The futility of marketing planning

maxresdefaultThis is the time of year when many brands and brand teams spend countless hours preparing marketing plans that will most likely be outdated by the time they are completed.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 an excellent way to pinpoint where you are and where you want to go, they can’t predict what will 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 predict what your competitors will 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 say that these plans have to remain fluid enough to respond to changes within the marketplace. Nothing should be written in stone, and thus, brands should not waste too much time preparing marketing plans. We recommend that brands check their courses at least once a quarter and adjust classes as needed. We also recommend it.

1ne: Less emphasis on social media marketing, more 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, research with existing customers is conducted, and a “shopping service” is hired 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 hours preparing marketing plans in binders collecting dust.  Brands must be more responsive to consumers and the market to succeed.

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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