Ready. Set. Go! That is the mindset of businesses when the new year hits. Companies and leaders want action and results. Forward movement and immediate success helps everyone get off to a strong start. But how do you achieve that? Can it happen with immediate action or do you need a long-term plan cemented in place to get things done? In today’s world, both approaches boast positive attributes that can jumpstart a company’s marketing or communications campaign and lead to success. A great example of this is what one of our newest clients, CSM Corporation, is doing at the outset of 2014. CSM is a company poised for growth and is aggressively making positive changes to its business. Smartly, it is moving forward with a series of key announcements to inject awareness into the marketplace. CSM is also savvy enough to know that it needs and must build a long-term plan to capitalize on this momentum. This approach is effectively working for them in the early stages of 2014 and, as plans develop, has them set up for success over the course of the year. Here is a closer look at two ways, including the model CSM is following, to move forward in the new year.
Follow the Plan
You can never go wrong with having a plan. Companies with a cohesive, long-term strategy that aligns with business objectives are headed down the right path. Plans make it easy for companies to build and sustain momentum. They also keep your company top of mind with consistent activations and engagements. Staying in the news dodges the cycle of “highs” followed by “lows” that can pop up when companies make news and then go silent for months at a time. But planners still need to be on their toes. Sticking to the plan is one thing, being inflexible is a whole other story — that usually does not end happily. The best plans are constantly tweaked and adjusted to meet industry, market or customer needs and re-position the business for success.
Today, companies can produce high-value work that works hard for their brand without it being plotted on a map that stretches from January to December. There is no need to sit back and wait until every step is laid out in front of you. Quick strike engagements that leverage key milestones, product launches or other business objectives can be extremely impactful for a company. Stringing together a series of activations that fit this model can create a swell of excitement and buzz that can really fuel a brand. However, it takes more than a few sparks to keep a high level of awareness. Companies need to make sure they aren’t seduced by the rush of immediate actions and forget about the importance of aligning them with a plan. Without a plan, opportunities will be missed, work will stall and you will be waving good-bye to the positive momentum generated by the quick hits.
The Best Fit
Because companies enter the new year at different stages, they will operate from unique playbooks that are most comfortable for them. Some are armed and ready, set to activate a 12-month strategy that moves along at a steady cadence. Others, like CSM, may still be developing a long-term blueprint but that doesn’t stop them from making an early splash and earning quick wins. All the while working toward a more robust plan. However the business approaches marketing each can be successful if laser focused on the same goal — generating good work that moves the needle and advances the brand.