The final quarter of the year is ideal for planning marketing activities for the next year because, before a concrete marketing plan can be created, some things have to be prepared.
ESTABLISH A PLANNING PROCESS!
A great marketing plan doesn’t just come out of nowhere, and certainly not overnight. It is preceded by coordination, research, discussions, analyses, considerations, and decisions.
The larger a company, the more extensive the coordination and coordination processes. In order to ensure that planning does not end in chaos, a planning process should be created and documented. This process should name the most important milestones, deadlines, task packages, and persons involved.
1. Gather Information and Define Tasks
- What are the basic tasks involved in planning preparation?
- What specific information from either internal or external sources and tools are needed to create a solid situation and performance analysis??
- Do studies have to be conducted? If so, what timeframe is to be expected?
- Which business departments must be involved, when, and in which form (e.g. controlling or sales)?
2. Define Roles and Responsibilities
- Who is responsible for what in the planning process, and who makes decisions?
- Who provides which information? Who prepares and evaluates it?
- Who needs to be informed about what and in which form?
- Must external service providers be involved?
3. Comparison with Business Planning
- When do other areas plan, and how do they work together with marketing?
- How is overall budget planning scheduled?
- Which strategic decisions (e.g. in product or company development) and priorities have an influence on the marketing plan?
4. Define Deadlines and Milestones
- When should/must the marketing plan be finalised?
- When will it be presented for decision?
- Are holiday periods to be considered?
- What are the important dates?
5. Create and Document Systems and Processes
Planning will continue into the next year. Document the planning process and create systems that can also be used in the following years. This saves time and helps to avoid mistakes. Checklists are also good ways of making sure that you are not forgetting anything important.