Recently I participated in our semi-annual peer group meetings in Cooperstown, New York. What a great place to get away! Not only is it a cool town with a world class resort, The Otesaga, but the trees and scenery were spectacular.
These sessions with my peers have proven to be invaluable over the years as we share what’s new, what’s working and how we’re going to help our clients grow their business (and hopefully our own). The thoughts that are stimulated from these meetings are usually so significant that I find it beneficial to wait to start our agency planning for the coming year until after these meetings so we can incorporate new ideas into our planning process.
For us at Callis & Associates, we’re not only doing our own marketing planning for the coming year, we’re in the process of planning our client’s programs as well. We call our approach Discover/Aim/Target and it starts with a discovery session that serves as the foundation on which the marketing plan is built. Aim is a simple plan without significant primary research, budget and timeline. The Target Report is a comprehensive marketing plan that’s more necessary when you’re launching a new product, entering a new market or repositioning your brand. The process works, but I’m sure there are other approaches that work equally well.
Whatever approach you take, it’s time to begin if you haven’t already….then follow through. It’s too easy to come up with great ideas but fail to execute them. Many times, that’s why companies use firms like ours. Planning works. Failing to plan is planning to fail. I know that sounds cliche’ because it is, but it’s true.