One of the biggest mistakes I see in an organization’s ability to get things done or execute on a plan is an internal misalignment.
Executives will come up with goals or targets. The Marketing team will try to figure out what marketing plan to run that will achieve the goals. Then the Sales team create their programs… Operations attempt to deliver what Sales sold… And what happens? Confusion reigns supreme, and the customer ends up unsatisfied.
Then, even worse, departments blame each other for the chaos. And the beat goes on. Almost sounds like a song from the late 60’s…
A Winning Plan Needs to Be Unified
It doesn’t have to end up like the late 60’s song… How do the best do it? One, unified team. Everyone working in concert with each other toward the same goal. How do you get that? Marketing takes the lead. Everyone parks their egos at the side of the road. No one cares who gets the credit. All is done together, as one.
How does Marketing take the lead? By following a simple marketing plan checklist that everyone then works from.
The 10 P’s of a Winning Marketing Plan
- Purpose. Why is the business in business beyond making money – that is like cutlery, salt, and pepper on a restaurant table. Why does the business do what they do and why would anyone else care? Often, Purpose – sometimes referred to as ‘Mission’ – is like the organization’s values and vision printed on the boardroom wall. Organization’s that ‘get it’ bring their purpose to life and all stakeholders feel it.
- Picture. What mountain is the business trying to climb? What clear and compelling picture of ‘what good looks’ like is everyone chasing? Vision done right is highly motivating and inspiring.
- Point. What specific point on the compass is the business steering towards with regards to why customers buy from the business? Like a mariner or pilot uses a compass (before the GPS was invented) to focus on and navigate towards. What is the business’ distinctive excellence amongst customers? Is it innovation, quality, efficiency or a customer experience. Great companies pick one and become awesome at it.
- Product. (Or Service). How does your product or service align with the plan? Does it deliver on the customer’s expectations consistently as well as align with the three above?
- Promotion. Do all communications to the external world align with the first three P’s as well? Is the target audience clearly defined? Does a detailed profile of the target audience exist? And…. Are you building programs that communicate specifically to this audience?
- Price. Does the pricing strategy fall in line with everything above? Or is it determined by throwing a dart at a chart on the back of the door?
- Place. Do you market specifically to the target audience in a geographic area that the business can serve consistently and with minimal screw-ups?
- People. Is your team recruited, assessed, hired, on-boarded, developed and performance managed toward a common goal – That of living the values and purpose of the organization – with clear and agreed to roles and responsibilities?
- Partner. Definition – Anyone who delivers your product or service but is not a direct employee. Are they contracted and trained with the same diligence as your employees? Do their values align with the organization’s? If not, delivery disaster is just around the corner.
- Processes. Do you have ‘Standard Operating Processes’ (SOP’s) for absolutely everything you do that is customer facing? Is the entire customer journey mapped out and processes built to deliver on that journey? Or… Are your processes designed for the comfort and convenience of your accounting department?
- Did I say “10”? Here is a bonus one… Proof. How do you know it is all working? Everything (absolutely everything) you do should be able to be tracked to how it is improving revenue through new sales or retained customers.
Working as ‘OneTeam’ with a marketing plan model like the one above is how I have seen many organizations go from good to great.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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