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Help your marketing plan lose unwanted weight—and gain much needed speed and agility—with this performance recipe

By Kevin Masi


The days of amassing bloated formal marketing plans are drawing to a close. While sticking to traditional planning formats may offer a certain degree of comfort to marketing professionals, we are finding that these long, drawn-out documents carry little client value, and inevitably end up sedentarily sitting on a shelf. Instead, marketers can more effectively serve the companies they work for by gutting the formal marketing plan and implementing their essential ingredients instead: strategies, tools, and result measures.


Strategic positioning: 16 words or less


Unique positioning is essential in marketing any product or service. Customers everywhere are bombarded with advertisements. The only way to give your product an edge over the flock of competitors is to ensure that your brand is precisely positioned, distinct and memorable. Keep it relevant. If your prospects know who you are and what you do, will they care? An intimate understanding of the tribal markets you wish to serve is essential. More words do not a better program make—but aim with care.


Media plan: 1 Excel spreadsheet


To be sure that your marketing message reaches the desired audience, carefully evaluate all the potential media vehicles. Consider who your customers are and where you’re most likely to reach them. Then set expectations for the response you’d like them to have. Link your marketing activity to your sales plan by leading your prospects to make contact in the most effective and appropriate means. Offer incentives for them to do so, and manage leads with appropriate systems.


1 execution calendar


Make sure the schedule is reasonable, and adhere to it. Delegate the roles and responsibilities of each step amongst your team, and be sure to define and maintain a reasonable budget.


Implement and monitor: adjust as needed


Finally, every marketing strategy must include some way to measure success (or lack thereof). Whether it’s website traffic, phone inquiries, or completed sales, set up an objective system of measuring results. Set specific expectations for each part of the program—much like a well-balanced diet that leads to overall health and vitality.


Getting into marketing shape calls for taking a step back and looking hard at which actions are forces of habit and which actually work to grow your brand and your business. Force yourself to eliminate boundaries and stretch your creative muscles in new and exciting ways. Be prepared to alter your program according to new opportunity or changing results. Follow these steps to help your plan to lose weight, increase speed-to-market, and raise competitive maneuverability.