Strategic marketing planning is the process of creating a marketing strategy that outlines what your objectives are, what programs you’ll use to achieve those objectives, who is responsible for those metrics, and by when you’ll be achieving those goals.
What is the process?
Step One: Liaise with Other Departments
While marketing does proactively drive demand and new business, they need to do so in the framework of supporting the larger business objectives. That’s why when it comes to the marketing planning process, start by looking at other departments. Here’s what to ask:
- What are the executive team’s top priorities for the year?
- What pipeline and revenue numbers are we aiming for this fiscal year?
- What adoption rates, or implementation goals are being set for the product?
Step Two: Create Marketing Goals that Align with the Business
Now that you’ve understood the business goals, you’re better positioned to start planning your marketing strategy. For example, if the business has a goal to generate $5 million in new business from Jan 1 to June 1, you have to ask yourself how marketing can drive new business. Let’s say in your business, each new client would be purchasing an average of $500,000. That means Sales needs to close 10 new clients in order to meet their $5 million goal.
Then you need to figure out how many qualified accounts you need to tee up for Sales, in order to close 10 new clients. A good way to start is: how many accounts today engage with our marketing content, get passed to sales, are qualified, have a demo, and then book? If the percentage is 10%, then you need 100 contacts to get transferred to sales in order to close about 10 new clients.
By starting with a focus on your goals, you ensure that you are actually building a marketing strategy vs plan (a list of tactics).
Step Three: Determine which campaign planning will achieve that marketing goal.
In order to generate 100 engaged contacts for sales, you want to look at your existing programs and determine the success of each at driving engagement. For example, let’s say you ran 4 webinars last quarter. Each had 100 registrants, and 30 people attended. Of those 30 people, 10 requested a demo and 5 were from qualified accounts. Once passed over, sales closed 1 lead.
If that’s the average data, then you now know that you can expect a webinar to result in 5 contacts and 1 deal.
|Marketing Program||Number Engaged||Number Leads|
|Webinars||100 register, 30 attend||5|
Replicate this process across your campaigns to plan out which activities will actually support your company growth goals.
Step Four: Create a marketing campaign calendar that aligns with your goals
Now that you have focused goals that are strategically aligned with business objectives, you can create a calendar of activities. The best part? You won’t have someone asking “why is marketing running that webinar again” because you’d know the answer – it’s to drive X number of leads to Sales.
In your marketing campaign planning calendar, you’d want to include this information:
Goal: Support Sales in generating $5 million in new business, from Jan 1 to June 1, by generating 100 engaged contacts.
|Tactic||Anticipated Results||Cadence||Existing Assets||Assets Needed||Timeline|
|Webinar||5 contacts||Monthly||4 Event presentations we can repurprose||6 new presentations||Complete webinar schedule by Jan 15. Promote 2 weeks in advance.|
Step Five: Establish your Investments
Now it’s time to align investments to your planned campaigns. The good news is that marketers who conduct the marketing strategy process from the get go can easily justify and secure budget for their activities – because they can directly tie that dollar into how it will impact the business goal. That’s one of the reasons why Allocadia’s marketing planning process encourages marketers to directly tie their spend to specific company goals.
Step Six: Let It Run!
It’s time to execute on your plan – and start achieving business impact. While you execute on your marketing plan, keep in mind that you should revisit the business goals quarterly. That keeps you on the right track to ensure the marketing organization continues to drive toward overarching corporate goals.
Now that you’ve completely the hard work of creating your strategic plan, you’ve set yourself and your team up for success.
Interested in learning more marketing planning content? Learn how to reduce the complexity of marketing planning and budgeting.
Allocadia’s Run Marketing Platform gives marketers the confidence to know where to invest their next dollar. The recognized leader in Marketing Performance Management (MPM), Allocadia enables marketers to plan strategically, invest with purpose, measure the performance of their activities, and ultimately maximize marketing’s impact on the business. This gives marketers the ability to drive greater performance, increase ROI and improve alignment with corporate goals. Companies like VMware, GE Healthcare, Box and Charles Schwab manage more than $25 billion marketing dollars within Allocadia, which enables them to save up to 40% of the time they spend on budgeting and planning as well as double their pipeline-to-spend ratio and ROI. Learn how your team can start running marketing.