How to inspire great planning

We’ve all heard the words of wisdom that repeatedly tell us that failing to plan is planning to fail.

Many businesses dread the thought of planning, but a different approach might help you to get the most out of it. Here are some quick-fire ideas from Geoff Phillips of Canvas Marketing:

Change how you think

Planning is a brilliant opportunity to get head space, recognize achievements and validate existing plans to make sure that you still have a plan that will work!


Get a mix of inputs from people who will take ownership of parts themselves. Consider external advice or someone to facilitate for you.

Connect to your business strategy

Link all marketing that you do to your business plan to create your core marketing pillars.

Outputs and timelines

Have a clear focus on what your real outputs of planning will look like e.g. ‘skilled up team in place’, ‘new website launched’ and not just the outcomes you hope to achieve.

Keep it simple

It doesn’t take 54 pages to plan. A one-page template is often enough backed up with operational info in the background.

Socialise it

Get buy-in by involving key non-marketing people to read or have the plan presented to

Team goals

Your plan is the bedrock of your marketing team’s goals and development. They are accountable for delivery whether they’re colleagues or suppliers.

Gut feel

Use logic, spreadsheets and avoid being reckless but don’t rely too much on theories, models or data that stifle gut feel.

Customer customer customer

Think like your customer or better still get them involved: be confident in your customer driven insight to build the best plans.