The futility of marketing planning

maxresdefaultThis is the time of year that a lot of brands, and brand teams, spend countless hours preparing marketing plans that will most likely be outdated by the time they are completed.  While marketing plans are a good way to pinpoint where you are and where you want to go they can’t predict what’s going to happen in the economy at a macro level or with consumers at a micro level.

Some economists are already ringing the alarm bells that we are headed into another recession while others say that uncertainty within the economy is the result of the upcoming election.  Marketing plans cannot foresee what’s going to happen, nor can they can predict what your competitors are going to do.  The other unknown factor is the continuing consolidation within the retail sector.  Will stores like The Gap and Sears fold?


We have prepared marketing plans for many brands, but we always make a point of saying that these plans have to remain fluid enough to respond to changes within the marketplace.  Nothing should be written in stone and as thus brands should not waste too much time in preparing marketing plans.  We recommend that brands check their courses at least once a quarter and adjust course as needed.  We also are recommending..

1ne: Less emphasis on social media marketing, more emphasis on social media listening and as a customer service channel.

2wo: Increase efforts to retain existing customers.

3hree: Trade market share for profitability (i.e. be willing to take less share with higher profit margins)


4our: At least once a quarter conduct research with existing customers and hire a “shopping service” to measure the consumer experience.

5ive: Focus more on marketing dollars on direct impact initiatives; that moment when a prospect becomes a customer.

6ix: Invest in your marketing department people.  They ARE your brand.

7even: Review processes that don’t add value to your customers.

Too many people spend too many hours preparing marketing plans that sit in binders collecting dust.  Brands have to be more responsive to consumers and the market in order to be successful.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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