As a business owner or marketing manager, creating an annual marketing plan is critical to your business growth. While it provides a clear strategy and plan of action for the year, it also helps you outline your goals.
If you’ve created a marketing plan before, you’ll know that no matter how much you plan, there are times when things do not go as per a coherent strategy. No matter how many times you feel like you’re done, in reality you never are. The most successful marketing plans leave room for flexibility which means that it can be tweaked till the very end. Since you cannot possibly predict what will happen over the next twelve months, it is vital to leave some scope for flexibility. May be there will be marketplace fluctuations or a change in buyer personas. Whatever it is, you need to be ready for it.
By building a flexible marketing plan, you have the advantage of continuously working towards your business goals while omitting a significant loss of productivity and resources.
Tips to Add Flexibility into your Marketing Plans
A flexible marketing strategy gives a business the opportunity to respond to changes in the marketplace. Be it offline marketing or digital marketing, the landscape is always changing. When you add a hint of flexibility to your marketing plan, you can not only quickly respond to unplanned competitive activity but also be alert to evolving customer wants and desires.
More specifically, flexibility allows you to increase investments in campaigns and reallocate resources in order to get the best out of any strategy.
We’ve come across many marketers that are hesitant to create a flexible marketing strategy because they lack spontaneity to respond to fluctuations. However, making your marketing plan easy is not a daunting task. Monitor few things and you’ll be well on your way. Here’s how it’s done:
- Prepare for the unexpected: No matter how solid your plan is, your efforts may not always go as envisioned. For example, may be half-way through the year, you may realise that a particular campaign isn’t produced results as expected. With a rigid marketing plan, you’ll be hitting the wall. When the plan is flexible, you can take steps to address scenarios that disrupt your strategy. May be, you can replace an underperforming social media campaign with something that actually resonates with your business objectives. This way, you still have room for recovery and can still achieve your intended goals.
- Monitor campaign performance regularly: A successful marketing strategy is that which is monitored regularly. This will help you analyse what’s working and what isn’t. There are some mediums that may become obsolete too during the year. May be, you can replace it with a trending marketing strategy during that time.
- Always view your marketing plan as a roadmap: When you view your marketing plan as a roadmap, you know it isn’t set in stone. You can quickly change direction and take alternate routes to set your goals. Moreover, such a plan gives you the flexibility to adjust as and when needed without hurting your goals or objectives.
While building an annual marketing plan is imperative, ensuring it is flexible is equally important. Regardless of what may occur, a flexible marketing plan puts you closer to your goals.