Why do marketers struggle to build marketing strategy?
I know many marketers who struggle with building marketing strategies. Maybe it’s an innate drive to solve problems which leads us to go to solutioning first. Perhaps it’s our desire to please others we work with; maybe show we’re a team player by incorporating too many ideas into the marketing plan. Creating effective marketing strategy should not be a struggle. Using a method for creating marketing strategy makes the process much easier.
Four simple steps in my method for creating marketing strategy quickly
1. Define and align objectives
As marketers, we need to clearly understand the corporate objectives. Hopefully your executive leadership team (ELT) has done a good job laying them out and communicating them to the rest of the organization. If not, the marketing leader needs to work with the ELT to build them. Next the marketing leader must have marketing objectives that align to the corporate objectives. Above all, each marketing objective must align to at least one corporate objective. Failure to do so increases the risk initiatives will fail to receive ELT support.
2. Assess your marketing department
The marketing leader, working with functional leadership in her department, needs to assess the organization-wide marketing environment and related competencies. What are the sources of strength and areas that are in ill health? Many leaders think they know their department. However, “squeaky-wheel” managers often introduce bias by consistently repeating a story. Some departments may be living off a halo effect created by past campaign or program wins. In addition, as I have seen in my career, managers might cook the books creating metrics that are made-up and unverifiable because they own the data. Yes, it happens! Proper assessment requires asking many questions and digging deeper. It’s the marketing equivalent of ordering a blood test, urinalysis or MRI. Without these diagnostic tools, your medical general practitioner is just guessing.
3. Identify projects and initiatives
After the marketing leader has given the marketing department a full assessment, the next step is to identify specific projects and initiatives to alleviate the pains identified in the Assess stage. Don’t worry if you identify more projects than can realistically be worked. That is okay. Score the list by project value and effort, then rank to determine importance. For those in the top portion of the list, identify project owners, resources and risks. Looking at these high level factors can help to identify potential constraints and plan for future resource needs. Projects failing to make the cut today should be captured on a future to-do or ideas list and revisited at a later time.
4. Assemble the marketing strategy matrix
Once all the hard work up front has been completed, the marketing strategy matrix can be created. The goal of the strategy matrix is to gain approval from your CEO/President and CFO. The beauty of the matrix is all projects, their costs and how each project aligns to corporate and marketing goals is visible on one sheet. Plus, the process and output makes prioritization easier. It makes communicating the ask simpler and the chances of getting approval greater. And the beauty of the method is it’s repeatable across all your marketing departments. Each unit can replicate the method, creating their own marketing strategy matrix with the Marketing to WinTM method.
Use the Marketing TO WINTM method for creating marketing strategy for your brand. Contact me today to learn how.
Marketing TO WINTM is one method that fits the above criteria, plus it can be completed in two weeks as opposed to months with other methods. To learn more about the Marketing TO WINTM method, contact me today. I would be happy to discuss how the method applies to your particular situation at no expense to you.