Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Use Graffiti to Draft Your Marketing Plan

Whether I'm working with an individual client or a business team, I've always found that having an annual game plan — in my case, a marketing plan — is essential. With Memorial Day recently behind us, it means that in the corporate environment you have about three months before your plan is due (prior to fourth-quarter number crunching, you know).  So now’s a great time to start strategizing.

Over the years, I've gotten into the habit of building these plans on a whiteboard or a bulletin board. Really, any place where I can step back to take a comprehensive look, and where my volunteers, clients, or co-workers can get a gander and give their input as well.

Here are six good reasons why you should build your brand’s annual plan on a wall, just like graffiti, where everyone can see it.
  1. A strong marketing plan directs your focus and your team’s focus. It keeps you all on a clearly defined path that ensures that you make the most of the effort and the budget.
  2. A strong marketing plan forces you to articulate concrete, measurable objectives so you and the decision makers who make staffing and budget decisions know what you are working towards and make the right decisions on how to get there.
  3. A strong marketing plan provides a definitive means of tracking everyone’s progress against stated objectives.
  4. A strong marketing plan is an all-organization responsibility, but to engage your colleagues and leaders, you need to be able to show them where you’re headed, what you’re doing, and why.
  5. A strong marketing plan makes it easy to draft your day-by-day work plan. By breaking down the big ideas that comprise the master marketing plan into nitty-gritty execution, you clarify each element for the plan and define roles and responsibilities. As a result, you’re able to focus on priorities and capitalize on each member’s skill set.
  6. The Graffiti aspect is fun and encourages even shy players to provide input. For that reason I like a large whiteboard with markers in a variety of colors. 
Do yourself and your organization a favor. Take these simple measures to heart and make time to develop a marketing plan. As you're building it, post it on a wall (virtual or not). The input you receive from staff and leadership and the results ($) will be worth it!