It’s that time of year again! What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than by updating or creating your strategic marketing plan? So this Halloween, make it a resolution to craft a detailed and strategically sound marketing plan.
I know, I know creating a strategic plan is the business equivalent of getting more exercise and eating your green vegetables. But we all know we need to do it. Unfortunately, most of us hate planning, and far too many put it off. This post goes through some quick and easy ways to put down the bag of chips, get off the couch and start crafting your marketing strategy.
One of the biggest obstacles to creating your strategic plan is confusion about how it differs from your operational plan. Your operational plan, which is commonly expressed as your budget, is typically easier to quantify because it details the marketing tactics you use day in and day out. On the other hand, strategic planning can be harder to articulate because it requires us to dig deeper into why we have chosen each tactic and what we hope to achieve by doing it.
I know you are thinking, sure Troy, I know I should make a plan, but who has time? I am short-staffed; I struggle to get my management’s attention for operational priorities, let alone planning; and the last thing anyone wants is another invite to a Zoom strategy session. I hear you, which is why I am a big fan of Gartner’s one-page strategic plan template for marketing and communications leaders. It boils strategic planning down to only these necessary and sufficient parts, in what they call a waste-free planning approach. Their template helps you create a clear, measurable and communicable strategic plan by following four simple steps:
- Identify and track a few metrics that define your current and target end state
- Identify and track critical assumptions your plan is built on
- Identify initiatives required to move from your current state to your target end state
- Create a concise, easy-to-communicate statement summarizing the strategy
This planner will help you learn about waste-free strategic thinking, build a successful marketing plan that helps you reach your target audience, communicate your strategy with precision and clarity, secure buy-in from business partners, and move toward achieving your marketing goals on time and within budget.
It’s time to complete your Halloween resolution and take the next step down the path to marketing wellness by downloading Gartner’s strategic planning template. Start creating your 2022 strategic marketing plan now!