Model B Blog Cover Building to a visionBuilding to a vision or chasing tactics

Building to a vision or chasing tactics?

by Jeremy hoders



Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.
–John Kotter

I find the flaw of some marketing efforts beginning where planning starts—there is more focus on short-term thinking vs long-term thinking. When it comes to Marketing Planning, it is not about short cutting your way to effectiveness but it should be about developing a clear roadmap of where we are now, where we are going and how we will get there.

Many times we see planning start with “We need to be doing XYZ tactical executions” without a clear understanding of what success looks like at the end of the year. Choosing to focus on executions first often leads to work that may not necessarily lend itself to business or brand success.

Start with the End in Mind: Business Strategy
All planning should start with a clear vision of the desired "end" and then a marketing plan can be designed, developed and executed against it. This concept may be considered a hack but it will certainly help to guide you towards more effective outcomes and a true measure for your marketing and advertising.

As marketers, some questions we should seek answers to include:

  • What are my CEO’s or President’s big rocks for 2024 and why? How are my marketing objectives laddering to the CEO’s?
  • What are the key challenges or problems to solve? And, how does this influence our plan?
  • How will we measure performance / success throughout the year?
    What will make you (marketing lead) feel and look successful at the end of the year?

Marketing Plan Alignment

The strategic foundation around business goals (i.e., revenue projections, x # meetings per quarter, etc), objectives (i.e., driving SQL etc.), ICPs, innovation pipelines, competitive, etc. should be translated into brand and marketing plans. In addition, it is essential to validate market viability for meeting sales objectives, as marketing alone cannot bridge the gap when the target audience lacks purchase intent. That said, a marketing plan not tied to the business strategy risks wasting resources on activities that may not serve the greater purpose or even contradict the business position and weaken the brands position.

When we align our marketing plans to business strategy it helps avoid the common challenges with unconnected and scattered marketing efforts.

  • It creates a unified front where every campaign or initiative has a purpose in growing the business.
  • It helps with internal conversations with stakeholders around priorities and where we should invest our efforts.
  • It helps to communicate to leadership that marketing is a value add vs an expense.

With Q4 2023 upon us, many of us are in the throws of marketing planning for 2024. I would love to hear how you are navigating the marketing planning cycle with your teams and driving growth for your brand.