"Things change so fast, there's no room for a plan," we've heard more than once—from more than one CEO. They don't want to be tied down, so they throw out random tactics and wait to see what sticks. Here are 3 ways to be ready for change while still working a smart plan for your brand.

1. allocate budget for experimentation

Set aside some budget for trying out new tactics. If they're grounded in good research and strategy, you can be smart and find great satisfaction in the shininess of it all.

Measure. If the experiment turns out to be a flop, you haven't sacrificed a lot of money and market share. If it's successful, then you have a well-founded reason to alter your course.

2. allow for brand extensions or product enhancements

Having a plan and sticking to it doesn't mean that you can't add features and benefits customers want. In fact, every good strategic plan has room for the improved—and maybe even the "brand new."

Devote quality time listening to employees, customers and suppliers about what's missing. What will make their lives better, easier or more fulfilling? Find out, then feed your need for some razzle dazzle by making your offerings even more enticing.

3. don't be the bad example

As the leader, it's up to you to create a vision and purpose—then build a culture of employees who help you get there.

Experimentation in the right circumstances brings innovation. In the wrong circumstances, it makes a mess. Employees will see what you do and emulate it. If you're guilty of not living the company vision, expect others to be guilty, too.

be proactive instead of reactive
Throwing something against the wall to see what sticks may be fun, but it's no way to run a high-performance business. Be proactive instead of reactive and watch the revenue and profits grow.

Need help cooking up a better marketing plan? Call Martha direct at 785.969.6203.