What Does A 30-60-90 Day Action Plan Look Like For A Marketing Leader?

30-60-90 Day Marketing PlanA 30-60-90 day action plan is a written outline of your strategy and plans you have for the first three months on the job.

It’s one of the most powerful tools you can bring to the final stages of the employment interview process. It can be a PowerPoint presentation or paper-based. During an employment interview, a hiring manager is looking for responses to the following basic questions:

  1. Do you understand what the job entails?
  2. Can you perform the job?
  3. Will you perform the job?

A good 30-60-90 Day Action Plan isn’t going to set you apart in the interviewing process — A great one will

30-60-90 Day Action Plan For MarketingA generic plan is a waste of time. Your plan should speak to the company’s needs, products, specific market, and values.

A fill-in-the-blanks template shouldn’t dictate what you include in your plan. Instead, use your knowledge of the industry and the specific company to craft a plan that speaks to its unique needs. The more details you can put into your plan, the better. Specifics matter so name the manager, the products, the customers as much as you can.

But when you are faced with a blank page for this critical document, having a few thought-starters doesn’t hurt. That’s when this 30-60-90 Day Action Plan for a senior marketing leader might come in handy. And it’s more specific than the original blog post I wrote a few years ago.

By taking the time to do a 30-60-90 plan right, you will communicate that you understand the job and that you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

30 days – Learning

Turn your product idea into an adOne common mistake of new hires is never taking the time to understand exactly what it is that the company is trying to achieve through their strategic plan. As a new hire, it is extremely important to put in the effort to study and learn the internal lay of the land.


  • Understand expectations of role and the department – written goals
  • Gain understanding of corporate goals and vision
  • Meet with peers and learn how marketing can help them be more successful
  • Meet with marketing team and schedule 1 on 1 meetings
  • Walk stores with manager and key team members – hear observations
  • Gain an overview of corporate, financial and team calendar/standing meetings


  • Come up to speed on key new product initiatives – product, prototype, research, launch plan
  • Review depth & breadth of product lines including competition
  • Review category / brand / key account information and financials
  • Review online product presentation
  • Review existing sales tools and marketing programs
  • Review current pricing strategy/margin expectations


  • Reach out to key reps to introduce myself and learn about what they need to be more successful
  • Look at past Product Line Reviews (PLRs) and sales PowerPoint decks for key accounts – discuss outcomes
  • Visit key accounts and discuss the current sales proposition and effectiveness
  • Discuss any perceived gaps in the marketing strategy or product line
  • Develop understanding of opposing brands in space and why chosen


  • Review current marketing strategy and gain understanding of current and planned projects, cost and expected results
  • Understand existing product/user research and related insights
  • Review budgets
  • Meet with key marcom suppliers, build rapport and understand current projects. Review if they are the correct supplier and determine how they can better add value
  • Learn corporate history and understand how that’s leveraged in current marketing
  • Review and understand current social media strategy and direction

Days 31 to 60 – Documenting and Building

Better way to budget marketingOnce you have taken time to fully assess the company, begin adding your strengths to the equation.


  • Continue to integrate with leadership team
  • Determine strengths and capacity of marketing team
  • Identify team gaps related to executing e-commerce growth and new branding
  • Refine, based on attendance/perceived value, standing marketing team meetings
  • Finalize budgets for 2016


  • New Product Development process skeleton reviewed
  • Summarize wish list of new products
  • Begin refining commercialization plan for Tool Smart
  • Strengthen product slides for upcoming PLR


  • Travel with key reps on sales calls
  • Meet with customers of all sizes to see how the sales team positions and sells our products
  • Understand key customers customers for pull through opportunities
  • Gain further feedback from reps on how to be more successful with their customers
  • Develop understanding of how each account is priced/positioned against corporate objectives and against other competitive accounts


  • Analyze sales trends at key customers for insights to share at PLRs (prioritize by meeting dates)
  • Initiate monthly business review meetings for top 3-5 accounts
  • Understand the ability to create in-store excitement or promotions and what’s been executed historically
  • Identify trade show opportunities and how to leverage new positioning and new products
  • Develop key points of difference between key competitors (product & marketing) with SWOT analysis
  • Position and promote launch of new website to sales & customers along with other marketing initiatives (branding, packaging, presentation templates, online initiatives, etc.) – to build excitement for the company’s future

Days 61 to 90 – Presenting and Prioritizing

Marketing Stats Can Tell A StoryBy this time, you should have a firm grasp of the role you play in the company. Your confidence is likely to have grown since your first day and leadership qualities are hopefully itching to be put to action.


