Like all good marketers, you have been working on a marketing and advertising structure that outlines goals and expected achievements for the next 12 months. In actual fact, your advertising and marketing plan is, much like your business plan, a work in progress that is constantly reviewed and fine tuned to meet expectations and prevailing trading conditions.
Think of it as a collection of constantly moving embedded timeline windows. One window may focus on a yearly goal, another window may look at quarterly expectations, and maybe another window may concentrate on the finer granularity of the current week or month. Periodically you take 5 to review each of these timelines and analyze the expectation to reality numbers so that these plans can be altered or modified, especially if there is a gap between the goal and reality.
You are doing this, right?
I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that some of you may be performing this analysis, but the majority of you are not.
Creating a suitably fluid plan means dedicating some time to analysis and industry research. This may be something like customer profiling or industry association directions or just a review of stock purchasing and rotation compared to sales. When this analysis does not take place, your marketing and advertising plan timeline window becomes quite small and reactive in nature. Don’t get me wrong, this is a valid strategy, but on its own lacks longer term planning. A lack of planning may affect your ability to establish a more effective supply chain or take advantage of future industry direction incentives. A classic example (if you are a butcher) may be an industry promotion (electronic and print media) for Pork. If you have not planned for it then you may find yourself short of the pork product and trying to sell beef while the customer is being bombarded with pork ads. You have lost all available leverage.
The best strategy is to incorporate short and long term advertising and marketing plans. Allocate resources to these plans (time and money) and allocate a review system to ensure that your plan is generating an return on your investment.. Seek expert advise if you need it, but definitely do not ignore it.
You know you need to do this stuff. Call us if you don’t know how to get started.