With 2019 coming to a close, it’s time to devise your 2020 marketing plan. Take this opportunity and look at your goals and resources and develop a plan to make 2020 your best year yet.
Where do you start when building a successful marketing strategy? These nine tips will help you create a plan that strengthens your brand, builds trust, and encourages repeat business. They’re the foundation to help you create, execute, and maintain an effective marketing plan.
Revisit Your Business Plan
Businesses are continually evolving, and it’s best to think about your business plan as a living document. Even the best strategies will change with the market. Make sure your business plan still aligns with your goals, but be nimble and add new goals and remove ones that no longer apply.
If you search for business plans, you’ll find thousands of resources to help. Here are a few of our favorite:
- Enloop is a business plan template software. You’re able to write business plans online.
- GoSmallBiz provides everything a small business needs. From business advice, marketing to HR, they have resources to help.
- LivePlan provides business software for entrepreneurs. You can easily pitch, plan, and track your business using their software.
- Plan Guru is an affordable business budgeting software and financial reporting software.
- EquityNet allows you to share your business vision with investors.
Set Business Resolutions
Create a mix of both short-term and long-term goals for your company. Start by envisioning your business 12 months from now working backward to determine the steps necessary to get there. When creating your goals, make sure they are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
For example, when thinking about revenue, you wouldn’t want to say, “I want to increase sales this year.” Instead, you could say, “I want to increase sales by 15% by doing X, Y, and Z over the next year.”
Develop a Promotional Calendar
What time of year does your business tend to thrive? When does business slow down? These are important questions to ask yourself when developing a promotional calendar. Consider holidays and events that you could build promotions around. Make sure to give ample time to plan media outreach, produce digital content, design advertising campaigns, etc.
Hot tip! 90% of marketers say social media has increased their brand exposure. Social media advertising is affordable and can target specific audiences for maximum impact. Try promoting your next sale or campaign with paid social media advertising.
Consider Your Hiring Needs
Do you have the workforce to get the job done? Look at what you want to accomplish and consider the workload to get it done. If your budget is tight, find contract workers, freelancers, and part-time employees as an alternative to full-time employees.
Create a Conference Plan
Trade shows and conferences can be very insightful and beneficial, allowing you to meet others in your field and learn from industry experts. It’s also an excellent opportunity to meet and engage with potential clients. Make sure you do your research and see what’s available to attend in 2020.
Reassess Your Brand and Branding Materials
Start by Googling your brand. What are the top results? Do you need new headshots or a website refresh? Consider updating your LinkedIn page, and refreshing your social media header images. When updating, try to keep your materials branded and with a similar tone.
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin
Being organized is a critical component of every successful business. Take the time to go through this year’s paperwork. Reorganize and eliminate unnecessary clutter from your desk and computer. These small steps will keep you refreshed and ready to tackle the new year.
Refresh Your Employees’ Skills
Offer supplemental training to refresh their skills or learn new ones. Allow your employees to provide input on what they feel they need to learn. There are plenty of online courses and webinars available that fit into your employee’s busy schedule.
Investing in employee education doesn’t just help your employee it:
- Improves employee performance
- Increases employee morale and satisfaction
- Increases innovation
- Reduces employee turnover
Refresh Your Skills
There is always room to grow and improve yourself. Think about the personal and professional skills you’d like to develop over the coming year, and look for opportunities to improve these. Take an online course, read a book on the subject, or sign up for hands-on training.
Check out these websites for hundreds of affordable courses:
Planning your marketing strategy for the new year may seem like a daunting task. Once it is complete, you will have a roadmap to marketing success.
Following these tips can ensure that you and your employees are ready to tackle 2020 and achieving your goals.