‘Tis the season for 2019 annual planning. 2018 is swiftly reaching its end, and it’s time to start thinking about the new year for your brand. While some companies may plan executional strategies in smaller cycles of 90 or even 30 days, it’s important to start each year with a strategic approach that identifies company-wide and department-specific goals and objectives. This plan will then serve as strategic guardrails for your brand and ensure that your marketing efforts are having a direct impact on your business.

Related Content: Kick Off Social Media 2019 Planning

To help take the stress out of preparing your annual plan, we’re sharing a five-step roadmap to set your team up for success.

1. Build the right team

Be creative in choosing your team. Include strategic leaders, middle managers, and key members of the executional team, and assign each member of the team a specific role and responsibility.

Identifying the right team for annual planning can be a tricky endeavor, particularly when office politics come into play. Many studies have been conducted on the proper team size, but most behavioral experts agree that a team of five to nine associates is most effective. This ensures a broad perspective, while eliminating the risk of dominant voices controlling the conversation.

Be creative in choosing your team. Include strategic leaders, middle managers, and key members of the executional team, and assign each member of the team a specific role and responsibility.

At DEG, we find great success by identifying a strategic leader who will facilitate the planning, as well as identify those responsible for decision making and those who will serve in a consultancy role within the planning team. This ensures that the team stays focused and has the ability to navigate conflicting opinions.

2. Begin with reflection

We find that the first step in developing an impactful annual plan is to reflect on what has transpired over the last year. We gather our cross-channel consultancy team and ask, “Where are we today?”

Identifying well-thought-out goals and objectives will allow your team the ability to develop a targeted 2019 annual plan that is effective and measurable.

This begins a research process in which our teams dig into channel performance, identify successful initiatives, discuss ideas that may have fallen flat, and consider any internal changes or external shifts in the landscape that will impact the next year.

3. Set realistic goals

Identifying well-thought-out goals and objectives will allow your team the ability to develop a targeted plan that is effective and measurable. However, as you establish these goals, it’s important to remain realistic because it’s easy to get carried away with what the new year can bring.

While establishing your goals, consider the impact of past marketing efforts and utilize historical performance as a baseline for what is possible.

4. Brainstorm openly

As you develop your 2019 annual plan, regularly ask yourself: “How will this help me in achieving my goals?”

Once the entire team is informed of your past performance and your goals for the upcoming year, schedule a full-group session to kick off planning. By having a group session, it allows the members of your team to collaborate on building a cohesive plan.

Spend time ideating on how each proposed initiative can be implemented across channels to gain you more bang for your buck.

Make sure that this session leaves nothing on the table by arming the facilitator with any potential “elephants” that people may try to skirt around. This will allow the facilitator to introduce these items and eliminate tension to maintain an open dialogue.

5. Prioritize your roadmap

As you begin mapping out proposed initiatives and developing your plan, regularly ask yourself one question: “How will this help me in achieving my goals?”

At DEG, we develop our final plans by looking at the impact each proposed initiative will have on our client’s business, as well as the level of effort it takes to implement.

Discover How Brands Can Thrive in an Era of Amazon

By mapping out each proposed activation across impact vs. effort, it identifies building blocks, low-hanging fruit, and potential differentiators, as well as “bears” that will take maximum effort with little direct impact. This approach allows us to easily prioritize our approach for the upcoming year and ensure that we’re choosing the right initiatives for your goals and budget.

The new year will be here soon enough. Taking the time now to put ideas and guidelines into place within a 2019 annual plan will help you long term to drive your business further. If you’d like to discuss how to best approach creating an annual plan for your business, feel free to reach out to us—we’d be happy to talk more with you.

Keep in touch.

Stay up-to-date on the latest digital trends, DEG news, and upcoming events by subscribing to DEG's newsletter.

Subscribe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comments