Annual Marketing Planning: A Lyrical Journey

By Kaydee Brown • July 5, 2024

On May 30th, I had the privilege of presenting at the ASAE MMC+Tech Conference. This session aimed to provide a simple, and easy-to-remember set of reminders using popular song lyrics for creating a successful marketing plan by using a memory recall tool called mnemonics.

Marketing planning is a comprehensive topic that entire books are written about. The components below are meant to be quick, bite-sized tips to help you along the way in your own marketing planning journey.

Key components required to build a successful marketing plan:

Understand the Mission:

Had to have high, high hopes for a living” – Panic At The Disco

The foundation of any successful marketing plan is a deep understanding of your association’s mission and goals. Always look through the lens of the organization’s mission when formulating your plan to ensure every initiative supports your overarching purpose.

Do Your Research:

“But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…” – U2

Thorough research is essential. This includes understanding the market landscape, identifying emerging trends, knowing your target market, and analyzing the competition. This foundational knowledge allows for informed decision-making and strategy development.

Identify Goal-Oriented Initiatives and Strategies:

“Don’t stop believin’ , Hold on to that feelin’” – Journey

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals is crucial. Define clear initiatives and strategies that align with these goals to ensure focused and effective marketing efforts.

Assess Your Tech Stack:

“Here’s my number, so call me, maybe” – Carly Rae Jepson

Evaluating your current technology stack is necessary for building, deploying, and measuring marketing initiatives. Consider what tools you currently use, whether they are effective, and what additional tools might be needed.

Budgeting for Success:

“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind” – Snoop Dogg

Effective budgeting is key to ensuring maximum return on investment (ROI). Break down costs across various categories such as campaigns, media buying, personnel, and technology. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of where financial resources are allocated and ensures strategic investment.

Questions to ask yourself and key stakeholders before, during and after your plan is in motion:

Are We Staying True to Our Objectives?

“Got to be true to myself, got to be true to myself” – Ziggy Marley
  • Consistent Messaging
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Targeted Campaigns
  • Member-Centric Approach
  • Adapting to Market Changes

Are We Tracking Successfully Towards Our Goals?

“Got motivation, I done found me a new foundation” – Beyonce
  • KPI Monitoring
  • Data Analysis
  • Goal Review
  • Feedback Loop
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Benchmarking

What Do We Anticipate Might Change?

“With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Nothing remains quite the same”- Jimmy Buffett
  • Monitor current events and innovation
  • Industry trends
  • Member behavior
  • Competitive activities

Ways to measure your plan’s performance, when to pivot, and sharing results:

Tools for Measurement:

“Every step you take, I’ll be watching you” – The Police

There are several tools for measuring marketing performance, including website traffic, conversion rates, sales revenue, brand awareness, ROI, social media metrics, email marketing performance, and competitive analysis. These metrics provide a comprehensive view of the plan’s effectiveness.

Know When to Pivot:

“Let it go, let it goooooooo” – Idina Menzel

Flexibility and agility are essential. Be willing to experiment, evaluate alternative approaches, and test new tactics based on feedback and data. This approach allows for timely adjustments and continuous improvement.

Articulate Marketing Plan Successes and Shortfalls:

“But I keep cruising. Can’t stop, won’t stop moving, It’s like I got this music in my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright” – Taylor Swift

Sharing the results of your marketing plan is vital. Highlight milestones reached, increased revenue, new members, sponsors, and the achievement of strategic objectives. Communicating both successes and shortcomings transparently within the organization fosters trust and collective learning.


In summary, understanding the key components required to build a successful marketing plan, asking the right questions throughout the process, and establishing effective measurement and adjustment strategies are essential. By following these steps, associations can create impactful marketing plans that drive success and achieve their goals.

About The Author

Kaydee Brown is the senior director of corporate marketing at Naylor Association Solutions. Reach her at [email protected].