While there are many different planning systems, best-in-class all have the following steps in common.
- Assessing Your Market, Customer and Business Situation. Before you set a course of action, you must first identify what you already have and where you are. This part of the process is critical to identifying opportunities and assessing an reducing risks. Creating a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats chart will be helpful in this and the next two steps.
- Defining the Business Outcomes. You have to know where you're aiming and what constitutes success before you can determine what to do.
- Developing A Strategy. Your set of competitive moves designed to successfully achieve the outcome(s).
- Setting Marketing Performance Targets. The specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific customer-centric objectives marketing will invest in to achieve the outcomes.
- Creating an Action Plan that Connects Activities an Outputs with Outcomes. The steps and guides that will move the marketing team toward the objectives needed to achieve the targets and produce the results.
- Implementing and Managing the Plan. Without timely and effective execution, even the best plan will fail.
- Monitoring and Adjusting the Plan. The market is constantly moving. Your organization needs to be both attentive and agile enough to adjust in a timely manner.
Source: Laura Patterson, VisionEdge Marketing