In the new year, the formulation of the annual marketing plan must be put on the agenda again.
When working as a business consultant to coach a company, I found a phenomenon. Many companies have worked hard to formulate annual marketing plans. At the end of the year, they found that many of the contents were not implemented, or were implemented but fragmented, or became the company’s “Vase” is not useful, and in the end it can only be the boss or director’s plan being shelved.
The 2020 plan is not completed?
Why would such phenomenon happen? In summary, there are at least the following reasons:
First, changing the head of marketing and making plans hastily. The newly appointed marketing director or marketing director is either unfamiliar with the overall situation after being promoted, or hired from outside, unfamiliar with the company and the market, and the annual plan formulated lacks overall consideration.
The second is that the person in charge of the company is very happy. Like “numbers” to look good, or emphasize heavy plans, standardization, gorgeous language, form over content, or high-level, unrealistic, top-heavy marketing goals.
The third is that corporate resources are not supported. During the implementation of the marketing plan, due to the shortage of resources including funds, the original planned equipment renewal, new plant production, or market investment could not keep up, causing the plan to be overwhelming and with half the effort.
Fourth, before formulating the plan, there was no systematic and thorough investigation. Lack of in-depth understanding of external markets, industries, competitors, channel partners, and consumers. It is impossible to know whether the internal finance, resources and professional capabilities of various departments can support the plan. The chain is lost at the critical moment of execution.
Fifth, the execution ability of the marketing team is insufficient. Execution ability is a prerequisite for smooth execution. Some companies do not pay attention to the training of employees’ learning ability. Due to various reasons, the lack of training for employees has caused a lack of professional skills in the market, weak combat effectiveness, and greatly reduced plan execution.
In addition, competition is fierce and competing products are squeezed sharply; lack of attractive marketing policies and channel vendors do not cooperate; the impact of e-commerce, high cost of physical stores, difficult survival…all these are the reasons why marketing plans are difficult to implement completely.
The 2021 annual marketing plan does this
How should a company formulate its annual marketing plan to better guide its marketing work in the coming year and successfully complete its marketing goals for the new year? The following five key points may be what enterprises should pay attention to.
The formulation of annual marketing goals must be sensible, reasonable and compliant. In one experiment, there were three groups of monkeys, two in each group, and they were placed in three rooms with bananas. In the first room, put bananas on the ground; in the second room, place between the ceiling and the ground; in the third room, hang on the ceiling. After a while, the two monkeys in the first room died and the other was injured to fight for the banana that was in front of them. The two monkeys in the second room were in peace with each other, and the two monkeys in the third room starved to death. What enlightenment does the experiment give us? If the goal is too low and too easy to reach, there will be a lack of fighting spirit and lack of pressure and motivation; if the goal is too high, it will be out of reach with a single jump, and there will be a loss of fighting spirit and self-defeating phenomenon. Only when the goals are sensible, reasonable and compliant can each achieve its goals while achieving its goals. Sensibility is in line with reality. For example, in the case of a weak and downturn in the global economy, marketing goals cannot be set too high. Reasonable means that the formulation of marketing objectives should be determined with reference to regional market capacity, product share, brand penetration, and market input. Compliance means that the formulation of marketing goals should refer to multiple factors such as the industry’s natural growth rate, historical growth over the same period, industry policy requirements and regulations, and legal regulations. It must conform to the law of market development and cannot be promoted. The formulation of marketing goals (performance indicators) usually follows the SMART principles: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to other goals (relevant), and clear deadlines (Time -bound). Regardless of the facts and the marketing goals set by the forehead, the final implementation can only be a formality. A well-known dairy company once slogan “Building a 100 Billion Enterprise in 10 Years” and blindly introduced venture capital. In the last twists and turns, it embarked on a path of self-denial.
The annual marketing plan must be researched and then formulated. A complete annual marketing plan generally has the following ten aspects: sales summary based on 4P; outlook for the economic and market situation in the new year; established or optimized and newly formulated marketing strategic plans of the enterprise; marketing in the new year Target (profit target) is broken down by sales unit, region, and product; new year marketing mix strategy and marketing actions, including brand, product, price, channel, promotion, publicity, service, etc.; issued for the achievement of goals and plans New year marketing management system; new year team building and overall marketing staff planning; adjusted or updated new year salary incentive assessment plan; new year financial budget and expense rate; attachments listed in the unfinished part. The core part of the marketing plan is the marketing mix strategy. Whether it is brand enhancement, new product launch, price and marketing policy formulation, or channel expansion, promotion, publicity strategy and method design, and service measures, it needs to provide resources for the company in advance The situation, including equipment, technology, production capacity, procurement, liquidity, logistics and warehousing, etc., is fully investigated and estimated, and even sand table virtual deduction. This is an internal investigation. In addition, corporate marketing and sales departments must also select targeted regions and markets, and conduct on-site or street block visits and pay for current distributors, terminal vendors, channel formats, economic and industry conditions, competitors, consumer groups, etc. Interviews, questionnaire surveys, etc., predict and judge the future of the market. At the same time, discover market problems, analyze the causes of the problems, and write solutions to strategies or methods into the annual marketing plan. The reason for the systematic research is to avoid “being behind closed doors” and falling into the misunderstanding of making plans for self-entertainment.
