In a recent TV interview, I cited “Do, Reach, Say” as three common marketing mistakes I see companies making. I thought it might be helpful to write a post about each of those elements, starting with Do.

How is “Do” a marketing mistake? It is shorthand for the fact that many companies do not stop and think about what they really want their marketing to DO for them. How will it help them achieve their business objectives? Developing a marketing plan helps to answer this question while giving guidance for how the goals will be achieved.

Every year, brand teams at large companies spend countless man hours developing their brand plans for the coming year. While this highly disciplined approach is a truly great way to tackle brand strategy from the ground up, it is often not feasible for companies with revenues under $300M.

As Dan and Chip Heath point out in their new book Switch – How to Change When Change is Hard, if you’re beginning anything new and daunting, some basic, easier to handle steps are a great way to get started. The way I do this with my clients is to start by roughing out what the overall marketing objective for the brand/company is. For example, grow business by +25%.

Then we lay out the three most important strategies they’re going to tackle to work to achieve this objective. Examples of strategies might be: Increase engagement of existing consumers, Increase awareness of brand/company or even Launch New Product X. For more examples of strategies, check out the great book Breakthrough Marketing Plans by Tim Calkins, which goes into the entire planning process in very user-friendly detail.

Finally, after laying out the strategies, I work with my clients to identify marketing tactics that might be appropriate for each strategy. These tactics can be things like: Distribute a monthly newsletter, Partner with health-related causes, or Participate in food-related trade shows.

I use this simple one-page format to lay all of this out, and I thought it might be handy to share: CLICK HERE