Does your business have a plan for marketing strategy? A real plan, not just a list of tactics you implement like posting on social media and sending emails out once per week? Do you know why you chose those tactics and how they support your overall business goals?
Successful marketing, more often than not, doesn’t appear out of thin air or come from blindly trying one idea and then another. A successful plan for marketing strategy starts with your business goals, considers your clients and customers, and has step-by-step instructions for you to follow. Your marketing strategy takes consistent planning, tweaking, and follow through.
Set a Time to Plan for Marketing Strategy
Before you start emailing your customers and blasting them on social media, you need to have a plan for your marketing strategy. In order to create a plan, you need to set aside time with your team to talk through your goals and what you need your marketing efforts to accomplish.
The amount of time depends on your team and your business goals. I suggest starting with a 90-minute planning session every three months. Structure your time to revise your revenue goals, and identify marketing goals that will support them. Then, break those goals down further into actions and content that will help you get there.
During your meeting ask:
- What has been working for us?
- Are there any tactics that aren’t working?
- What goals do we need to reach in the next three months?
- Are there events, holidays, or specials do we need to prepare for or promote in the next few months?
- What tactics will we use to do this?
- When will we schedule these tactics?
- Who is in charge of each?
- How will we measure success?
If you need to schedule additional time to plan for specific content, reach out to vendors, or check in with your team, put it on the calendar during this meeting.
Write Your Plan Down
Marketing strategy meetings are for brainstorming, and they tend to generate lots of great ideas and excitement. If you don’t harness that energy by writing down your plan for marketing strategy, your ideas will be lost and your team will lose accountability and have trouble prioritizing your plan.
During your meetings, appoint a scribe. If you’re the only member of the marketing team for your company, this should be you. If you’re an executive, you can ask for volunteers. When I work with clients, I’m the scribe.
Before you leave the meeting, make sure you’ve got a general idea of the priorities of your plan, when they will happen, and who will be doing them. Then, create a write up with check-lists for all parties involved.
I highly recommend teams use project management software and a content calendar so they can keep track of their tasks and see the progress of their marketing strategy plan. I use free plans like Asana with clients, and I use Click Up for my projects (neither of these links are affiliate links, just free resources).
Schedule mid-plan check-ins
Marketing is dynamic and it’s affected by world events, local events, and the news cycle. Schedule time to check in with your team mid-plan to assess how your marketing strategy is working. I schedule an hour with clients to discuss how marketing efforts are being perceived, and to make any necessary shifts or tweaks to the plan if needed. Sometimes goals shift and the marketing strategy needs to shift too.
This check-in is also a great time to make sure deadlines are correct and to keep your team motivated and accountable. It’s easy to let things slip through the cracks if you don’t come back to the plan.
The key to marketing success is consistency, and one of the best ways to create consistency is to plan for your marketing strategy. Schedule this time in your calendar as non negotiable. It won’t take long for planning your marketing strategy to become part of your business routine.
If you’re feeling unsure of what should be part of your marketing strategy or you’d like help creating and facilitating marketing strategy, let’s chat. You can sign up for a 20-minute call or shoot me an email. My expertise is in building strong and integrated marketing programs for businesses like yours. If you’re feeling lost, I’d love to help you.