This year is quickly coming to an end … and if you’re a procrastinator at heart, that may mean you haven’t put together a marketing plan yet for 2017. With parties, last-minute gift-buying and end-of-year obligations in the next two weeks, the idea of putting together a plan at this point may seem like too much.
But don’t worry—there’s still time to look ahead and put together a marketing strategy for 2017. By breaking things down into smaller steps, you can put together a plan and get the new year off to a great start. Here are five steps to help you put an outline in place:
Step 1: Do a review of 2016
Start off by determining what to keep and what to change. Look at what worked and what didn’t during the past year. Which marketing activities paid off with a strong ROI? Which campaigns reached your target market? Which efforts brought in increased website activity, followers or sales? Identify areas for improvement, those that need more time or budget and the activities that were well worth your efforts.
And if your answer to any of the questions above is “I don’t know,” it’s time for a marketing audit. (And if you need assistance with that, Byers Creative can help).
Step 2: Sketch out important dates for next year
If you haven’t already, start putting together a calendar that highlights key events and dates. Will your business be introducing any new products or services in 2017? Will the office be closed at any time for vacations, or are you having any special events or sales, training, renovations, etc.?
Put down special dates so you can start thinking about what promotions or announcements need to take place in advance and where your marketing dollars need to go.
Step 3: Identify major goals
You won’t grow your business without identifying where you want to go. What are your major goals for 2017? How can your marketing efforts help you achieve those goals? Does your website need updating for mobile viewers (or even a complete redesign)? Do you want to improve connections with customers through email campaigns, social media or mobile marketing? Do you want to start a referral program? Determine your goals for the year and start matching them up with activities from Step 1.
Step 4: Create an initial marketing outline
Once you’ve identified your goals, events and efforts for the year, you can start setting up your marketing plan and sketch out what activities need to take place when. Along with your key dates from Step 2, put in a timeline for website updates, email newsletters, promotions, sales events, marketing and materials.
Don’t forget to allow enough time in your calendar for content creation and review, printing, design and analysis so you won’t be scrambling at the last minute to get things done!
Step 5: Determine who will do what when
Who will be responsible for executing your various marketing campaigns? If you have your own in-house marketing team, many of the tasks will be theirs, but there may be other employees involved, too. For instance, creating content for social media campaigns is something that employees in many departments may help with.
And if your goals and initiatives are bigger than your staff capabilities, it may be time to consider bringing in some additional marketing help for some or all your projects (and the Byers team can help with that, too).
Feel like you need help preparing a plan for next year or accomplishing your goals? Contact the Byers Creative team today!