Tuesday 24 May 2016

Andrew Argyle, Practice Director of Potter Clarkson was the latest speaker and host of the East Midlands Forum, which looked at the importance of strategy and strategic planning when it comes to convincing leaders of your marketing plan.

A strategic marketing plan looks beyond the short-term ‘what’s’, ‘who’s’ and ‘how’s’ of tasks and points more towards the bigger picture and the ‘why’s’. If the marketing plan is shaped by the overall strategic business objectives then you are much more likely to persuade the business owners that is it worth implementing.

Andrew explained that the key to a successful marketing plan is engagement, and not just from the Generals! You need to include influential people within your organisation to get them on side – they will be the ones most likely to take on responsibilities and help drive the plan forward. You need to communicate the plan throughout the business and ensure everyone knows and understands what they’re doing and why – these actions bring the whole strategy to life. And, as with most plans, implementation will require change. It’s important to prepare your people for the change before putting the plan into action.

Andrew has had many years’ experience of developing and implementing good strategies and plans, but at the forum he also pointed out why some plans fail:

  • Lack of communication
  • Day-to-day distractions taking over
  • The plan is overwhelming or meaningless to others
  • No progress reports
  • Benefits are not recognised or understood
  • No-one takes responsibility for it

Most business leaders know the importance of having a marketing plan that supports the overall business strategies but Andrew’s top tip for really impressing the boss is to take a leadership role, push for a strategic plan if there isn’t one, help to create it and then drive the implementation. And don’t then lock the plan away in a drawer – make sure it’s referred to regularly to keep the business on track.

Leah Bradley
Marketing Consultant, V Formation
Regional PR, PM Forum East Midlands