Q1 Planning: 3 Tips for Marketing Directors

Traditionally, organizational planning begins with examining where you are now, identifying where you want to go, and mapping out how you will get there. It’s no different for marketing directors or marketing professionals. So rather than covering the basics of goal setting, this post highlights three ways we’ve seen marketing directors make the most of planning during Q1.

1. Focus on Strategy (Not Tactics)

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review defines strategy as abstract positioning that takes place on an organization level. Tactics are the individual actions your team will take in order to achieve specific objectives. Your strategy informs these actions, but the two are not the same. Unfortunately, many C-level marketers conflate tactics and strategy. Strategy (or strategic planning) should be the foundation of all your marketing efforts. Spend most of Q1 educating your marketing team on your business’s strategic positioning, and you’ll reap the rewards of hyper-focused marketing activity throughout the rest of the year.

2. Establish Checkpoints

Steve, a marketing leader, has begun the new year with high hopes, believing that, with a fresh start, they can accomplish almost anything. Then, they inevitably lose sight of strategic goals amid campaign launches and unexpected challenges. The best way we’ve seen marketing leaders stay on track is by scheduling checkpoints throughout the year. Mark them in your calendar and have your team do the same. Use them as opportunities to “check in” with your progress towards strategic goals. It’s important to set these checkpoints early in Q1 while you’re still in a strategy mindset (before you get bogged down in the execution of tactics).

3. Invest in Your Team

Investing in your team can mean hiring the people who will help achieve your goals, or it can mean investing in the training and development your team needs to implement the strategic plan you’ve laid out. If you’ve got big, impressive plans for the year, you may want to expand your definition of “team;” finding a creative partner who can seamlessly integrate with your core group on particularly challenging projects is the best way to accomplish monumental goals. Identify and thoroughly vet potential partners at the beginning of the year. Clue them into your strategic planning and benefit from their outside perspective on what you can achieve and how.

Diace Designs’ clients know the value of having a behind-the-scenes marketing partner to get them past the finish line on ambitious projects. If you plan to set aggressive goals for 2019, bring us in. Surmounting challenges is in our DNA.

About Kara Franco
Kara writes copy that speaks. She has a knack for creating clear, compelling messages without wasting words. She is passionate about digital marketing and believes that copy is the cornerstone of user experience.

Copywriter + Content Strategist