Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named "Media Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. 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.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
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.