I’m currently in the process of pulling together a marketing plan. It’s recently dawned on me that I hadn’t really done a “Marketing Plan Document” in YEARS!? But that doesn’t mean I hadn’t done a marketing plan. In fact, I’ve done several of them – for myself and for clients.

But something has changed — let’s see if you see the change too. Marketing plans have been going “interactive” over the years. About the only time you’ve got to get something down on paper or at least as a formal file is when you are forecasting and budgeting — but the rest seems to have gone this interactive digital route. Two things have happened as a result; first, you don’t really feel like you’ve been planning because you’ haven’t slaved over this document. And second, it’s become a lot more fun to plan, implement, make changes and see the results of your plans materialize so quickly.

Here is my marketing plan aresenal and how I’ve been making it interactive for years now:

  1. The SWOT Analysis😕 There’s nothing that will get you focused on getting and keeping your best customers like a conversation about what’s actually happened over the last year or so — and how you can work with your strengths to differentiate and come up with new offers.
  2. My next step is to use Marketing Plan Pro Software, developed by John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing)? and Tim Berry (Palo Alto Software) two individuals with enough combined experience in market and business planning that put great plans together. I LOVE this software. I love that there’s a quick and dirty 30 minute plan where you can collect your ideas and general strategies all the way to the big encilada plan that would blow the banks away. You get to choose.
  3. Assuming that you’ll be implementing this plan with more people than yourself, I’d recommend a couple fun ways to keep it real and interactive. I’ve been using Central Desktop online collaboration with a client or two and I really like it. You open a workspace, pull your team together and start uploading files, calendars, documents — just about everything it takes to pull togegther a coordinated effort and keep your plan alive.

I guess that’s the big message here — it’s all about keeping your marketing plan fresh and alive. In the past we would all complain about how we wrote documents and they sat on shelves. There’s no excuse for that these days. Go ahead – create documents — but then bring them to life using these great tools.

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