There are three main phases in any marketing process: 1. Planning 2. Implementation and 3. Evaluation. All three are necessary for the successful completion of marketing activities. While all three are essential, businesses often tend to prioritise the implementation phase, while the planning phase is often rushed, and for some businesses the evaluation stage is non-existent.
Planning is crucial to the success of any marketing activities and it is a big mistake not to devote enough time to this phase of the marketing plan.
Many people consider planning to be the same thing as a plan, which is not the case. Of course, they are related, but planning should be considered as a process, while a plan is the outcome of the process. What we are talking about here is the planning process. The more time spent planning, the more detailed the plan is going to be, and the implementation process will run smoother. Of course, things don’t always go to plan, however the process of planning can be used to identify any potential risks with the plan, and also to identify ways to overcome these risks.
Planning is a key component of all client projects at IMS Marketing. When we begin working with a new client, we ensure we spend enough time with them understanding their business and their goals. During our initial meetings with clients, we undertake an in-depth scoping exercise to understand their business, products, services and their goals. This is often followed up by in-depth research into the client’s industry and interviews with their customers and suppliers are undertaken. Only after we are satisfied that we have an in-depth understanding of the client’s business, do we actually begin creating a plan for them.
The marketing plan gets down to the nitty gritty of what we are actually going to do for our clients on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis. It details all of the marketing activities that must be completed in other to meet the client objectives, as well as the key stakeholders and deadlines for each task. A plan will also identify the project scope.
Following the implementation of a marketing plan, some businesses often think the project is complete. However, no project should be considered to be complete until it is evaluated. The evaluation phase involves analysing key metrics associated with the marketing activities. Evaluation should take place throughout the course of any marketing plan, not just at the end. By doing this, it will allow you to tweak any campaigns to optimise their performance. A more in-depth analysis should take place at the end of the project to identify whether or not the business met their objectives, as well as to identify key learning point and key success criteria for future projects.
Planning, implementation, and evaluation can be considered to be like three legs of a stool. If you remove one of these, the stool will wobble. If you remove any from a marketing plan, it will similarly fall apart.
Talk to IMS Marketing today to begin developing your marketing plan.