  • Continue to integrate with corporate leadership team
  • Introduce future organization structure for marketing, e-commerce and product team
  • Share vision, goals and strategies for Marketing
  • Share with them their key job goals for 2016
  • Begin search for any new roles with written job descriptions defining the positions


  • Review first pass of “current” product road map
  • Define process / research needed to uncover/refine next generation platforms


  • Share go-forward plan on e-commerce sales support/rep strategy
  • Share new sales deck with emphasis on leveraging brand story, new product innovation and new merchandising strategy
  • Feedback on product road map and launch commercialization strategies


  • Create a road show for next key product launch
  • Refine and improve online presentation using all available tools
  • Begin execution of missing online tools, videos, secondary graphics, etc.
  • Leverage e-commerce programs to build partnership
  • Actively contribute and participate with marketing communications suppliers to execute current projects and scope new opportunities
  • Share feedback internally on any gaps in supplier capabilities or execution
  • Expand social media with automation and 3rd party content
  • Build out shelf strategy out using research/insights for compelling customer pitch
  • Refine pricing approval process, if needed

Your plan is a conversation tool, so when the hiring manager asks the first question that your plan addresses, that’s the perfect opportunity to discuss your 30-60-90 Day Action Plan with the hiring manager.

Good Selling!

Greg Bonsib is an author of the new Mighty Guides Ebook Data Disruption.


A New Way To Budget For Marketing In 2016

“I know that half my advertising dollars are wasted, but I don’t know which half”

make your marketing dollars work harderSound familiar?

For decades, companies have tried to make their marketing dollars work harder. They have used concepts such as target marketing, niche marketing and positioning to help build sales by generating leads, reaching decision-makers and even asking for the order. But a problem remains: marketing and sales have never been completely coordinated.

The result is that money is allocated to marketing because everyone knows marketing is necessary. And sales people are told go out and sell because most B2B products and services are sold that way.

This approach has worked in the past, but the changing business climate will continue to force companies to re-evaluate the entire process. To borrow a buzz-phrase, tomorrow’s marketing will have to work − not harder − but smarter.

Instead of basing the marketing budget on projected sales, the sales requirements can be used to establish a zero-based approach

In this way, the actual point when the sale is closed determines what materials and how much should be spent to make the direct selling effort as cost-effective as possible.

Cost Effectiveness of Direct Selling Worksheet

The first step is to determine the total cost for your entire sales force, and then the average cost-per-call and cost-per-sale. (At this stage, do not factor out individual salespeople). The chart to the left will help you calculate this.

The resulting numbers are a measure of your current marketing efficiency, arid will serve as a gauge of the cost-effectiveness of your total future program.

Next, using the chart below, break out your new accounts and those you have had for at least one re-order. Depending upon market factors, you may also want to break out the accounts by region, season, or some other criterion.

Cost Breakdown by Account TypeWhat you are measuring here is the cost-effectiveness of your existing direct-selling effort, looking for the types of accounts which are most profitable and those which are least profitable.
As a general rule, your marketing depends upon the profitability level of each category. Those categories where direct selling is very profitable should have programs designed to support the sales person, helping to either increase the dollar volume per account or lower the average cost-per-sale.

Those categories where the profitability level is low should have programs designed to replace the sales person as much as possible.  This can be accomplished effectively with programs such as automated marketing to lower the cost of pre-qualification inquiry fulfillment.

