Six weeks in to the New Year and you find the Annual Marketing Plan still isn’t in place, so what do you do?
- Copy and paste last years’ plan
- Or adopt a more common sense approach
Strangely I’m in favour of the last option … the current buzz word is Agile Marketing but as far I can see this just mean being able to read situations better, react to changes and not stick rigidly to a plan that may no longer fit the needs of the company because of rapid changes in the market place or in other words adopt a common sense approach to marketing.
Scrum and Sprints keep popping up all the place ….. A scrum being a planning session and a sprint being a short term cycle of work of the back of the scrum but again this just seems like a sensible approach of planning. Plan, work the plan, report back on the plan and learn from it. Much like Marketers always have done but on shorter time scales and for smaller projects rather than on an annual basis.
The days of planning a whole years’ worth of Marketing and presenting a full week by week or even month by month plan are long gone. It is no longer a viable option and that’s mainly down to the massive surge in Social Media and software developments.
The Harvard Business Review states; ‘Think “outline,” not “campaign.” If you chart your campaign in such detail that it’s unalterable, you run the risk of being pinned down when something unexpected arises’ (https://hbr.org/2015/01/how-to-craft-an-agile-marketing-campaign). I think that pretty much sums it up.
It is still possible to plan for the events you know are going to happen, the holiday seasons, the major events etc, but what you can’t plan for is what new trends may suddenly appear and buck the system and if you can’t alter your plan to fit, then you’re going to find yourself in deep trouble.
The point is, Marketing is much more fluid than it used to be and that brings with it a sense of excitement and speed but it’s also the only way to approach Marketing successfully these days and that in my mind makes it a common sense approach!