Welcome to 2018! It seems like 2017 passed in a little bit of a flash and now we find ourselves just two years away from seeing in a new decade. Whether your business performed well last year or not, it’s time to start planning for this year, because we all know, “failure to plan is a plan for failure.”
- Assess your 2017 results
Before pressing forward, sometimes it is beneficial to look back. Experience is the greatest teacher and to make an effective 2018 business marketing plan, you’ll need to know what worked and what didn’t in 2017. Assess which marketing channels you used, what was successful? What wasn’t? When looking at return on investment, was it worth it, or should other avenues be explored?
- Write down your goals for 2018
What would you like to achieve this year? Would you like to increase business turnover by x%? Increase full time staff by 2? Open another office in a different location? By deciding what you’d like to accomplish this year, you will have a much clearer idea of what needs to happen to get you there. To be realistic, it’s important to prioritise these goals so you know what’s most important.
You will need to determine a budget for marketing, which will ultimately dictate the specifics of your final marketing plan. This is where priorities come in handy, as more budget can be allocated in the direction that will best help you achieve your top goals.
- Evaluate your competition
Who are your competitors? What are your competitors doing? It doesn’t hurt to research what may be working for the competition, and evaluating what you can do to stand out to your target market. Which channels are your competitors using to reach potential customers? Does it appear to be working? This may influence your choices when allocating marketing funds in the budget.
- Keep it simple
Don’t be tempted to over-do your marketing. Keep it simple. Stick with what works, but be open minded to new channels and digital tools available and the ways they can help your business grow. Remember you want to create a plan that is sustainable in the long term. Quantity is never better than quality. Focus on what is most important and work outwards from there.
- Write it down…
Now that you’ve evaluated the highs and lows of 2017, learned from your own successes, failures and that of your competitors as well, you’re ready to plan ahead. Remember your goals and keep them both measurable, achievable, and time specific. Write out your plan for reaching these goals.
- Implement and Review
The final step is to action your plan. Marketing plans are never set in stone. Times change and often the unexpected happens. This may change your course. Ensure during this phase of implementation that you’re constantly evaluating where you’re at, and if anything needs tweaking along the way, do so. If you notice something isn’t working as expected, change it. Don’t wait until the end of 2018 to realise you hit a stumbling block in May that could have been fixed immediately, but is now a much larger problem. Evaluate and adapt, always.
All kinds of business goals can be achieved with the help of strategic, effective marketing plans. If marketing is something you struggle with, and your 2018 plan isn’t coming together as you’d like, you can contact us at Kis Marketing to discuss your needs on 4934 4556. Don’t fail to plan in 2018….that is a plan for failure, and a recipe for disaster.