Top Tip #1 - Analysis
Marketing planning can make even the most seasoned b2b marketers hearts sink.
The prospect of chasing around the business asking for next years targets or product roadmaps can feel exhausting. And by the way, all the other functions across your business (sales, product, finance etc) are almost certainly feeling the same way!
But of course, it’s December and with only a few days to go until Christmas, you’re possibly also organising your plans with friends and family. Maybe you’re hosting Christmas day lunch at your home this year. Or perhaps throwing an open house on Boxing Day.
In the same way you go about planning your Christmas, apply some of the same principles to developing your marketing plan. (No, we haven’t been on the Christmas sherry yet 😊, but we would like to start sharing with you some of our top tips on how to develop your marketing plan)
Cast your mind back to last Christmas……….
- Was the turkey overcooked?
- Did you forget the cranberry sauce?
- Was the Secret Santa a real hit with your guests? Maybe they’re still laughing about it now 😊
- Did you do everything within budget? Or did you have a shocking credit card bill in January?
- Did everyone turn up on time for lunch?
- Did your brother remember to bring the monopoly?
- He forgot. Apparently, you never asked.
- Bust up with your brother.
- You hadn’t realised that your 15-year-old niece was now vegan.
- Everyone loved having a choice of another dessert apart from Christmas pudding.
Why cast your mind back to last Christmas?
Think about it, you’ll almost certainly be using the previous years’ experience to ensure that you make this year’s Christmas celebrations even better!
And that’s equally important for marketing planning, taking time to reflect, review and analyse the previous years performance that will help you for your new marketing plans.
Marketing Planning Top Tip #1
Here’s a helpful checklist to guide you:
- Which campaigns have achieved or exceeded their objectives?
- What hasn’t worked so well?
- How has the business performed vs target?
- Have you generated the right type of leads for sales to turn into opportunities?
- Have sales had sufficient pipeline coverage to achieve targets?
- What new customers were won in the past year?
- Did you plan to go after those customers? Or was it by chance?
- What deals were lost and why?
- Existing customers - how many have left and why?
- Are customers happy with the solutions you have provided them with?
- Have they told other potential customers?
- Have you lost business to your competitors in the past year?
- Do you know why?
- Do you know how they are positioning themselves?
- Are there new competitors that have entered in the market this year?
- How much do you know about their offering?
TEAM AND TEAMWORK
- Has your team been productive over the last year?
- Are they motivated and engaged?
- Or any key members at risk of leaving?
- Do they work well together and with the rest of the organisation in particular with sales?
- Do they have the necessary skillsets for the job?
- Do they have the right tools to do their jobs well?
- Did you manage to your budget? Or did you underspend or overspend?
- Were you able to accurately track your budget?
- Are you able to report ROI?
- Did you implement any new martech last year? Eg. Marketing automation or new CMS.
- How was the implementation?
- Is it delivering against your requirements?
- Are other functions satisfied with it (eg. IT, operations)
By delving into these points listed above and analysing each area, it will provide you with valuable guidance and information to inform your future marketing plans.
This is the first step you should take in the marketing planning process. And is a crucial input to your plans.
If you’d like some help developing your B2B marketing plans, let us know. At The Marketing Bee, we’re experts in how B2B technology marketing should be.