Thursday, September 12, 2019

Kick off Annual Planning with Four Key Questions

Believe it or not, 2020 isn’t so far away. And while several organizations operate on fiscal years starting in July or even October, the majority of our clients embark now on planning for the traditional calendar year. Now is the time to regroup with the C-suite to discuss updates to long-term goals and any short-term projects.

How do you balance current and near-term programming while starting the conversation about next year’s plans?
  • Ensure you have an overarching sense of how the current year’s results are faring and what your budget status is. (This should really be top-of-mind for any account lead at any time.)
  • Approach the topic during a regular status meeting or call, but be careful not to let that derail more pressing matters. Instead, set a future date on the calendar to regroup about the coming year.
  • Prepare to address – even informally – a few tactics worth preserving and some program elements that could be replaced in the next year.
  • Review quarterly reports and call notes to refresh knowledge of corporate objectives.
When more formal discussion begins, these key questions can help foster productive discussion:
  1. Will there be any particular new product or service focus for the year, perhaps broken down by month or quarter?
  2. In addition to core communications to key audiences, are there new audiences we can consider targeting in the coming year?
  3. What are some key events in which the organization plans to participate (again or first the first time) in the year ahead?
  4. Are we working with a similar budget for the coming year, or should we plan for any changes?
These are some primary details that can help your team start thinking about creative strategies and tactics for a successful 2020 – while still focusing on delivering solid results this year.

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