Creating an annual B2B marketing plan for a new or emerging
company is a complex operation with many components. Sound Marketing Strategy Planning should provide a strategy to transform business objectives into marketing priorities and goals, whilst briefly outlining execution and how the goals will be reached.
According to industry experts, this need tends to result in the half-baked creation of plans that have the danger of falling into two categories: overly complex plans lacking conciseness that are therefore hard to execute, or overly agile plans that create a lot of basic activity, however do not create enough traction.
There are a variety of components to developing a complete marketing plan, however this article will focus on the following processes: establishing objectives, priorities, marketing goals, strategies and assessing the key dependencies and risks of any new venture.
1. Objectives for the project or company
Simply put, business objectives are the quantifiable targets that the company wants to hit in the coming year. For example, the objective may be to experience a revenue percentage increase by the next financial year; or maintain growth within a particular market.
These objectives should relate to the company as a whole and are targets that marketing must keep in mind during all stages of planning and execution. If the first steps of your plan i.e. your key marketing actions are not in line with your business objectives, then the team starts to be busy with a lot of activity, however the results will yield minimal impact in the long term and will use up many resources and funds.
2. Establish marketing priorities
Once the business objectives are established, Marketing must decide where and how it can make an impact. In this section of planning, the marketing leadership team will outline which efforts to prioritise and which it cannot support.
The team must be in tune with its capabilities and not take on more than it can reliably handle. If multiple projects are started at once, resources will be spread too thin, leaving your team incapable of making a quantifiable impact on any of the business objectives.
3. Set marketing-related goals
Marketing goals are an expansion on the marketing priorities from stage 1. This stage is about defining your objectives in a quantifiable way what marketing will do to support the greater business objectives. Goal Metrics should connect to business targets, we recommend using the following simple:
- Impact: the effect on business goals.
- Output: the result of actions.
- Activity: the number of actions taken.
- Readiness: how prepared the team is to perform.
4. Develop your marketing strategy
Marketing strategy is about the method and consistent efforts your team will take to achieve their goals. The strategy revolves around how the department or a smaller team of marketers is planning to hit their targets, whilst keeping brand growth in mind and remaining aligned to the business’s key objectives.
Strategy is an important part of the marketing planning process that often gets overlooked by marketers who can be eager to take action as soon as possible. Acting too early without following a strategy creates a dynamic where marketers are all working independently, segregated from the team and the greater business objectives.
5. Key strategy-related steps
Key actions refer to the specific effort’s your team or company will take to execute on strategy. However, it cannot merely refer to a list of tactics, it should provide details on how each execution will impact the greater business objectives.
Additionally, previous marketing efforts from an older model or service may no longer benefit the new strategy so in this section of planning, marketers should decide which actions to expend less energy on and which actions to expand on etc. to develop a totally new strategy.
6. Assessing the dependencies & risks
In every marketing planning strategy, dependencies and risks must be considered as they are inevitable in every project. However, identifying potential risks from the beginning of the project allows the team to better plan and adapt to changes or shortcomings that could happen throughout the year. Prevention is always easier than cure not only in marketing, but in every field of work!
Carrying out successful marketing plans are about a well-oiled machine working together, factors such as receiving the funding to execute your plans is important. In many cases this is why the budget tends to be the largest dependency, however there are many other risks and dependencies that can be acknowledged as potential issues within this section of the strategy.
Marketing planning can be complicated, however this model
demonstrates a great launch point for marketers to create a concise, yet actionable plan that aligns its business metrics and goals. Aligning all marketing efforts to business objectives, means that the entire company is on the same page, optimising efforts to achieve the same metrics and goals.
to see how we can Assist your company’s Marketing Strategy Planning today!