Strategy/Campaign planning never stops. With Christmas and the holiday season on the horizon, now is the perfect time to hatch a plan 6 months from now. Mainly because every year around Christmas a bunch of clients appear with concerns that could easily be prevented. What is more surprising is that the pattern tends to repeat […]
Marketing is a never ending process
Strategy/Campaign planning never stops.
With Christmas and the holiday season on the horizon, now is the perfect time to hatch a plan 6 months from now. Mainly because every year around Christmas a bunch of clients appear with concerns that could easily be prevented. What is more surprising is that the pattern tends to repeat itself over time and time again. This is why it’s extremely important to tune into your marketing strategy that major campaigns or holidays should be planned 6 months ahead.
The last few years have made people cautious regarding marketing and this has resulted in marketing on-the-go. Ultimately this fear leads to stagnation, or even worse. In marketing, generating and developing ideas on-the-run can be a complex and a difficult task to begin with. So, wouldn’t it be good if some of the work was already done? Instead of constantly brainstorming and planning for the short term, it can be extremely useful to create a 6-month strategy not only to avoid drowning into work, but also improve the quality of your work.
Always set a goal to work towards
As Lao Tzu said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. In marketing terms this reflects that one’s journey towards success starts with setting marketing goals and actively working on them. Believe me, results will come in much faster than leaving it for the universe or chance to decide. Traditionally, major campaigns are planned around preset holidays, seasons and major events like the start of school. As holidays and school dates recur yearly, it’s easy to plan ahead. What is important is to have a strategy for off-season as well, when most of the brands have clearance sales or other major discounts. This means a company or a brand has to have a goal and a plan throughout the year to achieve its goals by actively developing the brand and increasing its market share.
It is also very useful to compare the forecasts with the actual results at the end of every month. This helps to make more realistic forecasts and also gives insight into how strategy and marketing are working, which trends are ongoing and what drives the consumer behaviour, what worked and whatnot.
Developing a marketing plan and strategy consists of several steps. First and foremost, set a timeframe, your objectives and ask yourself what you want to achieve in said timeframe and what resources you are prepared to use to achieve your goals.
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to put down on paper a strategy for how you can achieve them most effectively. To do this, it’s a good idea to look back in time and think about what has and hasn’t worked for your company’s marketing in the past – have you encountered some obstacles in the past that you could now approach in an alternative way? Past marketing reports and statistics will also help you to build a strategy, as you can draw conclusions about what worked and what didn’t.
Why plan that much ahead?
In fact, there are several reasons why we recommend planning marketing six months in advance. First of all, it gives you the opportunity to polish up campaigns that have already been planned in advance, if necessary. This means that the quality of the work is higher and therefore the brand image and tone-of-voice is better heard. For new product launches, a longer marketing plan will help to set the parameters of how to generate the necessary buzz around the product so that by the time it is launched it is already accepted by consumers. The pre-planned strategy and marketing can also be adapted on-the-go to help adapt to the ongoing trends and consumer culture.
The media and media platforms also play a major role in marketing planning. Planning media on-the-go can present a sad reality by the time you want it. More than usual it is either sold out or costs many times more than it would’ve if you had booked it in advance. So it is always a good idea to think a few steps ahead.
Success does not come by itself
6 months is a long time and a lot can happen in that time, but it’s important to set goals and targets to reach new heights. Planning and strategy is a skill that develops over time. Even the mighty Hannibal Smith started from scratch before he could utter his famous words: “I love when a plan comes together!”.