You’re at your desk and you’re building out the marketing tactics you’re planning to do that month. Your list might look like this:
- Hold 3 webinars
- Publish 6 blog posts
- Launch 2 email nurture campaigns
Feeling relieved, you turn to your calendar and start plugging dates in. We’ll do a webinar on this random day in October, we’ll publish a blog post…hmm…every three days…and we’ll do those email campaigns in the pre-holiday season. Marketing plan, done, right?
What you’ve created is not a marketing plan but a marketing campaign task list. You’ve decided the assets you’re going to create, the cadence, and the format. What you haven’t done is strategic marketing planning.
What’s the difference between a marketing plan and a marketing campaign calendar?
Marketing campaign planning is the quarterly or monthly process to determine what marketing tactics you will execute on in order to achieve business objectives. A strategic marketing plan, however, is not the list of tactics but your goals and how your tactics line up to those bigger goals.
If you feel like:
- Your to-do list is never ending
- You get daily requests from Sales, Product, Customer Success and more to add something to your plate (‘we need a new cut sheet,’ ‘let’s rebrand this product,’ can you help us with a customer presentation?’)
- You’re running from task to task without pausing to figure out what’s actually working
If you agree with at least two of the three, you don’t have a strategic marketing plan. Building a marketing plan enables you to get rid of all those feelings, since it will help you:
- Understand the goals you are trying to achieve
- Identify the tactics that will have the biggest return on investment
- Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
- Stop arbitrarily deciding when to launch campaigns, but use your data-backed plan to determine the type of assets, the cadence, and the schedule
Starting your strategic marketing plan
Here are the different components that should be part of your strategic marketing plan:
Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals. For example: Engage 10 target accounts with an average opportunity size of $100,000 by Jan 15
The key is to align the SMART goals to your business. Don’t arbitrarily choose just a number, understand what your business is trying to achieve ($500,000 in net new sales in the next 12 months) and then analyze how you’ll help achieve that goal, and what activities support it.
Other Department Goals
If you’re working towards engaging target accounts, but Sales is having a hard time closing them, you’ll need to see if the problem lies in execution or its because both teams have opposing goals. Your SMART goals should be aligned with key departments and can help you identify any process issues along the way so both departments are achieving their goals.
At Allocadia, we help marketers just like you with their marketing planning, to ensure they are set up for success, and can showcase the value of marketing to everyone in their organization. End result? Less frustration for you and more impact for your entire marketing organization!