article | September 1, 2014
Why Your Marketing Plan Will Fail in 2015
For most marketing leaders, the annual planning cycle is upon us or will be soon. Your teams are most likely putting together their wish list for next year. New tactics, content, channels and the next big ideas are on their list. You want to go into next year confident that you’ll contribute to the revenue goal. To prevent failure, here are 6 steps to include in your planning process.
First, if you haven’t downloaded SBI’s latest research report you should do so soon. It includes a no-cost marketing workshop to qualified companies. This Year’s research focuses on what best-in-class marketing strategies look like. The goal of the workshop is to help you self-assess and identify where you have gaps. You’ll be able to compare your marketing strategy against top companies. Sign-up here.
This article focuses on Marketing Planning, which is documented in the research mentioned above. Many organizations struggle with doing this correctly. This article provides you with summary of the steps to improve your marketing strategy. Each step outlines the common problems organizations have. Then I pull elements from the report to show how world class companies operate.
The 6 Steps to Marketing Planning Step 1 – Revenue Planning
Define the plan for how you are going to achieve your revenue goal relative to your competitors.
To make the number, you need a clear plan. The CEO hands a revenue number to the marketing leaders and says, “This is what I need from you this year.” Without a revenue plan, the employees work disjointedly, and the probability of success plummets.
To complete the Revenue Planning step, you need to answer the following questions:
Step 2 – Budget Planning
Determine the budget needed and how to allocate it to attain your goals.
With limited budgets, it’s critical to invest the dollars you do have wisely. Invest in programs that produce revenue, so you don’t lose your future budget.
To complete the Marketing Budget Planning step, you need to answer the following questions:
To help you further with marketing budgets, download our B2B Marketing Budget Sizing Calculator. It will give you the framework to arrive at the ideal marketing budget number.
Step 3 – Product Solution Planning
Define, educate and provide access to products/solutions that solve customer problems.
You need to offer your solutions to a market eager to buy. Marketing leaders often struggle with deciding how to bring products and solutions to market.
To complete the Product/Solution Planning step, you need to answer the following questions:
Step 4 – Campaign Planning
Design marketing campaigns that attract buyers to your products/solutions.
You need to launch campaigns that fill the pipeline with leads. Campaigns often do not have quality offers. Even a well-defined target audience will under-perform against weak offers. How can you know in advance which programs, activities and offers will work?
To complete the Campaign Planning step, you need to answer the following questions:
Step 5 – Content Planning
Determine the process for creating and distributing compelling content to attract target buyers.
The amount of content ready for consumption has exploded. To get the ear of your potential buyer, you need relevant content, compelling content, and a significant mass of content.
To complete the Content Planning step, you need to answer the following questions:
Step 6 – Data Planning
Define data required to drive marketing decisions.
Data-driven decision making has become an expectation. There’s dirty data and systems data issues. Then there’s not knowing how to derive meaningful insight from too much data.
To complete the Data Planning step, you need to answer the following questions:
Marketing Planning is where you develop revenue, budget, product/solution, campaign, content and data plans. When these 6 steps are executed, you are on your way to making the number.
You will know:
With the right plans in place, you improve your chances of success. Sign-up for SBI’s Marketing Workshop to get the complete overview of a world-class Marketing Strategy.
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