When scientists conduct research, they always start with a hypothesis. They conduct experiments to prove or refute their hypotheses. They want to prove that something will happen – or won’t - and once they have the answer, they move on to the next experiment.
You can take a page from scientists when you develop your marketing plan. Start with your marketing hypothesis. Do you need to raise awareness of your company, generate leads, drive traffic to a retail location, educate the market that a particular solution (yours!) actually exists? By identifying the ‘problem’ that you are trying to solve, you can then structure your marketing on a specific issue or two. Choose tactics that make sense for that problem (eg if you are trying to generate leads, spending a bunch of money on branding activities isn’t a good idea). You can put measurements in place that will help you gauge if you’re moving in the right direction. You may even find out that your starting hypothesis wasn’t right. But if you start with a hypothesis, put tactics in place to address it, and measure the results, you’re one step closer to having powerful marketing.