If marketing is so simple, why are marketing decisions so hard to make?
Creating a viable communications plan requires strategy—that fuzzy word that conjures up images of a 40-page PowerPoint deck, which ultimately ends up just sitting on a shelf. But, in its best application, strategy is the grease that puts goals into action.
Creating strategy is especially important when introducing a new channel or tactic in your marketing efforts. Without clearly identifying the action you expect, and the impact you hope it will have, a tactic is just a shot in the dark.
Spark Strategy with these Questions
The fuel for strategy is often a series of complex questions, plus the collaborative process that helps sculpt the answers. The key word here is “collaborative.” It’s a team’s collective experiences that makes those marketing decisions a lot less difficult to work through.
Here are some considerations to start with:
- Where is the next best revenue source over a 12 to 18 month period?
- Which audiences are really at the heart of generating that revenue (aka your “best buyer”)? And what is the biggest obstacle they have that you can resolve?
- How do you define a lead?
- Which channels are the most powerful within given budget and timeline parameters (e.g. paid social, email marketing campaign, video campaign)? What channels will yield metrics you’re looking at to measure performance?
- How will you measure success? Is there a difference between long-term and short-term success for your business?
Almost always, an underlying catalyst in designing strategy is to assign the level of importance or urgency to certain parts of the plan—this helps you decide on sequence: what to spend, and when.
A communications plan almost builds itself.
Once you have the plan in place, incorporating the expertise of a project manager is a key factor in successful implementation. A project manager will keep all parties on task--helping you stick to timetables, streamline internal approvals, and adhere to budget parameters. Project managers are also experts at running interference--mitigating all the interruptions that can stall progress.
Are You Ready for 2020?
As a colleague recently reminded me, 2019 is more than half over and 2020 is around the corner. Don’t panic. Instead, think about how you can pave the way for smooth 2020 marketing that delivers on measurable goals and company success.
2020 is around the corner.
Start with a strategy work session. Clear out the cobwebs, discard agendas, and spend time setting priorities and clear, realistic goals.
Sure, it may be a challenging way to spend the day. But, the prize is worth it; because once a strategy is defined—and loses its fuzziness—a communications plan almost builds itself.