1 - Analyze The Situation
You can’t decide where you’re going and how to get there unless you know where you are. How big is your market? What’s a reasonable share of it for an organization like yours?
2 - Research The Competition
No business is an island, so you need to assess yourself in context. Who are the leaders in your market? What are they doing that gives them an edge? And what about the laggers? Knowing what not to do is worth knowing, too.
3 - Collate Data
Information is most useful when it’s properly organized and objectively interpreted. A written summary of the findings from the first two steps gives you a clear picture that enables better decision-making.
4 - Conceptualize Strategies
Because it drives decisions on everything else, goal-setting is the first and most important strategy. But it’s also the hardest step for many people, because to be meaningful, goals have to be quantifiable and measurable.
5 - Develop Plan of Action and Budget
Running a business without a marketing plan is like going to the grocery without a shopping list: you probably won’t get everything you need, and you might spend too much. The good news is that with reliable data in hand and clear objectives set, the plan almost writes itself.
6 - Produce Materials and Content
This step and the next one are actually concurrent, but they require different skill sets, so they’re described separately. And depending on the circumstances and the budget, they could be reversed.
7 - Coordinate Vendors and Suppliers
Just like employees, external resources have to be recruited carefully and supervised. From RFPs to creative and budget review, it takes time and effort to get the mix right – and keep it that way.
8 - Execute The Plan
It’s amazing how many people trip up on this essential step. Whether they get cold feet or they get complacent, it’s like a football team that plays only three quarters – or decides to leave its passing game in the locker room.
9 - Measure The Results
This is an ongoing process that uses the baselines and targets established in the first few steps. With those parameters in hand, it should not be difficult to assess progress and outcomes at any stage.
10 - Analyze The Situation
And you’re back to square one. Like the shampoo commercial says, “Lather, rinse, repeat...”