Strategic marketing and communication plans are amongst the most important tools in a business owner’s toolbox. All toolboxes need to be fully stocked and assessed on a regular basis. Your business toolbox and plan assessment are no exceptions.
This plan assessment blog completes our series on creating your own strategic plan. Be sure to check out the first, second, and third posts, and download these FREE Strategic Marketing and Communication Plan Worksheets to work alongside the series. Once you map out your vision, plan assessment is critical.
Today’s post is about plan assessment – what happens after your plan has been carried out.
Plan assessment and plan implementation are equally important to plan success!
Previously, you chose three assessment methods to track tactic effectiveness and strategy success. I also recommended monitoring via a few relevant social media sites (and the analytics they offer), helpful apps, and tools, including Basecamp, Smartsheet, and more.
The methods you chose for measurement should be based on the strategies you select and the tactics you implement. For example, I use blog posts as a strategic tactic, for knowledge sharing. The goal is to help readers improve their marketing skills. And, analyzing my web traffic assesses this work effort.
Your assessments should include both quantitative and qualitative data – both hard figures, and feedback you received or things you noticed during the experience.
Plan assessment should also include reviewing your words and your audience.
- Test – Did you incorporate the messages and/or images you had in mind?
- Check – Did you reach your intended audience or a different one entirely?
- Research – Did you communicate well?
- Evaluate – Did you choose the best channels for your intended audience?
Plan assessment should occur throughout the entire strategic communication process. Check yourself and your results as you go along. Incremental plan assessment allows you to implement small, real-time changes that boost your strategic plan’s overall success.
As you review the information gathered through your plan assessment processes, ask yourself the following:
- Did I follow the plan to the best of my ability?
- Have I communicated well and used the best channels?
- Did my tactics work as intended?
- Were these the best tactics I could feasibly do to carry out the intended strategy?
- Did these strategies have any effect on my overall goal?
- What worked? What didn’t?
- Can you identify improvements and move the plan forward?
Of course, the most crucial question is “Did I reach my goal?”
Ideally, you’ll be able to demonstrate that your strategic marketing and communication plan allowed your business to achieve a milestone. Even if you did not fully achieve the goal, significant progress means the plan was worthwhile. It also means you’re capable of creating such plans! Plan assessment ensures success.
If your goal wasn’t achieved, use this plan assessment overview to figure out what weakened your plan, or which parts fell short of what you imagined. Make changes and always try again!
As you strengthen your business’ marketing and communication strategies, remember that it takes time and practice to build new skills. With help from me, Your Marketing Mama, you can grow your business and become a strategic sharpshooter!
A great strategic plan always includes a phenomenal plan assessment.
Your Marketing Momma,
Cheryl McCants – President & CEO, Impact Consulting Enterprises