Marketing Checklist for 2012

Q4 is the usual time for pulling together plans and budgets for the following year.  In the past, I have written about the problems and issues that this process generates, but decided this year that a checklist might be of better use.

  __  Strategy, goals and objectives – Are the goals and objectives for 2012 articulated?  Is the strategy to reach these goals and objectives clearly spelled out, with priorities specified?

__  Budget and staffing – Is the budget for 2012, even at an approximation level, available?  Is the headcount forecasted to go up, down or remain the same?

__  Support groups – Are all the support functions (customer support, field services, product services, etc.) in line and capable of supporting the plans.

__  Events – Are all the major events/milestones known, i.e., new product introduction in Q1, major trade show in Q3, major partnership agreement in Q1?

__  Cost and profitability – For multi-product companies, are the costs, by product, going up, down, or remaining the same?  Will pricing remain the same or change?

__  Policies – Is there any need to change or modify customer facing policies or social media policies?  For example, has the current “Response” policy and procedure been effective?  Is the policy about employees discussing the company on Facebook and twitter clear and being followed?

__  Target market – Have you identified the target market?  Is it (audience) the same as it was in 2011?  Does it have the same segmentation?

__  Campaigns – Are there developed campaigns (strategies) to support all the marketing activities?

__  Marketing mix – Is the 2011 allocation of Marketing spend applicable to 2012?  For example, should more resources be devoted to social media, or to trade shows?

__  Tactical product pans – Will the 2011 tactical plan be effective in 2012?  Specifically is the “volume” product still competitive and profitable, is the “loss-leader” able to generate sales, and are there contingency plans in place in the event of competitive inroads?

__  Sales relations – Is there agreement on what constitutes a qualified lead?  Is Sales looking for additional support in the form of Product Managers?  Are Sales’ lost sales reports meaningful in helping to define the Marketing mix?

__  Social media – Which 2011 metrics have been the most useful to Management?   How can these be improved or expanded in 2012, and at what cost?  Additionally:

  • Is this the year to redo your website?
  • When is the last time you updated your SEO activity/measure?
  • Do you have a content calendar with confirmed inputs for Q1, the year?
  • Can you improve your utilization of content?
  • Are you up-to-date on the latest Facebook, LinkedIn, and twitter changes?


This checklist is meant to be a memory jogger, as each company and situation is different.  The point is that in approaching the 2012 budgeting process without a checklist, key things can be overlooked or forgotten.  The importance of a checklist has been proven by pilots and doctors, and should be used by all good Marketers.  (See: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande)

Have you constructed your checklist for 2012 yet?  How many items are checked off?  What other items would you add to this checklist?


PS.  If all this is confusing, you can find help in our Marketing Resource Optimizer (MRO) product.  Click here to obtain a copy of Part 1.


RHM  10/20/2011  



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