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How CMOs Can Re-energize The Annual Planning Process

August 10, 2011

Just came across this piece from J. Mark Carr at Forbes on CMO’s role in the annual planning process.  Here are 3 simple tips that go a long way while also happening to espouse zealous beliefs LaunchPad brings to the planning process.

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Unfortunately, nine out of 10 companies do exactly that when it comes to the annual planning process. This is a huge missed opportunity for the company and for chief marketers as leaders within the organization. What can be done about this sad state of affairs? Below are some simple, proven ideas that can transform the dreaded process into an opportunity to innovate.

1. Untangle the planning knot. Many organizations get into trouble by confusing planning and budgeting and trying to accomplish both simultaneously. Budget projections are about controlling expenditures; they are unlikely to produce new, better ideas or results. Mixing planning and budgeting – or worse, starting with a budget – reinforces the tendency to start making financial tradeoffs before seriously reconsidering the strategy. The natural “weight” of the budget process focuses planning on the short term at the expense of longer-term goals and tends to kill new ideas.

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