A New Year resolution that will help your business prepare for success in 2018 is to create a brilliant marketing plan for the next 12 months. You’ll start the year focused on your goals.
Get this right and you will stop wasting money on advertising in the wrong places, sponsoring the wrong events and chasing the wrong leads.
Instead you will have the confidence that every marketing campaign you carry out is helping you to build your business, ensuring that marketing opportunities and budgets are maximised. At Spirus we only recommend a marketing activity if it is likely to improve your bottom line, we call this marketing for sales.
Set your goals
What do you want to accomplish in the next year? This needs to be a measurable result, for example: increase sales by 10 per cent, gain 20 new B2B customers or sustain the opening of two new restaurants and make a profit. At the end of the next 12 months your success must be easy to quantify.
Work out your budget
Decide how much you can put aside for promoting your business this year – and stick to it! This will influence all your other marketing decisions.
Decide on your marketing strategies
How do you plan to achieve your measurable goals? This decision will take into account everything you know about your business, such as seasonal highs and lows, annual opportunities, sporting or cultural events that impact on your business (a brewery will sell more beer during the World Cup, for example), information on rival companies and major trade shows or networking events that are taking place.
Choose your marketing tactics
Choose the three or four things you need to do to implement each strategy. This could include print or online advertising, attending a trade show, sending a press release, lead generation calls, email and direct mail marketing, social media campaigns, competitions, brochures, photography, video, building a new website and much more. This will depend on the market you want to reach and where they get their information.
Create a spreadsheet to-do list or Gantt chart
Write a list of everything you need to do to implement your tactics, with deadlines. Organise it in a spreadsheet with month-by-month headings. Now it is clear when you will need to do the work to achieve your goals.
Evaluate the results
At the end of every quarter you will need to decide whether your marketing activity has worked and amend your plans accordingly. You will measure this against your original goals.
If you need some inspiration, help or encouragement, you know who to contact, right?