Michael Brenner Blog on Marketing StrategyThe realities and pressures we all face in today’s economy are not easy. Too many times, the reaction of B2B Marketers is to pull out the fire house and start fighting the latest fire. I think one of the most important factors to success in B2B markets is simple: Strategic and Integrated Marketing Plans. 

Oh and that means thinking ahead. (Disclosure: as a dedicated rant, this post is full of copious amounts of sarcasm).

But this is hard, isn’t it? It requires us to think with forethought to determine and to communicate our business goals. Sometimes this means we actually have to write something down. And it requires us to define a strategy to achieve those goals. From the strategy, a plan is created with actions, owners and dates. And then, we monitor the results and adjust as needed. Flexibility is built in to accommodate an ever-changing business landscape.

This is not hard. And this is not impossible despite today’s competitive markets and slow growing economy. Yet, if you look around, you see wasted effort, tactical thinking and reactionary measures. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in Social Media. But you are smart. You know that Social Media is Not a Strategy where the author comments:

it’s not that companies tweet or post photos to flickr that is behind their success; it’s the fact that these efforts further their overall strategy of content creation, customer acquisition, and product positioning. 

And yet some of us have to even say the words:  ”Twitter Is Not a Social Media Strategy“ where the author has to point out that “A Twitter account is not a social media strategy”.

I once worked for a great guy who I was lucky enough to follow up the ranks as he became Chief Marketing Officer of a large company. He made everyone write a business plan. If you wanted funding: write a business plan. Having a meeting to pitch a new idea: write a business plan.

This was one of my great work-life lessons: never lack a strategy. Just as important: be able to articulate it. And if you want to get something done, plan for it.