“Life’s Short: Eat Dessert First” is one of those chestnuts of pop philosophy that recognizes we all like to get to the good stuff first. But we also know a diet of cake and ice cream isn’t healthy or sustainable. These truisms apply to marketing as well. While it’s more fun to come up with tactics like jingles and logo colors, the more important work—the work that gives tactics heft—is in the planning.
Any marketing textbook or website can identify the architecture of a plan. Once you have an idea of where to start, here are some of the nuances that build on that structure:
- The marketing plan starts with basics: Don’t skip the seemingly dry exercise of defining your target, your value proposition and your positioning. Bring your management team together and identify, as a group, your audience and messaging. You may be surprised to learn you and your team haven’t all been operating under the same assumptions.
- Digital isn’t separate: Your company’s online presence is at the core of your messaging and positioning. Social media and other digital strategies no longer operate outside the purview of the “traditional” marketing plan.
- Build in flexibility: Competition, market forces, what customers want…these and many other factors can change. Watch the external landscape and be ready to adjust.
A plan keeps you focused, cuts down on meeting time to determine next steps and steers creative. More “broccoli”—common-sense foundation of a solid marketing plan—can be found in this article.