Common Marketing Planning Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

September 29, 2016 Jeff Epstein

Happy marketing planning season!

Have you seen the new marketing planning framework from SiriusDecisions? They recently published an article about their plan-on-a-page template to help marketing leaders overcome common planning challenges.

planonapage

Source: SiriusDecisions

This one-page framework offers a way to think about marketing planning from a high level. It’s a top-down approach that focuses everyone on the same core business objectives, and following this framework brings transparency and accountability to marketing planning. It’s a simple way to show everything marketing’s trying to achieve and why it’s trying to do it.

Just as important is what it’s not: It’s not a laundry list of tactics. The SiriusDecisions framework is based on the idea that everyone needs to understand the why (the context and the purpose) — and then they can plan what tactics they’ll use to meet the objectives at the field level based on their unique market drivers.

We’re big fans of the SiriusDecisions approach to marketing planning, and many of our customers use Allocadia to bring this framework to life and turn it into a plan their teams can use.

Common Marketing Planning Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

SiriusDecisions identified five common marketing planning pitfalls that can derail a company’s ability to build an effective, practical plan. Here’s how Allocadia helps marketers avoid these missteps:

  1. “Planning is primarily a financially driven exercise.”

While marketing planning shouldn’t just be about finance, the numbers do matter. When you add business objectives to financial targets, they’re not just numbers — they’re goals a team can rally around.

Allocadia helps marketers plan from the top down, and the bottom up. We help marketing teams get aligned around a top-down vision, and provide visibility into granular bottom-up plans. Plans that include spend and target returns will get broader support and buy-in throughout the organization. And, they give marketing teams a clear scope of operation.

Knowing financial and business objectives helps marketing teams build plans that are built on big-picture goals and account for every dollar.

  1. “Our marketing planning process is siloed: Each team creates its own plan, and there is little alignment across different marketing teams or between corporate and regional teams.”

With Allocadia, siloes are gone. When your team uses a common system and a standardized budget structure, you all speak the same language and you’re able to put a plan into action together. Plus, a shared system makes it much easier to roll up individual teams’ plans into a master plans and keep tabs on everyone’s progress.

  1. “We miss critical information from sales and product teams, and oftentimes each function (sales, product and marketing) uses different growth assumptions.”

When teams use Allocadia, everyone has visibility into the same information. Once goals are established (using input from throughout the organization, including sales and product), they’re written in stone in Allocadia. And once the plans are set, Allocadia is marketing’s vehicle to make sure everyone stays on track.

  1. “We always do what we have done, and we are not good at auditing and stopping initiatives and activities that have not worked well for us.”

For Allocadia users, those days are gone. Allocadia gives detailed visibility into what an activity was supposed to yield vs. what it did yield. In other words, there’s no question about what’s working and what isn’t.

Avoid falling back on habits. With Allocadia, it’s easy to see which programs have to go. Quickly adjust and move the money around.  

  1. “End-user and channel plans are not aligned, leading to poor communications, siloed efforts and missed revenue opportunities.”

With Allocadia, a channel marketing manager can see what everyone else is doing. It’s a no-brainer to align their plans with everyone else’s because they’re all working in the same framework toward the same objectives.

How to Use Allocadia to Follow SiriusDecisions’ Plan-on-a-Page Template

Allocadia helps put SiriusDecisions’ planning framework into action. Once leaders decide on big-picture goals, Allocadia is the tool that marketing teams use to execute and track the plan.

  1. Set core corporate objectives.

We start with business objectives, not tactics.

set-corporate-objectives

  1. Map out your plan and make adjustments.

Before you spend anything, you can enter your plan for the year, review your plans against your core objectives and adjust as needed.

adjust-plan

  1. Track your spend to the objectives you set.

Leaders can track how teams are spending. Allocadia will automatically flag areas where you’ve overplanned, overspent, underplanned or underspent, and will help you adjust.

track-spend-1

opps-marketing-objective

Instead of asking what teams are doing, the CMO can see what’s happening and ask questions about why the spend has changed from the plan.

Allocadia gives your plan a place to live. Instead of seeing the plan once in a PowerPoint or Word document and then forgetting about it, marketers watch, adjust and understand the plan every day.

Learn more about how Allocadia makes marketing planning season easier.

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