Planning for 2007

Before you are overwhelmed by administrivia, use the remainder of the first week of 2007 to help yourself achieve the things you want this year.  Develop an annual plan.  Set goals, priorities, and action items.  Remember, you can’t reach a goal you haven’t set.

Take this opportunity to step back from the daily grind, set goals, and develop strategies for reaching those goals.  In addition to helping you decide what to do this year, your plan will help you decide what not to do – it enables you to focus your limited resources on the important things, not waste them on lesser matters.

To most marketers, P-L-A-N is a four-letter word viewed with dread as a time-sucking activity.  That’s because most marketers develop a plan for the plan, plan, re-plan, and then plan some more.  It doesn’t have to be that way:  your plan doesn’t have to be perfect.  Remember an OK plan violently executed is better than a perfect plan never executed.  So, take some time to come up with a reasonable plan and then get to work.

By following the following steps, you can develop a plan that will set you off in the right direction for 2007:

  • Be realistic:  Look where you have been, and where you want to go, but be real about goals.
  • Evaluate the past:  Learn from history by determining what’s worked and what hasn’t
    List specific goals:  Develop a list of all your goals Yes, all of them.  With each goal, include specific metrics.
  • Develop strategies:  Identify the steps necessary to achieve each goal
  • Estimate resources required:  Cost?  People?  Time?
  • Prioritize:  Put your goals in order of priority.  Which are most important?  Why?
  • Get consensus:  Discuss your list of goals with your colleagues and other stakeholders.  Listening to and incorporating their feedback will help you build consensus and commitment.

Once you have your plan, you are well on your way to a successful 2007.  If you need help, consider retaining an outside marketing consultant — you may be surprised what value an objective opinion can bring.

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