November 14, 2008

What's Your Plan? What's Your Goal?

As the world freaks out about money, this is the wrong time to panic. We're all worried about money, we're all unsure of the financial picture over the next year. Let's put on another pot of coffee and cozy up to the table.

Have you been there? The big boss says times are tight, budgets need to be trimmed and the first thing to go is the stuff that is perceived to be unnecessary or yet spent. That usually means marketing and promotion.

Next to go is people, because according to some, the perception is that fewer salaries means more profits and leaner organizations are more successful and solvent.

Everyone makes mistakes and every company lives through ups and downs. It's not easy but without a plan or realistic goals, it's even tougher.

Obviously we have to be financially prudent - especially now - but under-spending to success is a steep hill to climb. Lobbing buckets of water out the side of the boat with wild abandon can be risky too - some boats tip easily.

In the world I live, as mass media fragments into smaller niche pieces, it has become paramount for all of us to sharpen our proverbial pencils. We clearly need to spend wisely, manage expectations, and know what we want do before we start. Then be nimble, not foolish.

The hatchet and last year's game plan may not be wise first moves.

Marketing, media, promotion and content choices are splintering all the time. It's no longer easy to launch a new idea and spread the word. It used to be print, terrestrial radio, and television. Now there are fifty places to get content and get your message out. Whitewashing the world with one thick brush won't cut it anymore.

And what is crucial is integrating all facets of a project. In order to do that there needs to be clear knowledge that everyone contributes to the success, everyone actually needs to work together, communication is key, and everyone needs to have an understanding of each other's role and goals.

It's like the kid who is asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and he says "Rich!" but he has no clue how to achieve it.

Too many companies want to slash budgets, cut employees, enter relationships to get a leg up on the others, make more money than last year, but have no clue how they will do it.

In the ever-changing world of media, if your team doesn’t know everything there is to know about everything there is to know, it becomes more difficult to succeed. And we all have a long way to go in that area!

"Because we did it like that last year" is a phrase that should be stricken from your vernacular.

km

 
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