specific plans for using specific tools and channels. They detail how you'll carry out the actions you defined in your operational plans.
Key features of tactical plans:

Have strategies for specific tasks like SEO, social media, or advertising. Detail what type of content or creativity you'll use. Discuss specific campaigns you'll carry out. Mention the tools and technologies you'll use.


As we've seen, strategic plans establish the overall direction to follow, operational plans detail how those strategies will be implemented, and tactical plans are the concrete and detailed part of specific tasks. These plans work together to guide your digital marketing strategy from conceptualizing big ideas to executing detailed specific actions.


José Dias