When thinking about marketing I would advise that, wherever possible, you try and construct a holistic communications plan that sets out realistic objectives and a strategy to achieve them. There will always be external influences when it comes to achieving objectives so keep an eye on any awareness and/or public barriers that may exist such as the economic climate, new competition entering the market or maybe shifts in consumer trends.
If your organisation is of a certain size, it is essential that your strategy is presented internally so that everyone is in agreement with the plan and knows what the aims are. You’d be surprised how many times we’ve worked with multi site businesses where marketing is directed from a single office and is not passed on internally! After all, every employee has the ability to contribute to the success of the organisation and can play a part in the actual brand.
If, for any reason, there is a degree of uncertainty or any disagreement about the plan or existing perceptions of your company, then maybe look at implementing some sort of research among existing clients as well as an audit with the primary media to gauge levels of awareness and attitudes to the company.
The key to a successful marketing strategy is to set realistic goals and then communicate them and there is no shame in asking for specialist help in this area. I am the first to admit that my company is not a specialist when it comes to IT or accounting so I buy in help . In marketing, whether you are an owner/manager, the MD of a large multi national or head of a marketing department, sometimes an external and unbiased view of where you stand and where you want to be can make the difference as to ultimately whether things the business succeeds or fails.
Not only that, but no company wants to head up a certain path having made a quick decision on its future. This type of approach can be incredibly costly and hard to undo if you get it wrong. Investing in help at the start of the financial year or maybe after a change in trends will likely yield the biggest return.