“Plan your work and work your plan” is true, especially for successful marketing. Here are AZTC Visionary Sponsor Blue Canoe’s top tips for developing and executing a marketing action plan that is on target, actionable and successful:
Interview Your Customer – Interviewing your customers or prospects about their needs and desires is invaluable to the marketing planning process. This is your opportunity to ask them about their experiences with your company. Corroborating your assumptions by having in-depth conversations can help energize you and spur on new ideas about the key benefits your company provides.
Write It Down – Your marketing action plan — objectives, priorities, positioning or messaging statements, tactics, calendar and budget — should be written down. A written plan will help you think through all of the tactics and actions, and later it will help you evaluate your progress. At regular intervals you should update your plan with the status of each action item.
Prioritize Your Actions – Your marketing tactics should align with objectives and have synergy with your sales objectives. Tackle the actions that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line first then work on secondary actions later. If you’re strapped for time, work your plan based on priorities. Also, assign in-house or outside team members to help support these tasks to get it all done.
Yes, You Need a Line-Item Budget – A budget provides guidance to your team and helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your spending. If you have never created a marketing plan with a budget, this approach might require more work in the beginning but it’s important to understand the time and money it takes to implement your plan and the value of your actions.
Do More of What Works and Less of What Doesn’t – Regularly updating your plan with results will help you identify what’s working and what isn’t. These metrics can help you jump-start and refine your plan for the following year, make budget decisions based on evidence and understand where you should focus your time and energy to have the best outcome.
If you need help getting started with your marketing action plan or executing it, Blue Canoe is ready. We are marketing professionals who cut our teeth in corporate marketing departments and have experience working for small and large companies. We focus on B2B marketing for science, technology and engineering companies. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.