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Annual Planning When There’s No Time to Think

Annual Planning When There’s No Time to Think

Annual planning is upon us. It’s FY this and FY that and while you’re hanging on tight to what’s left in this year’s budget, you’re clambering to secure as much or more for next.

And meanwhile, you’re pretty sure your marketing program could be more effective, but you’re strapped with so much churn and people management you can’t find time to put the creamer in your coffee, much less prioritize next year’s strategic activities.

Grab your coffee and take time for the creamer. We’ve got you. Here are some things to think about as you’re planning for FY23 and beyond:

1. Objective setting.

Of course it’s best practice to start with your objective. What are you trying to achieve? Case sales? Volume growth? Higher awareness levels in an under-indexed market? This will help you stay focused when prioritizing activities and communicate with leadership when new roadblocks find their way in.

2. Brand auditing.

From there, you might assess your brand system. How are you showing up? Are your brands valuable and meaningful to an operator? Do you have consistent messaging and content that can be repurposed? Do your brands have scalable design systems? Are they structured to support business growth for your customer or are they just playing an errant role in your portfolio?

Allocate some dollars to:
Foodservice brand auditing, messaging and design system refinement/evolution

3. Understanding the evolving buyer.

Next is fully unpacking buyer insights – or asking yourself if you even have useful insights – so you know how to communicate and craft highly targeted messaging. Think of how to get inside the mind of today’s operator.

Allocate some dollars to:
Market research and data

4. Planning integration.

Now you’re getting somewhere. Here you explore the high-level owned, paid, and earned opportunities, be it a lead-gen advertising campaign or content strategy or otherwise.

Allocate some dollars to:
A detailed customer experience plan – identifying key channels through which you’ll communicate to key buyer segments (e.g. trade media, tradeshow presence, broker support, your website, social media)

5. Sustaining activation.

Now onto assessing your abilities to activate. Are you avoiding the pitfalls of the set-and-forget? Foodservice buyer journeys don’t start and stop with one campaign. Again, they’re non-linear. They’re lasting. So how are you making sure your efforts don’t find dead ends before they’ve even gotten you somewhere?

Allocate some dollars to:
A momentum map – an organized means of planning out the dependencies of each activity in your marketing program – which will lead to quick wins ahead of longer-term gains; this allows for more efficient use of marketing spend, helps your team stay organized and on-course, and results in campaign structures that don’t have to take forever to show ROI.

6. Connecting the dots.

With activation underway, how are you attributing success? Are you considering your CRM platform and all the data points that can help tell you the right story? Do you even have a CRM platform you can use to collect meaningful data?

Allocate some dollars to:
Establishing and/or optimizing and growing your customer database with quality leads and contacts

7. Optimizing and reporting.

How will you continue learning and optimizing? What resources do you need to ensure lasting relevance for your foodservice brand?

Allocate some dollars to:
Success attribution modeling and robust KPI reporting dashboards

8. Getting help.

Lastly, partner with a foodservice agency you trust who can help you supplement your team and drive marketing leadership.

Allocate some dollars to:
Results and peace of mind

Posted in: Thoughts
Tags: marketing
September 09, 2022

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