Mark Ritson wrote an article for MarketingWeek titled Planning for marketing planning: 14 steps to an effective presentation.

« My strong recommendation is that you plan in 12-month increments… Of course, a strategy will always deviate as events unfold in unexpected ways. You need agility. But it does not replace the requirement of an initial strategy, from which to deviate in an agile manner. »

« Beware also those who push for a three- or five-year marketing plan… Marketing works best on a 12 month planning cycle. I’ve seen my fair share of three-year marketing plans. They involve a lot of planning for the coming 12 months, and then a simple extrapolation for the following two years. »

« If you cannot organise your marketing plan in such a way that it be communicated in 20 slides and 60 minutes, you are almost certainly too disorganised to execute it down the track… And if you can do it in 15 slides and 40 minutes, even better. »

« three sequential phases. First, we diagnose the situation using data. Second, we put together a strategy. Third, we plan the tactics that will deliver the strategy and success in the market. Then, all things being cyclical, it is back to a new diagnosis the following year to see if the strategy worked and start the process again.  »

« the very first slide after the title should be a summary of the objectives that were set in the previous year’s plan, with an update on whether they were achieved and why. »

« Don’t fear the objectives you failed to achieve. There is nothing more comforting for senior management than a marketer explaining why they screwed up with the kind of insight and humility that suggests they won’t make that same mistake again »

« It is crucial to build a marketing plan from fresh data, and not assumptions or outdated insights from a market that has changed significantly since the research was collected.  »

« the budget slide is literally 10 times more important than the insights slide. The research is the foundation for you plan, not the plan.  »

« ‘market segmentation’. It has nothing to do with your organisation and everything to do with the market… Segmentation is not strategy, it is a map of the market and therefore part of the diagnosis. »

« First, get the whole segmentation onto a single slide. Playing chess across multiple chessboards is beyond most of us. Second, make sure your segments have a name based on behaviour (not targeting), a population size, a value and your estimated market share.  »

« If segmentation is the map of the market. Targeting is the time to plan how you will traverse it… Top-of-funnel brand-building and then multiple targets for the short-term, lower-funnel activation stuff. »

« Personas… are usually built from abject nonsense… But a proper portrait is a very useful thing. Take the quant results from your survey and the best qualitative insights from your focus groups and build a picture of this customer segment. Who are they? What turns them on? What turns them off? What do they currently do in the category? Why do they do it? »

« Positioning is just the intended brand image. It is what we want the target consumer to think when they think about our brand. »

« A good marketing plan uses a funnel and the comparative conversion rates of its brand versus competitors to isolate the weak or opportunistic step to aim for with this specific target group. The plan uses that information to set clear, pointy goals for what it will achieve over the coming 12 months…

You can spot shit marketers a mile away because they have SWOT, Maslow and PEST in their plans and an array of fluffy, anodyne slogans that they have confused with proper objectives. Pointless tools from worthless marketers. You can identify good marketers because they have SMART objectives rather than vague, unmeasurable aspirations.   »

« it’s old-school but nothing conveys the tactical plan better than everything splayed out across a big fat Gannt.   »

Budget « Get these numbers right. And be ready to explain and defend them to the hilt. »


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