Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Peter Silva, Greg O'Connor, Pat Romanski, SearchStorage.com News, Jason Bloomberg

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
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...