How Far Ahead Can You Plan?
Published by Jane Cirigliano, May 29th, 2014
If you built a strategic marketing plan five years ago, would it have included LinkedIn? Search Engine Optimization? A sufficient budget for online advertising?
At OffWhite, we are always looking for the next best thing in technology that will advance marketing efforts, and we understand that your plans need to be flexible enough to change quickly as new tools become available. You do, however, still need a plan. That’s why we’ve developed a different approach.
Long-term planning is no more. Strategic marketing plans should only extend 1-2 years into the future because most businesses can’t (and shouldn’t) try to foresee the future beyond 24 months. Things change too fast, and you shouldn’t feel locked into a plan that becomes obsolete after the first few quarters.
Plans must be concise. Most companies invest countless hours of time and energy - not to mention budgets - into creating plans that no one ever reads, let alone follows. Your overall plan should fit on one page. You still need the facts and figures to back up your strategy, but you shouldn't expect everyone in your company to memorize them.
Review plans quarterly and alter your course. Sticking with a concise plan makes regular reviews much more palatable. As your goals (or the methods you will use to reach those goals) change, don't be bashful about updating your master document. Do not, however, use this fluid document approach to justify putting off the work it takes to reach your goals.
As the third quarter approaches, we are reviewing marketing plans to ensure that our clients are on target to meet their annual marketing goals. If you need a refresher on your plan, or a new plan altogether, contact Bill White to get started today.
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