5 Key Elements For Preparing Your 2023 Marketing Plan
The purpose of a marketing plan is to ensure that marketing activities are relevant and timely to achieve your company’s objectives. All marketing plans should have a strategy for marketing your products and services, that both attracts and builds relationships with customers while staying within the company’s budget.
A question I am often asked is “Is it too late to start a marketing plan in January?” The answer is “NO.” Though many companies complete their marketing plan before the end of the year, it is much better to begin your marketing plan when you are ready, rather than basing it on a calendar date when you are not yet ready yourself.
Marketing plans vary in format, but by including the following 5 elements, you are setting yourself and your business up for greater success.
Marketing Goals and Objectives
When you have a clear idea about where you want to go with your business, it’s easier to get there. A good strategy always starts with goals. Goals are statements you make about the future of your business – they are forward-thinking. Objectives are the steps you’ll take to reach those goals. Goals are Specific, Measurable, Assignable and Realistic and often referred to as SMART goals. SMART goals give us a foundation for holding ourselves accountable, and knowing when we’ve succeeded (or failed) and they need to be aligned with your marketing activities.
If you’re not sure where to start, you might find it helpful to first complete a business year-in-review audit of your 2022 business performance.
Defining Your Target Market
Good marketing does not attempt to reach all people, rather it’s targeted to connect with a few specific and defined audiences. Your marketing strategy starts with your customers and understanding their needs, wants, and problems. Once you’ve identified those needs, you can develop a message to speak to them in a clear and consistent voice throughout all your media channels.
Performing Research Marketing
Research and identify consumer buying habits in your industry, the industry market size, whether the market is in growth or decline, and any other current trends. Your business plan strategies should communicate to your target market the value, benefits and features of your company’s products or services.
Planning Your Marketing Tactics
Develop compelling branding and marketing messages that clearly communicate how you want to be perceived. Messaging is the heartbeat of marketing. Creating educational content helps you build a solid relationship with your prospects, and can help turn your prospects into happy customers.
Here are 3 types of marketing avenues to keep in mind when crafting your marketing strategies:
- Traditional marketing: Print, speaking engagement and networking
- Digital marketing: Website, social media, SEO and email marketing
- Content Marketing: Blogging, newsletters and writing guest posts
Developing Your Timeline and Budget
Determine how much money you need to allocate for the year to achieve your marketing goals. Break it down further by developing a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual schedule of what percentage of the allocated funds you plan to spend on each marketing strategy during that time. To stay on target, for each marketing activity, establish a metric that tells you to stop if it’s not generating a sufficient return on investment (ROI). This will be your warning sign to reevaluate that activity.
There is no right or wrong way to write a marketing plan. Each business’s plan will be different from others. However, if you take the time and do your research, a good business plan will help you guide you and chart the success of your business. Both of which are vital to your business success!
If you are interested in creating a new marketing plan or reviewing your existing business plan strategy, send me an email so we can plan your next steps.
About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh-based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.