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From the CEO's Desk: Three Key Elements of Effective Annual Planning

Q4 starts Monday. 😱 Have you met your brand marketing and messaging goals for the year? Let's face it, this year was super hard for a lot of businesses and nonprofits. If 2023 fell short in ways big or small, how are you planning to amp things up or course correct in 2024?


I always tell clients to spend time in early October diagnosing the issues. Conduct a real post-mortem on the first three quarters and mercilessly review not just what went wrong but how and why things didn't work. And don't be afraid to "murder your darlings" if a program or initiative that everyone loves just isn't working.


After you've done that, take these three key elements of effective annual planning into account when building your framework for action in the coming year:


1 - Action-oriented Strategy

Once you've diagnosed current challenges and forecasted for accuracy through EOY, determine what you want to achieve the following year based on business realities – resources, revenue goals, and more. This should clearly articulate HOW things will get done.



2 - Milestones

While you're thinking through the strategies that will help to support primary business goals, don't forget to consider the key events, brand anniversaries, launches and announcements that bring your core values to life in human terms, regardless of whether they directly support the bottom line.


3 - Clear Tactics

Illustrate what you and your team will be doing every day to hit your targets. This should include a list of the hardware, software, vendors and you'll lean on to get things done. (A good way to spot holes in the plan!)

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