I am a huge believer in the practice of maintaining and monitoring a detailed Marketing plan, each and every year. Good marketing plans should have the support documentation, and micro-details to ensure that their execution is possible. But this doesn’t mean that the plan has to be hundreds of pages. I always distil details of the plan into a simplified visual roadmap, that reinforces the overall story, allowing more team members to embrace it on a daily basis. Regardless of the format that you adopt for your marketing plan, here are three progressions you can look to apply in 2013.
1. Continuous “prioritization”– Prioritization is a fundamental activity which builds the marketing plan. Historically, most prioritization work is completed during facilitated sessions prior to the development of the final plan.
Because of today’s rapidly changing customer-centric world, make re-prioritization “check-in’s” a part of your ongoing operation. Think of your 2013 plan as a balance between flexibility and sticking to the precisely charted course.
2. Ownership of your data – Far too many executives (from organizations large and small) still fail to take ownership and accountability of their data. They rely on consultants, under paid practitioners or fail to even look for hidden insights. Our charter in 2013 is to aim for our executive-level clients to better understand, and own their data. Taking command of your own data and analysis tools in 2013 is critical in order to prepare for the even greater big data trends that will shape the second half of the decade.
3. Unification – Integration, convergence, multi-channel, cross-channel, you name it, we have all been working towards it. This year, we are helping clients look at subtle and less technical dynamics within their groups. Its something to call “unification”. Do practitioners sit within the right team? Does the team share a collaborative space or operations center? Have teams and programs gone through drastic enough overhauls in recent years. Is the real-time data complementing strategy and the plan, or are there too many layers of hierarchy between them. Unification starts with the notion that your team and organization might not be organized for 2013 demands. Working towards a more open format within the organization, can start to bubble-up some of those small optimizations typically sought at the tactical level.
In summary, take command of your data, work for unification, and be prepared to re-prioritize a little more often than in the past.