The Elements Of A Strategic Marketing Plan
As the end of the year approaches, the creation (or evolution) of a strategic marketing plan to guide your business forward is vitally important. A 2019 Gartner Strategy Agenda Poll states that 60% of corporate strategists cite slow strategy execution as their biggest challenge for the year.
Although many things can get thrown into a marketing plan, there are some things that you need to make sure are included in order to have a plan that is thoughtful, actionable and measurable:
Objectives: Define clear marketing objectives that tie into business objectives that are known throughout the organization. The more specific the objective the better, and be sure to include quantifiable goals that can be measured and tied to the company’s ROI.
Strategies: Marketing strategies must demonstrate how they will positively impact and generate results related to the business objectives. These strategies must be in depth and not simply a rehashing of objectives – show how marketing truly matters to the business.
Tactics: Clearly state how and where you will execute the marketing plan across the various channels available to you. Develop a rank order of tactics tied into objectives, strategies and budgets to ensure that your most important items get addressed first or put them in order of relative importance to executive management.
Measurement & ROI: Demonstrate and quantify how your marketing efforts contribute to the company’s ROI. Get input from finance and/or accounting to see how they are looking at the business so your metrics are in line with theirs and try to tie your plans to revenue growth to generate greater synergy with sales efforts.
Budget: Confirm your budget with leadership to ensure you have the resources needed to achieve your plan. Sometimes you can get more budget over the course of the year as business goals change or as you demonstrate a strong ROI from the marketing programs you are running. Always have contingencies in place should budget situations change or alter.
A focus on these areas while developing your plan allows you to give your organization the guidance and direction marketing needs for the coming year.