With the new year fast approaching, it's important to start developing your annual marketing plan. Creating a long-term marketing strategy is a great way to stay focused on your goals, keep important dates in mind, and stay on top of your budget. However, many marketers find themselves struggling to develop and implement a plan. Keep these tips in mind as you develop your marketing strategy for the upcoming year.
Focus on Your Main Goals
Goal-setting marketers are 376% more likely to report success in their overall marketing efforts. Try setting SMART goals, that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented.
As you set your goals for 2021, make sure you account for significant changes in your business from 2020 due to market conditions. This year, we have dealt with COVID-19, social unrest, the election, and significant changes in technology. You should also be prepared to pivot your strategies and your goals, just as you did throughout the course of 2020.
Incorporate Important Dates Into Your Plan
When planning marketing campaigns and promotions, you should always keep holidays and other important dates in mind. Of course, you likely keep the Christmas holidays, Halloween, and Valentine's Day in mind when you're planning your marketing campaigns. If you offer clothing or school supplies, the Back to School season may be a major earner. You should also place national days that relate to your business at the top of your list.
Restaurants, for example, may want to focus on National Pizza Day or National Dessert Day. These marketing opportunities can help increase interest in your business and give consumers a better idea of what you have to offer. Promotions specifically designed for those days can also help bring customers to your business, rather than sending them to your competitors.
As you incorporate those dates, you may want to let customers know ahead of time what you're offering for the special day so that they can add you into their plans. For example, if you're offering a free cookie for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, you may want to notify your customers several days ahead so they'll be sure to check in when the day arrives.
Keep Your Budget in Mind—Always!
In order to create an effective annual marketing plan, you must make sure that your goals and budget are in alignment. Setting your budget ahead of time can also give you a better idea of what opportunities you should take advantage of and when you should let opportunities pass you by.
Investing more money in methods that aren't working won't help increase your advertising results. Increasing your spending in key areas, however, can substantially improve your results and increase the return on your investment.
Creating an effective marketing plan starts by looking at the year ahead and considering your overall needs. After the disruption of 2020, you want an agile marketing plan that is prepared for whatever 2021 might bring. Are you ready to start working on your annual marketing plan as 2020 draws to a close? Working with an experienced media partner can help you get a better idea of how to allocate your budget, where you should focus, and how you can better reach your target market.