The new year is upon us. Your business and marketing plans are in place, and everything is organized and running smoothly, right? Maybe you are one of the few who’s got it all together, but if you’re not quite there yet, let us help you get caught up and start the year off with a solid strategic plan to grow your business.
Below, we’ve identified three key questions for you to answer so that you can establish a solid guide for developing a marketing plan for 2023.
What are your goals and objectives?
This seems obvious, but it’s essential to be clear and have goals and objectives documented. The first item to address is what you hope to accomplish within the year. You’ve likely heard the adage, “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you get there.” The idea is to establish a clear measuring stick and expectations so you know whether your plan succeeded (more about that later).
Start by identifying big-picture goals, such as generating awareness, increasing revenue, obtaining new clientele, etc. Then, go into more detail with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) objectives with actual numbers and dates attached – e.g., “Increase annual sales of x product by 15 percent as compared to 2022 by December 31, 2023.”
Setting these goals and objectives is a helpful way to motivate yourself and your employees and remain strategically aligned. Make sure to measure against these throughout the year – identify milestones you want to hit and schedule routine check-ins to discuss progress and next steps.
Whom are you trying to reach?
Your marketing plan is or should be about your target audience (clientele) – not you. Otherwise, you could be wasting valuable time, energy and resources with a message and avenues that aren’t the correct fit. Start by defining them and their behaviors.
Identify who would benefit from your product or service and who is qualified to purchase it. Develop a list of demographics and characteristics such as age, gender, education level, location, lifestyle, key interests, hobbies, engagement in social media, source of information/media consumed, etc. Getting to know your customer leads to knowing where they spend their time and how they consume information – that is, where your message needs to be to get in front of them.
Again, it’s essential to monitor and analyze this throughout the year. Observe where your leads are coming from, social-media insights, new customer data and more to see if adjustments are needed to how you’re reaching your audience or perhaps the audience itself.
How is your team going to succeed?
Finally, it’s time to lay the groundwork for how you will reach your clientele and meet the goals and objectives you set. Brainstorm campaigns (special offers, events, product focuses) for the year. If monthly plans don’t work for your business, try to have at least one campaign/focus per quarter.
Consider what performed well – and what did not – over the last year to help inform what to include for the upcoming year.
Lay out the strategies and tactics your team will employ to market your product or service. Strategies are the broad, overall plans of action, while tactics are the specific steps to take to realize each strategy. To avoid confusion or missed steps, make it clear who is responsible for what elements. Also, explain how performance will be measured for that specific effort, keeping in mind that everything should be tied to your overall goals and objectives.
For a big-picture example, let’s say you’re a boat-rental company. One campaign you will run is a season-opener promotion to drum up business before the high season begins. Your team will use organic and paid social media, email marketing, a webpage, video, paid search ads, and print advertising for the campaign. The campaign performance will primarily be measured by how many rental bookings are received because of the promotion, contributing to the overall goals of increasing the company’s number of new customers and annual revenue.
To recap, start your marketing plan journey by establishing goals and objectives. Then, identify whom your target audience consists of. Lastly, develop campaigns with measurable strategies and tactics your team can employ to lead your business to success. Pushing the Envelope, Inc. has years of experience developing strategic marketing plans and using them to generate results for our clients. Reach out to us at getpushing.com/contact if you need some help!
Hannah Ramsey is the client relations specialist with Pushing the Envelope, Inc., a strategic marketing communication firm based in Fort Myers, Florida, servicing clients regionally and nationally. She enjoys developing a partnership with her clients and coming alongside them to help reach their business goals.