Why GPCT Should Be in Every B2B Marketing Plan

As a business owner or head of marketing, your main responsibility is to grow your company. Everything you do is geared towards helping your company reach the next level. You know that in order to really grow, you need to invest in marketing your business.

But before you invest in your marketing or even engage an agency partner for any marketing services, you need to decide what success really looks like for you. And we mean really defining what you and your team want to achieve through your marketing efforts.

This is where "GPCT" comes in. 

How to Use GPCT to Drive Success

GPCT stands for Goals, Plans, Challenges, and Timeline. Commonly used in the sales process, GPCT is completely relevant (and essential) to a b2b marketing plan. This framework allows you to identify the gap between where your business is at, and where you want to take it. 


The first part of being successful is identifying quantifiable goals that you want your company to hit. The keyword here is "quantifiable." The goals you outline in the GPCT process connects your high-level ambitions ("grow our business") with metrics or milestones. What are your top priorities for the year?

However, do not confuse goals with objectives during this process. For example, "we need to grow our email list" or "we need to increase our website traffic" is not a business goal, but a tactic. A goal is more meaningful to the business. Think about revenue growth or increasing profitability -- measurements for business growth. 


Once you have a sense of your company goals, planning involves identifying how you and your team will accomplish your goals. This is where your tactics come into play, such as blogging more frequently to attract prospects, or creating a new website to better communicate your service and product offerings.

A good plan will sound something like, "We plan to do x, y and z to increase revenue by 20 percent."

Talk about why you think your plan will succeed or fail. Look at what you've tried in the past, and decide what worked and what didn't work. Basically, you want to come up with activities that will help you reach your goal.


One of the most important pieces of GPCT is identifying any expected challenge that you and your team might come up against. Challenges are "barriers to success" that you need to work through in order to accomplish your goals.

Perhaps one challenge will be finding the time to execute your plan, or maybe you are a new company coming up against many established and reputable brands. Whatever it is, write it down.

You will want to create a plan for how to deal with and get over each challenge as it relates to your plans and your goals. This is a good time to turn to your agency partner for ideas, as well, to help you come up with ways to jump any high hurdles.


What are the deadlines by which you and your team are expected to achieve your goals? If you don't have a date already, choose a specific timeline for your plan.

For example, "We plan to do x, y and z to increase revenue by 20 percent by the end of the year." That's a good timeline because it provides a specific target date by which you want to accomplish your goal. A timeline like "increase revenue by 20 percent in year two or three" is not a real deadline, because it doesn't really set specific expectations for timing. You get the picture.

Setting a Marketing Budget to Support Your Goals

The timeline and goals usually will set the framework for your marketing budget. If you need to make a big impact in a short period of time (let's say "increase revenue by 20% in Q2" or "double our revenue by the end of the year), you'll want to allocate a budget that will support an accelerated plan.

If revenue and lead generation are goals for your company, you will want to take a look at what your average cost per lead is, what your average close rate has been and how much value each client typically brings to your company to calculate your marketing investment. Our recent article answering, "How Much Should I Spend on Marketing?" gives you the exact calculations for this. 

GPCT Provides Accountability for Success

When you use the GPCT framework for setting actionable plans for measurable goals, you are also ensuring that both sales and marketing will be accountable to your goals. This goes for your agency partners as well. When we know what a client's goals are and when they need to achieve them by, we are in a much better position to come up with a specific plan to accomplish those goals.

Without knowing your goals, plans, challenges or timeline, your marketing campaigns can be aimless and fall short of the actual (but undefined) mark. Use GPCT as a kick off for your quarterly or yearly B2B marketing plan to really drive success this year.
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About the Author: Gregg Anderson

Gregg Anderson

Gregg is principal and senior advisor of 41 Orange.

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