It’s that time of year again. Those two words that creep up on you every damn year: Marketing Planning. Did that just send chills down your spine? Sorry about that.
You might feel like…
- You won’t get everything done in the current year that you wanted to
- You’re getting ready to start a new year without a marketing plan (okay, now that is scary)
- You’re over budget, or might even have an unused budget to spend
- Marketing planning and clowns will always be horrifying
- Some combo of the above
Marketing planning can seem spooky and hard
Well, we’re going to push you out of your comfort zone and tell you that it can actually be fun. Gasp! We’re not talking clowns at a birthday party fun (ha!). More of that goofy-smile-on-your-face-you-get-when-you-check-items-off-your-to-do-list kind of fun. There’s no way around it: planning is necessary if you want your marketing to be effective. But when your plan is done and your marketing is humming and you have a clear strategy for continuous improvement, it’s pretty amazing. It’s fun to be good.
Here’s a simple formula for year-end marketing planning
- Review lessons learned. Look at the goals you had for this year, and see how the results are stacking up. List your wins and challenges, and turn lessons learned into actionable insights for the upcoming year.
- Draft your goals for next year. Make them strong but achievable. And make sure they map to your company’s positioning, mission, and strategic plan.
- Select strategies and tactics to help achieve each goal. Your contact strategy should be based upon where your customers go for their information, how they make their buying decisions, and other purchasing drivers. Meet them where they gather to learn about products and services like yours.
- Come up with measurable KPIs for each goal. Determine how you’re going to track the progress of each goal, and then schedule a time to review the KPIs regularly.
- Determine your budget and talent. How much of your annual budget is going to go into each tactic? And who’s going to do the work?
Consider a marketing outsource agency
If planning doesn’t sound like fun to you no matter how hard we’ve tried to sell it, consider a marketing outsource agency to shed the weight of year-end planning. An outsourced marketing firm will handle the heavy lifting so you can focus on your core competencies.
And when it’s time to execute your plan, you can leave the freelancer shuffle behind. At Outmark®, we combine unique and meaningful positioning based on consumer insights and deliver responsible results via an integrated team of best-fit talent.