Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Chris Schwarz, Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

2013: Prepare to Battle (for Market Share)

Dwight Eisenhower, World War II General and our 34th President, once said: In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

Have you started planning out your 2013 initiatives? Maybe you have some rough ideas of what you’d like to accomplish but have not taken the time to really put together a plan. Trying to look a year out is especially challenging if you have spent most of 2012 “behind the 8 ball”.

Believe me, we’ve been there. Our 2012 plans took a big detour when we merged mid-year. In marketing, we dedicated a full quarter to the merger alone. Then, suddenly it was mid-October. Merger activities were complete and year-end was starring us in the face. We had ten weeks left in the fiscal year and had been treading water in our demand generation activities.

Step 2: Whiteboard any and all ideas. You can break your board up in whatever way makes the most sense for your team. We broke ours into 6 sections.

What did we do? We grabbed a marker and went to the white board as a team.
In just a few hours, we were able to identify and prioritize our future initiatives. What we discovered in the process is that the act of planning was as valuable as the end product. This is the method our team used—with great results—to brainstorm and organize ideas for our Q4 plan.

 

Step 1: Define measurable goals.
Before you can start any kind of planning, you must first decide what big picture items you would like to accomplish. Think of 3-5 measurable goals that you would like to reach, write them down, and then move to Step 2.

Step 2: Whiteboard any and all ideas.
With your marketing team, create a giant, working list of everything you can think of that you would like to do in 2013. These can be anything from basic house keeping items to the most outrageous marketing idea possible. At this point, you do not have to be too detailed as long as your team is on common ground with the scope of the project. For the Sales Engine team, we broke our board into six categories: Inbound, Outbound, Events, Blog, Content, and Miscellaneous.

Step 3: Plot effort vs. impact.
Once you have a list of the things you’d like to do in 2013, plot them on an Effort vs. Impact chart. You need to rank each item for how much effort must go into it to finish AND the impact that finished item will have on your marketing goals (Step 1). To make it easier, we started with three levels (Low, Medium, and High) and then became more specific from there.

Step 3: Plot Effort vs. Impact. To start, we broke each axis into 3 sections: Low, Medium, and High. Then, we got more specific from there.

Physically plotting these ideas on a chart provides your team with a clear, visual representation of what they want to accomplish and how hard they will have to work to get there. It will also help you prioritize initiatives based on the ultimate impact they will have on marketing goals. If there are low impact/ high effort activities, for example, you may move those to the bottom of the list.

Step 4: Consider resources.
Look at everything in your plan and determine where you may have a deficit in resources. You may not know your budget for 2013, but if high impact activities will require additional funding, you’ll want to start thinking about how to make that happen. Also, don’t forget about staff. If you have a big SEO project slated for Q1 but have not hired anyone to manage it, you may need to bump that project back to Q2.

You might also want to look at what marketing or organizational tools are out there. In Q4, we began using Rally, an agile planning tool, that has helped our team better organize our tasks, prioritize what needs to be done, and measure the effectiveness of our team and our initiatives.

Step 5: Commit to the plan and make it visible.
Take picture, write it out, and keep it in a central place wherever your team goes to collaborate on ideas. We use Central Desktop as our collaboration tool. When you are ready, share the plan out with your entire organization. This not only provides visibility between the departments in your organization, but it can also push your team to work a little harder now that the entire organizations holds the same expectations.

 

It’s a no brainer that planning makes goals more achievable, and it’s not just because you have a plan. Planning invariably helps us identify obstacles and challenges in advance and think through them when we are not under the pressure of an immediate deadline.

In today’s competitive environment, you really need to leverage any advantage you can find to help you win in the battle for market share. So, arm your team with some markers and head for the whiteboard.

Who was it that said, “I really wish I had not taken the time to plan in advance”?
No one – ever!

 

Share

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Emily Mayfield

Emily Mayfield, Director of Marketing at Manticore Technology, oversees strategy and execution for demand generation, public relations, and corporate communication. In her blog Funnel Focus, she explores best practices in marketing performance management, demand generation, and online marketing. Prior to joining Manticore in 2008, Emily was Director of Marketing at AHR, Inc, where she launched the company's nationwide online real estate education program and managed its e-commerce site. Emily graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Corporate Communications.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.