Once you have determined the coA New Way To Budget For Marketingst-per-sale for each category, you should establish sales objectives. The first is to maximize a sales person’s productivity and to do that requires establishing the prime job function:

  • Developing new business leads
  • Making presentations
  • Maintaining face-to–face contact at existing accounts
  • Trouble-shooting problem accounts

Obviously, some or all of these functions could be present in all categories, but by assigning the sales person a prime function, you are taking the first step in determining:

  1. Better way to budget marketingThe type of program (support vs. replacement) that will result in a lower overall cost-per-sale
  2. The message that each component in the program should carry
  3. The amount to be spent to deliver the message(s)

Given this information, you are now in a position to correlate all your marketing, advertising, promotion and direct selling expenses to sales.

Program effectiveness can now be tracked. And you can begin to consider your marketing spend in terms of its contribution to profits…instead of just cost of sales.

Good Selling!

Squirrel! Use Sales Planning To Avoid The Shiny Objects Syndrome

Are you missing out on sales because you’re running from idea to idea to see what works? Are you dashing from one shiny thing to another?

Then you need to slow down and put down on paper all the ideas you have to drive sales. This simple exercise will help you clarify your thinking, give the team a vision, and create realistic goals that you can benchmark against.

Simply put, creating and implementing a well-thought-out plan greatly improves your chance of success.

Stop fighting it and write your sales goals down

frustrated-with-salesStop resisting it. Writing brings clarity. Even the best sales team will become directionless if they don’t have goals.

Success comes in many forms. People in sales are naturally competitive. Persistence and hard work, many times are wasted, when there is no clear direction, strategy, or metrics to mark the milestones that will lead to success.

Don’t cop out and use the financial plan as a sales plan

Your Financial Plan Is Not A Sales PlanWhat it isn’t a Excel spreadsheet with sales targets or monthly budgets that the finance team developed. Nor, does not have to be some long multi-page document that is impossible to follow-up. 2-3 pages with goals, strategies, and actions that will be reviewed regularly and easily is more than enough.

Field salespeople have a unique aspect to their jobs – they have the ability to decide what to do every moment of every day. The need to make this decision – where to go, who to see, who to call, what to do – distinguishes the sales profession from most others.

The quality of this decision, more than any other single thing, dictates the quality of the sales person’s results. Consistently make effective decisions and your results will improve. Make thoughtless, habitual or reactive decisions and your results will be sub-par.

Create focus for your sales team and you’ll help create success

get results-keep score-winOne of the ways to make sure that you make good decisions about your selling time is to create a comprehensive sales plan.

Many companies are missing out on sales because they don’t have a sales plan. Or the one they’re using isn’t performing like it should. Sure, they might have quarterly sales targets or end of year goals, but they don’t have a strategic plan for reaching them. A well thought-out sales plan is a roadmap that helps you gain new accounts and grow existing ones.

5 tips to help you effectively tackle sales planning

5 Tips to Sell In to Home Depot and Lowe'sDeveloping an effective sales plan isn’t easy, but the payoff could be substantial. As you prepare your sales plan, keep these tips in mind.

  • Be patient. It takes time to fully develop your sales plan, so schedule accordingly and be patient. It’s helpful to schedule time to work on your plan, just like you would schedule time for a meeting. Working on your plan in several phases over a time is the best approach.
  • Establish reasonable goals. High expectations are great, but you’re setting yourself up for failure if you set goals that are unobtainable.
  • Post it. Posting your sales plan where you can see it will help you stay on track and gives the team a sense of where the business is headed.
  • Revisit and revise. Don’t shelve your plan and forget it. Your sales plan is a living document that should be revisited regularly and revised when necessary.
  • Keep it simple. Your sales plan should be as short and as simple as possible while still fully exploring each element. Reframe from regurgitating your business plan or marketing plan and use bullets, headings and subheadings to break your sales plan into an easy to read format.

An effective sales plan provides you with strategies to acquire new business as well as strategies that expand business with your current accounts. Start drafting your sales plan today and create a plan of action that takes your business to new heights.

Good Selling!

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