It’s that time of year where marketing teams are lining up plans for next year. Program budgets are being determined, headcount is being requested, and strategic initiatives are being outlined.
The best lesson I have learned about marketing planning is to separate methodology from intent. Far too often marketers let methodology dictate their intent; but methodology should help you realize your intent… it should NOT define it.
Think of it this way: Intent is the driver. Methodology is the vehicle.
INTENT is your WHAT and WHY. Here are the questions I use to define my intent year over year.
- is the number we are trying to hit?
- are the major initiatives that will help us hit the numbers?
- is the team going to look like to drive these initiatives forward?
- will our brand represent both internally and externally?
- is this the number we should hit?
- are these the major initiatives that will help us hit the numbers?
- is the team going to look like this?
- will our brand be represented this way both internally and externally?
METHODOLOGY is all about the HOW… it is the process and the plan that stems from your intent. There are a million ways to go about this and they all vary by industry, company, etc. Here are a few of them:
- Saleforce’s V2MOM – The epic methodology started at Salesforce that we use here at Torchlite
- Marketo’s Quarterly/Yearly Plan – This is a template that goes through objectives, goals, and strategies to achieve them.
- Adobe’s Seasons Plan – A very detailed approach to many of the elements involved in creating an enterprise strategic marketing plan through a series of blogposts.
- Hubspot’s Marketing Plan for High Growth Companies (SaaS focused) – An outline of their 4 core tenets as well as a downloadable definitive guide.
When you start by clearly identifying your intent BEFORE moving to a methodology, you will be surprised at how the planning process begins to work for you instead of against you.
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