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Stop creating a marketing “plan” with a bunch of unconnected marketing “tactics”

By July 9, 2015No Comments

marketing planning

 

Our 3-Phase Approach to Planning a Successful Marketing Campaign

 

Most B2B marketers approach the marketing planning process based on arbitrary “marketing budget” numbers set by management. With that arbitrary number as a starting point, the marketing department then allocates a certain percentage of that number to each marketing team or role. In such a scenario, the event planning department might get 25% of the pie, the web development section another 25%, with advertising and PR sharing the rest of the budget.

With the money suitably allocated, each team comes up with a list of tactics that sound like they might work for their specific goals. Each individual department then attempts to create the end product – at least until their own budget amount has been exhausted.

Under this common scenario, there is no collaboration and no overarching strategy to build on the existing momentum of each others efforts.

Instead of this scattershot approach, the marketing goals should be allocated to the budget. For each goal, the teams should work collaboratively, bringing all their talents and capabilities to bear with that goal’s budget in order to achieve that goal.

This collaborative approach creates a comprehensive marketing campaign that is goal-driven, putting each of the teams in the business of achieving their goals together rather than merely focusing on their own tactical agendas.

Tactics — and the market landscape they are based on — are then able to flow and adapt based on the strategies that are most effective and applicable to achieving each goal. With this approach, the business goals remain fixed and constantly in sight.

 

Allow me to explain our planning process and how it redefines the entire marketing process:

 

Identify Marketing Goals

Set aside the how and first focus on the what.

Strategic Alignment: Gain strategic alignment across corporate, sales and product leadership. Determine who is involved in the marketing planning and where the focus of the results should lie

Goal-Setting: Set marketing goals across lead development, sales conversion and branding/PR.

 

Develop Marketing Campaigns to Achieve Goals

Now it’s time to address the how — but with a focus on achieving specific goals within the dedicated campaign budgets.

Marketing Strategy: Build campaign plans, budgets and teams.

Functional Planning: Break campaigns into the collaborative efforts of the global, field, channel and functional teams, providing each with a specific set of priorities, choreographed to come together to deliver the bigger campaign goal.

 

Implement and Execute Campaign

Execution: Establish and manage periodic reviews, verifying assumptions made in planning and identifying variations.

Evolution: Make adjustments to the existing plans based on the reviews. Make these changes in real-time, allowing you to adapt tactical details quickly while remaining studied and cautious when adapting the higher level strategic details.

 

A great marketing plan achieves its goals based on the actual priorities of the business. That marketing plan can be effectively carried out in the real world. If the expected results are achieved, everything can remain as is. If not, the plan can be adapted to meet the short-term and long-term needs of the business..

By focusing on the business goals instead of specific tactics or marketing activities when building your marketing plan, you are able to adjust and shift as you go while still reaching your plan’s final destination.

 

Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager is a recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. At Leadit, she is responsible for partnerships, business development and the strategic direction of the company. A marketing leader with 25 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy from marketing automation to end-to-end marketing operations. Follow her on LinkedIn (@ShannonPrager) for her take on the latest and greatest in marketing.