There’s some debate over who said it… Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin… but the old adage states, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
It’s as true for marketers as it is for anything else in life. When everyone sees and understands where they’re going, they’ll execute more effectively and deliver what’s expected.
Marketing leaders operate in an age of accountability as we navigate our teams towards the strong expectations placed upon our departments. In this day and age, a core tenet here at Uptempo is that every marketer must make every dollar count. Our goal is to help exactly that happen–with confidence.
But, to see your marketing activities pay off, you need the right tools. When it comes to creating and promoting your company’s strategic objectives and ensuring buy-in at every level, a PowerPoint presentation or Word doc sitting on a shared drive or wiki page somewhere just doesn’t give you the opportunities to deliver the goods.
At the SiriusDecisions conference in Las Vegas, we made an exciting announcement towards that goal. A new, Strategic Marketing Planning initiative meant to allow every marketer to avoid the chaos of disconnected plans and lead, instead, with strategy. Our solution will help marketing organizations gain better visibility into—and alignment with—both the CMO’s goals and the company’s priorities.
We’ve been working closely alongside our award-winning customers to meld front-line insight from their teams into our product development process. Now, we’re expanding the program, and invite more companies to join us in this opportunity for a collaborative co-creation process.
Marketing organizations of all sizes lack effective tools for strategic planning, a critical first step in Marketing Performance Management. Many teams rely on offline, non-collaborative tools like PowerPoint to communicate objectives with no ability to track efforts against them. Once defined, these plans tend to get lost somewhere on a shared drive, or to exist in multiple versions. Consequently, this renders them unusable.
As a result, this can lead to misinterpretation and misalignment on downstream marketing goals and plans, with serious consequences:
We envision a future without siloed plans, and without confusion or misalignment. In addition, we believe the solution to this is to make marketing initiatives visible, actionable, and trackable through the entire marketing organization.
Investing in strategic marketing is one area where companies are already doing well. There is definitely a trend toward increasing the use of visual and video content, which is highly popular with internet users. Including graphics on blog posts and websites is ubiquitous these days, and helps readers consume content faster and more completely. Another way companies are finding success is through their social media activity. Users enjoy feeling connected to the companies they follow, and businesses that plan to produce quality social media posts are seeing great engagement. In other words, keep playing to these strengths, and address any opportunities you have to fix weaknesses in marketing planning.
All marketing teams need to operate in lock-step with company objectives. Not only is this common sense, but it’s backed up by our own research, which found that companies with strong growth are 2X more likely to align marketing KPIs directly to contribution to the business.
SiriusDecisions agrees with this sentiment as well.
“The marketing planning process is a CMO’s best opportunity to demonstrate leadership and an understanding of how to operationalize corporate strategy consistently across the sales, marketing, and product functions.”~Introducing the SiriusDecisions Marketing Planning Process, SiriusDecisions
In the context of Marketing Performance Management (a combination of process, tech, and actions a marketing organization takes to optimize its impact on the business), Strategic Planning is the very first step. In short, setting goals and objectives must precede and inform tactical decisions in the future of marketing management.
If this resonates with you and your team, submit your name for consideration in our beta program, or leave a comment below as to how you do it internally. How does your team handle (or maybe mishandle) strategic planning and related communication and tracking?
We’re all eager to work with you to shape the future of marketing planning.
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