We are witnessing several stories of successes and failures on digital marketing sphere. Like always, planning is the key role of managing businesses and virtually is a make or break. Since, planning horizon spans over multiple levels of management within all organizations, which makes it most vulnerable area for triggering failures. Wisdom of managing complete planning horizon, which includes strategy, tactics & action plans, is a panacea of business success. In this article, we will put light on the focus of different levels of management before coming to the real meat of discussing their detrimental effect on digital marketing planning.
Traditional organizational model comprises of three levels of management; Top management, middle management and lower management. All these three levels of management contribute in business planning. On top of this, there is a requirement of developing functional strategies, such as marketing, financial and HR strategies to support business strategy. Top management focuses on developing ‘strategies’ for the businesses usually spanning over 5-10 years. Middle management focuses on developing ‘tactical’ plans spreading over 1-3 years. Lower management focuses on developing action plans spanning over quarters or semesters. All these plans, should be integrated to each other in a way that ultimately business strategy should realize. Hence, it is clear that different people are involved in planning horizon and there is need of synergy.
The most important aspect of successful planning is ‘alignment’ of all plans. However, this is the area where practically most of the time staff being negligent. For instance, let us take an example of digital marketing, where top management framed a strategy of “NO SPAMMING” to win trust of potential customer in the longer run. However, during execution of tactics or actions, lower management designs digital marketing campaign having more than one product/service, to save on marketing costs. Since, each product or service has peculiar target market. Therefore, some potential customers will perceive this campaign as “SPAMMING” having irrelevant message. This will spoil brand image in a longer run and top management will realize this after considerable time, because strategic outcomes are always defined for longer period. Thus, it is vital to understand that at times, for tactical gains we tend to ignore strategic gains, which eventually lead us to nowhere.
Finally, to recapitulate, it is recommended that special emphasize is required on exercising controls over creation of different plans (strategy, tactics, action plans) in planning horizon. As small act in action plan may lead you to long-term failure as discussed above.