Over the years I’ve helped to deliver lots and lots of brand plans, so in not particular order here’s a few tips I’ve picked up
1. Plan to Spend Early
At some point in the year – usually the beginning of Q4 – you’ll get a request to ‘hand back’ any outstanding marketing expenditure to help make up for the company’s financial deficit. In order to avoid this make sure you spend / commit a good change of your marketing budget early in the year. Also, if you make a fast and energetic start to the year, you’re less likely to get your budget cut
2. Involve Everyone
Without the rest of the organisation on board, your plan won’t gain traction and you’ll get accused of working in a marketing silo. The sales team are particularly important, so make sure they get an early sight of your plans and you respond to their feedback. In addition, use the smart people at your agencies to help you shape your plan. They can add real value.
3. Create a Story
When presenting your plan internally, don’t just read out your powerpoint document. Often it’s full of jargon and is designed to be read, not presented. Focus on really bringing the plan to life. Tell a compelling story, show your passion and belief in it and the rest of the organisation will be swept along.
4. Include Risks and Contingencies
Throughout the year, something unexpected will happen, so it’s important you prepare for it. Make sure you work out a couple of alternative scenarios and plan for how you would respond. They could negative or positive and they may never happen, but it’s better than being caught on the hop
5. Keep it Simple and Focused
Poor plans often try to do to much, too quickly. It’s much better to do 1 or 2 things really well rather than try and spread your energies too thinly. Give your plan a ‘theme’. It will make it memorable and easier to communicate
6. Focus Your Energy on the Upfront Thinking
Whatever tool you use, PESTLE, Porter, the 6 Cs – do it thoroughly and honestly. It’s not the fun stuff or the exciting bit, but If you get this bit right, the plan will virtually write itself. No plan will succeed without thoughtful inputs.
7. It’s All About the Consumer
Keep the consumer at the heart of your plan. Bring them to life. Make sure you really, really, really know them well. Orient everything around how you can keep them happy, attract them , and make them fall in love with you. Without them you’ve got nothing.
Do these things well and your plan will be amazing. If you’ve got any other suggestions, I’d love to hear.