The Importance of Strategic Planning
With football season coming to a close and the biggest matchup of the year just around the corner, it’s an opportune time to liken the importance of strategic marketing planning to the beloved gridiron game. After all, both involve key players, competitors, fans, coaches, proven plays, specific goals (… to WIN!) and a game plan to get you there.
- Gather in the Fieldhouse Before Taking the Field: Long before the coin toss, football coaches and players study their competition and formulate a strategy to come out on top. At the same time, they practice and train to develop their strengths before they take the field. The same holds true for marketing. In order to develop an impactful marketing strategy, it’s vital to look at competing companies and examine your own company strengths before launching any campaign. You can work with skilled “coaches” at a marketing agency who will bring out the best in your team and help you develop a strategic marketing plan that’s designed to make your company a champion to your fan base.
- Set the Parameters for Play: Do you consider yourself to be at the rec league, high school, college or professional level regarding marketing skill set and budget? Both will determine whether you can look outside your own team for professional guidance and which elements you can afford to add to your game plan.
- Go for the Goal: In football, it’s far easier to determine the ultimate goal – to win the game. In marketing a company, your goals could be varied. However, it’s important to know the preferred destination in order to determine the best way to get there. Are you looking to hit certain revenue goals, strengthen your brand image or grow your online presence, perhaps? Setting clear cut goals should serve as a foundation to any strategic marketing plan. This will help determine the effectiveness of your strategy, as well as return on investment.
- Line up your Offense and Defense: Those x’s and o’s on the chalkboard in the locker room aren’t all that different from the various elements of an effective marketing strategy. The players serve as vehicles to move the ball towards the goal line – and they may hit obstacles along the way. A strong and well-studied game plan lays out a path to achieve your goals – touchdown after touchdown to raise cheers from the crowd and ultimately help you win the game. From a marketing standpoint, your players may be social media, digital marketing, a new website, a new mobile site, collateral materials, experiential marketing, print ads, billboards and more. The specific plays will be the messaging, visuals and overall campaigns you place in the hands of each player. Of course, it’s also vital to know what your obstacles might be so you know how to move around them. Those impediments could be lack of marketing expertise, limited access to graphic design software/skills, insufficient knowledge of digital marketing and more – all of which could be solved by budgeting for and finding a strong creative partner.
- Hail Mary Pass: Don’t fall into the trap of believing that if you don’t have a strategic plan mapped out at the beginning of the year, you may as well “fake it ‘til you make it.” Instead, if you know you’re in over your head or have too much on your plate, you can look to your bench to find a creative partner – either through outsourcing or teaming up with an agency. Once you have one in place, you can toss them the Hail Mary Pass to help save the game at any point during the calendar year.
With an effective plan and skilled team in place, you’re all set to go for that championship ring – whatever that might symbolize for you. Now hit the field and WIN!!
About Woodall Creative Group: With more than twenty-five years and a treasure trove of awards to its credit, Woodall Creative Group excels at combining artistry with strategy, regularly implementing imaginative corporate branding campaigns and designing top-quality collateral materials such logos, brochures, marketing materials, social media branding, and packaging – among others. The Atlanta-based agency has served a wide variety of clients from a broad array of industries. Included among them are Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies, Naturally Fresh, My Friend’s Place, Tri-State Tire and Carino’s Italian Grill, just to name a few. Additional services available at Woodall Creative Group include website development and design, advertising, marketing, social media management, public relations, experiential marketing, promotional products and more. For additional information, please visit www.woodallcreative.com.