You must have one – and review it yearly, if not more often. It can be considered a living thing…changed, and re-shaped. CPAs should review.
One should certainly be written, if not at least discussed. Planning carefully always yields better results.
Implementing an entire plan, or ad hoc, consider each one a project. “Gant” charts are the way to go.
Protect yourself from unnecessary marketing expenditures. Your agency should be among your most trusted advocates and know how to best utilize your marketing dollars.
Play Before Pay
Spend time up front experimenting with different variables, what-ifs, worst case scenarios, wish lists, a week in the life, etc. Plus different focus groups.
You be part of the meetings, regularly. Assign your own responsible parties who can volley the ball but give your marketing firm enough creative license.
Meet in between projects. Your agency should always be available to show you new marketing tools – and ideas.