Effective Strategic Marketing Action Plans

Absent An Action Plan

Recipes are for cooking and marketing

Without recipes, implementation is inconsistent, loses focus & lacks accountability

Major Marketing Malfunction #6

A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Having performed numerous marketing assessments and marketing audits over the years, I often see good marketing intentions, (wishful goal-setting); deteriorate into a messy mixture of marketing initiatives with marketing ingredients impulsively amassed — in the absence of an action plan. Creating a strategic marketing action plan is akin to an Executive Chef’s key responsibility in creating recipes and menu planning that keeps guests returning for more. 

With a friend, I start France Andreas, a catering business in England in the late 70’s – our first action is to create recipes and plan menus. Why? It takes our thinking to paper, generates focus and forces a planned systematic approach to execution.

But let’s take a step back – what is a recipe?

A recipe, for cooking or marketing, is an inventory of ingredients, in precise proportions, and a staged sequence of action steps. And without recipes, implementation is inconsistent, loses focus and lacks accountability. Recipes provide an explicit, systematic and transferable means to others to implement effectively.

Effective marketing plans need to be written, organized and transferable so others can implement.

Your marketing plan first brings focus.

  • Who are you targeting with your offering?
  • What are their needs?
  • How does your offering bring value to the need? How is it different?
  • What’s your core message?
  • How are you going to deliver the message?

Secondly, your marketing plan strategically outlines your actions to prompt accountability to action. However, in my experience, the recipe to maximize marketing ROI is through the effective integration of your marketing ingredients. The recipe starts with strategically selecting ingredients from the “marketing pantry” in appropriate proportions. The ingredients are purposefully combined and timed to impact the target audience at each stage of the five-course marketing meal:

  1. Interrupt – to garner attention
  2. Inform – to establish credibility
  3. Interact – to build the relationship
  4. Inspire – to close the sale
  5. Increase – to accelerate your business

Finally, your marketing plan lays out your actions in a timed sequence, a rolling 90-day marketing calendar that provides accountability to your stated actions.

With your explicit, written marketing action plan, your marketing goals elevate from wishful thinking to actionable implantable strategies and tactics.  Good luck and bon appetit!


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