At least every quarter all marketer’s go through their updated plans. But have you ever actually thought about the planning process and wondered if you’re doing it right?
We’re going to show you what successful marketing planning requires and what that dream marketing plan really looks like.
Step 1: Create Goals and Objectives
Firstly, the only reason you’re doing marketing is to achieve something, right? A successful marketing strategy outlines your expected goals according to each of your marketing objectives. For example, maybe one of the highest company goals is around improving brand perception because your company was just bought by another company.
Your staff and customers are wondering what this means for your brand. What will change? What will stay the same? You decide to combat these fears with a storytelling campaign targeted to your oldest customers. The goals would be to generate 25 positive media articles about the acquisition, to support your objective. Then you’d measure perception based on the messaging in those articles.
Step 2: Defining roles and responsibilities
Secondly, it’s time to define who are the key stakeholders in this project, and what are their roles will be. One way to break it out could be:
- Campaign Lead: Person A
- Content Lead: Person B
- Creative Lead: Person C
- Ops & Reporting: Person D
After that, you want to be clear on who needs to review what. Perhaps your content lead only needs to review the final content in a Word doc but doesn’t care if he/she sees it in the final email template. Understand what everyone wants to review and write it down, so you don’t have questions down the line if something is ready for launch.
This is a great time for a kick-off meeting to discuss your marketing plan and get everyone aligned on the same marketing goals and strategy.
Step 3: Defining marketing tactics
Strategic marketing planning outlines what marketing tactics you will be doing this year–and how often you will be measuring the results.
This is key, because great strategic planning includes check-ins to see if you should pivot your strategy or stay the course. For instance, if your goal is to increase engagement with your target accounts, you may put together an account-based plan between marketing and sales that includes emails, calls, and direct mail. However, what if after a month there isn’t any increase in engagement, do you keep doing the same tactics?
In your marketing plan, you should clearly define how often you are measuring results and when to decide on shifting tactics. For instance, that might look like:
- Day direct mail arrives: Calculate connection with sales
- One week after program start: Calculate engagement with content in emails, connections with sales
- One month after program start: Calculate number of opportunities initiated by program
- Two months after program start: Calculate number of accounts closed
If your accounts are constantly not closing or moving through the buyers’ journey, then you need to re-evaluate the entire program.
Step 4: Developing a marketing distribution strategy
At the end of the day, you want your marketing strategy to be as successful as possible. Therefore, you need to use your resources effectively. Making sure you’ve thought out where your programs will interact with your prospects will ensure successful results.
A good distribution plan includes:
- The channels you can distribute your content to
Owned media: Email, website, etc.
- Paid media: Paid advertising, paid social
- Which audiences you are going to target on each channel
- A campaign to change your perception amongst customers would be best on owned media
- A campaign to drive new leads could be better suited for paid and shared media
- The rules of engagement for that channel
- Using social media, for example, means that you don’t have complete control over how often your posts are seen
- Your company might have rules around what you can and can’t publish on your website, the tone, voice etc.
- Cost is another consideration here–and a limitation if you want to explore paid options
- How often you are utilizing that channel
Step 5: Setting aside time for analysis and optimization
It’s so easy to create a great marketing plan without building in time for analysis and optimization, but then you’ll never know WHY something worked, or what programs you should invest more in or less.
A successful marketing plan needs built in time-frames for analysis, where you can optimize existing campaigns to improve results. At Uptempo, we help the marketers we work with understand which campaigns and programs are the most effective and impactful, so that they can invest further resources in those.
Step 6: Finally…share it!
A plan is only successful if everyone is following it. The marketing organization needs to all follow the plan. In addition, the executive team needs to be able to understand how marketing is supporting those business objectives.
If you’re ready to get more strategic about your marketing plan, and see better results, then come talk to us!