4 Step Strategic Planning & Management
On initial calls, we’ll focus on Step #1 and get as deep into overall company goals/plans/challenges/timelines as possible. Obviously it doesn’t make sense for us to recommend solutions before we have a deep understanding of where you are and what you’re shooting for.
To get things started, here’s a basic Marketing Evaluation we use to guide initial conversations. It should provide a helpful framework for us to begin.
(1 – 2 weeks)
Overall company position, goals, plans, challenges, timelines
In this discussion we will get into deep detail about where you are now, what you want for the company, what happens when you get there or don’t get there.
We try to get into specific, quantifiable detail – measurable, time sensitive goals for the company. We’ll try to identify opportunities, risks, competition, differentiators, and concepts like “what new customers are worth to the company”. We can sign an NDA of course.
This is very important in terms of making best use of limited resources, and developing best fit plans that suit the global direction of the company. Everything will revolve around these overall plans with recognition of the challenges you face…making sure everything is realistic, measurable and achievable.
(1 – 2 weeks)
What are we doing now and what resources are available
This is the part where we may want to involve higher level team members or those in charge of helping with aspects of marketing now.
There’s no reason to reinvent wheels. What have you been doing to date? What’s working, what’s not working? Who are the team members and what are their biggest strengths or areas of expertise? What resources are currently available and are they still relevant – collateral, images, videos, digital content, messaging, social platforms, mail/email lists and the quality of those lists, etc.
We also want to know about the technology you’re using now so that when a plan is developed, we’ll be able to assess whether that tech going to be the best option to help us win.
What processes are in place for targeting, developing content, curating content, scheduling, social posting, and crafting consistent messaging. How are we measuring and defining marketing success right now?
(1 – 3 weeks)
Lay out a mutually agreeable marketing game plan with goals, timelines & relevant performance metrics
With all this background info, we’ll be better positioned to recommend a game plan. Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s important to know that Rome wasn’t built in a day…always better to focus on highest impact activities first (need now stuff), with processes for continuous improvement (regular iterations over time).
Here’s where we do some organized brainstorming, find opportunities that we never thought of, share ideas from the team. When the team learns more about what’s possible, combined with their experience on the “front lines” with customers, better ideas happen.
Here’s an article about Defining Company Market Position (our Why)…an awesome exercise to do with key team members.
We’ll also want to do some things like Define our Ideal Customers and figure out what challenges they face (so we can create relevant content).
It’s a great move to engage the team, and make everyone feel like they’re being “heard”….I believe it helps with buy-in when it comes to execution down the line.
Deploy a Process of Continuous Improvement
We always want to encourage open ideas and collaboration, but we’ll also always need to pare them down and execute on what we feel is going to bring biggest wins for the company.
It’s a recurring process of review, plan, deploy, measure, learn, repeat. This way, we’re able to stay agile, get new ideas to market quickly, start measuring actual results, informing future decisions with data, and continually improving over time based on performance (not guesswork).
Basically, we do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.
We repeat this cycle on some sort of cadence that we decide on (like monthly). Long term, as business and times change, our activities are guaranteed to remain relevant, and we’re focusing company resources on what’s actually working.
There’s no “set and forget” strategy that works.