I’m a huge fan of planning and planning systems. We currently use the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) for our strategic planning. We were a Scaling Up shop for a decade before we switched to EOS. I mentor and work with lots of Startups that use the Lean Canvas Model. Several clients work with other systems. As an Entrepreneur and Owner, I love all of this. I think having clearly defined goals, metrics and accountability is critical to running a business. As a Branding Expert and Marketer, I’m here to let you know that this strategic planning does not even come close to providing you with what you need to begin on a marketing plan (despite what your well-intentioned coach might be telling you).
What most strategic planning systems provide in terms of marketing:
- Revenue and profitability targets
- Product/service-specific shifts and goals
- Key audience(s) or customer definition
What a strategic plan is lacking when it comes to marketing:
- Specific strategies and tactics to reach key audiences
- Marketing/editorial calendar
- Frequency recommendations
- Advertising budgets
- Marketing metrics (as leading indicators to revenue)
Additional things your marketing plan needs to include:
- Evaluation of whether the budget will “get you there” or if your targets are even realistic
- Consideration of industry benchmarks
- Complex marketing programs require tools and technology
- An implementation plan for how and when marketing passes off to sales (and probably more technology)
- Regular review and adjustment
The strategic planning you do for your business every year should definitely be providing the high-level guidance needed to begin a marketing plan, but the marketing planning process can not begin in earnest until after that marketing strategy is completed and agreed upon by the leadership team.
If you don’t have a formal marketing plan and would like help to jumpstart the effort for 2022, we have a workshop coming up on January 6, 2022. For more information and to register, visit our newsroom.
I have also written about key stakeholders who should be included in the marketing planning process. It’s a wacky Halloween-themed blog.