Building a More Effective Marketing Plan

July 15, 2016 James Thomas

CMO Picks Effective Marketing PlanFor most CMOs, the arrival of summer’s long, sunshine-filled days signals the start of planning and budgeting season.

Unfortunately, the Ventana Research Next Generation Business Planning report found that fewer than half (48 percent) of marketers are satisfied with their organization’s current process of creating marketing plans. And more than 40 percent said the marketing planning process is too slow, has too few skilled resources and lacks readily available data.

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Here are five ideas for building a more effective marketing plan.

Begin with a Full Customer View

“When both the marketing and sales teams have a well-defined view of who that customer is, it acts as a solid foundation, enabling both departments to create strategies and campaigns around common goals. Both teams should be privy to every customer touchpoint, whether it’s through face-to-face interactions, customer service feedback, email, page views, or data stored in your Customer Relationship Management system.” – Read more at Bizible.

Collaborate with the CIO

“Only half of CMOs and CIOs collaborate on joint projects, Forrester Research reports. Meanwhile, only 46% of marketing leaders and 51% of technology leaders have shared views about the ways customers interact with company touch points. According to Forrester’s analysts, an essential part of establishing a competitive advantage in any field is cooperation between marketing and IT teams.” – Read more at MarketingProfs.

Tie Budgets to Goals and Revenue

“Examine whether to include aspects such as the relation of marketing performance to corporate objectives, sales efforts and new product introductions. Also be aware of the impacts of marketing activities and outcomes on other departments. Ensure that the process being developed to manage marketing performance is visible to all stakeholders in marketing and in upper management. With their buy-in, develop a centralized common budget and plan for the entire marketing organization. Before launching the program, develop or acquire a methodology to manage spend vs. results and adjust iteratively.” – Read more at Smart Data Collective.

Plan for Multiple Scenarios

“Given that you aren’t going to be able to work out what will happen in future, you shouldn’t base your business planning on a single scenario, which we can broadly define as ‘business as usual’. Instead, you should plan for multiple scenarios, which will allow you be more responsive to future changes that will impact your business. But how do you know what scenarios to plan for? In theory you could go on forever thinking about different possibilities and attempting to plan for them. Clearly this will eat up far too much of your time, so a better approach is to utilise an ‘impact probability matrix’ to structure your thinking.” – Read more at Smart Insights.

Measure to the Strategy, Not the Tactic

“One key reason for account-based marketing’s rise is that it provides a framework for measuring the impact of programs directly to the pipeline. Done the right way, you can bring together the impact of your programs at the account level… When you can tie the impact of multiple programs/channels all to your target accounts, you’re beginning to demonstrate real ROI.” – Read more at Advertising Age.

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