Every year starting around now we receive a bucketful of last-minute inquiries from panicked peeps realizing:

  • They won’t get everything done in the current year that they wanted to
  • They’re getting ready to start a new year without a marketing plan — again
  • They are over budget, or might even have unused budget they need to spend
  • Some combination of the above

We know that marketing planning can seem scary and hard, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say it can also be fun. We’re not talking Vegas-weekend-with-old-friends fun. 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 disputing 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 continued improvement, everyone enjoys the ride. It’s fun to be good.

While the details vary from company to company, here’s a simple formula for year-end marketing planning:

  1. Review lessons learned. Look at the goals you had for this year, and compare how the results are stacking up. List your wins and challenges, and turn lessons learned into actionable insights for the upcoming year.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Come up with measurable KPIs for each goal. Determine how you’re going to track the progress of each goal, and then schedule time to review the KPIs regularly.
  5. 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?

Hey wait. We thought this was going to be fun!

If planning doesn’t sound like fun to you no matter how hard we’ve tried to sell it, maybe you should outsource your marketing and shed the weight of year-end planning. We’ll handle the heavy lifting, and you know the planning will be done well.

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. To see how we can help you make marketing planning fun, give us a shout.

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