Marketing performance research over the past 15 years links best-in-class planning process to excelling at, contributing to and impacting sales. Specifically, these marketers devote the time needed to gain insights into their market, customers and competitors. They have clarity and specifically around the company's business outcomes. They've connected the dots between marketing and business results. As a result, their plans and budget are accepted more readily, and are better fortified against cuts if revenue takes an unexpected downturn. Even with limited resources (time, money and people), some marketing organizations find a way to create and execute on a plan that produces more and better results -- faster.
Process, Process, Process
Processes harness your energy. They help you stay focused. The right planning process insures that your plan is salient, relevant, measureable and accepted. Your planning process and how well you deploy the resulting plan are your greatest tools and time savers. Time and again, marketers who visualize the process perform better than those who simply visualize the outcome. The ability for marketing to enable the organization to achieve future results lies in stringing together powerful activities, one after the other. The key is knowing specifically what outcomes (i.e. acquire 20 new customers within each of our three primary products with an average order value of $50,000 by fiscal year end) must be achieved and then determine what marketing investments and actions will move you closer toward accomplishing the outcomes.
You need to create logic chains -- the actions of today that will create the momentum needed to produce the right results. These chains define the sequence of activities, data and metrics that form the links between your activities and the business outcomes.
With my next post, I'll suggest seven steps to a better marketing planning process.
Source: Laura Patterson, VisionEdge Marketing