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Stop and Think – Plan Plan Plan
23rd September, 2014

Ok -a rant coming along – here goes – you’ve been warned.

I see far to many companies organise their marketing around a sort of reactionary ideas list, or if you really want to put it another way – on a whim. Ideas fly, events happen and ALS Ice Challenges come and they go.

But I also see companies sticking to a strict marketing principal, guideline and pre planned series of events.

The trouble is the Planners are all part of bigger teams and companies and sadly they are nearly always the successful and bigger businesses.  Sure logistically they have to do a lot more planning, but because they do their homework and plan Christmas in July – it works and guess what these companies grow and reap the rewards.

So my rant is simple – plan plan plan and make it happen.  There are some great tools out there these days to make all this happen.  Let me go through a few:

  1. Google Spreadsheets – forget Gantt Charts and complicated systems – start with a very simple spreadsheet and stick to it.

    Put the months or weeks down in column A and then consider you most important ‘routes to market’ in the following columns…  Typical column headings might be website, blog, newsletter, social media.

    Insert Topics only this is to give you the bare bones of a marketing plan.

  2. Google Calendars – add key dates and targets for those date here – when you do you want to launch X campaign.  When do you want to send a Newsletter.

    By putting in dates months in advance you can easily see what is coming up and how you might handle it.

    Finally if new ideas come up – insert them at a time that suits you – don’t just make them the next thing on your to-do list.

  3. Assemble your Team – The bigger the team the better – and delegate – get the artwork guy making pictures and the copy person assembling copy – by delegating you make everyone understand that is a deadline to be met.

    The deadline is critical and ensure everyone is aware of it.

    Tools like www.teamwork.com are perfect for this sort of time based task delegation.

Suddenly everything looks a little bit rosier – you don’t have to panic so much and you have something you can constantly refer to.  The sheer concept of having a new idea and scheduling it to happen some time in the future means you can really build that idea up and do it properly.
All in all – simplicity is best and from our experience here, I see time and time again that the companies with the organised approach to marketing are the ones that win the accolades.