2012 New Year Resolution –strategic planning

Two “elastic” concepts clash every time the calendar shreds its last sheet: New Year’s resolutions and time gone by. Resolutions are “wishes” of improvement/development of a habit with an objective in mind. While time haunts us several times a year when “short” or “rare”, forging new habits requires strong will – or say consistency – when it comes to effort. The challenge of a new habit resides in its accomplishment, not its complexity per say. Same goes for yearly strategic planning.

Many entrepreneurs and executives are simply taken by the back-to-work routine after the Holidays. Believe me, that’s a choice, not an excuse! As a business leader, determining and focus on strategic objectives is essential. To do so, a periodic strategic review leading to marketing and sales alignment is necessary. It provides the high-level view required to validate, modify and even change or correct directions and actions to be taken depending on changes in the market.

Like every New Year’s resolution, it’s more about the energy and will to deploy to forge it than the complexity of the task that stops one in making it happen. Strategizing requires some distance and putting it in application requires consistency all year long. As a starting point, here are some thoughts and questions to engage your strategic planning.

Strategy and its application

Setting strategic marketing and sales objectives. Objectives must be precise, clear, achievable and measurable. For example: Increase our construction material distributor market share by 5% in the the Greater Toronto Area in 2012.

Once those objectives set, questions regarding the marketing mix strategies will come up by themselves.

Tactical

Strategies now determined, tactical elements will be conditioned by time-defined elements. Think of high moments in your industry in regards to your objective. You will unveil rapidly a series of events that will punctuate your year in tactical actions.

Based on the example mentioned above:

  • What is the editorial calendar of industry publications targeting the Greater Toronto Area?
  • Which corporate and associative events could you take part in this year?
  • When are prospect clients closed for holidays and/or vacations?
  • When do requests for proposal usually come out in your industry?
  • When do you introduce new products, services and updates during the year?
  • What actions will you perform before, during and after each strong moment in the year?
    • Which channels to use?
    • What metrics to use to evaluate each action?
    • On what bases will you evaluate success of tactical elements?
    • How will you evaluate your global strategy?
    • Etc.

Every initiative has its own preparation, execution and post-event moments. These will determine your marketing agenda and impose a rhythm in your actions. With an agenda on hand, you’ll be able to prepare accordingly. Of course, every action has its own particularities, and external help could be welcome.

The time is now

That is exactly how we work here. To these and many more strategic and tactical questions, Exo Marketing takes the time with you to define your business objectives. Then we plan and execute with care strategic and tactical integrated marketing actions in conjunction with sales.

What’s important to us is to be by your side all year long in marketing and sales initiatives. Just like a good New Year’s resolution, the secret of a solid business strategy and marketing plan are found in their clarity, simplicity and constant efforts invested. It’s all about taking the time and having the will.

Take the time to plan 2012. Do it with our help or internally but do it. Do it now!

Best wishes of prosperity for 2012!

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