How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 7 of 9
Annual goals are often confused with concepting. Annual goals are the goals, objectives and deliverables for the year – they shape the backbone of a great concept. This is when all the analysis you’ve done will help you to make educated decisions on where your marketing efforts should be focused in the next year. Keep the macro analysis in mind, it will show lessons learned and key things to avoid or trend s you can leverage.
Who should be on this one
The first draft of the plan can be drawn out by the marketing team. The final draft should be refined and written by the head of marketing. Final approval should be by the c-level management. This should be approved before you dive into measurements or concepting.
Make sure that your goals are all realistic. Nothing is worse than putting all that effort into a plan and not achieving your first goal. Increase the challenge over the years so that you can get a head start.
How much can you spend to achieve the goal?
Unfortunately, everyone has limitations to the resources available. The goals have to fit with your available resources. This helps in ensuring that you will be able to achieve your goals and create a feasible plan.
For the annual goals, work from a top down approach. This will clarify the needs that will outline your annual goals. You do this by first starting with the 5-year goal and then work through Year 1 to Year 4.
Review the Pain
Here is where it’s important to keep in mind the original reason why the plan was put in place. Often, the individuals involved have their personal needs invested in the project and it’s important to incorporate as many as possible without compromising the vision. It’s often safe to play the common need of all the parties involved.
5 YEAR GOAL
We start with a 5-year goal to set the trajectory and use the annual goals leading up to this 5-year goal. This goal should reflect steps towards achieving your vision. The years leading up to it slowly breaks down the barriers to achieving the Year 5 goal.
For each year, fill out the following:
a. Annual Goal Theme – his is the focus of the year. Everyone on your marketing team should be familiar with what it is you’re going to be spending all your efforts on within one simple title that summarizes the goal.
b. Goal Summary – Here is where you explain why this is the goal of the year. This should be more inspirational and overarching. This can be used to relay to the board, managers or the greater team to help everyone understand the direction.
c. Objective – The 3-5 objectives will help break down how you’ll achieve your goal for the year. These are clearly defined objectives that the team can work towards. By achieving these objectives, you will have reached your goal for the year.
d. Action Plan – Translate objectives into actionable item(s) that the team can work towards. These should directly align with the greater goal of the year. There should not be any action items that steers away from achieving your goal for the year. Even if works towards another year or the greater vision or the 5-year goal, it should not be in this year’s objectives.
e. Critical Success Factors – These are 3-5 points that must be satisfied or the year will not succeed. These points are not the objectives or measurements, rather the forgotten underlying goals that need to be achieved to ensure success. Examples include buy-in from the board, sufficient coverage and exposure, member engagement, etc.
f. Deliverable and Budget Breakdown – Here is where you outline the tangibles. Where will the resources be spent? How much time do you invest in each item and what are the main deliverables that will be executed to achieve the greater goals. These also align with each of the objectives and their corresponding action plans.
g. Accountabilities – Here is where you outline the leads for each objective – it can all be one person or different individuals for each. This outlines who is responsible for each, which is crucial. This does not mean that they need to execute the whole thing on their own, but it does mean that this individual will be leading and directing the process while calling on other teammates to execute.
Example of Annual Goals
Year 1 Goal – Lead the Conversation (2017)
By leading the conversation, we’ll be able to focus on what ABC Org wants the public to talk about rather than having the public dictate the conversation. This opportunity gives ABC Org the opportunity to educate the public on the importance of ABC Org’s role in strengthening the community. This year will be focusing on what we want to say, and establishing the foundational tools and refining them.
This year’s goal requires us to build the elements of the promotional campaign. The concept must align with the key message and our target demographic – mainly media worthy.
- Establish a clear key message that ABC Org community can stand behind
- Build strong foundational tools for a campaign that can be built upon in future years.
- Build relationships with the media that will help push ABC Org’ message
Critical Success Factors
- Clear Key Message
- Strong Foundation
- Media Worthy
- Marketing Plan
- Communications Plan
- Promotional Campaign
- Media Buying / Public Relations
• Digital or Traditional
After you’ve completed each of the years in your marketing plan, it’s important to review and ensure it aligns with your vision and that it’s achievable. Your team should have approved and should be on board with the plan. Adjustments to the annual goals should be revisited once the year is over but should not be adjusted during that year. Once this has been agreed upon, then you’re ready to move ahead into designing your KPIs and your campaign concept.
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If you want to learn more about specific key elements of an effective marketing plan, read our 50+ page booklet on How to Write A Strategic Marketing Plan That Yields ROI – complete with explanations