If you’re just rolling around to planning for this year, welcome. You are not alone. It’s 2023 and we’re all doing our best. Does anyone really write a strategy in October for the following year? We think not. If you are one of those people/companies/overachievers – good for you, we were at happy hour.
Gone are the days where you write a 40 page strategy, look at it once, and then promptly put it on a shelf to gather dust for the rest of the year.
We have a very solid process, which we use with a lot of success for all of our clients (us included). Here it is.
This one is a brain buster. What do you want to achieve in the coming year? Is it revenue growth? Larger customer base (doesn’t always coincide with revenue), brand awareness…there are a lot of things to choose from but we’ll run with dolla bills for the sake of this blog.
Obviously we are going to tie all deliverables back to this goal. Also, this is assuming you are well-versed in your business, customer base (hello, audience personas), product offerings, digital metrics, etc.
This is what you’ll use to meet those lofty revenue goals. For one of our clients the business has highs and lows depending on the season; we plan out campaigns in fall, winter, spring and summer to help drive revenue.
The marketing team will then build out messaging and tactics such as advertising, email marketing, public relations, events, social media, creative, etc.
Your strategy needs to be built on integrated communications, meaning all pieces work together towards the same goal – to generate leads for the sales team to close deals.
You got goals, tactics and now you need to timeline the activities out. We plan by quarters, meaning we build out milestones and tasks to reflect the goals of Q1, Q2, Q3 and finally Q4. If goals are not met in one of the quarters then you need to adjust the following quarter.
This part seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people struggle with the implementation piece. Organization is the key, we use a project management system to lay out all our tactics and then break them into tasks, plan from outcome and then work backwards.
You know what your goal is for Q1, so build out the implementation plan from there. Then regularly evaluate the data to ensure you are hitting the mark. If you’re not, then you need to adapt and adjust.
The planning part can seem so overwhelming, and it is. We’re not going to sugarcoat it, however, the implementation piece is even harder.
Haven’t we made this sound so fun? It’s probably why people hire us to do it for them. We’re really good at it.