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Creating the Right Marketing Plan for 2017

As 2017 quickly approaches, there is an ever present emphasis on New Year’s resolutions.  Even with the best intentions, Americans have little success sticking to them. Did you know of the forty-five percent of Americans who made a New Year’s resolution in 2016, only 8 percent were successful in achieving them?

As part of your New Year’s resolution, have you set goals for your company (and hopefully, you will be better at sticking to them than the average eight percent success rate)?

Here are some tips to help reach your goals—and it all has to do with creating the right marketing plan for 2017.

Reflect

First, before diving too deeply into your goals for the new year, take a moment to reflect on how things went. How did your company perform last year? What worked and what didn’t? Even if you didn’t have a formal marketing plan in place, consider reviewing past marketing efforts and overall results. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Did you achieve your desired results (such as improved brand recognition, lead generations, sales/revenue figures)?
  • Which marketing tactics were successful/not successful?
  • Have you identified your target audience or geographical area, and if so, are you targeting the correct one?
  • Do you understand your differentiators? Ask your customers/internal team. Are you all on the same page?
  • Does your marketing collateral speak to your brand? Is there consistency across all pieces?
  • Are your website and social media channels consistent with your brand? Are you on the right channels to meet your target audience? Are you engaging with your audience? Is your website optimized for mobile?
  • Did you have an appropriate budget in place for marketing?

Identify Your Goals & Write Them Down

Next, write down your company goals. Statistics show people who write down their goals have over an 80% higher success rate of achieving them.

What is your vision for your company? Map it out. If you’re not sure, take a few minutes each day over the next two weeks to visualize how you want your business to look three years from now. Write your story. Then, put pen to paper to identify your goals for the year. Hang it in a place you will see it every day!

Put Your Wish List Together

If you could wave a magic wand, what are the marketing pieces you would put in place that you are certain would help grow your business?

  • Advertising (print/online)
  • Branding and Graphics
  • Collateral (sell sheets, brochures, business cards)
  • Events (trade shows, webinars)
  • Direct Marketing (email, direct mail, list generation, promotional incentives/contests)
  • Public Relations (media pitching, press release distribution)
  • Research (focus groups, surveys, competitive analysis)
  • Social Media (social media outreach)
  • Website (web development, mobile optimization)
  • Digital (SEO, SEM, digital ads, keywords, PPC)

(Hint: If you don’t know, an expert can help make the right recommendations to meet your goals because it is not a one size fits all approach).

Budget for Success

Make sure you’ve set aside the right amount of money and people to accomplish the goals you’ve set for your company in the new year. Be realistic. If you want to see 20 percent or more in annual growth, you’ll likely need to invest five percent or more of your top-line revenue. If you’re looking to maintain your position in the market and don’t have overly ambitious plans of growth, setting aside one to two percent of your top-line revenue will likely do the trick.

 Define Strategies and Tactics That Work within Your Budget

Once you’ve defined your budget, think about the strategies and tactics that will be most effective for your target audience.

There’s a lot of work to do but t’s worth the investment!  Marketing done well can produce big results for your business in 2017. It can be tough to be objective about your own company when you’re so close to it—so, we’re here to help, always! If you have questions on how to prioritize your tactics, how to get it all done or what it might cost, give us a shout. We’d be happy to sit down with you to give you some pointers to get your 2017 off to a great start!

Next week, we’ll dive into the trends for 2017. (Hint-hint: Digital, digital, digital.) So, you may want to keep online marketing top-of-mind as you work on those strategies and tactics.