Fourth of July weekend is summertime’s peak, but once the fireworks are over, it’s also a great time to assess the progress you’ve made on your company’s marketing plan. Here are some common questions and situations to help you assess what’s working and what’s not.
What’s a marketing plan? Is that something I should have…?
If this is your main assessment question because you never started one, it’s not too late to develop a marketing plan. A marketing plan, at its simplest, is an omnichannel planning tool for all marketing activities. It tracks marketing campaigns, their lead times and implementation schedules, and their distribution across channels. They help marketing personnel chart out their marketing agendas over a period of time, and then break those agendas into smaller, more manageable tasks upon a set timeline. All marketers need a good marketing plan. Even if you start now and do a mini plan or short-term for the remainder of the year, a marketing plan is the best way to gauge your marketing needs, set milestones for completing projects, determine success KPIs, and measure your marketing impact. Actually, mini plans are a great “dry run” or MV (minimum viability) plan for a full fledge plan later on. Sorting things out on a mini plan helps troubleshoot and correct issues so larger, longer-timeline plans run more smoothly.
I started my first marketing plan this year, but couldn’t stick with it. What gives?
Did you start by setting yourself up for success, or failure? The biggest thing about first-time marketing planning is being realistic about the abilities of the key stakeholders and the resources available (time, skills, technology, etc.) to accomplish your company’s goals. Overestimate just a portion of your plan, and you could find yourself with multiple points of failure.
But if you’re sitting with a partially-implemented plan at the six-month mark, don’t trash it! Chances are, you have a pretty good idea of what went wrong with your initial plan. Use those insights to determine your points of failure, retool your plan, and start again in an attempt to finish out the year. There might be a few things that you’re unable to complete due to lead times and scheduling, but focus on those things that are still attainable. Gain some new skills, outsource tasks you’re not comfortable with, or try adjusting your schedule to accommodate additional tasks. Everything’s a learning opportunity!
I started the year with an AWESOME marketing plan, but my coworkers aren’t engaged and we’re falling behind.
Who was involved in your planning process? By being realistic and involving all stakeholders in the planning process, you can avoid disengagement, identify cross-departmental goals, and foster a stakeholder-wide sense of ownership in the plan and its objectives. Buy-in during preparation helps prevent disinterest during active marketing times.
Getting sponsorship from key leaders within your company (like department heads and c-level executives) also helps build tactic endorsement of your efforts, which in turn garners more support from coworkers. If you’re struggling with coworker support, an all-hands-on-deck meeting to discuss priorities, get input from colleagues, and make adjustments to the plan might be all it takes to get back on track.
Marketing plans aren’t foolproof, but their advantages far outweigh their issues. M·power can help you craft a solid marketing plan, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth. Contact us today!