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13 Oct, 2016

How Wedding Planning and Marketing Strategic Planning Are Alike

Rebecca Starer

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Event Recap   News You Can Use  
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Read time: 1 minute, 57 seconds

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Pictured above (left to right): Carrie Ann Williams (presenter), Mindy Hinsley (presenter), Ashley Campbell (SMPS DC Education Director), Rebecca Starer (SMPS DC Education committee member)

So you've met the person of your dreams.

You’ve decided that you’re getting married, so now what? You pick a date, select your wedding party, decide on the size of your wedding, determine a schedule of events, etc. Seeing the comparison yet?

If not, let's recap what Mindy Hinsley, CPSM and Carrie Ann Williams, CPSM had to say about marketing strategic planning during their presentation for SMPS DC in September. The event was held at George Mason University and the presenters educated a packed house, focusing on key components of a marketing plan, as well as the impact of that plan on AEC marketers and their firms.

He Put a Ring On It

With marketing strategic planning, you are setting goals. Whether it’s to increase your share of a particular market or to change the perception of your company in the industry, you are working towards an objective. Our speakers compared it to the decision to marry someone. Once you decide to get married, all that’s left is to start planning the wedding.

Save the Date

Similar to planning a wedding, you must pick a date to work toward for your marketing strategic plan deliverable. It can be one month, one quarter, or one year from now. Any more than a year, and Mindy and Carrie Ann believe that your progress can be hindered. Once you select the date, it’s time to work backwards. You should create actionable deadlines to help you reach your end goal. It will help you to stay on track and make it to the altar. No one wants a runaway bride.

Pick Your Maid of Honor

Creating a marketing plan requires more than one person. Ideally you will find someone who can act as your champion, someone interested in helping you along the way but who isn’t responsible for saying “I do”. This can be a department head or an executive who may have a vested interest in the outcomes of your plan.

Don't Invite Your fourth Cousin Twice Removed

Make sure your plan is scalable. If it’s too big, you will feel like you never got anything accomplished. Mindy and Carrie Ann suggested a one-page plan that incorporates three main goals supported by your objectives, strategies, and tactics that will help you accomplish those goals.


Celebrating the #Nashlorette

Don’t forget to celebrate the progress you’ve made! Incorporate milestones into your plan so you have an opportunity to celebrate along the way.

In general, your plan is meant to help focus on achievable tasks to help your firm accomplish the goals set out in the strategic plan. While having access to your company’s overall strategic plan is preferable, don’t let the lack of one deter you from creating a marketing strategic plan. As a marketer, your marketing plan can help provide a roadmap for the year, reign in those shiny objects, and demonstrate your value to your company’s bottom line.

To see more photos from the event, click here.

Rebecca Starer
Marketing Specialist
Gilbane Building Company