A new year is right around the corner, and this is the perfect opportunity to brainstorm and organize your marketing for the next 12 months. With the right planning, you can stay ahead of your marketing needs, which will cause you less stress and help ensure greater marketing success!
Here are the four steps you should follow for planning your marketing:
#1: Evaluate what worked in the past
Hopefully, you have a marketing plan on what worked for you in the past. Even your biggest marketing flops provide valuable lessons that you can implement for the new year. Evaluate what marketing tactics worked by considering how it helped you sell your products or services, and how much it cost to implement these tactics. Which ones got you the biggest bang for the buck? Those are the tactics to consider re-doing in the new year.
#2: Identify your key marketing objective
Each year, I try to have a “theme” that becomes my key marketing objective. For 2015, for example, I am focused on increasing my visibility. All of my marketing activities will tie into this objective. If it doesn’t, I table it for another time.
I prefer to have one theme, but it may be better for you to have 2-3 different themes. Make it work for you. The essential part is to make sure all of your marketing for the year directly ties into your overall marketing objectives.
#3: Figure out what you need to promote
Now that you know your marketing objective, brainstorm a list of the ways you can meet this goal. These activities will become what you need to promote, such as monthly webinars, online workshops, free consultations or media interviews.
Be careful not to spread yourself too thin. It’s easy to get excited and overzealous as you plan your marketing for the year, but your energy may wane if you pile too much on your plate. Perhaps consider a pattern where you only promote something every 1-2 months.
#4: Write your marketing plan and calendar
You have your marketing objectives and your list of activities to promote. Now, it’s time to put all of this information into a marketing plan.
Your marketing plan will be your road map for how you’ll market yourself over the next 12 months. While you should expect to tweak it as the year progresses, sticking to your marketing plan is the best way to ensure you stay on course.
Some entrepreneurs will sit down and map out every tactic for every promotion in the beginning of the year. Others may do a high level marketing plan for the year, and then drill down for the first quarter initially. Again, make it work for you.
What should your marketing plan consist of? The beauty about marketing plans is that they are highly customizable for your needs and tastes. Here are a few sections to consider for your marketing plan:
- Target audience
The new year is like a new beginning for your business – and a chance to refresh and recharge your marketing efforts. Take a day before the year ends to plan out your marketing for the next year. Follow the four steps outlined in this blog post to help you create a marketing strategy and plan that will help you grow your business even more. When you plan your marketing, you will know exactly what you need to do every day to market your business.
Photo courtesy of Nic McPhee