If it’s been a while since you worked on your marketing plan, what better time to update it than before the fresh start of a new year? Because technology, tools and pricing for marketing services change, it’s important to keep your marketing strategy updated continually.
Before you start sweating, your marketing plan doesn’t have to be a novel-sized document. It’s simply a couple of pages that explain your goals and how you want to market to reach them this year. You can find dozens of free templates for marketing plans online, and many are different from one another. Find the one you’re comfortable working with. Once you have a plan in place, it’s easy enough to update it each year.
What Looks Different This Year?
Maybe you want to take advantage of the hot daily deals market to find new customers. Maybe social media has done well for you, and you want to ramp up on that. Maybe you find that traditional advertising hasn’t netted what you hope, and you want to pull back on that. Look at what’s worked well and what hasn’t, as well as what’s new out there in the world of marketing to determine where you want to take your strategy in 2012. Hop on social media and ask other business owners what marketing tactics are generating the biggest returns for them. You might get ideas for your own plan.
Some new tools and services you might want to include:
- Mobile marketing
- Social media
- Promotions on social media
- Daily deals
- Mobile and tablet apps
Plan’s Done. Now What?
The biggest issue I see with marketing plans is that people create them and then forget about them. What good does that plan do you if you never look at it? From your plan, create a list of action items, then assign them to people and put the ones you’re responsible for on your calendar so you actually do them. For example, if you have an action item to write two blog posts a week, put it on your calendar to write each week. Remind yourself also to review your marketing plan at least once a quarter and update it if anything has changed.
Having a well thought-out marketing plan can help you stay on track and on budget with your marketing!