With the new year upon us, businesses are making their new years resolution to develop a marketing plan that will work wonders and increase annual sales. The purpose of your marketing plan is to outline how you will reach your target audience and sales goals. To do this, you must develop a strategy to advertise your products or services. Placing details in your marketing plan helps you analyze its success at a later date and update it as needed. A tactical plan is crucial for keeping track of all campaigns and the success ratio. For example, if your target customer is business owners, and you initially planned to advertise for that demographic on a social networking site like Linked-In, examine whether you met your marketing goal and if it was productive.
To develop your new-year marketing plan and annual strategy, review your progress from last year’s plan. Determine your new business goals, including total sales revenue and leads generated, prior to creating a marketing strategy. Once you’ve established where you want your company to be in the coming year, figure out how you’ll get there through your marketing plan.
It’s important to look back at the previous year and ask yourself the following questions:
Did you achieve desired results from your marketing efforts (such as improved brand recognition, X number of leads generated or sales/revenue figures)?
- Which specific marketing activities were effective?
- Which specific marketing activities were not effective?
- Should you reallocate resources to better performing targets, markets or marketing tactics?
- Has your target market, audience or geographic area changed over the year?
- Were you able to stay within a marketing budget at the end of the year?
- What areas of your marketing budget do you need to cut costs in for the coming year?
- What areas of your marketing budget do you want to invest more in for the coming year?
It’s Time for a New Plan!
Once you answer the questions above, you are ready to develop a new plan for the new year. Remember to keep your expectations realistic and don’t set yourself up for failure. The goal is to create an integrated marketing plan that works for your business. The new year is the time to forge forward and make positive changes in your marketing plan.
Some components of your marketing plan should include the following:
- Advertising (print and/or online)
- Branding and Graphics (promotional giveaway items, photography, video production, graphic development)
- Collateral (sell sheets, brochures, business cards)
- Events (trade shows, webinars)
- Direct Marketing (email, direct mail, list generation, promotional incentives/contests)
- Public Relations (press release distribution, PR agency)
- Marketing Research (Focus Groups, Surveys)
- Social Media (social media networks)
- Website (search engine optimization, web development/hosting)
Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc. She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing. Visit: www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558
About Monique Merhige
Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.