In the process of developing a marketing plan or strategy, it's vitally important to recognize that creating a marketing plan isn't a one-time event, with a specified begin and end date or period. It should be viewed as an ongoing process, in which a business will work to add new components to the mix while removing others as they determine what works and what doesn't. It's a constant work in progress. There are a number of different factors that influence this process, including the complexity of the system, the need to adapt to an evolving market and the multifarious variables associated with the human element involved. A comprehensive and well-defined review process will help a business remain on track while providing the capacity to improve the system throughout the process, every step of the way.
Moving Into A New Year Reviews should be strategically scheduled periodically throughout the year to ensure that the plan is performing optimally. One time of the year that's immensely important is at the beginning of a calendar year. This is a time in which you set the stage for the rest of the year. It offers a natural opportunity for any major adjustments that may need to be made. This is normally a time of transition for most people, so they are more open to change during this time of the year. The business should be holding micro review sessions on a fairly regular basis. These micro review sessions are generally not long and drawn out, but they are designed to address the primary mechanisms associated with the plan. Additionally, they ensure that everyone involved is held accountable for their particular responsibilities. The beginning of the year review session will be more comprehensive than the micro review sessions. This is generally where any major changes will take place. Evaluating Past Performance The truth is that all marketing plans are built upon educated guesses and past performance. Basically, the marketing team evaluates all of the metrics and data they have before them, and they determine what the best course of action will be, based on the current data. One of the first steps in the review process should be to evaluate the previous assumptions to determine if they were accurate or if there are any necessary adjustments that must be made. Evaluating The Marketing Strategy After evaluating the past performance, the next step will be to evaluate the marketing strategy. The first step in evaluating the strategy is to restate the strategy so that all details are crystal clear. From that point, it will be immensely important to determine if the current strategy is still viable. If any changes will need to be made, this is the time to make them. Lessons Learned Next, is the the team will review what they have learned since their last meeting. This could be a number of things, including information obtained on competitors, mistakes that were made or customer feedback. Updating And Implementing After evaluating all of the information that's available, the team will make the necessary updates to the marketing plan to ensure it's functioning at its highest possible level. This is where the planning for the next step takes place. Milestones will be assigned, resource needs identified and timelines established. Now, all that's left to do is to implement the new changes. It's time to actually do the marketing.
Best of luck in your review and planning process.