Your Roadmap to Marketing in 2014 (Part 1)

What can you do to make 2014 your best year to date?  Create a marketing plan.  Creating an executable plan can be overwhelming, but we’ve divided it into 4 manageable steps to help you focus on what’s most important. Take a moment now to schedule an appointment on your calendar within the next week to go through these 4 important steps.

Part 1 of this blog series talks about how to review 2013 and identify areas for growth.  Part 2 of this blog series describes how to create a marketing calendar and measure results.

Step 1:  Review 2013

If you had a marketing plan for 2013, review each of your goals and objectives.  Which ones did you hit?  Which ones did you miss and why?  Was it due to poor planning, or was the product or service not successful?

Which goals did you surpass?  Was there a pattern to this success?  Try to identify what products and promotions were most successful and the actions that supported your most successful campaigns. Write down reasons why these campaigns were successful.

Did you partner with another business or nonprofit organization?  Did your sales team understand the messaging to be able to overcome objectives and sell the product or service?  Did you join a networking group that produced viable referrals that resulted in increased business?

If you did not have a marketing plan, think about each of your promotions throughout the year.  Did any stand out as an undeniable success or failure?  What was different for these promotions?  Do you have numbers to back up your definition of success versus failure?  When looking at where you spent advertising dollars, can you determine how many leads came from a particular effort?

If not, look through your financials and validate which promotions were most successful or which may have cost you money.  You might be surprised. Take time to complete the following two items:

  • Write down 3-5 actions that supported successful promotions.  You’ll want to tweak and repeat these.
  • Write down 3-5 actions that had the least impact.  You probably don’t want to repeat these.  If areas that had the least impact were due to lack of planning or improper promotion, perhaps this is something that can be outsourced in 2014.


Step 2: Identify New Offerings and Product Promotions

The success of any business is the ability to adapt to change.  All businesses must change to accommodate environmental, economic, technological, cultural and customer preferences to stay in business.  What new products or services will you offer in 2014?  Will you be targeting a new audience, whether geographic or other? What special offerings, packaging or promotions will you promote?

  • Write down any new or changed products or services.  What are the key benefits of these new or changed products?
  • Write down any new target audience.  List how you will penetrate that market.
  • Write down any offerings, packaging or promotions you’d like to promote.

Do you notice a common theme?  The words ‘WRITE IT DOWN.”  When you take the time to put something on paper and review it periodically, it keeps you focused on the goal.  If you don’t track referral sources and spend thousands of dollars in advertising, you don’t know what worked, what type of customer these efforts brought, and what changes need to be made for the upcoming year.  Why dump resources into something that hasn’t worked in prior years?

Part 2 of this blog covers how to create a marketing calendar and measure the results of your efforts.

The experts at the Edmiston Group can help you create your 2014 marketing program, an editorial calendar, or can work from it to help with content creation.  Wondering how to get started in identifying business objectives and overall growth in 2014? Call us today at 724-612-0755 or email Autumn at [email protected].

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, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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