Should I be a bit more short-term this year with my marketing activity?
I run a computer game retailer and I drew up a marketing plan for the whole of last year. Things didn’t really pan out the way I expected and the plan turned out to be pretty useless. Should I be a bit more short-term this year with my goals and advertising activity?
Personally I think the annual marketing plan should be thrown out. It's not long enough to be strategic, and too long to stick to – things change.
I would scrap your last plan and then set yourself a five-year plan. What's your five-year vision of success?
From there I would set up plans quarter by quarter – be more tactical, and allow yourself to take advantage of opportunities in a timely manner, as well as adjust to the demands of a constantly changing environment.
With all marketing activity try to build activity that builds on itself over time, you don't want to be creating things from scratch every time.
Create assets that can work over time, and try and keep them for as long as possible. It's more cost-effective and will build a bigger brand overall.
So with that advice, yes, throw out last year’s plan, but before you do, examine if there is anything at all you can salvage and build on.
Was there any good packaging? Did you create a character or logo to communicate your brand? And so on.
Remember that marketing is a game of scale and efficiencies of effort. So the longer you stick with something, the more value it will create.