Why Time

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Power of a [FOCUSED] marketing plan

For the past 12 months I have been touring the world inspiring thousands of people to action. Many of my clients ask me the key principles that I coach to help companies STAND OUT. I am a big fan of the 12 month marketing plan. Over 90% of the companies that I interview do not have a documented sales and marketing plan. They prefer taking an AD-HOC approach and fire at all cylinders. Don't get me wrong, I love the whole [BUILDING MOMENTUM] thing as you know, its one of my 10 Creative Lawys. The idea of the 12 month marketing plan is to help you and your team do the RIGHT things consistently over time. It's not enough to just be busy doing, rather, you want to align your actions towards doing the right things over and over again in order to create better results.

Tips for creating an effective 12 month marketing plan:
1. Schedule a 2 hour THiNK TANK with your team and place 12 large sheets of paper on the wall.
2. Add a seperate month at the top of the page for each full sheet of paper.
3. Add in known activities and events within the specific month as a start.
4. Brainstorm on 5 consistent monthly activities for each month - NOTE: these activities should focus on building awareness and or educating your marketplace. For instance, I like sending out weekly inspirational tips and monthly articles that are designed to educate and inspire.
5. Ensure each month is filled up with a min. of 5 and a max. of 10 activities that are doable. Avoid just throwing a ton of activities on a sheet. You want to ensure that you and your team can handle what you have proposed.

Once all activities have been added to the 12 sheets, REVIEW and REFINE. Then have someone type each one of these months on a separate page using either Word or PowerPoint. (I prefer PowerPoint since you can also use it to present to other team members and also print the sheets). Add the 12 pages to a 3 ring binder.

Take it a step further and add a cool - creative cover sheet for the binder with a MISSION for the year that captures the essence of your goals for that year. For example - MISSION POSSIBLE. By giving a theme to the plan you are simultaneously focusing your teams efforts going forward.

Everyone on the team should receive a copy of the plan. Now, its not enough to just develop the plan, you also need to work the plan every month. I like to recommend a monthly meeting at the start of every month to review the activities that need to be completed as per the marketing plan. Any activities that were not completed in the previous month need to be carried over to the present month.

Ideally, you will start to create stronger success habits and discipline for your team. The key to success is replacing older and poorer habits with new success habits applied consistently over time. This is a disciplined approach that will help sharpen your marketing efforts while conditioning your mind to achieve the goals that you are pursuing.

Article credits - Vittoria Wikston - Developing a Marketing Plan