For the last several posts, I’ve been expanding on each of the questions I posed in my post “How Effective is Your Marketing Plan?”
Did you follow through on the strategies you laid out in your plan to reach your target demographic? (Did you do what you said you were going to do to try to reach them or did you write your plan, put it on a shelf and ignore it?)
As marketers, once we’re done writing our marketing plan we know it inside and out. We’ve spent so much time and energy crafting it that there seems to be no way that we would ever forget what we said we were going to do in it. But this is the inherent danger in planning, and one that needs to be avoided at all costs. After all, you laid out a good plan and you should make a date with yourself and your team each month to review the plan and adjust as appropriate. I suggest placing a recurring appointment on your calendar for the same day each month for this review. I understand that in corporate life, the most difficult appointments to keep are the ones you make with yourself–but they are usually also the most important ones.
I suggest the following steps as you complete your review each month:
- Look at your overall objective – ask yourself (and your team) if the objective still makes sense and if it is one that should still be pursued. The world seems to be moving faster and faster and sometimes, legitimately, plans you made months ago no longer make sense to be pursued. It’s OK to stop doing something if that is the case. Do make sure that you talk with your boss and other key stakeholders if you’re changing the plan to make sure you’re all on the same page.
- Next, look at your mile-post deliverables – as yourself the same thing. If they should be pursued, then review their status, check in to see if you need to be taking action on it in the next 30 days. Honestly assess the action you should have taken on it in the last 30 days and hold yourself accountable for your success or failure.
- Review your marketing calendar – same deal as above, what do you need to do in the next 30 days and what should you have done in the last 30 days? If you’re not on track month to month, you’ll never get there by year-end.
- Finally, make your team assignments (or task yourself) with what needs to be accomplished in the next 30 days. Stay on top of this, talk about it in your team meetings and make sure that you’re carving out time in your day/week to adequately address your annual plan. It’s easy to be consumed by the latest “fires” but do your best to stay on plan.
If you take these actions, you will be successful in meeting your annual goals and fulfilling your annual marketing plan.