FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL
Planning is a necessary component to successful marketing initiatives. A comprehensive marketing plan will clearly define your objectives, identify the target audience, articulate your messages and suggest how your messages will be distributed. Completing a marketing plan prior to starting an outreach campaign (or the design of a brochure, purchasing media, etc.) can help you focus your efforts and resources on the best methods for achieving your goals.
We strongly encourage each agency and department to also complete an annual communications plan. Why? There are lots of good reasons, starting with:
- Writing down your goals helps your team agree on priorities and keeps everyone focused.
- A plan helps you be strategic and pro-active, instead of ‘trying to use up funds’ or simply reacting to suggestions or sales pitches.
Sharing your marketing plan with the CMO’s office helps us help you:
- If you call us to design a brochure or an ad, we’re already familiar with your program.
- When we’re aware of what all agencies are planning, we can identify possible connections that could benefit all parties, make communications more effective, and/or save money.
- When we’re aware of what your agency is planning, the marketing contract that may eventually come to us for signature isn’t a surprise, and we can turn approvals around quickly and without a lot of questions.
The purpose of this exercise is to open up lines of communication, not to add another layer of oversight or interfere with your activities.
To facilitate this process, the CMO’s office has developed a ‘marketing plan roadmap.’ We can either set up a meeting to review and complete the roadmap together, or you can download the tools here to complete the exercise on your own.
It’s recommended that you download the PDF copy of the roadmap questionnaire and review it with your team before you meet with us. That way, you’ll know what to expect.
The most important thing to keep in mind about this process is that it’s okay and even encouraged to say “I don’t know.” In fact, “I don’t know” is an answer choice in every section of the online survey. That may even be the best answer — because it tells us how we can help you.