Core marketing objectives and marketing strategies are an important part of the marketing planning process, but without action plans, nothing much is really going to happen. As part of the planning process at Baker Marketing, we set out the action points required in order to execute the marketing strategies using a tool we refer to as the Marketing Activity Schedule. This is where the rubber hits the road!
The Marketing Activity Schedule
The Marketing Activity Schedule is a list and timeline of tactical activities that bring a particular marketing strategy to life. For the time poor, it helps you easily keep track of marketing activity that is focussed on achieving a specific strategic objective. A core marketing objective may be to increase market share by 20% within two years. This objective may have a number of interrelated marketing strategies each having a different tactical approach.
A logical approach to completing a Marketing Activity Schedule is to list the core strategic objectives underlying the marketing planning process and alongside them, list the marketing strategy pertaining to that objective and then list the tactical marketing activities required to execute the marketing strategy. This way, the marketing activities are grouped according the core objectives driving them so that at a glance, it becomes obvious why you are allocating resources to a particular marketing program.
This may sound a very obvious way to go about the marketing planning process, but time and time again when I ask” why are you doing this?” (in reference to a particular marketing activity), I get silence or if not silence, then a response such as “because our competition are doing it” or “I thought it was about time we did this”. Unfortunately this is not a good response because it means that a strategic approach to marketing is lacking, which results in a rather ad hoc approach to marketing which will certainly fail to produce long term results.
Marketing Activity Schedule Inclusions
So to avoid this, we use a Marketing Activity Schedule at the back end of the marketing planning process after we’ve set objectives and strategy. Exactly how a Marketing Activity Schedule looks will vary from business to business, but the conceptual layout and approach will be the same. For example, the core marketing objective in question may relate to an integrated approach to brand positioning or branding. A marketing strategy may then be to ensure that all marketing materials contain updated branding. The marketing activity might include an audit of all existing marketing materials, both hard copy and digital.
The Marketing Activity Schedule may go on to identify the person responsible for the project, its desired timing and indicative budget. It might look something like this:
The Marketing Activity Schedule is a tool that helps ensure that you are taking a disciplined approach to your marketing whereby activities relate to a strategy which in turn relates to a core objective. Not only does this ensure that you know exactly why you are investing in a particular marketing program, it will help you to maintain the sort of focus required to achieve meaningful, long term objectives.
It helps you avoid jumping from one shiny marketing opportunity to another without strategic fit, completion and analysis of results.
This is particularly important if you wish to see a return on investment for your marketing dollars.
If you feel that Baker Marketing may be able to help you with your strategic approach to effective marketing plans, please give Emily a call today on 8352 3091.