From retreat to pragmatic, the combination of virtual and practical. An effective annual marketing plan must be a combination of reality and fiction. Brand strategy, marketing strategy planning, marketing mix strategy, etc. are all false. But the marketing action plan, including manpower allocation, salary plan, market investment budget, etc., is real. “Reality” revolves around “imaginary”. How to land? This requires defining marketing events, specific content and standards, implementation time and nodes (phases, steps), implementation locations, responsible departments and personnel, assessment, rewards and punishments when formulating 4P strategies and sales action plans. The figures or tables are quantified and executable. The formulation of a marketing plan can only be recognized by everyone by combining virtual and actual, focusing on actual results, and implementing it to the end.
Cohesively, the departments coordinate, each take its own responsibilities, and each takes its place. There is a joke: a company’s performance is declining, and the boss calls the heads of various departments to meet to find out why. The sales director said that the quality of the products produced was not good, which affected sales; the production director said that the purchased raw materials were not good, which affected the quality; the boss continued to ask the purchasing director and the answer was that the finance department gave less money; asked the finance department , The person in charge said that it was due to the low sales volume of the sales department and the lack of payment. The problem turned around and returned to the sales department. This kind of wrangling phenomenon exists in many enterprises, and the correct way is to cooperate sincerely with all departments of the enterprise. The sales department is the executive department of the marketing plan or plan, the first responsible party for achieving the goal, and the party responsible for market and customer development, management, and maintenance. The marketing department is responsible for the functions of market research, product design, creative proposal, plan writing, and market supervision. Under normal circumstances, the marketing department is the maker of the company’s annual marketing plan, and a highly operational marketing plan should be led by the marketing department, with the sales department working together, and other departments assisting. The implementation deviations of some companies’ marketing plans are largely related to the lack of participation of the sales department at the time of formulation, which ultimately makes it difficult to implement the marketing plan. If the annual marketing plan is to be finally transformed into a command and operation statement for the smooth execution of the sales department, the leader of the marketing department must involve the head of the sales department, supervisors and even representative frontline sales personnel. Ask about the real market conditions, existing sales problems, what caused them, and what good suggestions are there. You can even reward some good constructive ideas and let the sales department actively participate in the writing of marketing plans. After the draft is completed, the sales department will even be consulted. In this way, once supplemented, revised and finally signed and approved, the plan becomes a real action guide for the entire marketing department, which naturally eliminates the embarrassment of divisions and non-cooperation. When I was teaching Coca-Cola, the head of the company’s marketing told me that their marketing goals are different from top-down companies in general, and Coca-Cola is bottom-up. That is, each region and each sales director report the target by themselves. After the marketing department collects it, it balances and adjusts according to the market and resource allocation, and finally becomes the task target recognized by everyone, and the plan is more achievable.
Adhere to the principle of optimum rather than optimum. Some small and medium-sized enterprises, when formulating their annual marketing plans, like “high-end” and “weiguangzheng”, which are expressed in terms of text descriptions that are boastful, arrogant or even lie. They look high and even awe-inspiring, but limited to Enterprise conditions, the implementation of the strategies and actions in the marketing plan is elusive, and the realization of the goal is naturally a “moon in the water” and “flower in the mirror”. Therefore, the formulation of a marketing plan is not necessarily optimal, but it must be suitable for the enterprise itself. For example, some small and medium-sized enterprises, when formulating their plans, have to be big and comprehensive, but they find it difficult to operate. For another example, some companies make marketing plans based on ideal conditions that can be achieved, ignoring market changes. There are also variable factors for companies, including international market fluctuations, national economic policy adjustments, rising raw materials, and customer loss. Unexpected situation. Therefore, when making plans, companies must adhere to the principle of optimality, and proceed from the market and the actual situation of the company, such as new product launches, product selling points and market acceptance, real production capacity, effective customers, guaranteed promotion expenses, marketing team capabilities, Customer team configuration and other aspects.
The formulation of an effective annual marketing plan condenses the efforts and efforts of the entire enterprise, but only by formulating appropriate marketing goals, formulating marketing mix strategies based on research, focusing on departmental collaboration, emphasizing pragmatism rather than retreat, and persistence The principle of the most suitable but not the best, and at the same time paying attention to the internal logical relationship, the content is substantial, and the pictures and texts are well-known, can the marketing plan be well-founded, executed effectively, and better achieve the new year’s corporate marketing goals.