Once these components have been considered, you can start mapping out your tactics and determine how, where and when you plan to reach your audience. The best part about tactical planning in this way is that you’ve already done the legwork of narrowing in on your audience, understanding their purchasing behaviors, and factoring in the journey you’re going to take them on. Throughout this process, strategic thinking has been set in motion; the tactical planning will start to align with your target audience and how they’re going to respond.
You can likely already see how this tactical approach can offer efficiencies and even empower marketing teams to be thinking on a more strategic level. Instead of reacting to a need with a frantic task-oriented response, they can answer questions such as:
- “How does this solve a problem in my industry?”
- “What challenges are potential customers up against?”
- “How is the industry landscape changing, and how can we be prepared?”
- “What need am I meeting for my potential buyers?”
- “What tactic and approach will best resonate with our audience and why?”
And if you’re wondering, “Should I really plan 12 months out?”, here’s our take:
If you’ve done the work of understanding your audience and aligning your messaging, there’s no reason you can’t devise an integrated marketing plan a whole year in advance. This can allow your team to think creatively, strategize, and refine their work as they get ready to deploy.
It’s best to stay focused on the high-level priorities and not get too far into the weeds when looking at the year in its entirety, though. Yearly plans don’t get too granular when initially conceptualized but tend to be refined and further fine-tuned quarter-by-quarter as certain details arise and priorities shift throughout the year. Stay focused on the main goal and be flexible as the particulars become clear.