Embedding an Integrated Planning Discipline


The Project

Planning methodology development, launch plan and execution, initial training, ongoing process management and marketing consulting.

Client Challenge

Our client is a leading, global healthcare consumer products company that markets products in infant, children, adult, sport and therapeutic categories. There are several hundred marketing professionals on the U.S. brand teams who are responsible for managing the commercial aspects of the business, and developing and executing marketing plans. Executive leadership identified the need to improve decision-making and resource allocation across the brand portfolio to better drive growth and gross margin performance. 

Executives felt brand plans lacked new insights and innovative thinking needed to excel in the face of challenging market conditions. Other issues included:

  • Inconsistent planning processes across brand teams
  • Planning in silos resulted in poor communication, coordination and execution across marketing, sales, supply chain and R&D
  • Leadership was engaged at the end of the planning cycle, allowing little input and course corrections along the way

IMS Approach / Solution

IMS lead the development of the new planning process while working closely with the client’s marketing services team and media partner. We used our proprietary Integrated Marketing Planning methodology as the foundation for the new framework. The IMS model was tailored specifically for our client’s business and organizational needs. IMS consultants also developed the launch and implementation plan and continue to serve as advisors on education, process, marketing strategy, tactical planning and implementation.

The new integrated planning framework helps brand teams:

  • Work smarter – by fostering the discovery of proprietary insights
  • Gain insights – by implementing strategies that connect with customers and consumers 
  • Move faster – by improving coordination and execution across the organization
  • Get results – by helping them optimize return on marketing spend 
  • Work together – by collaborating with other functional groups
  • Deliver value – by linking marketing strategies to business objectives with measured outcomes


Business & Marketing Outcomes:

  • First year planning savings of more than $1.5 million in agency fees
  • Reduced re-planning by 75 percent
  • Improved new product and service launches 
  • Aligned between business and marketing objectives

Process Outcomes:

  • More efficient/effective communication: Due to common planning language instituted across the entire organization
  • Improved cross-functional collaboration: Due to broad participation in key planning activities
  • Improved leadership impact: Due to engaging leaders at the right milestones to challenge, guide, and course correct before finalizing plans 
  • Better competitive scenario planning: Due to formalizing this activity

Organizational Outcomes:

  • Identified the need to improve individual capabilities and competencies that lead to the development of the college of marketing.

"This process has clearly uncovered weaknesses and opportunities across all business units. Without this process, I'm not sure they would have been uncovered." -Client

"I've finally had a chance to do some strategic thinking on this brand. Usually, I'm in reactive mode." -Client

" We've identified key business issues that, if not addressed, will significantly affect several brands. In the past we might not have tackled these issues because one brand would not have the resources to do it alone." -Client

"I'm getting more value out this than I imagined. The collaboration alone has been fantastic." -Client