David Milliken's Brand Marketing Blog

He Who Fails to Plan, Plans to Fail — Proverb

Posted in Planning by dlmilli on July 23, 2010

Summer in consumer packaged goods means beaches and BBQs. It also means long hours planning for the following year.

Late last month I gave a three hour presentation to our sales organization. The topic was our entire 2011 promotional calendar. The presentation included 2009 and year-to-date 2010 results and learnings, a review of the competitive and macroeconomic environment, 2011 brand objectives and strategies, and every single promotional activity we have planned for next year, from January 1 through New Year’s Eve – still 18 months away! (It went extremely well.) If applicable to my brand, this presentation would have included product changes or innovations, new partnerships, and other brand news. This step is very similar to planning processes I have experienced at different companies.

Last week I drafted budgets and sales volumes for each US sales region. Regions will review this information and provide their feedback shortly. As Senior Brand Manager, I will submit the final recommendation to senior management. In my experience at other companies, this step is typically completed via marketing and sales collaboration, or simply handed down by senior management. Each approach has their pros and cons.

Through an iterative process, our entire brand plan, including all brand activities and a profit and loss statement, will be rolled into a corporate plan. While planning, I will work with just about every department in the company, as well as several outside suppliers and agencies. The process will not be complete until early January – just in time to begin the planning anew.

So here’s to a great summer, and great planning.

David Milliken working at the winery on David Milliken's Brand Marketing Blog

Me at "the office"