One of the basics I strongly believe in is having a plan. With a plan, you know what needs to be done, the tools to get it done, and the order you should execute the steps. You’ve thought about it. Plus, you’ll have a process in place to innovate and optimize.
What happens when unexpected challenges arise? Or a new technology is introduced?
Think of Reels on Instagram, Fleets on Twitter, or stories on LinkedIn. Or the introduction of Clubhouse. All of these things were introduced in the last year, so you may not have planned to use any of them. However, you may have realized that some may benefit your business. For instance, Clubhouse has been touted as a very effective (and loved) new social media platform.. So with these additions, has your carefully thought out social media plan become antiquated?
To answer this question, you will need to reevaluate your plan, but you likely will not have to start from scratch. Take the time to understand the new features or tools. Then decide if you want to use it, how to integrate with your existing plan, and what determines if it is successful. In other instances, speed may be more important than perfection. That’s why having a plan is important – you can build in time and resources for proactive activities.
How do you build in resources for proactive activities?
Whether you have a marketing team of one or 100, your team still has a limit in time and bandwidth. So why should you hold back some time for what might happen? In reality, you aren’t planning for the unknown, you are choosing to do proactive marketing, or as I like to refer to it – preventive marketing. These tasks not only help you pivot when situations change, but they ensure you stay on brand and creative as you execute your plan.
What makes for a creative plan?
A good plan should define how you want to differentiate yourself, your product or service, or your business. The most successful ones have a specific style – reflective of a personal / brand identity, a corporate promise, or an organizational mission. The most obvious way you can incorporate creativity in a marketing plan is with the content you create – the images you choose and the words you use. However, there are subtler ways you can infuse style as your style might be that you’re a data driven marketer or you use MarTech to drive automation. (As a side note, I highly encourage both of those stylistic elements!)
Is it too late for a marketing plan?
No! It is never too late for a marketing plan. You can plan annually, quarterly, or even monthly. The level of detail for each type of plan may be different, but the goal should always be the same – to make your marketing more efficient and more effective.