What's your Marketing Plan for 2015?
Yes, it’s already 2015. But it isn't too late to craft a great marketing plan for your business.
Whether your run a single man (or woman) operation or a large business, a marketing plan is crucial to marketing success. A marketing plan doesn't need to be a lengthy document, it just needs to be a working document where you have your ideas for 2015 mapped out.
What kind of things should you be thinking about when creating a marketing plan?
Review last year.
Using your information from the previous year's marketing will be one of the best indicators of what works specifically for your business. You should be able to answer: What worked? What didn't? Why?
Can you improve on what didn't work, or should you scrap that venue completely? How can you better capitalize on your most effective techniques?
Use any analytics you have, or review your sales and consider where they come from. If you aren't keeping track of your referrals, you should be!
Set measurable goals.
By setting measurable goals, you are more likely to accomplish your objectives. For example, I want to double my email subscriber list (a challenging but doable goal).
Once you've set goals, begin creating a plan for how you will accomplish each goal. What steps will you need to take? What campaigns should you create?
Make sure these goals are not only measurable, but also realistic. Will blogging twice a week really be a goal you can meet? If you set unattainable goals, no matter how good your intentions, you'll be more likely to give up quickly and never meet the goal you've set.
Start small, celebrate your achievements, and add new goals as you go!
Consider your budget.
Be sure you aware of the cost, in both time and money, for your goals. Is the investment worth the anticipated results? Be sure to have a plan in place for tracking results so you can really analyze how effective your efforts are.
Create a schedule.
The more you plan ahead, the easier your marketing efforts will be. Plan out the topic of each email newsletter. Plan your campaigns to coincide with holidays or industry events. Even if you occasionally deviate from your plan, having a master list will save you time in the long run.
Find the right tools.
“Work smarter, not harder.” If you have the same resources as last year, how can you make your marketing more effective? Find the right marketing tools. Marketing automation will make your job easier, freeing you up to focus on other areas of your business.
What kind of tools should you be considering? Email marketing software
with drip and automated email features, social media management tools
to post and schedule from a single interface, a Contact Manager / CRM
that automatically uploads contacts from your web forms, and a website that lets you update it easily on your own (if you choose not to invest in a web developer).
The right tools can make all the difference.
Your plan doesn't need to be beautiful, it just needs to be functional. And don’t be afraid to keep updating it as you go- just like your business plan, a marketing plan should be fluid to best serve your business.
What marketing technique was most effective for you in 2014? Where do you intend to focus your attention on in 2015?