Show me your strategic plan…
I bet you don’t have one. Don’t worry, I don’t have one either.
Ask ten people you respect – people who are hitting their number this year, people who are running sales or marketing organization and knocking it out of the park – and I bet none of them have a long-term, written strategic plan.
They have objectives. They know where they are going. They have metrics, and focus areas and a disciplined approach to execution, refinement, review, optimization.
But I bet they haven’t written a long-term, strategic plan in a long time.
Gone are the days of multi-year marketing plans. Gone (for the most part) are detailed 12-month plans too (when’s the last time you wrote one or actively used one, seriously?)
The world is moving far too fast for those now. Your ability to execute, measure, adjust – all moving so fast now that at best you’re creating tactical plans on a quarterly basis. Many marketing organizations I know plan details no further out than a couple months at a time (with long-lead tactics like events being an exception).
Anything more than that is more than likely going to be a waste of time.
If you plan something for Q1 and it doesn’t work, give up on it and move to something else. If you execute and it does work, how much more of it can you do – and how quickly can you do that?
Honestly, how accurately can you really estimate or plan how you will be executing across the board six months from now?
Today’s most successful marketers work more quickly, more iteratively, with far more frequent reviews and adjustments.
This isn’t fly by the seat of your pants. It’s still grounded in what’s realistic, what’s strategic, what’s going to drive revenue and sales growth.
Just don’t waste your time building a long-term plan that’s only going to gather dust in a desk drawer when you could have spent that time making money.